{Fata Organa} I Have Been Learning How To Die

This update has been difficult to write. It's a ramble. I'm not a decent writer.

Two Fridays ago, while I was at an interview for a job that I really wanted (and didn't get), my grandpa was being rushed to the ER because he had blood in his stool. My granny had called my mom to let her know what was going on before I left for the interview, so I knew what was going on before I left. It wasn't until later that evening that we found out the doctors in the ER found a tumor in his colon. They sent him home the next day, letting him know that his PCP and the oncologist would contact him on Thursday so they could discuss a game plan.

Last Thursday, both his PCP and the oncologist told him that he would need to do radiation, chemo, and have surgery to remove the tumor. Right now, they're still waiting to talk to the surgeon (hopefully tomorrow) about what order things are going to happen in - surgery first, then radiation and chemo or the other way around.

As far as I can tell, my grandparents seem to be doing better with the news now than they were that weekend they found out the news. I had dinner with them on Saturday and they were both in good spirits, with my grandpa digging in pretty hard on the hamburgers and roast my dad made. This was good to see and I was glad to have more time with both my grandparents.

I'm not sure if it's the TBI or if this is how this kind of news normally affects people, but I've been pretty calm a majority of the time, with complete breakdowns twice over the thought that my grandparents are in their 80s now and time with them is coming to an end any day. This is difficult for me because they're the ones that raised me, really. They are all my happiest memories and character defining memories and the reason I like certain things (sci fi and Looney Tunes, for starters). They are my safe place. They are the ones I want to make proud of me.

I know that I'm incredibly lucky to have had as much time with my grandparents as I have had. They were young parents and my mom was a young parent. It still doesn't feel like I've had enough time with them. I don't think that a hundred years more would feel like enough time.

What has made this most difficult, I think, is how my mom's brother talked to her when she called him to let him know what was going on. My granny couldn't get ahold of him, so she had asked my mom to call him. When he called my mom back, she had him on speaker phone and I could hear everything. She told him what was happening (this was the weekend he was at the ER), and he basically told her that it would be a good thing for my grandpa to die because "he's not the same person he used to be", not a "man's man" anymore, that my grandpa obviously wanted to die because he didn't want to go to breakfast for Mother's Day with him (Mother's Day was the weekend before he went into the ER and when his symptoms had started). I wanted to yell obscenities at him. I wanted to gather a week's worth of eggs and leave them out in the sun for a month before taking them to egg his house with. I wanted to tell him that I thought it'd be a good thing for him to die because he's a waste of oxygen.

Mostly, though, I wanted to ask him what the fuck he was talking about because it wasn't my grandpa. My grandpa had a series of mini strokes back in 2010. This caused him to have a TBI. Of course, this changes a person. I knew this before having firsthand experience with TBI. So, yeah. My grandpa is different than he was before the TBI. He is more talkative, more frank, doesn't keep things to himself like he used to, basically it's a lot of the same stuff I notice in myself after TBI. He's not really about leaving the house for public spaces, same as me, but because he also has balance issues and vision issues from the strokes/TBI. My grandparents are always coming over to my parents' house to visit and eat and have a good time. He's always telling me how well he thinks I'm doing with the poultry sanctuary, that he's never seen chickens looks so nice. He tells my granny I can have whatever colour hair I want and that I don't need to grow it out. He's always interested in what we're (me, my brother, and parents) doing. My grandpa has not once behaved like he wants to die.

I've just been angry that my mom's siblings are so far up their own asses that they didn't even bother to try to understand what their father had or is going through. I wasn't really surprised when they couldn't be bothered to do that for me, but with my grandpa? That really made me angry and I've been trying to deal with that anger at the same time I've been trying to deal with the idea that my grandpa has colon cancer, go to job interviews, finish this semester, and try to keep being a working artist. Not to mention trying not to overdo things on myself, which I totally ended up doing. I've been in a pretty good cognitive fatigue/Toddler Rage Mode since the Friday he went to the ER.

I don't know where this is going. No one reads my blogs, so I guess I don't really need to go anywhere with this. It's not like I'm any good at writing. I've always been okay with the fact that I'm going to die. I used to pray to die when I was 5-10. The fact that the people and animals I care about die before me hasn't been something I'm okay with or have figured out how to deal with in any graceful way.

When I was little, I used to spend the night at my grandparents' house as often as I could get away with. I remember that my granny and I would stay up late watching Star Trek: The Next Generation or some black and white musical or pirate movie. In the morning, I'd wake up to donuts that my grandpa had gone to the grocery store to get, and we would eat donuts and watch Looney Tunes and laugh until we cried. He and I both love Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner the best.