Life

Heartbreaking Pain

I stayed over at my grandfather’s house last night so that we could go see his sister today. I’ve spoken before about my great-aunt and how she has terminal colon cancer. But actually seeing her today really messed me up :(

My brother came to pick us up along with my mom’s sister who wanted to visit my great-aunt. My great-aunt just got out of hospital after having a bad patch the other week. She is getting no treatment for the cancer as the hospital believe she is too weak and old to survive any surgery, along with the level the cancer is she’d probably die on the operating table.

Things recently got worse when the skin on her legs started developing ulcer’s and clear discharge started coming from them along with blood sometimes. Basically now the skin is eating away on itself and she has red-raw patches of fresh all over her legs where the skin is gone. The doctors have no idea why this is happening and they don’t know if it’s the medication she’s on to help her or it’s the cancer itself which is eating away at the skin.

She got out of hospital on Monday and my grandfather’s other sister who lives in England was staying with her for a while to make sure she’s okay which is nice, but she’s leaving in a few days and that is what everyone is scared of. How will she cope on her own?!

Every morning, a local nurse comes and helps her out of bed and gives her a bath, then settles her downstairs for the day. Then around lunch time, another nurse comes and puts fresh bandages on her legs and washes them. The nurse arrived while we there there and my heart broke seeing her in pain. Imagine having your flesh cleaned and the pain you must feel. She never screamed with pain, but her eyes told a different story. Everyone left the room while the nurse was fixing her legs but as I walked into the living room, she was crying from the pain and said “please give me a minute”.

She looks so old and weak now, the last time I saw her she was just a normal 79 year old lady who was laughing and smiling, now less than a year later she’s battling cancer and can hardly walk. What a different a year makes ha?

It’s affecting my grandfather even more, he is lost and doesn’t know what to do to help his little sister. My grandfather is 81 and because my great-aunt lives over an hour away, my grandfather cannot drive all that distance anyway so he doesn’t see her all the time. He has to rely on my brother or my mom whenever she’s over, which is good she’s coming over for a month next week, so he can visit her more.

After we left her house, my aunt (who is a senior ER nurse) said “I don’t know how she’s going to cope alone”. Sure she has friends around who visit her and make sure she’s okay, and the nurses come into her house, but it’s things like eating, making sure she takes her medicine and what happens if she falls down in the house and there is no one there?!

When I was little, my great-aunt used to bake cakes and cookies and always give a huge box to my grandmother when she was still alive and of course I’d love them and eat them all. I miss seeing her laugh and joke and hate seeing her in pain. When I came back to the UK to study, everytime I had a short vacation I’d stay with my grandfather and we’d go visit my great-aunt every Sunday and have lunch at her house while watching F1 on TV hehe.

I had alot of fun memories with her and it’s seriously messing me up seeing her like this. She’s in pain and everyone feels so helpless and it’s like we all know she’s going to die, we just don’t know how long she’s got :(

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    Lilo
    September 27, 2007 at 6:56 am

    Ananyah, im sorry to hear about your great aunt :(
    my aunt died from liver failure two months ago and a month after my 28 year old cousin died from cancer that ate away at all his body. i dont have any advice to give :( just make her feel loved and let her spend her final days surrounded by family.

  • Reply
    Pink Gurl
    September 27, 2007 at 8:17 am

    *hugzzzz* sweety
    I am so sorry to hear about your great aunt =(
    I have 2 members in my family *Grand mother* & *Cousin* who died recently becuz of cancer!
    Just make her smile & let the family stay with her all the time becuz this is what she needs right now :(
    we couldn’t do that with my grandmother & my cousin becuz they were out of country but their wish was to see us all at their last hours..

    allah yar7um el Gameee3 :(

  • Reply
    chikapappi
    September 27, 2007 at 8:59 am

    babe, am so sorry to hear that but you gotta show that you are strong for your grandpa… Also for your great aunt- I hope things turn out better for her & get cured enshallah…

  • Reply
    Ansam
    September 27, 2007 at 10:58 am

    Ananyah.. I am so touched. Your post is full of emotions. Cancer is a bitc#! My aunt survived breast cancer a couple of years ago. My cousin is suffering from pancreatic cancer,he lost so much weight :-( My dad’s cousin, an old lady, have a tumor in her head (cancer) and she is in pain.. not a complainer not a whiner so it breaks my heart seeing her in pain and not saying anything. She is also in an advance stage and wont be operated on. My other aunt was diagnosed with a very early stage of breat cancer but she got treated el7emdella and shes fine and in no need of chemo or radio.. all that in my father side of the family happened in 2-3 consecutive years.

