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Always * Offline
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Grandfather has cancer - October 1st 2015, 06:38 PM

I recently found out that my grandfather has cancer. It doesn't sound good. No one has said the words, but I am not stupid and nor am I a child. As far as I can tell, it's not if he'll die, it's when. Treatment options might prolong his life by a bit but I highly doubt they'll discover that they can eradicate it. Besides, he's in his 80's and his health hasn't been great for a long time; it hasn't been awful either, but that's still not great.

The weird thing is that I don't feel like I am as sad or as shocked as I should be.

I don't know if it is because he's the one I expected to go first and I've been worrying about this news for years. Maybe it is because of the nasty ear-jarring coughing that's always made me think that something was up, or if it is the 500 pills he has to take a day, or if it is because even at over 6'0" tall he's still bent over and moves so so so so so slowly. He's always seemed the oldest and, simply put, the sickest of all my grandparents. Maybe the fact that I've been worrying for the last 4 years makes this news easier to accept.

Maybe it's because I was never that close to him, but that doesn't seem like a good reason. I only talk to my grandparents about 3-4 times a year (I kid you not).

Don't get me wrong, it does make me sad and I am upset by it, I just feel like something is wrong that I am not crying and more torn up than I feel. It kind of makes me feel like an awful person that my anxiety causes me to come home in tears over a job fair that overwhelmed me but I can't figure out how to be devastated that my grandfather is going to die. Maybe it'll hit me when someone else says it's terminal. Or maybe when I see him next it'll hit me, I don't know.

I've also been worried about what will happen to my grandma. She's my grandma by marriage, not birth. My dads mom died when he was in his 20's and my grandfather remarried. My grandma isn't my dad's mom, but she's the only grandmother I've had on that side of the family. But like, will she still want to be my grandma after this? Or if when the blood tie to my side of the family dies mean she'll go away?

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Re: Grandfather has cancer - October 2nd 2015, 04:36 AM


It's okay to feel the way you're feeling. Given your grandfather's health before the diagnosis and all of your worrying, I don't think your lack of shock or sadness is a bad thing. Some people spend years worrying about their family members and anticipating bad news. When people get news like that, it can almost come with feelings of relief because they don't have as much uncertainty anymore. I also think it would be more shocking to you if it had been someone in the prime of their life. But, it sounds like your grandfather has lived a long life and that might play a role in how you're feeling now. Almost as if it's offering you closure.

Some people think 'blood is thicker than water' and I personally don't believe in that. Your grandmother has been around you for a while and losing your grandfather isn't going to take that away from you. It's not going to make you lose her too. You'll always be tied together as family even if she's not blood.

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Re: Grandfather has cancer - October 2nd 2015, 07:45 PM

I'm sorry to hear that your grandfather has cancer.

I agree with Calico. Since his health wasn't great in the first place and you have worried so much, it's normal that you aren't shocked by this news. As for your feelings, remember that it's perfectly normal to process your feelings as they come. You shouldn't expect or force yourself to feel sad if you aren't just as you shouldn't force yourself to feel okay if you feel sad over this. Perhaps you haven't processed this fully for this news to become real if that makes any sense. I do not see a right or wrong way to feel when you're facing loss or potential loss. Just let yourself process and feel the emotions involved and don't be afraid to reach out and talk to family around you about any thoughts or feelings you have about this. Leaning on others and coming together as a family could help.

Regardless of whether or not your grandmother is your biological grandmother, whatever happens to your grandfather it won't change what type of person she has been to you all this time. She most likely sees you as her granddaughter. In the meantime, would it help both you and your grandparents to spend more time with them? Hopefully spending more quality time with them and speaking to them while they are still here with you would be comforting in a way.

I'm not sure what's going to happen but either way, you're more than welcome to reach out to us for support through this, okay? Take care.
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