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what to do?

natlousha
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2002

I am 20 years old and haved lived with my grandparents my whole life. About 7 months ago I found out my Grandfather has prostate cancer. The problem is that it has spread to his bladder and all over his bones. They gave him a year to live. Somtimes I don't know how to support him. I don't know how to act or what to say. He is about to start kemo and it will definately make his hair fall out. I have never seen him without his beard. I feel like I am not supportive enough. I always walk away. I am feeling awful because of this!! He is only 57 and besides my Grandma, he is the only family I have. What to do???

crtsang
Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2000

In the face of cancer, everyone is going through a different and frightening and unfamiliar set of feelings. I doubt any of us know quite what to do, or feels she/he is doing enough. All you can do is what you can.
For what it's worth, when I was recovering from treatment and waiting for a full diagnosis, what I needed most was for people to let me know that they cared about me, and to keep me company so that I wasn't abandoned to face my fears all alone. Your grandfather may feel the same, or differently. Msybe you can ask him what he needs.
As for you, you are learning one of life's hardest lessons: you cannot control some of the most important things in your life, including the death of you or your loved ones. Keep taking care of yourself, too, and see that you get the support you need.

natlousha
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2002

Thank you for your words of encouragement. Yours words in themself are a support to me so thank you for that. I hope that you are in good health now and that you have made a full recovery. I will ask him what he needs and try to put my feelings aside for awhile even though that is difficult. Thank you once again. If you need any prayers let me know. Naqtlousha.

crtsang
Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2000

When you put your feelings aside for your Grandfather, please remember to take them out again elsewhere, so you can get the support you also need.
Thanks for your offer of prayers. I seem to be fine now; I just hope it lasts.
Carol

bebe
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2002

I think the best thing you can do is tell him how you feel. It will probably help him to know that he is not the only one that is terrified and confused by his diagnosis. And, of course, ask him what he needs from you. Every day he may need something different, but just to have someone ask is comforting in and of itself.

natlousha
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2002

Thank you for the good advice. I appreciate it. It is nice to know that there are people out there who truely care and who have been through similiar experiences. I hope that you are well. If you need any prayers let me know. I would be happy to help. God bless.
Natlousha

lindaslair
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2002

Natlousha, right now your dear Grandfather is probably feeling a little isolated and scared. The best thing you can do for him is quite simply, to love him. It is important that you let him know through your compassion and kindness that he is still your Grandpa, that he is still "loveable" despite his disease, and that you haven't written him off as dead before his time. There is always hope. Treat him exactly the same as you did before you knew he was sick, realizing that his need for compassion and support is much greater now. The worse thing you can do is withdraw from him. This will only increase his isolation and anxiety. This requires a whole lot of courage on your part natlousha, you have to be completely unselfish, not thinking of yourself, but thinking of him. What sort of things did you do together before he was ill? Well, keep doing those things as he is able. If he becomes more incapacitated, show your love and kindness in new ways. Perhaps it may come to just sitting with him and holding his hand. The more you focus on his feelings, the less important your feelings will be, and you will make whatever time he has left with you glorious! I hope this helps. I will pray for you. Linda

natlousha
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2002

Thank you Linda. Your prayers mean so much to me. I know that I have two prayer circles going for him right now so your prayers mean the world to me. Thank you for your advice. I appreciate the genuine concern. You are right. I need to stop looking at him as the man with cancer, the terminal disease, and start looking at him as my grandfather, the man who raised me and that I love. If there is anything I can do for you or any prayers you need please let me know. I would be happy to help. Thank you again and God bless.
Natlousha

nottus62's picture
nottus62
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2002

Just be yourself. Do what you normally did. And don't be embarrised about not knowing what to do, I've been through it myself. My mother has it in her liver and bones and the brain. Yes, the kemo will take it's toll, but you've got to be supportive. Remember it's the little things that count. Just asking how he's doing, or if you can get him something can make a big difference. Just letting him know you care is a good start. Hope this helps. He'll be in my prayers.
Eddie

natlousha
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2002

Thank you so much for your advice. It is very encouraging. I know a lot of people go through it but when it is you and your family it really hits where it hurts. I will definately let him know he is loved. I will pray for your mother also. Everytime I think of my grandfather and his illness I will think of your mother and hers. God bless.
Natlousha

nutt
Posts: 140
Joined: Sep 2001

I am 57, prostate cancer and a grandfather but no where near your grandfathers situtation today.
I found hugs from my grand children, hand holding/touching from loved ones very reassuring.
Also have friend with brain cancer. I now see him every week if possible. I sit and hold his hand. Talk about things we did over the years and generally be there whenever I can.
This is just as tough on family as it is him. Be there when he wants to talk about something, be understanding if he exhibts anger. As we continue to get hit with the doctors revalations we get angry, frightened. It is all new and scary.
Just be there and enjoy each day the best you both can. Told someone earlier about a not I keep posted and helps me cope.
"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow's a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it's called the PRESENT! We think this is special,.... life is not a dress rehearsal." author unknown
Hang in there, he and your family need your strong shoulders. None of it will be easy but just do the best you can and be there for them in your own way.
Joe

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