Thursday, December 15, 2011

My grandpa's in the hospital, part II

Almost exactly 2 years ago to the day I posted a blog titled "My grandpa's in the hospital." He was recovering from surgery to fix a perforated ulcer. Check the 2009 blog to see what that is. Doesn't sound pleasant.

This is one of those things that makes you wonder if this is related to that, because he's in the hospital 2 years later, recovering from surgery to remove his stomach after finding some cancerous tumors in it.

My mom called me probably a month ago and casually threw this out - "Did I tell you Pap was in the hospital?" I think they wanted me to call him "Papaw" when I was starting to talk, but I only got the first part out.

I said no. She responded, "Oh. He's been in there like 3 or 4 days now. He's okay."

She went on to tell me that he had been feeling weak and went in to see what was going on. His blood count was low or something, so they gave him some blood and he was feeling better. She then said that they had found some "masses" in his stomach and were waiting on more tests to see what they were.

A few weeks later she called me to say that it was cancer and that they were waiting to figure out what the next step was. Throughout all of this she was maintaining a fairly optimistic attitude. And then, the optimism seemed to fade. She told me about the surgery to remove his stomach and strongly implied that I should start visiting him more often.

His surgery was last Friday, Dec. 9. I came in earlier that week and saw him for a couple days. I guess it hadn't really sank in yet. They had moved a bed downstairs for my grandpa because he was too weak to climb stairs now.

When somebody has the flu or something and is incapacitated for a few days, that's what it seemed like. He laid in bed and slept pretty much the whole time I was there. He could barely eat anything and he was looking pretty rough. I guess it didn't fully sink in because I only saw him like that for a few days. But, the reality is he had been like that for a few weeks now and will likely be like that for the rest of his life.

They had the surgery to remove his stomach on Friday. I went back to Princeton on Saturday. My mom called me and gave me the bad news once I got home that the cancer wasn't just contained to his stomach and that they were giving him roughly 6 months to live.

So, that's where we're at with that right now. I saw him once after the operation in the hospital. I didn't care much for seeing him like that, which seems to be a bone of contention between myself and my mom. She wants me to be making multiple visits to the hospital and I'm not really in the mood to be doing that.

I don't know how long he's going to be in the hospital, but I assume he's not leaving anytime soon.

So, I guess I'm dealing with the impending death of my grandpa. Maybe at a later time I'll get into one of those sappy "I didn't have a father in my life and my grandpa was there for me" posts.

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