It's hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm in Israel and I am caring for everyone. My mum has done her back in, so I am driving her around, ensuring that she can sit down and get back up again. It would be funny if it weren't so detrimental to my family's general wellbeing.
But let's talk about my grandfather for a moment. Repeat. The following is about my grandfather. After his diagnosis last month, he immediately started Gemzar to see whether this would slow down the progression. After about 2 weeks of hideous side effects and not being able to get out of bed due to exhaustion, they went back to the hospital to be re-staged. In that short space of time, his markers had skyrocketed, his liver began to shut down and the cancer was spreading like wildfire.
So they sent him home. My mother and her brothers are arranging for palliative home care and he seems almost relieved that it will all be over soon. My brother has flown in from Canada to see him because I told him that we are talking about weeks now, rather than months. And I need to fly back to the UK today.
My father, on the other hand, is doing fine. He is still collecting fluid in his abdomen, but we think that we might have kicked the infection that has been plaguing him for the last 4 months. He is on what we would call "stabilising" chemo, which means that he is not supposed to be improving, but not supposed to be getting worse for the time being until my parents head back to Houston.
So, to recap, my mother can't function properly in any capacity because she needs help getting in and out of chairs, my grandfather is dying very fast and my father is complaining that no one is paying enough attention to him.
And I am sad. I have been trying to put my finger on it. It's not that I feel a sense of injustice, although it is unfair and stupid. I think it's more that I am so emotionally exhausted from dealing with my father's illness for almost 2 years that I don't have anything left to give to anyone else. My cousin is taking my grandfather's illness very hard. In many ways, I wish I could to. Because right now I don't feel like I am giving him the respect he deserves and I doubt I will be able to grieve him properly. Because I am all cancer-ed out. I have become cynical and hard and that makes me sad.
So I am leaving here now and might be back fairly soon to try to fit in more visits before my grandfather dies. Because, even though my father doesn't understand this, funerals less useful to me than sitting with someone and chatting while they are still alive.