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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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Jess~ Offline
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cancer - January 29th 2018, 05:56 AM

i've been holding off on posting about this because i still don't think i've figured out how i feel.
if i'm really honest with myself i know that i've been pushing this down and ignoring it, but that's unfair for me to do, especially to my grandma.

so my grandma was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer about a month or so ago. obviously that sucks in any circumstance, but my grandma was a smoker her whole life until almost ten years ago when she finally quit smoking for good. she did it to avoid this very thing from happening, and i remember it was such a huge thing for her and she was so proud of herself for finally getting rid of that addiction.
and she still gets this.

it's also really disheartening to see how she might already be tired of living. when she was first diagnosed she said she wasn't gonna go through with chemo, because she knew how bad chemo would be. but my grandpa helped her reach the decision of fighting it.
she had a bad reaction to her first chemo treatment and ended up hospitalized, where they had to put a certain medicine in her IV that could possibly cause a heart attack. so the nurse told her this and needed to know that, if she did have a heart attack, if she would want to be revived and she said nah. then my grandpa freaked out and talked her into changing her mind.

it's scary to know those things because it's almost like she's already given up to some degree.

i've never had anyone so close to me pass away, and so if she isn't able to fight this, i don't know how to deal with it. i think that's why i'm distancing myself now, to try and help for if that time comes.
but that's so selfish and unfair to my grandma, because she needs to see her family now. my dad asked her if she wanted us to come visit, but i think she's feeling insecure about having lost all her hair. so on one hand, i want her to feel comfortable and not have to deal with feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable. but on the other hand, i know how lonely she must be staying alone at her house while my grandpa's at work.

i never saw her too often before the cancer, even though she lives down the street. but now i feel like it would be weird to just start popping by every so often. i don't even know what we'd do. usually when i would go over there we'd just watch TV together, but i could tell she was happy to have someone to even watch TV with.
so i don't know. i also don't want to suddenly start spending all the time with her now that she has cancer, because i feel like that's selfish too. like i'd be trying to make myself feel good and get as much time with her while i can.
i think i'm just seriously overthinking it all because, again, it distracts me and distances me from the real problem which is someone in my family who i'm actually close to has a deadly illness and i'm terrified of losing her.


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Re: cancer - January 29th 2018, 04:30 PM

It is good you posted about this. Hopefully doing so has helped even in the smallest degree.

It can be difficult to witness and cope with but sometimes people with a deadly illness become tired of fighting it throughout the journey and some choose to stop fighting completely. There are a lot of feelings and personal thoughts behind that and although it is scary, sometimes the idea of fighting through the pain and the illness doesn’t seem worth it to the person. Someone in my family had a terminal illness and early on they said they wanted to pass away so it would be over. It’s definitely hard but unforunately you can’t fight for her. You can be there for her, though.

You said you don’t want to not see her but at the same time you don’t want to suddenly start popping up a lot. What if you think about your schedule and her schedule and then choose one or two times per week that you can pop in? You can drop by and watch TV with her, or maybe bring lunch one day. Anything small can make such a big difference.

This must be a really difficult time for you and your family and I want you to know that I am here if you need anything.


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Re: cancer - January 31st 2018, 04:21 PM

Hey there,

I have some experience with this because I lost my grandpa to a brain tumor quite some time ago. We were never overly close but it was still hard to watch. The first thing I want to say is that just because she didn't want to be revived doesn't mean that she has given up. A lot of people choose not to be revived because it can lead to a lot of issues and even if they are revived they end up on life support etc. I know, my dad has talked to myself and his partner about the fact that he doesn't want to be revived if anything happens to him and there wouldn't be much chance for him to function again. I think a lot of the reasons he feels this way is because of what he experienced watching his dad get sick. I think there are various reasons as to why a person chooses to stop fighting and I have witnessed a lot of variations on this with people in my life who had cancer.

I do think it would be worth it to talk to her and let her know how you feel about her and let her know that you want to support her. It is very possible that she is pushing everyone away and there are plenty of reasons as to why. There isn't a ton that can be done if she chooses to push you all away but you can all still fight to let her know that you are there and you care about her.

As for popping in unexpectedly, maybe you could try talking to her about visiting. If she seems reluctant to have visitor's it might still be a good idea to try and visit a few times because a lot of people do benefit from visitors even if they are reluctant at first.

I know this is a struggle and I hope you will try and find ways to take care of yourself while you are dealing with this. It can be easy to forget to take our needs/well-being into account when dealing with something like this.

Best regards and please know you can message me if you ever need to vent.


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