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Are these feelings normal?

Discussion in 'Finding it Difficult to Move Foward' started by EmilyRoe, May 21, 2020.

  1. EmilyRoe

    EmilyRoe New Member

    My grandfather got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June of 2019. I have never personally dealt with cancer or ever lost anyone. I am 21 and I know I am very lucky to have all my family this long, I knew it would be heartbreaking. I never knew it had more feelings to come along. When he was diagnosed, I figured he would do the chemo, have the surgery and he'd be all better. Chemo made him so weak he couldn't go through with the entire surgery and they had to leave part of the tumor until he got stronger. He never did and the cancer spread. First his liver, now his stomach. At this point hospice said its about comfort and relief so we don't actually know where it all has spread to in this moment. At this point we're keeping him on pain meds until he gets peace. I know I haven't lost him yet but I am still feeling grief, and pain and just a lot of overwhelming feelings I have never experienced.
    It's so sad watching him suffer, I went to see him for four days this week, he was able to answer questions, like are you okay? Do you need anything? little talks not full conversations. he would chuckle and laugh here and there, he even gave me a kiss! but since I left he two nights ago he has gotten worse. I was going to go back up today and my dad told me not to. He said he is sleeping all day, unable to answer questions, and screams out for help. My dad doesn't want me there when he passes. Part of me wants to be there for my Poppop, part of me knows I will fall apart. my Poppop is my dads best friend and only "real" parent so this is really hard for him especially cause he doesn't show his emotions so I know he's a wreck, and I don't want to make matters worse or take time away from him right now.
    Ever since I got the call last week of him deteriorating fast have been sad, I have this actual pain in my heart, my stomach is a mess, I've been having nightmares every time I close my eyes. Im angry at everything. the littlest things make me blow up either in anger or tears. I have so much anxiety I had to go to the hospital last week because my heart was beating so fast and I couldn't catch my breath. I thought getting out of the house would bring some different feelings but when I got with friends I found I couldn't be bothered to socialize or even make small talk. If I heard them make a joke, I would laugh and immediately feel guilty. Why do I deserve to have fun and laugh when he is in pain and dying. I can count on one hand the meals I've eaten in the last week. I cant tell you the last time I showered, or even brushed my hair. I just feel like Im falling apart and everyone around me either dealt with this earlier and doesn't remember EXACTLY how they felt or dealt with in completely different and separated themselves from it. I just want to know if this is normal. if this will fade away with time or if I will always be on auto pilot. I honestly feel at this point that it would bring relief when he does pass cause he won't be suffering and he'll be at peace. Am I horrible for saying the? Am I being naive again thinking that him passing will make things easier?
  2. ainie

    ainie Well-Known Member

    Hello EmilyRoe. Your feelings are very normal. It is so hard to see our loved one so ill. And yes you are grieving even though he has not yet passed. It is good you found this site. Come often and talk and read lots and you will find you are not alone and others have survived grief. The intense feelings do soften but it takes time, more time than we think before we have the experience.

    Do what you need to care for yourself. Eat, sleep, shower and other than that don't worry about other things. You may want to talk to your Dad about visiting Poppop. He is grieving too and is trying to protect you but you are old enough to know yourself and if you feel you need to visit let your Dad know that. It could be your imagination may be giving more distressing pictures of what is happening than reality. Also as much as your Dad is protecting you he may be relieved to know that you want to be there. Talk it through with him if you can.

    Find a therapist of some type to talk with if you need too. We all need all the help we can get at a time like this. Come back here often and read and talk.
    RLC likes this.
  3. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Emily Roe,
    I have nothing really to add, Ainie gave you great advice. I hope you get a chance to see your grandfather, you’re close to him. It could do him some good to have you hold his hand and even if he can’t respond there’s a chance he can hear you.
    Love love love your picture!
    Keep coming back here, it’s very helpful.
    You and your family are in my prayers.