As of 2014, my life changed forever. This may seem like a big exaggeration, but for the most part, it’s true. I learned about my grandmother’s heart condition near the middle of that year. There were many complications that prevented the doctors from fixing the problem at hand. My grandmother (on my dad’s side) was very weak and had went through open heart surgery without having anything done. The surgeons went in and found that they were unable to perform the heart surgery because of various complications. Unfortunately, they learned this, after they did all the pre-work. Each visit to the doctor, the amount of complications piled up. Honestly, it was devastating. And, here I was, living on the other side of the country, not able to do anything but simply pray for her recovery.
In one of the last doctor’s visits, my grandmother found out that she had something going on in her brain. There was fluids that would affect the surgery, and the surgeons couldn’t operate on both her heart and her brain at the same time. Their main priority for my grandmother’s surgery was now to find a large enough vein to put the tube vital to the surgery. After many worries and prayers, they found that way. The surgery was a few weeks or maybe even a month later, and it was a success! I truly believe that God was with my family the entire step of the way. However, that happiness soon took a turn for the worse on the other side of my family, my grandmother’s cancer.
My grandmother (on my mom’s side) had humongous bumps underneath her arms, and she was having trouble breathing. After a checkup at the doctor, she found that there was a possibility that she could’ve had lymphoma (a type of cancer). They weren’t 100% sure that she had cancer, so they made her take the test for it. She tested positive for lymphoma. Her lymph nodes inside of her body were swollen, and she hadn’t had a mammogram in years, so they couldn’t have prevented it earlier. The lymph nodes were suffocating her, since they were blocking her airway.
For a while, my grandmother stayed in the hospital, and she was weak and tired. Most of the time, she didn’t want to eat, but my family made sure that she did. I visited her along with my mother several times to check up on her, and we wanted to hear the doctor’s prognosis. Now that I look back, everyone was really desperate. My aunt was against the doctor’s suggestions most of the way, but my mother and my cousin didn’t let her interfere. After all, the doctor has a medical degree and knows what he’s doing.
There was a life-alternating choice that my grandmother had to make: whether or not she wanted to go through chemotherapy. The actual chances of her cancer to go away was a bit slim, but the odds were sure to get better. My grandmother’s answer was needed either that day or the next, and after some discussion, she decided to go through chemotherapy. If she hadn’t taken the chemotherapy, she probably wouldn’t have been here today. The cancer was so bad that if she hadn’t gone through the chemotherapy, she would’ve died in the next six months or less. The cancer had grown so much without her even detecting it, until the effects showed on her skin as cancerous bumps.
In all honesty, these horrendous things that were going on in my family didn’t seem to hit me. I was still in school at the time, so I wasn’t able to get a lot of details or information, and I was going about my day without thinking. I love my family, but the illnesses and surgeries didn’t affect me, until my mother showed her true feelings about the cancer. If she hadn’t talked with me about it, I might’ve bursted. Since I didn’t see my grandparents (on both sides) that much, it was hard for me to understand. However, I do clearly remember that I cried about my grandmother’s cancer, a lot. In it all, I think that my mother was one of the people who were effected the most. I don’t know how my uncle and aunt took the news, but I’m sure they were heartbroken as well.
My mother’s sad face is something that I don’t see often. It breaks my heart to see her crying, but she’s only human. This was the only way she could let her emotions all out. Those days were very hard for me. Luckily, I was able to visit my grandmother on some of the weekends, depending on my crazy school schedule. I have to say, throughout the entire process, I had faith and hope that God would make a miracle occur, and He did.
As of this year, 2015, she went through another test to see if she needed more chemotherapies. She still needs to go through several more, however her future looks brighter than before. 90% of the cancer is gone, and she’s steadily getting better. This is truly a miracle, since without the treatment, she wasn’t even estimated to live this long.
Finally, I want to give my thanks to all the wonderful people who make my grandmother’s life worthwhile during this time. Even though she’s going through all these treatments, many people have been there to support her. Thank you so much for your time and effort!