Memory Lane-A cancer tale

I’ve never in my life blogged before, but seeing the sorts of things people write about I thought I would give it a go.

So about a year ago my Grandad had an operation to sort out his hernia. I remember I was in Wales at the time and he called me to tell me how well it had gone. After I returned to Cornwall his health started to decline. He was unwell in bed, unable to move, unable to eat because of his swollen glands, completely lifeless and practically green. We thought it was going to take a turn for the worst. He had an extreme amount of tests which revealed no answers. Eventually during August he was hospitalised and underwent some blood transfusions to regain his strength. It was eventually discovered in September that he had Lymphomatic blood cancer. It was the most petrifying news I’d ever heard. Everyone’s immediate thoughts when  the word cancer is ‘well that’s that then,’ or ‘I wonder how much time…’

Luckily for me he isn’t easily defeated, since October he’s gone through 4 rounds of Chemotherapy, battled eumonia for a week being instantly hospitalised but now he’s in remission for hopefully a good long while. He’s still trying to regain more strength due to the fact that he now needs an operation for his aneurism but he’s able to walk again, if only a little, and eat if not as much.

Not knowing if someone is going to be around for certain things is one of the worst thoughts you can have. Being a university student and 5 hours up country away from home it’s important to keep in touch with the important people in your life. When we all sat together for Christmas dinner I couldn’t help but think it was the last time we would all possibly be sat together for Christmas again.

Some of the best memories that I have are such small little things. Every holiday I’ve been on has been with my grandad. I can always remember him sat at one end of the pool wearing his little blue cap. Noticeable from anywhere. Would never let me down when I needed someone to swim and play with. Every Wednesday he’d go to play badminton, we used to stand either end of the corridor in his house and hit a shuttlecock to each other. I enjoyed it so much he gave me my own racquet, which was really his but he’d say was mine to make me happy. He’d always know how to make me feel good about myself. I don’t really remember a time when he’s ever been angry at me. Me being a clumsy person, I’m always making mistakes. My famous phrase as a child was ‘it was an accident’ which is still laughed about and I am mocked for personally by him to this day.

I believe he is the reason for a lot of what I am today. I currently study musical theatre, but I wouldn’t have even been introduced to singing if it wasn’t for him. I’d often watch him in his choir concerts and he introduced me to the youth choir run by his musical director which I participated in festivals and concerts with. That was the start of my musical ambition which led to me taking the theatre route in school, to college and now to university. He is the reason I do what I do today. How much he has influenced my life when  I think about it thoroughly is ridiculous. He is the most kind and hilarious man I know. We used to laugh at his resemblance to Rowan Atkinson, just certain looks made him seem the exact image of Mr Bean.

My grandad never has to say a bad word about anyone. I always say he’s only 83, that’s not old at all. I still believe he will last until 100, like he told me. Some people aren’t as lucky as me. But all he’s been through and with my wonderful grandma taking care of him, I know he’s in it for the long run.