I have mentioned in the post "Here Comes the Bride" that the last few weeks have been a whirlwind and an emotional roller coaster. There are multiple reasons for that, and I'm not sure that I can explain every facet of that roller coaster, every twist and turn, although there have been many. But I can at least give you the highest inclines and greatest falls that this roller coaster has been taking us on.
My grandmother (Mom's Mom) was diagnosed with thyroid cancer months ago. Immediately the plans were set into play to have her thyroid removed and the goal was to have radio iodine treatment there after to kill any remaining cancer cells that might stay once the thyroid is removed. This did not bother us too much, my Aunt had experienced the same thing. Thankfully thyroid cancer is on the upper side of "everything is going to be alright" when it comes to cancer, and my Aunt went through the process like a champion. And praise be to God for her being cancer free today. With this background, I didn't fear when I found out Grandma would have to go through the same journey.
Unfortunately, we have found out in the last few weeks that the cancer attacking my Grandmother was not only in her thryoid. It had spread into some spots on her lungs and in her breastbone, I believe. With this info and some other minor issues, my folks traveled to Kansas City to grab my Grandma and Grandpa and take them to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. (For details on what occurred there, or the great facility it is, check out my Uncle's blog: Simple Thoughts. Read this one or this one for more details.) At the clinic that first week with my folks, Grandma was able to meet with many doctors, get lots of tests, and work towards a treatment plan for some of the odd symptoms she had been having like her right arm losing functionality. They also looked at the spots found in her lungs and breastbone. They asked that Grandma come back the following week to begin treatment, so my Aunt and Uncle took Grandma and Grandpa back to the clinic in MN that next week.
The Thursday of that week with my Aunt and Uncle, my Grandma took a turn for the worst. She began to be exteremely confused and was unable to answer questions being posed to her. In response to her downturn in situation Thursday my Grandmother was taken to the Emergency Room. Since that day she arrived in the ER and following meetings with some Mayo Clinic doctors, we have learned that the thyroid cancer has spread to my Grandma's brain. She has multiple tumors there on her left side and thus has begun to be affected by the tumors and their placement. I'm told she now has good days and bad days.
The day I learned my Grandma has multiple brain tumors due to thyroid cancer, I found myself, for the first time I believe, admitting and acknowledging that my Grandmother will not be around forever. I know that sounds like a "duh" statement, of course no one will be around forever, but the reality is that sometimes our own mortality, our loved ones mortality does not hit us until something dramatic happens. I love my Grandma, and I am so thankful that she is not hurting right now. Although she may get very confused at times (so they say), and she has trouble walking without losing her balance to the right, and although her demeanour has changed a bit (so they tell me), she's currently not in pain because of these brain tumors - PRAISE GOD FOR THAT!!! I love my Grandma.
I'm looking forward to loving on my Grandma and Grandpa especially well this Thanksgiving Holiday. In light of the new health situations, my hubby and I have suspended our annual visit to Kentucky over Thanksgiving to see his family. Instead, I sit here in Kansas City, ready and willing to give thanks to our Almighty Father for everything He provides for us. For Family! For Health! For Love! For Food! For a roof over my head! For safe travel to KC! For all the blessings that are flooding through my head.
But especially this Thanksgiving, I'm giving thanks that my Grandmother is here and family can come together to celebrate this holiday. I'm looking forward to seeing her tomorrow and visiting with other family members. I know it'll be a bit different than years past... Grandma usually has the lead roll in the food category, but when you have family together and some good grub too... LIFE IS GOOD!
Ps. I miss my little sis and bro-in-law who were unable to make the trip. I hope they know we're thinking about them and wish them a very Happy Thanksgiving! Love you guys!!!