Stage 4

So as it turns out things are a little worse than what the doctors originally thought.  Turns out when cancers metastasize to or around the brain or spinal cord; you are stage 4 (terminal if you want to be negative about it).

This is my first time dealing with or being around someone with cancer.  As far as I can tell my aunt seems just fine.  But I can’t tell what is going on inside of her body, let alone her thoughts or feelings.

I have an inkling that maybe her outward show of being positive and optimistic is to help us stay that way too.  Yesterday morning I had a chat with my mom and she mentioned that my aunt has been talking about returning to Mexico.

While my grandmother was alive my aunt was the one that went on several occasions to Mexico.  She is the only one that has kept contact with family from Mexico.

My mom knows my sister and I plan to travel later this year and felt it would be difficult to ask us to contribute money to send my aunt home one more time.  I refuse to say last time, but if it would be, then why not send her right?

My thought was for each family member to pitch in $100 and that would more than suffice for return flights for both my ailing aunt and her brother, my uncle (not the one married to the twat thief).

I mentioned it to my sister, the one I travel with, she says she has to check her funds.  At the end of this month we will be buying our plane tickets and JR Pass.  I think after that, we will both have a good idea of what we have left and what we can give.

So for my travel partner and I, we can contribute… for myself I can contribute more than the $100.  Two of my siblings work and live at home with mom, they can afford it; will they care to is another question.  One lives with my aunt and is planning a trip herself, I am sure she could afford to chip in to send off my aunt to the homeland.  My last sibling seems to always fret over money and is a homeowner… but with her spending habits I know she is good for it.

Should I bring it up to the rest of my siblings?  I think my mom has gotten quite pensive regarding the future of our family; her only sister.  She also made mention of kicking her non-rent paying kids out of the house and renting the house out.  She is considering retiring to Hawaii with my uncle and aunt.  She has 2 years left before she calls it quits at work.

If she rents it will be to me or my traveling sister because she knows we are good for it and won’t stiff her like the rest of my siblings have.  Being an adult and watching age, disease and ultimately death take its toll is much more cumbersome and thought provoking with age.  Watching my grandparents transition was much different, so many things I didn’t have to worry about.

All of this is forcing me to think of my own mother’s life and my own mortality.  Life can be too sobering at times.

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8 thoughts on “Stage 4

  1. susie!! I’m sorry you’re going through all of this. I understand how you must feel..my best friend had a brain tumor and had extremely invasive surgery to remove it. I had never gone through something like that before. If you want to talk or vent email me @ mgrazzetti@gmail.com , I don’t think I have your number :L

    • Thanks Meg. I appreciate the listening ear. It’s so strange right now, like life is happening but like I am a puppet in the show. Stuff just goes on and happens and my emotions are just not catching up to how quickly everything is moving right now.

      • It really does all happen fast and when its over all the emotions just catch up and it can be very overwhelming. I still get emotional talking about my experience because it really changes your perspective on life and what you find is important. I hope you’re doing ok and I’m sorry for commenting back so late. ❤

        • I started to get choked up a few times when we went down for the show. Just little things that I grew up with that I know are changing… and eventually permanently will change. My aunt’s eating habits have changed which really makes me sad because there are so many things she wants to try still but she has to watch what she eats so it doesn’t make her sick.

  2. I dealt with a parent dying from cancer about 12 years ago. It’s crazy to think that I’ve lived a third of my life since then.

    Does your auntie have any pets that she cherishes? They might be of significant help with keeping her spirits up.

    I’d like to write more on my experiences, but I don’t want to sound grim and insensitive. I hope the whole process goes smoothly for your auntie and that nobody tries to stir any shit up at such a delicate time.

    • My aunt doesn’t ‘do’ pets; strange lady, I know.

      If you care to share I would listen. And I would not take what you have to say as insensitive or grim. Cancer in general is not a cheery subject. I am hoping we can abide by her and just stay positive for her benefit and send her home to see her family.

  3. Thinking about one’s own mortality is looking into the abyss, and it does certainly look at you. But, there is something freeing about accepting it. As for losing loved ones, that’s the tough part; I said ‘goodbye’ to three family members in one year, my dad, his brother (my uncle) and his mother (my grandmother). My mother and stepfather (He’s just as much my dad as my biological father was) seem to be healthy, but they’re getting to the age where anything can happen…

    Stage 4, that’s rough. If she’s handling it well, though, that’s an amazing thing.

    • It’s been strange to think of my own mortality. I am not too worried about my own as I see it as an end. I am not a believer in the here after. What I am worried about is not knowing how I will handle the deaths of the generation preceding my own. Grandparents is one thing… but death gets much closer when it is your parents/aunts/uncles. Though I have been swimming in a cloud of thoughts I am pleased to see that my aunt is still smiling and continuing with her daily life. I would hate to see her become one of those people that treat disease as a death sentence and go down with out a fight. She raised us better than that.

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