When Death Is Knocking and You Know It!
We live in a strange and unique time. A rogue virus has wreaked havoc on our health, our finances, and our daily lives. In the midst of all of the craziness, people are still dealing with "real life" problems like broken relationships, anxiety, and death.
Our problems have not stopped because of Covid. On the contrary, they have compounded.
The Unexpected Call
Dad called me several weeks ago to let me know that my Grandma had received some unusual lab results. He did not go into great detail at the time but let me know he would keep me in the loop.
About a week later, I received a call from Mom. Dad was not emotionally able to share the news. The doctor's worst concerns had come true. Grandma was diagnosed with an acute form of leukemia. The good news is the doctor's caught it early. The bad news is that Grandma only has a few weeks, maybe a few months to live.
Catching something early and still only having a short time to live does not compute in my brain.
Broken Bodies and Broken Minds
Grandma's bone marrow has worn out. If you didn't know, bone marrow is kind of an important thing. After eighty-six years on this spinning, blue globe, her body is just worn out.
What saddens my heart is that her mind started wearing out several years ago. She has been struggling with dementia, and my Grandpa has been struggling with her struggling with dementia.
A Quick Trip, Without The Hugs
After hearing the news, I decided to visit Grandma and Grandpa. I woke up earlier than usual that Sunday morning. The 2-hour car ride was quiet, and I think that was precisely what I needed - some quiet time to think and reflect.
My usual greeting would have been a hug, but not this time. I needed to help protect my Grandparents' health so that they continue to enjoy the remainder of their days together. I would have enjoyed a hug, but I wished even more that they could continue to enjoy each others' embrace.
We sat and chatted. I recalled memories from my childhood. We talked about how blessed we were. Grandma was physically present and I could tell she was engaged, but her mind has been fading. She is a shadow of the quick wit she once was. The flame is still there, but it burns less brightly.
Right or Wrong, I Do Not Know?
No one has told Grandma that she is dying. I am not entirely sure how I feel about that. My Grandma has always been a worrier, and my Grandpa and their children are concerned she would worry herself to death before her body falls apart.
I was taught never to lie, even white ones, but I saw a scheme of untruths being spoken to keep Grandma's mind in a safe space and to keep Grandpa's patience from being tried with constant questions about a disease none of us can stop.
Death Is Knocking
She has weeks, most likely. Just weeks. All of her blood levels have moved in the wrong direction. She is down 40 points on her platelet count from last week. Once she hits 11, the doctors will start transfusions.
We have been told the last few days of life will be painful for Grandma. I wonder if the pain meds will take her before her worn-out bone marrow does.
And what will Grandpa do as he watches her in pain? That really makes my heart ache. He won't be able to anything but sit beside her and hold her hand. I pray he has the strength to stay by her side. I pray that our family rallies around him (and each other) as we prepare for the end of Grandma's life and then life without her.
Nothing Appears To Be Wrong
If I were given the pleasure of introducing you to my Grandma, you would call my bluff on this dire diagnosis. She still has an appetite. She still quips back when her mind allows. She still has a smile on her face. And there is no sign of pain.
But in a short time (hours, days, or weeks), Grandma will pass.
Death is knocking. It shows no bias or prejudice as it devours and destroys. Death is coming.
Disclaimer: Posted on both Steem and Hive.