Topic: Trying to keep some hope...

Hi everyone. About two years ago, my grandma was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma. It's been a rough two years and recently, it's been tough. It looks like it may be time to say goodbye. Her and I are very close. We've lived next to my grandparents for my whole life and I can't imagine life without her. She's been in the hospital for a week now because of various infections the treatment has caused, and also that her cancer spread. I'm finding it a little hard to find some hope, and I can't hold it together to save my life. Can anyone help?


Re: Trying to keep some hope...

Dear Debora, what a wonderful Granddaughter you are. Sometimes when there is an infection it can really make a CC patient very sick but once an antibiotic is given these infections clear up pretty good. I am wondering if your parents are giving you information and explaining things as the more you understand and know what is happening it does help take some of the fright away. In the meantime you need to be very, very strong as that is what you can do best for your Grandma. Please keep us posted as it helps to write about it and we do like to know how she is progressing. You never know how strong you are until "strong" is the only choice you have!


Re: Trying to keep some hope...

Hi Deborah,

Lainy is right.  You are being strong and you will find a way of digging deep.  Don't feel bad about not holding it together - it doesn't mean you're weak or not coping.  You clearly love your grandmother.

Take care of yourself and let us know when you get the chance how you both are.


In the stars now . . . .

Re: Trying to keep some hope...

Deborah, My Mominlaw lived next door for the past 17 years. Mama jean was a definite speed bump in my life. In her prime, she was 5'5 and hovered close to 180, most of it in muscle. A medium sized locomotive, that loved dancing and baked a mean babka. A wonderful cook who refused to divulge the "whole" recipe. She had untreated, explosive blood pressure, occasionally she would blow like Mt.Visuvious. In this last year (her 95th) she began to fail, first with confusion and loss of short trem. Swallowing became a big problem. She fought each loss, then gradually she accepted her new infirmaries. Luckily she wasn't afraid or angry, even though she forgot who we were occasionally. Spent the last 6 mths on vanilla ice cream & assure shakes. Dropped weight to about 90 lbs. It was her time, we got hospice assistance and they helped alot. My wife said her goodbyes. Jean passed that evening, in her sleep. Those that are blessed get to go that way. Try to focus on their journey, you can be sad and unhappy after. This is their time. Do exraordinary things to help them savor the time they have left. If they are discomfited by medical proceedures, you need to intercede in their behalf. Make certain that all procedures & medications, that are not absolutely needed, are stopped. Ask a head nurse to help in the determination. Massage their feet, wash the brow, brush their hair. Let them know that though you love and will miss them, you will be o.k.. If you do this part right, you will be all right, and so will she.

Re: Trying to keep some hope...

Very well said Lee!  I wholeheartedly agree that living in the moment, being mindful of every moment, and helping our loved ones enjoy the life that they have without worrying about the future, is the best gift we can give them.  We all tend to project into the future, but it's most helpful to live the life we have right now.

Debora: You sound like a very loving granddaughter and I know it's difficult to not think about life without Grandma since she has been such a presence in your life.  The best you can do is be present with her now, reminisce, enjoy the moments and be there for her.

I hope that your grandma gets over this latest setback quickly.


Survivor of cholangiocarcinoma (2009), thyroid cancer (1999), and breast cancer (1994).

My comments, suggestions, and opinions are based only on my personal experience as a cancer survivor. Please consult a physician for professional guidance.

Re: Trying to keep some hope...

Dear Deborah,  my advice would be not to give up just yet.  My dad was diagnosed last Sept and he has hit some very hard speed bumps along this journey already....such that we thought we were gonna lose him three times now.  He keeps rebounding and is not ready to give up the fight.  He told me the other day that he is not ready to leave us!  It melted my heart.  Be sure to enjoy her while she is here and focus on making her days lovable and comfortable.