My family has always been really close. My Granny was the youngest of 8, and my entire childhood was spent visiting those great aunts and uncles. My mom’s life included lots of first cousin time, while mine included second cousins. It’s sad how the next generation isn’t spending that same quality time with third cousins and beyond, but that isn’t the point of this post.
So those first cousins were close. There were many “girls” and not as many “boys”, so you can imagine the fun and laughter that must have happened.
Just almost 3 weeks ago a handful of those first cousins got together for lunch. In their 60’s and 70’s now, they had a great time together, remembering, laughing, loving. One of those cousins had been fighting cancer since 2009. She was in remission and was actually going in for a scan two days after lunch. She wasn’t feeling well.
She and her sister didn’t fill the cousins in on what happened at that scan. But the cancer was back. Fast growing, horrid, mean cancer. It was in her liver, her bones and her lungs. She started chemo again. She was so sad she was going to lose her hair again.
Last week on Wed she went to chemo. She wasn’t feeling well and on Thurs was feeling worse. Her sister took her to the Dr and they gave her 3 units of fluid. That should help her feel better. It didn’t. She stayed at her sister’s that night. On Friday she was scheduled for another chemo, they went and were sent immediately to the hospital. More units of fluid, and they realized her kidneys had failed. She was in so much pain. They started a morphine drip.
On Sat she started slipping into a morphine coma. She only came out of it twice I think.
Finally on Sunday family started getting the word. On Monday afternoon (yesterday) I went with my Mom and another first cousin (I am the one who always goes with my Mom when things like this happen) to visit her. She wasn’t awake. Her breathing was strained and full of fluid.
While we where there, talking to her sister, she stopped.
She stopped breathing.
We were there when she peacefully passed away.
Now, you folks don’t know me, or that I was caregiver for my Granny the last 7 years, and that just 8 months ago I was with her when she quietly stopped breathing. #dementiasucks You don’t know how this affected me, and I’m sure my Mom. And I’m not asking for anything from you. I just needed a space to write it down. A space to return to when I figure out why I was supposed to be there. My own space.
Hug your loved ones.