Friday, August 05, 2005

Dealing with Loss

I've been struggling the last couple of days with what to post here. I know that as a general rule I have kept this website relatively uplifting. For this reason I have not really wanted to bring this sadness here. However, the more I think about it, the more I have realized that this website is about ALL the things that are happening in our lives, not just the good things.

Someone once told me that Christmas letters are not the time to tell sad things, but I disagree. I think Christmas letters, just like this website, are a tool to tell a lot of people at once what is happening in your life. And let's face it folks, not everything that happens in our lives is rainbows and butterflies.

Earlier this week I received a call from my mom asking me if I wanted to travel with her and the rest of my family up to see my uncle this weekend. When I enquired as to who the rest of my family included she informed me that my Uncle Dennis was coming from California, and my Uncle David from Florida and my sister from Iowa City, and possibly my cousin from Colorado. That is when I knew that this couldn't be good.

You see, my uncle Clint is dying. We have known this for awhile but he has recently become much worse. While I have never been especially close to my uncle, I am really struggling with this. My self analysis tells me that it is probably because my Grandma Griffieon (my dad's mom) passed away in June of last year and then my Grandma Brooks (my mom's mom) passed away in October. As a person who had NEVER lost a relative until this point, loosing three in a little over a year is starting to wear on me.

That said, I can only imagine the pain my mom is feeling. When she was younger her dad became ill with Hodgkin's disease. At the time they did not have a high success rate for curing this type of cancer and he passed away before she ever graduated highschool. Then last year my grandma was perfectly healthy on Saturday, got a bowel obstruction and was buried by the following Tuesday. Now, for the last ten months she has had to watch my uncle slowly go down hill battling Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

I did a little research this morning on the Cancer Treatment Centers of America website and discovered that while the success rate of treating Hodgkin's disease has gone up the statistics are not the same for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. It makes a person feel SOO helpless knowing there is nothing that they can do.

In today's day and age everyone seems to feel invincible. You get cancer... no big deal. You'll just have a little radiation and some chemo therapy and move on your way. It seems so easy to forget that there are still diseases and cancers out there that have a very low success rate for cures if there is even a cure at all.

I know this is probably not my most uplifting moment but I just want to take this time to stress to all of you that family is important, and you never know when they are going to be gone. Please remember that something that seems SOO important today may seem really stupid if that person were gone tomorrow.


kreints said...

I agree-- your website is your place to vent about the good, the bad and the ugly. This is your journal and even if you share it with people, you have every right to say whatever you want here.

I am so sorry to hear about your uncle. That is one of lifes great mysteries... Things like births and deaths seem to happen in three's. Not sure why.

Cancer is a very powerful thing. It has brought doctors to their knees... even if they can cure you now - there is no gaurantee it will not return later. As a person that has lost many family members to cancer and other horrible diseases there is not much comfort that I can give you - other than take your time and grieve- and like you said - never take family or friends for granted. Life IS a gift - but the people that you love are with you always - even in death.

I am here for you!

JessOlson said...

With my mom and my grandma being very touch and go at times with their cancer battles I have learned that cancer and cure do not go together no matter what type of cancer you have. Once diagnosed with cancer you are never cured and everyday you have in remission is precious.
I am sorry to hear about your uncle. You have told me bits and pieces of his journey but I was unaware of the status. Please let me know if there is anything I can do!