How It Feels When A Loved One Is Diagnosed With Cancer
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Health and Wellness

My Nana Was Just Diagnosed With Pancreatic Cancer, And I Have No Idea How To Cope With It

One of my biggest influences — one of the few people I could talk to about anything — is sick now.

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My Nana Was Just Diagnosed With Pancreatic Cancer, And I Have No Idea How To Cope With It

How do you go from having a nice family Halloween party to the next week being destroyed by news from a doctor? How do you look your loved one in the eyes that previously were not filled with sickness, just to look at them now and only see their disease?

My grandmother had been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.

I read somewhere that "cancer doesn't have a face until it's someone you love." Before this moment, I would have understood it but I never would have felt it.

People say that time is just an illusion. Me? I say it is exactly what it's supposed to be — a timer. And all timers run out. Before ours does, we have to watch others go before us. Natural? Maybe. Fair? No. It never seems to be.

When I was told the news, I couldn't cry. My chest didn't tighten and there was no lump in my throat hard to swallow. I sat there with my sunglasses on in the living room of your house, staring at the ground. Beaten — that's how I felt. I had just came out of my own bad place, and I was making a better me. All that work seemed to immediately be taken away. All the work and progress I had made went right back to the way it was before.

One of my biggest influences — one of the few people I could talk to about anything — is sick now.

As the days passed, I felt myself become angry.

I couldn't call you for days after the news, Nana, because I didn't know the correct way to have a conversation with you. Not that it's your fault, but because it was mine. How could someone who wanted to take their own life speak to someone fighting for theirs? And not only that, but stay positive through the conversation.

I feel like I'm failing, like there is more I can do right now. But that's as far as my thinking ever tells me. What am I supposed to do against cancer? How do I beat it for her? How do I do anything? Can I? Or is it too late?

I don't like thinking it's beyond treatment. My precious Nana is going to miraculously get better and we can all set back and laugh in the face of cancer — I'm staying as positive I can right now. I'm trying not to have a breakdown. Things the doctors have already said isn't enough to diminish my hope for the first “cancer-free" day we all get to spend with her.

For the first few days, I was angry. I was confused. I was lost — in more ways than one. I know I have to be a strong big sister and a strong support system for my mom. We're all heartbroken.

But for now, I think it's best I stop this article. Maybe I'll write more about it in the future. Maybe I won't. I just needed to write to get it out of my mind and onto paper.

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