Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No More Treatments

I mentioned a while back about Grandpa and his cancer.  Well he went through his radiation only to slow the cancer down.  After that he decided to try chemotherapy in 3 doses, 3 weeks apart.  The first dose (about 3 weeks ago) really knocked him on his ass and hasn't been the same since.  He's been in and out of the hospital, and finally came home last week.  He's been on different drugs for various things (fluid in his lungs, pains in his wrist and shoulder, etc). He's started to get confused by the time.  He wakes up in the middle of the night thinking its morning, or tries to take his evening meds an hour after taking them, not remembering that he's already taken them.  My aunt, who's been staying there with him, thought it might be the percocet, so they switched to vicodin.  The pain management got better (which is good) but the loopiness didn't really go away. 

Grandpa with his 3 kids
They had an appointment last week to discuss options, and Grandpa and the doctors decided not to continue with the treatments.  For the first time, the doctor gave a timeline: 1-9 months.  They brought up Hospice, and today, he reluctantly signed up.

I've been reading the daily email updates from my aunt and talking about it with my family, and I've been pretty calm about it.  It wasn't until I read the last email, with the subject "No More Treatments" that its really hitting me that I'll never see him alive again. I'll never feel another bear hug that almost squeeze the air out of your lungs.  I'll miss our card games with the "Ik - Ik - LaBOO!" curses after being given a bad card. 
At Grandpa's 80th Birthday Party

Grandpa has always been the stone foundation of our family.  The house on the lake has been the place to be for anything from July 4th celebrations to Just-Because bonfires and summer parties.  What's to become of the house?  Will it even be the same without its heart?  How do you say goodbye to your last living Grandparent? 

I wonder how he's feeling.  Is he sad to be leaving all of us behind? Is the thought of being with Grandma again comforting at all?  He loves life more than anyone I know.  Is that love so strong that the thought of death terrifying?  I worry about him. I want to hug him and tell him its OK, but at the same time, I'm being selfish.  I haven't talked to him in a few months.  During the end of my Grandma's life, we went to visit for Thanksgiving.  She wasn't the same person.  She didn't talk, and due to the steroids was about 50 pounds heavier.  Will Grandpa be the same? They have skype, but again - will he even look the same?  I want to remember him as the smiling leprechaun that gave us $10 whenever we went to walmart and bought me my first bikini behind my Dad's back. 


Garret of Jim and Garret said...

I'm sorry to hear this. Don't think of the future with out him. Think of the past you had with him.

Laurie said...

I know exactly how you feel- it is still very fresh in my mind. Hugs to you.

I loved how you wrote about such specific memories. I love him and have never even met him :)