Last week, my grandma started her first of 12 rounds of chemotherapy. After surviving 2008 and beating Stage IV colon cancer, her cancer came back in 2010. A small amount of cancer was found in her lung and she would have to endure chemo once again.
I remember what my grandma was like in 2008, especially towards the end of her fight. She morphed from my plump, squeezable grandmother to a frail, small woman who I was scared to hug too hard for fear I would break her. I remember the fear we all felt and the fear my grandma tried so well to keep hidden.
But then she beat the cancer and spent 2009 recuperating. She was healthy enough to go out to lunch with the family on Mother’s Day, cook Thanksgiving dinner, and return to her normal self. She was feeling great, getting plenty of exercise, and baby-sitting her great-grandson a few days a week. Her energy level was high. She was back to being my grandma again.
And now I’m scared. I don’t want her to return to that frail woman again. I don’t want her to have to deal with the side effects of chemotherapy, the constant beeping of her pump during the nights she has poison racing through her body, the inability to drink anything but room-temperature water, the disappointment when her blood count is to low to go through chemotherapy for that week, the exhaustion so bad that turning over in bed seems like a chore.
I don’t understand why she, out of everyone in my life, has to deal with this. Why does my grandma have to go through this pain? She’s faithful. She’s giving. She’s sweet. She’s everything I could ever ask for in a grandma, and in a woman. She doesn’t deserve this. My grandma and grandpa are dealing with enough on their own. They have to deal with her cancer, too?
I have anger. I’m not directing it towards God because that’s misplaced anger. If anything, God is the one we all need to lean on during this time. I guess I’m just angry at the situation. I don’t think it’s fair that she’s the one who has cancer again. Life isn’t fair and I know this. But I’m still upset about it.
It’s been said that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. So I guess this is why my grandma has to deal with this again. She can handle it. She has the strongest faith of anyone I know. And she has an incredible husband by her side, someone who loves her so deeply. Out of everyone in our family, they are the two who could handle this the most.
So it’s not fair. And I am angry that my grandma has to deal with chemotherapy again. I wish she was still healthy and was still baby-sitting my nephew. But she’s not. She does have to deal with this. And our entire family will be by her side to support her and pray for her. She will endure this season and emerge victorious. She did it before, she’ll do it again.