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