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guess my grandpa's getting worse. he can't eat solid food. he tried and aspirated it and now he has pneumonia. he can't control his bodily functions any more, so he has to wear a diaper. he's weak and he sleeps almost all day. he's supposed to have 2 days left of radiation, but they probably won't bother. and they say that he's the only one who should make these decisions, and he's tired of fighting, i guess. he won't let them feed him through tubes. my mom and dad are saying he only has a few more weeks, but they're not doctors. there's no way to tell for sure, because it's not a matter of current conditions getting worse; it's just a matter of what goes wrong next. if he stops waking up for long enough to have pureed foods, he'll die of starvation. if the tumor spreads to affect his lungs, so he can't breathe, he'll die from that... it just depends.

my mom and brother are going to visit him this weekend. i think that's weird. and i'm not really sure what to do. i don't really want to see him like that, in a diaper, all weak in a hospital bed. i'd rather go from thinking of him as alive and well to thinking of him as a dead body at a funeral, without having to remember this. but then i think that maybe i'm just being selfish, because here is where my life is, and i don't want to interrupt it for some old man dying. and i feel guilty, and think that i should drop everything and go visit him. but then i wonder... if you were an old man in a diaper, would you want your grandchildren to see you like that? because i wouldn't. he's a stubborn old man, and he didn't even want my grandmother to see him lose his balance... i think he'd rather us remember him as the nice man who loved us and took care of us than an old man in a hospital bed, with a million doctors trying to take care of him and change his diapers. but i don't know.

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I watched my dad die...literally. I watched him the days before on oxygen unable to talk stuck with a cather etc... When I close my eyes now that's what I see a lot of times. Him in that bed like that and it hurts like hell. Some people will tell you you are being selfish for not going. Others will say that if you go it will make it easier for you when he dies. It will make it easier because you will see what he was enduring and that he is now free from pain.

I can't tell you either way what to do. But I will say this, the memories are what will sustain you or break you when it comes time to mourn don't make any new memories of your grand father that you will not be able to deal with or that he would not have willingly shared....

You're in my thoughts if you need me let me know...


My grandmother was in a similar situation last year. She died in less than two weeks after the radiation ended. She was staying in our apartment, not a hospital, and in the end we wouldn't let her friends see her like that. My memories of that time still come back to terrorize me, but my mother believes that it was, overall, a good experience for us as a family.

Whatever you decide, my heart goes out to you, him, and the rest of your family.

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