Posted by: k | September 16, 2007

I feel so helpless…

 Sorry guys, but this post is going to be a bit of a downer.

Several months ago now, my grandma (my dad’s mum in Wales) was having kidney problems. She had some kidney stones, was passing blood and was in a fair bit of pain. She ended up having a kidney removed, and they found cancer. It took her a little while to get back on track (she got really depressed, my granddad passed away 2 years ago this month), but eventually she got back into her routine of walking down the street every day, and visiting people. She lives in a really tiny town, and everyone knows everyone, so everyone knew she wasn’t well.

Last night I came home from my “date” with Matt (which was great, by the way), and found out that she’s been having problems with her back. She went back to the hospital, explained her pain, and demanded to know what was going on. The doctor examined her (and she screamed in pain when he touched her back), and went and spoke with the specialist who removed her kidney. She told them to do whatever tests they need to do to find out what’s going on. So she’s booked in for some scans on Thursday (that’s Friday Australian time)…

The thing is, it could be that the cancer has come back and spread to her back, in which case, the doctors have already said there’s nothing else they can do for her. So I guess I have to come to terms with the prospect of not having my grandmother around for much longer, and this is a lot harder to deal with considering she lives on the other side of the world…

I was absolutely devastated when my granddad passed away… it was sudden. He got up in the middle of the night, not feeling too well, and he just collapsed. And that was it. Dad flew out that week (his sister paid for him to go) for the funeral and he was gone for two weeks. It was horrible; mum and I were the only family that weren’t there. The only thing I have is some photos of his grave, after the funeral where his name was spelt out with wreaths (Paddy), and a photo of the gravestone once it was put up. We noticed that there was no mention of my grandmother on the grave, but a big space below Pop’s name…

Some people may go “Oh well, she’s 80, she’s had a good run!”. Whatever. My dad is worried sick… as am I, and my mum too. It’s bullshit. Total bullshit. She’s a very strong woman, she’s dealt with a hell of a lot. Burying the man she’d been married to for 50+ years, and then having a kidney removed. And then being told she recovered from the operation better than a 40 year old.

This just sucks. I haven’t seen her since I was 4. I desperately want to go to the UK; I always have. There are so many relatives I haven’t met… but, as usual, money is an issue. A return ticket costs about $2,500. And I don’t have that cash spare. I also can’t afford to say to my boss “Hey, I’m having a month or two off, okay?”

This is just crap.

She’s what I consider to be the only grandparent I have left. Both of my mum’s parents are still alive (as far as I know), but they are horrible, horrible people and I never want to see them again. And they live just 5 minutes away. Oh, the irony.
By the way, if you want an indication of how horrible they are, they told my dad to his face that they wouldn’t care if he died, because he was nothing. And that’s just the start of it.

I just feel so helpless. I hate it. I hate not being able to do anything. I hate not being able to be there.

The best I can do for now is write her a letter and get some new photos together…



  1. Oh Kel, I’m sorry to hear – Will be thinking of your grandma and thinking good thoughts that it’s something which can be fixed. My nanna is almost 80 too, and I absolutely adore her – so I know how you feel!

    (And as of December, there’s always a place for you to stay in England!)

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