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Tough Times Ahead


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Hey y'all.

I'm not sure if many of you saw my last thread about donating part of a liver to a cancer patient. Well truth be told that question was acually about me donating part of my liver to my granda.

He was over at my house on the 7th of march for my birthday, and felt fine. The following Monday he was short of breath whilst walking from the hospital parking lot to the hospital entrance for a routine checkup. The doctors kept him overnight to do tests to see if they could figure out what was wrong with him.

I don't think any of the family, my granda included, wee expecting him to be diagnosed with secondary liver cancer on wednesday the 18th, more than a week after he was first admitted to hospital. I believed, and probably stupidly, that if I were to donate part of my liver to my granda, the cancerous liver would be able to be removed and the new liver would help repair the remaining original liver. He seemed completely normal as well. I went in to visit him with a present of afew of his favourite chocolate bars on Friday the 20th, and we spent about an hour talking. It was like I had called over to his house while he was still in bed.

Then on the Thursday or Friday before easter, I'm sorry I just can't remember which because the days are becoming blurred together, the doctors told my mom and grandma that Granda had primary lung cancer. The doctors recommended us not to tell Granda, as he might lose the will to live. Since then I've been up to see him every day, and all the family has returned home from England and their various homes outside Dublin.

I'm the oldest in the family, so I feel the need to keep it together for the sake of my younger cousins. However I completely broke down on Saturday evening, as the combined stress and shock suddenly took its toll. I don't know what I would've done had I not had my girlfriend Jo living near me.

I went up to my school today to try and get some study done (I'm still on easter holidays this week but the school is open for people who want to study). However I got a call from my dad while I was there, telling me that my uncle called my mom and told her to get to the hospital as quick as she could. I planned on cycling the 6km to the hospital after going home to get a bike. However when I got home I saw my aunts car in the driveway. She was just briefly stopping off to drop off a dinner she made for whoever was around (my mom is the only one of her five siblings who stayed living near her parents, so our house has become the gathering point for everybody). She was going to go up to the hospital, so I said I'd get a lift with her. When we got to the hospital I almost broke down, because my grandma was sitting in the chair next to Granda's bed, stroking his hand and fighting back tears. His breaths were weak and shallow, with the occasional deep breath and shudder. I went over to the bed, took Granda's hand in mine, and just began stroking it softly and quietly talking to him.

This proved to be to much to me, and I had to quickly leave the room.

I really hope nobody ever has to go through what I'm going through at the moment. I don't know where I'd be without Jo and my close group of friends. I've tried to gain control of my emotions, but it's not working very well as I suddenly started crying in a supermarket earlier. I've lost all concept of days and dates, and I'm only managing about 4 to 5 hours sleep per night. I know this sounds horrible and probably a little cruel, but I almost want it all to end quickly so my granda doesn't suffer any more.

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CDoherty I am so sorry to hear about your Granda and all that you have and are going through. Cancer is such a horrible and ugly thing...especially when it attacks someone you love. Wish I could do more but please know I am thinking and praying for you, your Granda, and your entire family as you go through this difficult time.

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I know how it feels to lose a grandparent. I've lost both of mine. My grandma died April 15, 2001. Only 4 days before my 4th birthday. I have no memory of her. My parents say I'm just like her though. She died with a smile on her face which was a first for the people at the funeral home.

My grandpa died January 19, 2008. I was close to him. He was suffering so much. He was fighting his hardest but a nurse got his hopes up that he would find a new love in Georgia I think. He never did so he felt like he didn't have anything to fight for. He was tired of living without my grandma.

I remember going to his apartment after he died and no one told me or my brother what had happened. I fell bad now that they are both dead. I have little or no memory of them now. I feel your pain. Take in every moment you can with him before he leaves forever.

I'll be here for you if you need someone to talk to. Don't forget that. I'm very sorry about everything.

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You're in my thoughts and prayers, CD. Don't feel bad about wanting him not to suffer. It's only natural to feel that way about someone you love. My grandmother, unfortunately, had alzheimer's for many years and was in very poor health. At the end, it was almost a relief, really, because it was just so hard for both her and us for her not to remember anyone or anything and to be in poor health for so long.

No matter what happens, know that you have people who support you and will be there for you. *hugs*

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I know perfectly well what are you feeling right now.

I've already gone thorugh such a thing with my dad, several years ago.

Beside my dad, my Granda passed away only two years after my dad, and I loved so much my Granda. It was ravaging.

So, I KNOW how you're feeling.


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My prayers are with you and your family. It's never easy to watch a family member laying in the hospital. It has to be one of the hardest things to do knowing that there is nothing you can do for them. A few years ago I went through something like that, but in the end I had to choose to either keep my family member on life support or to take them him off. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I would never wish what I went through on anyone.

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I suppose you all deserve an update.

My mom and her two brothers and two sisters stayed with my Granda in shifts of two people during the day and two people at night.

The doctors had told us on Thursday or Friday that Granda only had about 24 hours left to live. Granda only wanted his children and inlaws by him at this point, so the shift changes increased. My mom had just returned home from her day shift on Saturday at about 9pm. She was barely in the door when her sister rang her from the hospital. She said that Granda's breathing was weak and shallow. I knew instinctively that he was close to dying, but when my dad came up to my room at about 10 to tell me that Granda had passed away peacefully I have to admit it felt like I was punched hard in the chest. A weird feeling set over me, the closest thing I could compare it to would be the light headed feeling that you get when you're drunk. That feeling stayed with me for the rest of the evening, and all day Sunday.

My dad left for the hospital soon after he told me Granda died. He called me at about midnight to say that everybody was going back to my grandparents house, and that he would be over to collect us and bring us round. When we got there everybody was in shock. I just hugged my eleven year old cousin tightly, and gently rubbed her back while softly stroking my Grandma's hand.

My uncle poured out a pint of Guinness and left it next to Granda's chair. It felt only fitting that I join in the tribute to Granda, so I poured myself my first pint of Guinness and drank it in memory of Granda.

Sorry I'm just not able to go on its too painful at the moment to try and remember everything at the moment.

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I'm sorry, CD. I do know your pain. I still feel awful when I think about my grandpa dying. At least you knew right away. It was kept from me while I was at his place with him in the other room for some of the time.

I wish I could say it gets easier but sometimes it doesn't. I feel bad when ever something makes me think of him. I send you hugs and all my love.

Stay strong.

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