Life Is Short, Especially Life With CancerMy great aunt was diagnosed with a malignant type of brain cancer last spring. At first the doctors thought it was inoperable, but they soon did surgery to remove part of the tumor. I haven't thought much about the cancer until today when my great-grandmother called my mom to check up on us and tell us about how my great aunt is doing. She isn't doing well. She's now in a wheelchair, she can't remember much of anything, she repeats herself while speaking, and she's near blind. We don't think she'll be living much longer and it's incredibly sad. She was always this upbeat, talkative, friendly, and optimistic person that would have people over every weekend. She was a nurse doing hospice work, and now she is the one who has to have special care. She's the type that you would never expect such a traumatic thing such as brain cancer to happen to her.
It's sad, I don't know her as well as I'd like to have just because she lives in California and only came to visit once a year or so when I lived in North Carolina. I went to Cali once with my family six years ago, and I haven't really seen her since. She used to send my family birthday cards, Christmas cards, and emails about her recent adventures around the world. We don't get those anymore because her illness has taken a toll on her life and her basic functions. The more I think about it, the more I come to the realization of it, and the less I'm in denial of it is starting to impact me. I can't deny it anymore. It's just too advanced to deny. A million prayers won't save her, a million words of sympathy and encouragement won't save her, a million doctors with strong chemo and drugs won't save her. As much as I hate to say it, the cancer is pretty much a lost cause. Not even hope can save her. It's time to be honest with myself, and with my family. I need to prepare myself for what is to come.
It's still a shock, even a year into the cancer. I'll never see her again. I don't even think I could make it to the funeral because I have no money for plane tickets. It's sad that money holds people back from everything. If only money wasn't everything these days...If only I could've seen her again, you know, normally, not sick...
It's amazing that an illness can destroy everything...everything but memories.