Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Inhumanity / Jumping to conclusions

This blog is entirely premature, but I have to get it off my chest. Several years ago my grandmother had breast cancer. She had the lymph nodes removed and radiation (she refused chemo). Last year she had an abnormal mammogram, but told me that what they saw was scar tissue…I, not realizing how sneaky my grandmother can be, believed her (assuming this is was the doctors told her).

A couple of weeks ago she commented to me that the cancer was back and that she wasn’t going to do anything about it. This, obliviously, is not the way I would like to see her handle something of this caliber so I talked her into going to the doctor to have it looked at in case it was not what she assumed.

Yesterday was her appointment. The lump is very large (actually visible)…the doctor took a look and felt around it. The first thing she asked my grandmother is what her plans were if she told her that the cancer was back. Well, my grandmother, being the loon that she can be, said “party”.

They are setting her up for a diagnostic mammogram and biopsy. This should all take place in the next week or two.

This is the part of me that’s jumping to conclusions because it has not yet been affirmed that what the doctor saw is in fact the cancer returning…we will not know for sure until the test results (but the way the doctor presented it and grandma’s history – it’s pretty certain).

I know very little about cancer, but what I do know is that it can lead to a long agonizing death. This makes me realize how inhumane our society is that we will put our beloved pets out of their misery, but will sit back and watch our loved ones, our family, our friends, our spouses die a slow painful death. Yeah, I know there are drugs for the pain, but please.

When my mom and Maizee died I was thankful for the fact that neither of them suffered. I don’t know how I’m going to handle this if I have to watch my grandmother suffer even the least little bit.

The only good I can see from knowing that the time is coming is the fact that I will be able to say good-bye unlike my mom’s passing and that we will be able to throw a big ass party for her while she can still enjoy it. You are all invited!!

5 comments:

lara kiyomi said...

WTF is right. But hell, your grandma's a very smart lady - let's party! Even if it's a 10-year long celebration, she'll go out in style dammit. We all should, right?

Hannah Barnes said...

Sandy, wish I could be there to give you a big hug and get one back myself. Kolla, will you give Sandy a hug for me? Now that you've had lessons from Joe I think it's time for you to give it a try!

Kolla said...

Hannah, I'd hug almost anyone for you, but Sandy and I have this no-hug deal.... it would just be really really weird and I then I wouldn't talk to her for 6 months afterwards. How about we just touch elbows or something?
And Sandy - much respect for your grandma. In a teeny way I can relate a little bit, sometimes the treatment is worse than the disease. My grandmas "boyfriend" (the man I knew as grandpa) also refused treatment when diagnosed with cancer - and somehow managed to transition over fairly smoothly. Besides, I'm sure your mom is keeping an eye on grandma now.

Denise said...

Seems this week is the week for cancer news...ugh...I got some too from dad in NJ (his girlfriend of years)....All we can do is support whatever is the right decision for THEM, even if it is hard to swallow for us. Big hugs.......and let me know when the party for gram is - I'll come!

Dee said...

Often the treatment is worse than the actual disease and may be futile. When the time comes check out Hospice Care. They are experts in preventing pain and suffering when facing end of life and they'll ensure that your grandmothers dignity and respect are maintained. Dee