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.