Thursday, May 17, 2007

C

Four and a half years ago, C killed my dad. It was a rare type of thyroid C, and it took about 2-1/2 years from the time we discovered it until the day he died. He was only 51 when he died, and I still struggle with it daily. Try as I might, I just can't put it together in any sort of box that I can stash away. It's open, it's out, and it makes me really angry.

My grandfather -- Dad's Dad -- will be 95 this August. He's the Energizer rabbit. An astonishing man of physical and mental strength, and faith. He's buried five -- yes, 5 -- of his children in his lifetime. Four of them were truly children, and then my Dad in '02. My Dad's death took a lot out of my Grandpa. He slowed down a lot. He still lives on his own in a regular apartment (no nursing home, no assisted living), but he really struggled, particularly mentally. He recently admitted to me that he had been horribly depressed, and finally got help. The last time I talked to him, which was about two weeks ago, he was doing much better. He's still sharp as a tack, my Grandpa. Has a wicked sense of humor, and the stories he can tell -- he was born in 1912, so suffice it to say he's seen a lot. It was great hearing him sounding good, sounding happy.

My Uncle Ray -- Dad's brother -- has had C for a few years. They discovered it right after my Dad died. I'm not quite certain what the origin of his C is, but it's been manageable. Until now. Uncle Ray and his wife of nearly 40 years, Aunt Peg, have been in Florida where he's been undergoing some experimental treatment. We all thought it was working, but I guess not. My cousin called last night to say they're flying back to Michigan today and Hospice is being called in.

It's deja vu all over again. C just doesn't fuck around. C might give you some time, might give you some breaks, but when C wants to, C ends it. And there's not a goddamn thing you can do about it. And while C may directly kill one person, C also wounds everyone in the vicinity without ever getting its grips on their bloodstreams. Grandpa had a skin C a number of years ago, but he beat it. Now C may still kill my Grandpa by killing his boys.

Why C has taken such a liking to my family, I'll never know. But I look at my step-mom, and my Aunt Peg, and my Grandpa, and my Uncle Doug, and my Aunt Bert, and my cousins and my mom and all the rest of my family and I say, damn you, C. Why don't you just fuck off and leave us alone?

Just leave us the hell alone.

14 comments:

Joe the Troll said...

Sorry to hear about that Jeff. I do understand your frustration. My family - at least mom's side - feels the same way about strokes.

It seems like quite awhile since medical science has come up with a way to cure or prevent something, rather than just deal with it and live a little longer, doesn't it?

O' Tim said...

I am sincerely bummed to hear about your unc. You have my utmost empathy, friend.

Jeff said...

"It seems like quite awhile since medical science has come up with a way to cure or prevent something, rather than just deal with it and live a little longer, doesn't it?"

Sure does, Joe.

And thanks, O'T. I expected nothing less.

Looney said...

Since I don't know what the heck to say, just insert whichever clumsy and inadequate words you can imagine coming from the Loonster to try to give you and yours a moment's comfort.

Thinking of you...

Paula said...

Sorry, Jeff. Hugs.

Teacake said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. If thoughts traveling online can give you the least comfort, you certainly have mine.

C pounces on my family too, both sides. In one branch, 4 of 7 of the immediate family have been hit with it. I feel like a ticking time bomb, and it makes me scared for my kid.

PJ said...

Life is just fucking awful sometimes and there's no other way to put it.

Jeff said...

"I feel like a ticking time bomb, and it makes me scared for my kid."

Well-put. And ditto.

Cheezy said...

Bummer mate, I can empathise. The oldest of my 4 grandparents only made it to 64 years, and C got 3 of them. It makes you shit-scared, that's for sure.

jennyjinx said...

I'm sorry that C has devastated your family. Big hugs to you.

Sour Grapes said...

Man, I'd hate to be around when you get going on D and E.

Gotta laugh, right?

DangerDoll said...

At the risk of sounding completely redundant, I'm very, very sorry for what you and your family are going through. I've lost a few to "C" also, and it is a very helpless feeling.

Jeff said...

"Gotta laugh, right?"

Absofuckinlutely.

Reminds me of a joke.

How come 6 is afraid of 7?

Becase 7 8 9.

David Rochester said...

I think the hardest thing to deal with is the injustice of it. My beautiful cousin Dianne died of brain cancer two years ago, after an incredible ten-year struggle, leaving her two young children motherless, and her family with a grief that time doesn't ever seem to heal. Why her? Why your dad, and your uncle, and the rest of everyone's loved ones? Why not, say . . . Hitler? If there's any logic to the universe, I'm failing to see it.