  • Reply
    Lavender
    September 27, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Salamatha dear… I am sorry to hear about your aunt. It’s tough to see someone you love in pain, and you can’t do anything about it.. :( Anyway.. since your mother is coming to stay with you guys for a month.. wouldn’t it be possible to have ur great-aunt stay with your grandfather and mother? Anyways… whatever the case is.. my prayers are with her enshallah

  • Reply
    Annabel
    September 27, 2007 at 1:30 pm

    awwwwww I got tears in my eyes reading that ananya.I wish she would have someone near her all the time.*Hugs*

  • Reply
    Lilo
    September 27, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    Hmm theres another Lilo in da house, I’ll just be L..
    I had a tear in my eye reading this..I know how much it hurts seeing someone dying in front of u, its scary, it happened to me when my grandma Allah yer7amha passed away after surviving cancer for a few years..there were so many thoughts racing through my head that time that shouldn’t have had my faith been stronger..to me it was a total eye opener and i guess it just makes u realize how helpless we actually are in this life and theres nothing we can do except pray..*hugs*

  • Reply
    ananyah
    September 27, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    @Lilo – I’m sorry for your losses :(

    @Pink Gurl – It seems so many people are affected with cancer and thats scary! I’m also sorry for your losses and thanks for the advice

    @chikapappi – yah I am being strong, I know he’s worried about her and I don’t want to see him upset *Sigh*

    @Ansam – It was from the heart I guess :( It’s funny that those with cancer suddenly become so strong like they don’t want to let it get the better of them. I’m proud of them all wala

    @Lavender – Yah we’ll be seeing her much much more in the coming month. The problem about her coming to live with my grandfather is that her local area has the hospital, nurses and doctors who are treating her and the local council/government put so much gadgets in her house to help her, like an electric chair lift to get upstairs and tons more. Plus all her freinds are nearby. She lives in the same house she grew up in, so nearly 80 years she’s lived there. Moving her would make things worse I guess

    @Annabel – I wish that too!

    @Lilo – OK L :D Thanks for your comment and you’re right, seeing someone die infront of your eyes is heartbreaking. I do feel helpless and It sucks that scientists haven’t found the cause and cure for cancer yet.

  • Reply
    Lilo
    September 27, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    Lol at Lilo..well im also Laila so what do you name do you want to take? :P i dont mind..since you’ve been commenting on Ananyah’s blog before me, you have the right to choose which name to take :)
    Ananyah please keep us updated..and by the way, you are one of my facebook friends :)

  • Reply
    ananyah
    September 27, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    @Lilo – oooooh! I didn’t knew you blogged hahahhaha

  • Reply
    Lilo
    September 28, 2007 at 6:23 am

    i just started..it seems that i just need more people to listen to my whining!! :P

  • Reply
    Laila
    September 28, 2007 at 6:28 am

    im so sorry to hear that

  • Reply
    Laila
    September 28, 2007 at 6:29 am

    i need to blog…lol, i just dont have the time. lol

  • Reply
    Intlxpatr
    September 28, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    Ah Ananyah, I am so sorry to hear about your aunt. My father had the leg ulcers thing, too, and I hated seeing him so defenseless after the powerful way he had lived his life. I thank God you are nearby and can visit. The time you are able to spend together will mean everything to her – and to you, too. I am so sorry.

  • Reply
    Marzouq
    September 28, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    alah ekoon ib 3oonha, it is a difficult to face and the worst part is feeling helpless unable to help. Inshalla she doesn’t feel any pain.

  • Reply
    ananyah
    September 28, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    @Lilo – hahahhaa yah it takes a while ;)

    @Laila – ur right, blogging takes up so much time as well hehe

    @Intlxpatr – Did the doctors know why the leg ulcers happened? Cause the doctors here have no clue! Thanks for the comment, it means alot.

    @Marzouq – ur right, the feeling of helplessness kills

  • Reply
    L
    September 28, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    Hey Lilo, its ok go ahead ur a real Laila and im not lol i just love the name Lilo (u know lilo and stitch) so im cool with being L. Besides, im sorta lovin’ this whole one letter nickname goin’ on now (like on gossip girl S and B) :P

  • Reply
    Laila
    September 30, 2007 at 6:27 am

    Finally setup a blog!! Yay me… :D

  • Reply
    ananyah
    September 30, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    you guys are nutcases hehehehe ;**

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