Family & Friends
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.
- related to me [↩]
I began adulthood when I was five years old. It was gradual that first year, but after my mother got pregnant by my then step-father the learning curve grew steeper with each passing month. By my mother’s sixth month of pregnancy I learned Larry was an alcoholic pervert. By her seventh month, I had learned how to play opossum while being sexually assaulted. By her eighth month, I learned it was my duty to assume the responsibilities she ignored or forgot. By her ninth month, I learned how to take care of a baby because neither Larry nor my mother could be trusted to handle it. I fell in love with David the first time I saw him and I took my role as big sister very seriously. I knew I would protect him at all costs.
The day my mother and brand new baby brother were released from the hospital I learned Larry was also physically abusive and how to rescue them from him. I learned by sheer guy instinct. Larry was drunk and started arguing with my mother. She said something and he threw her up against the dryer and started slapping and punching her. He broke her glasses for the first time. I was screaming at him, trying to distract him and get him to leave her alone. The baby was crying. Mom took off outside to get away from Larry. I ran to David and picked him up; trying to soothe him and stop his crying. I was scared shitless that Larry was going to hurt him if I couldn’t settle him down.
Today, I just kicked back and relaxed with Jacob and Salem1. We re-arranged some furniture, watched movies, and played video games. Then for dinner I cooked us breakfast foods. Jacob loved it. We had a good time. He’s my oldest nephew and we’ll always have a close connection. He also knows he can always come to me and I will do whatever I can for him. Since I haven’t had my own children yet, I dote on my nieces and nephews like crazy. They have me wrapped around their fingers and they know it too.
Today was also Jess and Granny’s birthday. I didn’t go to see them because that’s what the dinner yesterday was for and money is still tight so I couldn’t go out with Jess and everybody. I’ll be caught up soon and then I’ll get to do more with my family. I love them all so much and I don’t want them to ever doubt it.
The only reason I really wrote this is because I’m trying to stick with my write for at least 10 minutes a day resolution.
- my new black cat [↩]