Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Friends and Family

I invited my friend, Becca, over on Friday morning.  It was just like old times hanging out with her and her kids Cameron and Allie.  We used to hang out all the time when we lived across the street from each other.  I was very sad that Parker wasn’t able to come with me.  He would have loved playing with Cameron and Allie. 

Becca navigated the construction by my mom’s house and dropped me off at Costa Vida so I could meet my blogging hero, Shannon, for the first time.  I was nervous as could be to meet Shannon until the actual day.  When I saw her she looked just like the pictures on her blog.  She was so easy to talk to.  She had two of her three kids with her, the two who are Type 1 diabetics. 

I really enjoyed our lunch date.  The food was fantastic because it was Costa Vida.  I felt bad for choosing a place that maybe wasn’t so kid friendly.  Her kids weren’t super hungry for California Mexican food.  My kids never are either.  It was nice to meet her finally and get to know her a little bit more. 

After lunch she navigated construction and dropped me off at my grandparent’s house.  My grandparents had just gotten home from the temple.  I talked with them for a while.  It was nice to visit with them. 

My grandpa was resting for the first part of my visit.  I was anxious to see him but I knew I would see him again if he was too tired to visit with me.  He came out to talk.  I didn’t know what to expect when I saw him.  He was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer over 10 years ago.  I was a freshman or sophomore in college, I don’t remember which.  He has lived with it all this time. 

I was expecting him to look like a walking skeleton with the Grim Reaper as his shadow.  He looked much better than I imagined he would.  He has always been thin and it was apparent he was thinner than usual.  His shirt covered his body in a way that made it difficult to see how emaciated he actually is. 

I know he hates his large belly.  His stomach is filling up with fluid as a result of the cancer.  Every two weeks he has it drained.  The doctors drain around five liters.  Astounding.  I’m not exactly sure what the fluid is.  I believe it is cancer cells. 

My grandpa is easily worn out.  My mom says he gets about four hours a day to be his normal active self and then his body forces him to rest after that.  He is nauseated several times a day although he is learning that protein helps a little.  My mom says that if someone saw him who didn’t already know him, they would never think anything was wrong.  I agree.  He does look fairly normal but I could see in his eyes how tired and sick he was feeling on Friday. 

He pulled his sleeves up to show me how skinny he is becoming.  His watch dangles on his wrist like a bracelet when it used to fit snuggly.  He opened the top buttons of his shirt to show me his pacemaker.  His friends at the gym now know he has one because it is this large circle protruding from his chest.  My grandpa describes his belly as if he is pregnant.  He says he eases into the water at the gym like an expecting mother.  He kept joking that he would deliver on Monday because that was when he was scheduled to have more fluid drained.

He has had the procedure done at least five or six times.  He was trying to guess how much fluid they would get since he was going in two days earlier than usual.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work so well.  He went to my mom’s facility but they didn’t have enough equipment to make the procedure successful.  My mom described what normally happens and it sounds a lot like an amniocentesis.  They use an ultrasound machine to find the fluid pockets to drain with a large and nasty looking needle.  My mom’s facility is not a hospital so they didn’t have an ultrasound machine.  They drained as best they could but only got a couple of liters before they had to give up since they couldn’t see well enough. 

My grandpa was actually very frank about his mortality.  I will share that story in another post. 

My visit with my grandparents on Friday was nice.  My grandpa was enamored with my small laptop, which I brought to try to record him telling stories.  I had mentioned to him that I wanted to do that but I didn’t do it on Friday because I didn’t want to put him on the spot.  I showed my grandparents my blogs and also my sister’s blog.  They thought that was pretty cool.  They loved the duck and run video and seeing pictures of my kids.  They loved Candi’s pictures too. 

My mom and sister finished their shifts for the day and came to pick me up so we could find out what women want.  We had ideas of what women want.  After all, we are women!  Stay tuned and the secrets of the universe regarding women and their mysterious desires will all be revealed.

3 thoughts:

Becca Jane said...

So fun to see you!! Thanks for letting us invade your poor mother's house!! I hope the fingerprints weren't too much to clean up....!!!

Shannon said...

It was so much fun meeting you! It sounds like your visit with your grandpa went well. I am so glad that he is better looking than you thought. That memory will last a lifetime!

Come back soon!

Tristan said...

I loved meeting up with both of you! I can't wait to see you both again the next time I'm in town.