This is a Journal entry by Dr E Vibenstein (You know it is, it really is.)

Too much perspective.

Post 1

Dr E Vibenstein (You know it is, it really is.)

I'm not normally a fan of this kind of journal entry, indeed I've spent the best part of 24 hours wondering whether or not to post it - some things are perhaps too personal for a site like this, but then again all the momentous events in my life since I joined h2g2 have been documented here (along with hundreds of rather dull ones) and this one seems to warrant inclusion. It also goes some way towards explaining why I've suddenly reappeared here after leaving in a strop and vowing never to return; sitting in a hospital ward with a dying relative certainly gives you a lot of perspective (possibly too much f***ing perspective, as David St Hubbins once observed). Feel free to skip the next few paragraphs and just offer vague non-specific sympathy if you like. smiley - erm

So. My grandad went into hospital at the beginning of February. At the time nobody was quite sure what was wrong with him, although we suspected he might have prostate cancer as he's had problems in that department for many years. In fact the reason he was admitted was because his kidneys weren't working properly, however after various tests it was discovered that he did indeed have prostate cancer, but they (I'll be using the word "they" to represent whatever non-specific group of medical people is in charge of these things) decided it wasn't terribly serious and could be controlled with drugs. More worryingly they also found some kind of growth in his liver, which also turned out to be cancerous. Liver cancer is of course considerably more serious, but "they" assured us that at his age (85) it would be very slow to grow and he could have years of life left in him yet.

By mid-February things were looking quite rosy. They'd got a kidney working again and he seemed more cheerful and lively than he'd been for a while. Then he began to complain of a lack of energy. "They" suggested he may have some kind of infection, although they couldn't agree on anything specific. Someone suggested he might have MRSA, someone else said he definitely did have MRSA, someone yet else denied this outright. Your textbook NHS-sponsored shambles, really. With no clear idea of what was really wrong, they decided that the kidney problem with which he had been admitted had been fixed and he could go home, because they needed the bed.

He was duly turfed out of the bed and sent home in a taxi, but after ten days at home with no obvious signs of improvement, he was readmitted to hospital on Monday. "They" suspected his lack of energy might be due to a chest infection. This was, of course, nonsense. It turns out he has cancer of the liver, prostate and bladder and, frankly, there's not much anyone can do for him.

So now it's really just a matter of waiting. To his great credit, he's accepted his fate with good grace and is more or less ready to go now, which I think makes things easier, although I'm not entirely sure. I've managed to reach the age of almost 34 without losing anybody this close to me, which is perhaps not entirely a good thing as I now have no idea how to deal with it. I know I should be spending as much time with him as possible, but he's always been such an independent person that to see him lying there unable to even prop himself up in bed is just horrendous. The fact that my uncle who's had little or nothing to do with the family for decades has now come back to the fold and is playing the concerned son card doesn't help either.

If you're still reading, thanks, good luck to you. smiley - smiley


Too much perspective.

Post 2

Lady Pennywhistle - Back with a vengeance! [for a certain, limited value of Vengeance; actual amounts of Vengeance may vary]

Well, I read the whole thing... smiley - erm and still am not sure I can offer more than 'vague non-specific sympathy'.
smiley - hug

I'm never good at knowing what to say at these situations. Have been lucky enough not to lose anyone close to me in that way (though my grandmother died back when I was in middle school, and I was pretty close to her). Not that that would've helped, I guess. Pain is too personal.

So, yeah. Vague non-specific sympathy it is. smiley - cheerupsmiley - tea
But I mean it.
smiley - hug


Too much perspective.

Post 3

Milla, h2g2 Operations

smiley - hug

There is no right way to deal with it. You rant or draw back, cry, or go on as normal. You will do what is right to you.

Remember the good times, and talk to eachother.
smiley - cuddle

My thoughts are with you.

smiley - towel


Too much perspective.

Post 4

Galaxy Babe - eclectic editor

<>

Welcome to my world, EV.
Substitute "grandfather" for "father" and "30" (when my Grandmother passed, but this is far, far worse) for almost 34

I now have no idea how to deal with it
I'm 50, and I feel - well, I don't think there are words.

I recently wrote this for The Post: A9183125
If it helps you, smiley - hug if not, at least you know you're not alone, smiley - cuddle

Annie
smiley - rosefor your Grandad


Too much perspective.

Post 5

A Super Furry Animal

smiley - hugsmiley - cuddle In an entirely manly way.

RFsmiley - evilgrin


Too much perspective.

Post 6

I'm not really here

Oh shit, that's very similar to what happened to my nan last year. smiley - blue

smiley - cuddle


Too much perspective.

Post 7

Dr E Vibenstein (You know it is, it really is.)

