My grandad had cancer
We knew he had been sick for a while but we were only expecting a small "you have Pneumonia" at the most.
He sat down and we were laughing how we saw him drive home and he didn't see us when we were shopping.
He blurted out "I have cancer!"
There was complete silence, my mother spilled a few tears but I just sat there...in silence.
A few years before this my grandma had found out she had cancer but she pulled through amazingly. She’s been in remission now for over 6 years so in my mind it didn’t click about the severity.
I was a strong soldier for the following months, hardly ever crying in front of anyone, only at night when no one could find me. I brought him new war movies to watch, and my dad even took him to Canberra for a memorial service for ANZAC Day.
"They were making the most of his time left."
They kept myself and my brothers in the dark about some stuff more for our protection I presume. But he got worse.. quickly. The lung cancer they told him he had was slowly starting to show and every day I prayed that God could take someone else, even myself. This was my best friend that was dying.
About 6 months after he had told us my parents sat myself and my younger brothers down and explained everything. At the time he first found out he had barely 6-12 months....I could see he was wasting away now, he had lost about 10 kilos and his hair was shaven off...he was skin and bones.
"At this point I was still one of the strongest people in my family"
I went into recluse, never crying in front of anyone. I was supporting everyone else around me but no one was there for me. My last memory of being with grandad is one that I do not regret at all. In his own way, even though he could not speak, he told me he loved me. That he was proud of me, and that he would protect me as my angel from heaven even after he died.
He sat up in his hospital bed at home (because we had palliative care at home for him) and placed his forehead against mine when no one else was looking. He gave me a small eskimo kiss on the nose and smiled at me. I helped him lie him back down when he was done, and (still unknowing this would be the last time) when I left I kissed his forehead and promised that I would do him proud at the sport districts tryouts the next day and that I would tell him all about it when I came over.
"The next day at the tryouts I kicked ass."
We believe now that it was him taking care of me just like he promised. When I got home I found out that the previous night he had passed away peacefully in his sleep. He looked so peaceful when my grandmother found him.
I know he takes care of me, I do so well in everything I put my heart into. He’s my guardian angel and will always be my best friend.
The summer after he died my friends believe I had a small depression for about 4 months. I wasn't myself and things around me weren't making it any better, my close family had no clue about it... still don't!
My friends helped me out of it though, they helped me through everything. I’ve learnt that it’s ok to cry when you miss them, I still do.
"The best thing you can do is keep them in your memory, and never ever forget them. "
For those people who read this take this small piece of advice:
1. Never ever regret going to help them or seeing them, take as much time for them as you can, it helps them know they're loved.
2. Keep your close friends around you, even when you want to be alone and by yourself. Have them there to pick you up when you begin to fall.