I have a problem that's really pretty complex and it's seriously starting to crush me. It wasn't initially when I found out, but it's gaining on me.
To start at the beginning : a little over two years ago I got out of an abusive relationship, moved, got new friends, and reconnected with old ones. During this process, I met this guy that I became very good friends with. One night, everybody else was hanging out for this dude's birthday and doing stuff we didn't feel like doing. “Friend Guy” and I ended up getting pretty drunk and we slept together. I remember enjoying it at the time but looking back on it, it was pretty … silly. Afterward, I thought we were going to go out and so did he. He even introduced me to his brother as his girlfriend on the phone. After about a week, though, it turned out that FG didn't want to be anyone's boyfriend really, as girlfriends are too high maintenance, so we decided to just be friends.
The process was a little rocky and I didn't understand his motivation (I thought he was just sadistically torturing me for his own pleasure) and I was bitching about it to another group of friends. One of my friends exasperatedly exclaimed something like, “God! Why do you always pick such assholes! Can't you see that [Boyfriend Guy] has had the hots for you for three friggin' years??”
“Boyfriend Guy” was there at the time, and it was quite awkward. After this little explanation, everyone else quickly told us that they were tired and left. So we talked for awhile and ended up starting a relationship. Two years later, I am still in this relationship. I love him and tell him pretty much everything. Absolutely the only flaw I have found with him is that he has a tendency to get a tad paranoid about whether or not I still love him. This paranoia is, in my experience, much lower than that of the average person in the USA. Yeah. He's that awesome.
Fast forward to late last year. I'm still friends with FG, and still dating BG. They are friends and have moved in together, along with another guy, in a gross bachelor pad. Needless to say, I was over there quite a bit. In late fall/early winter, BG started having seizures. He has an artistic job and works from home. He didn't have a working car at the time, and the combination of these factors meant that he could drink A LOT without great immediate consequence, meaning DUIs, job loss, etc. We assumed that the seizures were symptoms of delerium tremens, or severe alcohol withdrawal. He went to the hospital the first time, and that's what they told him it probably was.
Like many (most?) twenty-somethings, he doesn't have health insurance, so the doctors might have written him off and not really tried very hard. (I have mad love for doctors, but I realize that their jobs are hard, they're spread thin, and there's an endless stream of people to help.) FG refused treatment and asked us not to call 911 again, as he couldn't afford it. Time passed and he continued to drink and have occasional seizures. These seizures would happen if he had less than around four drinks in a day. He didn't even have to stop drinking to have them.
This made us sad, but we realized that we didn't control him and couldn't really do anything about it unless we could scrape together enough money for a professional intervention and to pay for his rehab. At the time, BG and I were college kids, and he was slightly older. We simply didn't have the cash.
So I graduated last spring and eventually got a job... or two. We all continued to hang out, relatively hunky dory, until FG started getting worse. Now it didn't seem to matter if he drank or not. He started getting extremely intense headaches and throwing up. Mind you, I've been getting migraines bad enough to make me throw up since I was twelve, but I hadn't ever seen anything like this. He also began to complain of sometimes going blind in one eye. Very nonchalantly, too. Remember, this dude is in his twenties. Holy shit.
In late summer, FG went on vacation to visit his parents and during that vacation, I'm not clear exactly but I guess they took him to the hospital. When he came home from that visit, he told all of us that there was a distinct possibility that he had a brain tumor. He told me that he was going out of town to see a specialist after a couple of weeks. We anxiously awaited his return.
When he came back, he told us it was all a false alarm. He didn't say anything else about it, and continued to eat, drink, and be merry. It became clear to me that he was full of shit. One evening, when we were sitting alone on my porch, I confronted him about it. I said something like, "I'm not an idiot; I thought that was why you liked me. Quit with the bullshit and tell me what the hell is going on!!"
Maybe I shouldn't have, but I pressed him. FG finally told me that he had an inoperable occipital brain tumor. He was told that chemo and/or radiation would buy him very little, horrible time and would be super-expensive. The tumor explains the vision loss and seizures. Holy shit, I feel so bad that I just thought he was an extremely hardcore alcoholic. We all did, I suppose. It made sense. Still.
FG also has a hematoma in his frontal lobe. Apparently the tumor in the back of his brain is so big that it's pushing his brain forward inside his skull and making the front of his brain bleed. This is causing him to sometimes nonsensically act like an asshole, Phineas Gage style. Not all the time, though. Mostly, he's the same as he ever was.
He told me not to tell anybody how sick he is. He doesn't want people to treat him differently in his last days. He didn't give me an exact number, but he made it sound like he has less than a year. I asked him if I could tell my mother, who he doesn't interact with, because I knew this was going to drive me crazy. He agreed.
When she was visiting, I told her of this situation, and she basically said, "Wow, OMG, I'm sorry. Call me if you ever want to talk and I'm not working." I don't think she really has any relevant advice to give on the subject. I hope some of you do.
Anyway, so I want to treasure my time with FG. BG doesn't understand. There's no internet at the nasty bachelor pad right now, so BG always wants to come over to my place. Sometimes FG comes over as well, before BG gets off work, which is around 9:30. This pisses BG off. He hasn't yelled or anything, but I can tell that this is really bothering him. He doesn't understand why I'm suddenly so interested in hanging out with FG, and I know BG. I would bet money that BG thinks I'm cheating on him with FG. I'm not, just to be clear.
I can't tell him what's really going on! This is driving me completely crazy! I've been having dreams where I'm the one dying and I can't tell other people about it, and I just pretend to be ok while I'm bleeding out at dinner or somewhere.
I talked to FG and begged him to tell BG. He won't. I told him I wouldn't do it without his permission, and I really do respect FG's right to decide whether or not to tell people. FG is being sort of callous to the damage this is doing to my emotions and my relationship with BG. Maybe he likes damaging my relationship with BG. I dunno. Obviously, I'm also being a bit of a selfish yatch; he's the one who has cancer.
I'm also concerned that FG is going to get sicker and it will all become real to him and he's going to go all Chloe from Fight Club on me (beg for a mercy fuck as a dying wish). I don't know how I would find the strength to say no to that. How do you say no to your dying best friend?
So does anyone have any words of wisdom? Help meeeee!
X-posted out of desperation. Dan Savage didn't write me back. And I wasn't anywhere near as verbose when I wrote to him.