Thanks all. I wasn't really looking for any responses, just wanted to put all my thoughts down in one place in the hope that it might help. I'm not sure if it has. smiley - erm


Too much perspective.

Post 8

Trin Tragula

I'm not sure much does 'help' at these times.

It may help somebody else to read it though - knowing you're not alone, even if it doesn't always feel like that, may be the only help there is.

And, yes, manly hug - hang in there.


Too much perspective.

Post 9

Vicki Virago - Proud Mother

Just want to say a few things.

I lost my nanna just over 12 months ago. Terrible. I don't want to scare you or anything, but you don't realise how close to someone you are until they die.


Secondly, I lost my father to cancer. It started in his lungs, spread to his spinal cord and then on to his liver.


From start to finish, it took approximaly 7 months for him to leave this earth, and move on. It's scary stuff. Something I don't want to see in any loved one.

If you want to talk, you know my e-mail addy now.


Too much perspective.

Post 10

toybox

smiley - hug

smiley - towel


Too much perspective.

Post 11

Dr E Vibenstein (You know it is, it really is.)

Well, it's just about over now. He had a minor stroke during the night, and was visibly much less alert and responsive tonight than he was last night. We've also reached the stage where we're allowed to visit at any time, not just during standard visiting hours, which can't be a good sign.

The thing is, people keep saying I should spend as much time with him as possible, but it really upsets me to see him like this and I'd much rather remember him as he was, not as he is now. Is this wrong? smiley - erm


Too much perspective.

Post 12

Fashion Cat

smiley - cuddle

There you go. Useless, non-specific support. But I mean it.


Too much perspective.

Post 13

Dr E Vibenstein (You know it is, it really is.)

Thanks! smiley - cuddle


Too much perspective.

Post 14

Baconlefeets

smiley - hug

There's nothing wrong in wanting to remember him at his best. In the week before my nan died she would have pretty good days and then awful ones. I went to see her as much as I could and it was horrible to see her like that. Thankfully, the last time I saw her she was having a good day.

You'll always remember the good times. smiley - cuddle


Too much perspective.

Post 15

Yes,I am the Lady Lowena!Get with the programme...

We are so rubbish about this sort of theng arent we death and greif i mean. My grandmother died five years ago at a really good age and i still havent got over it.She took my childhood and all the magic with her.I didnt want her to die and i still don't.Ive lost an ex partner an aunt and friends toi cancer but it was my grandmother that i can't get over. We are so interested in health and being young in our society that we just don't do sadness,or death do we.Tell me if I'm being crass.


Too much perspective.

Post 16

Baron Grim

There is no right thing to say or do at a time like this. Everyone does handle these situations diffently. I am glad that he seems to have accepted it. People say that a lot but it is a better that way. My family lives near Houston where one of the world's best cancer centres is located (I've been successfully treated there my self recently). Off and on since I was in my teens we have had relatives live with us during their treatments. One uncle had gone through several series of chemo and radiation and the doctors claimed he was in remission. His next followup six months later showed that his cancer had metastisised throughout his organs. His doctors recommended that he not go through anymore treatment as the prognosis just didn't warrant the pain, illness and catastrophic financial costs. He demanded it anyway. It added maybe 4 more months to his life during which he lost everything. He could barely move, he was in constant pain and his mind was damaged as well. He couldn't even recognise his wife who he was now leaving bankrupt.

Everyone is different. We all handle death and dying in our own ways. Some better than others. I've been through the deaths of grandparents, aunts, uncles and worstly, my younger sister. I know I don't handle it well but others think I do. I keep a stoic face when around others. My mother took strength from that. Of course, she didn't see me later when I was alone bawling for hours. And after hearing so many people try to console me and my family I just wanted to get to the point when they would stop. And they did finally. There really is little anyone can say. But they want to anyway because that maybe is how they deal with it.


Too much perspective.

Post 17

Genie

smiley - hug


Too much perspective.

Post 18

Dr E Vibenstein (You know it is, it really is.)

That's it then. He'd been getting progressively weaker for days and this evening he finally lost the struggle. We'd been expecting it, of course, but it was still a shock when it happened - apparently the nurses had been in, propping him up and fluffing up his pillows, then my mum and dad arrived to visit a couple of minutes later and he'd gone.

I suppose it hasn't fully sunk in yet, but I don't feel sad at the moment, just relieved that his suffering is over. smiley - rose


Too much perspective.

Post 19

Lady Pennywhistle - Back with a vengeance! [for a certain, limited value of Vengeance; actual amounts of Vengeance may vary]

smiley - rose

smiley - cuddle


Too much perspective.

Post 20

Trin Tragula

smiley - rose


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