Dealing with the process of cancer (pt. 2)

Part one (how I dealt death by cancer) was all about the earlier life of my grandmother and how I felt about her death. This article is more about the actual process of Cancer and its effects on her body.  (Photo Courtesy Of Kyla Stone-Houze)

Cancer sucks. It’s the worst disease, not only to myself, but to other people as well. It reminds me of strep throat; it sneaks up on you and and once you realize it’s there, it’s already too late.

Cancer greatly affects the body as it spreads throughout, starting with the location of the tumor(s) and slowly shutting down other organs on its way outward. The effect of cancer on the body is nothing but shocking, to say the least. It’s a very ugly process that tears the body apart (not literally) from the the inside out.

I honestly don’t know where to begin, because so many things had happened to her in such a short amount of time that it’s almost overwhelming in a way. I’ll just start at the beginning of her experience with cancer.

Before the effects of my grandmother’s cancer began to show, she looked like her regular cheery self. Her head was full of closely cut, curly gray and white hair. Her skin was still as flawless as it had ever been, her body had the same solid yet muscular build that she had developed years before I was born, her blindingly white smile was still as prominent as ever, and her eyes were still vivid, wild and full of life.

No one could tell that this funny, outgoing,energetic woman had breast and brain cancer. Absolutely no one! I didn’t notice either and I regret not do so. I was the closest one to her and yet I failed to even fathom the idea that something was truly wrong. But then again that was because she acting like herself and also neglected to tell me until I started to notice little differences in what was going on with her. I hated that she kept on acting normal and taking care of everyone else to avoid dealing with what was really going on. But being angry with her over that would have made me a hypocrite, because I do the same thing.

As time went on and she began to visit the hospital even more, and her body changed drastically. Her hair fell out pieces at a time (until she finally got it shaved off) and she lost a large amount of weight, going from 160 lbs to just 90. Her body had become so small and frail, I had become scared that if I hugged her too tight, I’d break her… My grandmother’s once flawlessly smooth skin had become wrinkled, dry and peelly. Not to mention her bright eyes, which had turned into dull, painful ones.

I say that based on what I’ve learned through the experience with my grandmother. As I watched cancer slowly take over her body, I was absolutely shocked by its effects. I knew that it the process would be bad, I just didn’t know just how bad.

I was curious about cancer’s common effects on the body and wasn’t really surprised on what I found. According to Cancer Counsel, the common physical effects of cancer includes fatigue, pain, loss of appetite, changes in body image, fertility, and sleeping problems.

The only thing  the cancer couldn’t affect was her personality. Even though everything was going downhill and she knew what was going to happen, she was still positive and happy. That’s what I admired most about her. There was no sadness in her heart because she knew that, “God would take care of her.” In condition she was in, she was happy and the same as she ever was. My grandmother was strong, so strong and brave. Braver than anyone in my family will probably ever be.

After seeing her in pain for months on end, I was ready. I was ready to for her to go, because I knew she wouldn’t be in pain when she left versus fighting to take her next breath. I knew I couldn’t beg her to hold on because that would be nothing but selfish, which is why I told her I’d be okay when she left…which was a total lie.

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