Since Pawpa died my world spun so quickly, I was certain I was going to fall off and go hurling back into that black hole of depression; the one that is always threatening to make me hate everything, especially myself; the black hole which makes me wish death would put me out of my misery once and for all.
The hole was so deep I didn’t see how I would get out of it. I was trapped there for most of August((one of my shortest, but most intense, depressive episodes)). It was triggered by all the death, the loss of my job, the instability in my romantic life, my sister’s move to the east coast, and my being on the verge of financial ruin and homelessness once again. At one point, I had decided to give up and kill myself.
I’m used to January being a bittersweet month and I’ve come to expect February’s to hold some sort of devastation. However, February 2012 takes the cake, and that is no small feat considering Februarys past.
Within three weeks of Pawpa getting sick, he was gone; poof, just like that. We had little time to wrap our minds around his ultimate fate, much less accept it. Once hospice took over his care I knew it was just a matter of time, but I still hoped like hell that he would beat the odds. I tried to be there for him as much as I could in his last few weeks. How could I not? He was my Pawpa and I wanted to make sure that he knew how much I loved him. When I felt his last heartbeats and realized that he was gone, I wanted nothing more than to curl up next to him and take my last breaths as well.
One of his doctors came in and told us that Pawpa has pancreatic, stomach, and lung cancer and he is still waiting for the CT results to see if it has spread to his brain. He said the only treatment option is chemo but that it is ineffective with pancreatic cancer and the side effects are terrible. He said again that they will keep him comfortable. He said he would discharge Pawpa to go home as soon as we are ready. Granny told him we’d be ready by Saturday evening. The doctor then recommended Evergreen Hospice and said he would call them for us.
A nurse from the hospice came in about an hour or so later. She explained what hospice does and what they can do to help us take care of Pawpa at home. They’ll bring a wheelchair, hospital bed and other supplies. I couldn’t stop crying.
Mom slept most of the time. After the nurse from hospice left, Granny told me she wasn’t ready to lose Pawpa. She talked about how they grew up together. She was fifteen and he was seventeen when they got married. She also talked about how much she loves him. I know this heartbreaking for her. She said, “He told me last night he wants to go home and die with dignity.”
The only justification I can think of for all these cancers to invade my Pawpa’s body is so he doesn’t have to suffer for a long time, but still have time to say his goodbyes. Less than three weeks ago, Pawpa was fine, and then boom, terminal cancer.
There is so much bullshit going on right now I don’t know whether to scratch my watch or wind my head. I’ve been in a form of shock over my grandfather’s health. I wasn’t prepared for this. I don’t know how to handle it in a healthy way. My first instinct was to cut because I knew that seeing my blood would help me feel better and bring on the calm numbness.
I need to stop smoking. It’s getting too expensive, my job has made it harder to smoke during work hours, even on break, and the biggest reason of all: I just found out the best man1 I’ve ever known, my Pawpa, has lung cancer.
He was rushed to the hospital last week with chest pain. He had been tired and lethargic all week and my Granny thought he might have been having another heart attack. Turns out he was severely anemic and had to have a few blood transfusions. The doctors ran more tests and found an enlarged, hemorrhaging mass in his lungs. They admitted him for several days and did a biopsy.
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