Thursday, March 20, 2014

If heaven wasn't so far away

My Grandma is one of the strongest women I know, so I thought I would dedicate this post to her. She was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer 3 years ago. After many rounds of chemo and the cancer spreading she had surgery. The cancer went away and we all thought this was a great new beginning for her. Fast forward a couple of years and her cancer had came back, not just in one place but all over again. The doctors had her doing chemo again but after several weeks of treatment and nothing going away the doctors decided to try the last type of chemo there was for this type of cancer, which in the end did not work either. A couple weeks ago her liver was 75% covered in cancer and spreading quickly.

Once the cancer had spread the pain stared (for the first time), her breathing got worse, her appetite was at 0. She was given high doses of pain meds and then last week started morphine with hospice coming to check on her. It was Friday night that she was admitted to hospice and from there she was pretty much drugged out on morphine just to keep her comfortable. Once she was admitted we knew she didn't have much time left. She was holding out until my family came back from vacation.

I had many Sunday's off so Ryan and I drove the 4 hour round trip often to see her and do things around the house. For 3 years you would never have known she was sick. She took chemo like a champ, didn't complain, didn't need help and still kept very independent.

Through all of this she has had great support from our family but what I am most surprised by is how many people really do care about my Grandma. People from her church, sorority (yes, after all of these years she still goes to meetings with her fellow sisters), also, people whom she used to teach with have all been very supportive of her journey. I've been at her house and listed to the messages of kind words that people leave for her. She really does have remarkable friends.

One thing that amazes me everyday about her is her outlook on life. Throughout all of this she has been very strong, positive, uplifting and grateful of everything. I grew up with my grandma watching me every weekend until I was old enough to stay home by myself and my sister and cousin have done the same thing. She has been a great support for us after we lost our grandfather 5 years ago, she is our last grandparent on our mothers side which is very special.

*Funny story about this most, I had written most of it in 2012 and just didn't feel right posting about her sickness online. Every now and again I'd go in and edit it but I just couldn't figure out when to post it. I doubt she even knew I had a blog, so to ask her if I could write about her journey she probably wouldn't have known what I was talking about. lol. So today, the day after she passed peacefully in her sleep and 2.5 years later after drafting this post I finally feel good about this.

My Grandma will be missed very much and I do believe that she knows how much her 3 grandchildren really do love her. I think we are all just relieved that she is no longer in pain. Her last words to me on Sunday were "I love you."

My 19th birthday.

Christmas 2009.

Allison's high school graduation, summer 2010.

My college graduation, December 2010.

Our wedding, September 2011, by that huge smile on her face you would never guess she had cancer

Grandma Hager's 103rd birthday, May 2012.
My grandparents wedding day

The title of my post came from this song

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