Monday, 12 January 2015

Cancer, baby

Source.
I was showering and caressing my crotch when I noticed a lump.

Shit I have cancer, I thought.

I don’t have cancer though. It’s cool.

My grandmother does. Which is not cool.

It’s inoperable. She’ll probably die within the next few weeks.

It’s been coming for a while. She got bowel cancer a couple of years ago and it initiated a series of tragic events in my life including a childhood friend’s death, a neighbour’s death and my grandfather who wasn’t in a relationship with this grandmother’s death. My Playstation broke as well, which really hurt. She made it though. They cut parts of her out and she’s been kind of alive since. Her health has been deteriorating. Patching her up like they did enabled her to live only for visitors that came sometimes. I didn’t visit often enough, because she was kind of a bitch. But I feel sort of guilty anyway.

During last summer my grandmother fell over and shattered her pelvis. While she was in hospital, the doctors suspected that she had dementia. After her pelvis was pretty ok she was sent to a home where she could be taken care of by people other than my mother (who has three siblings that should have done more). She stayed there for a few weeks. I’m not sure why she left. It was something to do with my grandmother’s refusal to sign away a percentage of her property as payment for her occupancy in the home. She lived in her own house for a while. My mother practically moved in as a full-time carer. My grandmother wouldn’t eat anything, partly because of the dementia. I think she also just wanted to die.

Eventually she agreed to go to the hospital for some intervention regarding her digestive system losing its functionality. While she was there they informed her of the fact that the cancer had returned. She’s back in the home. Or possibly a different one. I’m not close enough to the right relatives to know.

I feel like I’ve missed out on a lot. Even though she was a bitch. There’s so much about my ancestry that I suddenly care about never getting to learn of. I’ll never hear a first-hand account of how she met my grandfather, who I actually really loved and miss. I won’t get to hear about what she thought of my father when he started going out with my mother.

I was too afraid to go see her for the past few months. I knew that she had dementia, though I wasn’t sure of the severity. I was afraid that she might not remember who I am, or that she might have lost any grasp on reality. I didn’t want to see her dehumanised like that. It took my 18-year-old sister awkwardly bringing up that I should go visit my grandmother a few weeks ago for me to actually do it.

She seemed surprisingly alive. Weak and very thin. But she remembered who I was. She asked me about college. My grandmother, like the rest of my family was happy that I finally got around to going this year. She wondered if I was still in touch with that girl she saw me with one time when I was 18. My first love. The one who got away. Tragically now living in Germany (where it seems everyone I fall for goes). I tried to talk as much as possible because she obviously didn’t have the strength to carry her half of the conversation.

She’s been in the home for a week. I probably won’t ever see her again. I don’t feel like my relationship was close enough with her or anybody else who might be there for me to not feel out of place.

***
I am an uncle now. 

The kid was born at approximately ten o’ clock on Sunday.

I’ve realised that if my relationship with my new niece is anything like my relationship with my brother from the past few years, I will probably have little involvement in the child’s life. Consequently, I have no negative feelings towards her.

I am yet to see her in person. Though my sister has sent me photographs. She looks like every baby. Which is probably a good sign.

In one of the photographs my brother is holding her and looking at her face. That almost made me cry, for some reason.

12 comments:

  1. Speaking as someone who's just found out a close relative has both dementia and cancer this post resonated with me a lot. I'm glad you went to see your grandmother. You would have regretted it terribly if you hadn't. In a weird kind of way, the fact that the cancer will take her quickly is better than the long drawn out dehumanizing effect that dementia has.

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    1. I think you're right. I would have had regrets. And obviously I want to have none of those because of YOLO. She's at a stage where she's definitely gonna be dead soon. Her comfort is the only important thing at this point.

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  2. 'Death and Life' could have been the title of this post. It was nice of your grandmother to remember your first love. I hope you told her that she went to Germany, which was the destination of all the girls that left you. It would have given her something to think about and she may have formulated a theory. I hope you develop a good relationship with your niece - nieces can end up being good friends if you make an effort to amuse them when they're growing up.

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    1. I told my grandmother about my first love being in Germany, however I didn't tell her about all of the women I'm attracted to being there. I guess in that moment I didn't think of her as the best person to help me to figure out exactly why that keeps happening. I suppose it might be good to culminate a relationship with her of some sort. When she's 18 she might have hot friends.

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  3. Well....I'm glad you don't have cancer. Maybe it's just a swollen testicle thing. Maybe you should go to the doc and scream "Help! One of them's shrunk!"

    Sorry about Grandma. cancer is a horrible thing.
    Kik the playstation into touch and go and get yourself a nice, new, Wii U

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    1. I also am glad of me not having cancer. Cancer is indeed not that great.

      I haven't really played video games in a couple of years. I know that if I was ever to buy a Wii U it would probably be more so for attracting women than anything else.

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  4. Congratulations on being an uncle and I'm happy you got to see your grandma. Maybe your parents would know the answers to some of the questions you wanted to ask your grandma.

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    1. Thanks, man. Maybe they could answer questions but there's so much I could have learned from my grandmother but never will. Like she probably has all sorts knowledge regarding the picking up of gilfs. I don't think I'm in to that, but I'd have liked to have maximised that prospect as an option.

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  5. It's nice, and meaningful, that you've become an uncle around that time that you're losing your grandma. I'm very sorry about that, but I'm very glad for you that you had a final, positive visit.

    Losing information on our histories is at least as difficult as losing the people in our lives, I think. Part of our identity goes away with them.

    My nephew's birth brought me closer to my brother and SIL. I hope your niece's birth brings you closer to her parents. I bet it will. Enjoy being an uncle.

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    1. I met my niece today. She seems cool. I think she hates me though. She kept closing her eyes when I was around. But she's only like four days old so there's a chance that she doesn't know that she's doing that. At least she didn't leave me for a smoking area.

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  6. Go visit your grandma, young man.

    Sorry to hear about this, buddy.

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    1. It is not that simple, sadly. I appreciate your support, Mr. Noisewater.

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