Loss & Illness

As I sit in the hospital bed, I hear my phone vibrate just as I’m about to drift to sleep after getting a 1 mg dose of Dilaudid for the night. It’s been 4 days that I have been here, getting pain meds about every two hours and also awaiting to find out if I will be having surgery or not.

The surgery in questioning is a resection surgery of my intestines where they would take out a part of my intestines and cut a hole into my stomach, placing a temporary ostomy bag for me to, well, to be blunt about it, shit in. Chances are I would only have this bag for 8 to 12 weeks, which is fine because whatever is going to help with this pain, I will take it at this point.

I look to my phone to see that my grandpa Bobby has passed. The past year or so, my grandma’s husband and my mom’s father have both been under Hospice care. Both suffer from dementia. Well, my grandpa Bobby was diagnosed with a very rare throat cancer just a few months back and they didn’t give him much longer to live. We honestly are surprised he made it to the new year. He was living very miserably these past few months. He couldn’t eat much and his throat couldn’t handle very cold foods, so we really were preparing for him to go. The hard part was being in the hospital while it happened, all the way across the country.

My grandmother has been taking care of him back in Ohio while my mother and I have been out in Arizona. She visited him many times throughout the weeks and always made sure he was as comfortable as he could be. Well, my grandma had arrived here in Arizona last night to see me in the hospital. And when we heard he had passed, I truly believe in a way, he waited until the three of us, His ex wife, daughter and granddaughter, were together so he could go and we could be there for one and other. It’s a very bittersweet thing.

Now, losing someone is never easy. Especially when you can’t be there with them when they go. And many people hold a lot of anger and regrets as a part of grieving. When my Grandma Sue passed away from breast cancer when I was 12, I resented myself for a very long time. I thought “Why didn’t I text her more?” or “I should have answered that phone call two weeks ago that I had missed.” I felt as though I didn’t do enough, even though I was just a child. And it took me years to finally accept that I didn’t do anything wrong. She loved me and I know she is here with me every step of the way through now what is my journey of battling a disease. So what you need to remember that when a loved one dies, they don’t pass with any disappointment or judgement towards you. And you have to try and accept what has happened and not stay angry at yourself, because living with regret is the worst feeling and not only mentally, but physically, it will take a toll on your body.

My Grandma Sue discussing her cancer.
Video uploaded by my father.

Whether you are religious or not, I truly think that this video is very inspiring and something people should hear. Sue was the strongest woman I ever had the honor of knowing and growing up with