I am in a constant state of denial. Sometimes it can just take one second to make me realise it.
I lost my amazing grandparents 10 months apart from each other 4 years ago, to cancer. They both really suffered but we were always there with them, so we suffered along with them in a different way. I’ve had councilling over it because I couldn’t cope with the images it left me with, and the constant pain I was suffering with mentally. I’m not sure how it helped but it did in some ways. I can talk about it now, that’s a big step.
Anyway, constantly living in denial has left me with something that’s difficult to describe. But, I’ll try.
I feel like I’ve got 2 lives. There’s the first one, that’s my childhood and everything up until my Grandma getting diagnosed with a brain tumour. The first life ends somewhere around a year after that when we had lost both her and my Grandad, their house was emptied and sold, we saw the real version of my uncle and his family, and we cut ties with them after trying to fix things for so long. Something’s can’t be fixed, it’s heartbreaking that we couldn’t fix it, cutting ties wasn’t done without extremely deep thought and consideration.
Then, there’s my second life. That one starts around my illnesses getting much worse and I had to take sick leave at work for 6 months. I was going through so many tests, appointments, potential diagnosises, and hospital visits/stays. That’s when my emphysema was discovered and diagnosed. But somewhere in all of that horrible time, I met the love of my life and by just having him in my life I stopped giving up, I refused to accept that my deteriorating health would ruin the rest of my life. Thankfully, my workplace agreed to making some adjustments for me so that I could return to work. My second life is still ongoing but it feels like a ghost life. There are things in this life that are truly perfect and amazing, things that I never could have imagined could happen to me. Don’t get me wrong, there are bad parts, but that’s the way things are. The shadow over this life is that I have these amazing things, and I can’t share them with my grandparents. I can’t ring them to tell them that I just signed the contracts to our first home of our own, I can’t call them to tell them I’ve just found out I’ve got next week off work so I can spend more time with them, and I want these things so badly. I want to take my nephew to see them. I want to see him with them and be able to see the unconditional love that they would have for him. It is so heartbreaking because my Grandad died 6 weeks before he was born and he was so excited to have his first great grandchild.
I know I’m rambling now but there are so many things I want to share with them. I’d give anything to see them again, to see them fit and well. Cancer is cruel. Cancer tainted my memories of them for so long that I thought I’d never remember all those years before they got sick. I try so hard to focus on those happy memories when I think of them. But sometimes all I can remember is that frightened look in my Grandma’s eyes when the tumour made her so confused that she didn’t know she was sick, so didn’t understand why she couldn’t walk anymore. Or the night that took place 2 days before my Grandad passed away, when all of his bones just broke/crumbled and he instantly lost his mind and just begged for my Grandma to come take him away. I remember silently screaming when my Grandma spoke her last words to me as she asked me to lay next to her because she couldn’t get up due to none stop seizures all over her body, and she told me she loved me, and that she was just gonna take a nap because she was so tired.
Cancer is fucking cruel and is a constant ghost in my life.