Thursday, March 26, 2009

The "C" word strikes again.

This time, this wonderful creature from God has been stricken with it. Not once, but twice. My 85 year old grandmother has cancer. And yes, it's terminal. (The above picture was taken when she was a young, beautiful woman.) She has been diagnosedwith lung cancer and a brain tumor. The news of lung cancer was hard enough but the words "brain tumor" sent us in a tail spin of emotion. This diagnosis took place a couple of months ago but I'm just now ready to talk about it. I'm ok with letting my grandmother go. She has lived a long and satisfying life and it really is her time. She has lived with out her husband since he died of a heart attack in 1973 and she has longed for theday when she can be with him again. With that in mind, it doesn't make seeing her go through this any easier. Thankfully, she is not in any pain. I mean none. That is such a blessing. It's quite bizarre but we don't question it. The Lord does work in mysterious ways and I guess he figures if he must take her this way, he could at least make it as painless as possible. She did after all lead a very modest and respectful life full of kindness and giving. She has blessed this world with three children, six grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren (one of which is yet to be born). She has given me such an appreciation for our Italian heritage and culture and I would like to think that I have her giving nature. I'm sad that 3 of her great grandchildren will not be old enough to remember her but very thankful that she got to see Zane and he at least got to meet her and may remember her in some way. I hope to carry on traditions that she began and culture that she has exposed us to. She has undergone radiation for the brain tumor and is currently undergoing radiation on the lung right now butthe prognosis is not good. Months really. I plan on spending as much time as I can with her and hope she continues to stay comfortable until the very end. The hardest part for me is watching my mother deal with all of this. Although she has two brothers to share the burden, as the only daughter, you know the responsibility she feels for making sure her mother is well taken care of. Not to mention the kind of person my mother is. She is the one that always steps up during a time of crisis and helps to make things better. She is the one that is always strong and keeps a brave face despite the fact that she worries more that you can imagine for everyone she knows and loves. She truly carries everyone's burdens on herself. For example, the day we found out that the biopsy on the lung was cancer, it was the day I lost my job. She was already so worried about me loosing my job and then had to get the news of the biopsy being cancer. That is anemotion that she should have the right to feel fully all by itself. And then the day we found out about the brain tumor I had sewage backing up in my house and she had been on the phone with me pouring my heart out about my petty issues earlier that day. Then when she called me to give me the news about the tumor, she couldn't even get it out of her mouth. She had broken down and let the emotion overcome her. I rushed to her house and just held her as cried and told me the news. It was so strange for me to be that person for her but at that moment I was. So now, I feel the tables are turned and I have to be the strong person for her. I have to help her get through this. I keep telling her to prepare herself and she says that she is but she is about to loose her mother and I can't even imagine that feeling. It saddens me to even picture that day. I just wanted to get these thoughts and feelings out while they are presenting themselves because I tend to block this stuff out during times of grief.

I leave you with one of my favorite pictures of us. This picture was taken a month before David and I got married...so I guess that makes this picture 7 years old. Up until Christmas time last year, this was how you usually would find my grandma... happy. healthy. bright eyed. smiling.

7 comments:

mary h. said...

OMG!!!! I am so sorry! I will be praying for all of you.

Mandi said...

:( I'm so sorry. Sad, sad news. I'll be thinking of you.

Kelly said...

I don't even have words dude...just know I'm feeling for ya.

Elizabeth said...

I have been praying for your grandmother since you told me about her illness. I know that it's difficult to watch someone decline that you love so dearly, but as you said, her life has been full. This is a beautiful tribute to her, and you should share it with your mom if you haven't already done so. I believe that your grandmother's light will shine on in you and your mom, with the beauty that you both hold inside and out. I love you, please let me know if there's anything I can do.

Beth Perry said...

Awww...babe! I am sorry.
But, that is a wonderful pic of you too. You are very pretty!
Keep your head up and remember she WILL be in a better place.
B

thescrapmaster said...

I am so sorry Michelle! That is aweful, but I am so glad that you had so much wonderful time with her and she is no longer in pain. I'll be thinking of you and your family.

let's embellish! said...

Praying for you and your family Michelle!Those pictures are beautiful! All of them - I hope you put that in a scrapbook as well! Hang in there!
Rita