Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Okay, I give up. There is no way to plan anything. There is no way to predict what life will throw at you!
Last Tuesday I was taking my grandmother to the doctor for a routine visit, just needed him to fill out some paper work. She was feeling fine, in good spirits, and not really too cranky about going.
So, her home health aid comes to give her a bath and get her ready for the trip. Everything is fine. This was at around 9:30 or 10 in the morning. We have lunch and then go to get her clothes changed, everything is fine. We go out to the car and my friend who was here to help me load her up says, "YOU'RE YELLOW!" to her. I look at her in the sunlight and he's right. She's yellow. Her eyes are yellow, her skin is yellow, it's awful. I'm standing there hoping that I've just given her too many sweet potatoes lately, and knowing that's not it at all.
I get her to the doctor's office and get her inside. They put us in an exam room and the doctor walks in in just a few minutes. He asks her hows she's doing and she tells him she's fine. He answers that she is NOT fine, she's YELLOW!
Instead of filling out the paper work, we're heading for the hospital and lots of tests.
She had a blockage in her bile duct coming from her pancreas. This was caused by a 3cm tumor on her pancreas. They put a stint in to open the duct so her liver wouldn't fail. The diagnosis is pancreatic cancer. They can't operate because the tumor is wrapped around a major artery. Chemotherapy won't do any good. So, she's home, waiting for the cancer to get her. There's nothing that can be done, so she's just waiting to die.
How do you cope with all this? I've got enough stuff of my own to worry about, now I have to watch her give up and die. And she is giving up. She won't eat much, she won't drink much, she can't get out of bed because she hasn't eaten enough to fuel her body. The cancer has not spread, it isn't causing her any pain, and we really don't know how long it's been there or how fast it's growing. She could be fine for 6 months, a year, maybe more. But, she's just giving up. I know she's ready to go, but I'm not ready for her to go. I know she's 88 and lost all her family except my sister and me, but still...
And, to top it all off, if I don't lose at least 30 lbs quickly, I could be looking at uterine cancer. My doctor has told me she won't do a hysterectomy on me until I lose 30 to 50 lbs. They found some polyps in my uterus and they had some pre-cancerous cells.
Life just keeps throwing us curve balls.