i have so much thoughts in me after visiting my grand mother yesterday. it was unpleasant at that moment, but after it all sank in, i seem to have gained a little more appreciation about my life. that’s a net positive effect i suppose.
my grand mother has been diagnosed with cancer some time around august of 2014. initially we thought it’s only breast cancer, but a few months later we’re surprised with more cancer cells in her body. they’re not just lurking in the dark, they were hurting her.
the cancer has spread to other parts such as her spine, they also found small tumours in her lungs and liver. she has been treating her cancer with surgery, medication, and radiotherapy. the doctors said the cancer is responding to the drugs, so all is “good”.
the irony – she is a heavy smoker, yet it wasn’t lung cancer that’s lethal in her.
about a month or two ago, we were told it’s in her brain too. she had radiotherapy on her head region for this matter.
i didn’t really feel the effect of what cancer do to her until yesterday – the first time i can see for myself what the side effects of those treatments actually do. i know hair loss comes with cancer treatment, but seeing it happen to my loved one is another matter. i also did not know radiotherapy can cause hair loss until my cousin notified me a while ago. always learning something new daily.
the only consolation i can churn up is that at least she isn’t reclusive or actively depressed. she still welcomed us, despite feeling lethargic from all the rounds of chemical torture.
i don’t know if i can ever fully understand or share her feelings and emotions. the first thought that came into my mind when i saw her was how brave she is for accepting her situation. given that i was so anti social when my skin flared due to TSW years ago, i really can empathize with that aspect of the emotional well-being to say the very least.
i guess my grand mother just can’t give a fuck to her hair loss situation because when compared to the seriousness of cancer possibly taking her life (soon), it appears to be so tiny. whether she choose not to care or she just don’t care, my grand mother strengthens me by being such a good example.
she’s always been the strong one. being the oldest in her huge family of 8 siblings, she’s the big sister whom everyone depends on and looks up to. i’m sure she takes pride in being able to provide for her family for the past 80 years. now that she’s so frail and have to be taken care of, she is not used to the sudden weakness she’s showing.
well, she never vocalized any of the above. it’s all in my mind, based on what i observed. when i tried to hold her hand when she’s walking, she seem somewhat embarrassed, as though it’s needy of her if she required assistance.
in my mind, she is a strong woman who doesn’t show too much of her feelings to anyone.
i want to spend more time with her. i want to talk and listen to her stories, but right now her hearing is so bad, it’s hard to hold a conversation.
while i was helping out my cousin last night, i over heard my grand mother talking to my mom. she got each of her grand children a necklace because, quoting her “i have nothing much to give to everyone. i want them to remember me.”.
tears welled up immediately when i heard that. she already gave me a part of herself, and it will always live on in me because i carry her blood and genes as well. technically speaking she don’t have to give us a single thing because she’s already given us so much – our lives. i mean, without her, we wouldn’t have our parents, then there will be no us to speak of.
side track: i have always thought about using ashes to make artificial diamonds that i can wear on my body for keep sake. it’s nice to have a momento to remind us.
i felt so much emotions yesterday, i told my girlfriends how i would rather choose to enjoy my last days instead of accepting cancer treatments. an article i read before further strengthened my personal take on cancer treatments.
it just hurts to see my grand mother suffer when the treatments are supposed to make her better. wait, maybe the treatments weren’t meant to make one feel better, instead, it’s just to lengthen one’s life span. once again, it highlights the limitations of allopathic medicine.
perhaps it’s more practical to think of ways to fulfil my grand mother’s wishes (of seeing all of her grand children get married and have our own families) quickly instead of hoping she’ll last longer.
thinking about that puts a helpless smile on my face.