Monday, September 29, 2014

A Grandmother's Love

This time last week I was proclaiming loud and proud that I was coming back to this little nook of the world that I call mine. And then my world flipped upside down overnight. Not in the "oh my goodness I have so much to do" way that it normally does. None of those things seem to matter anymore. There are more important things in life. That's what this week has taught me.

On Wednesday morning my grandmother had an appointment with a neurosurgeon to determine the severity of the tumor on her brain that was only discovered 5 days earlier. 

In two weeks time, my grandmother was told that the nerves in her back were all tangled up, causing her right leg to not work. Then she started losing strength in her right hand, so she was sent to a neurologist to see what was happening. In 24-hours time she went from planning back surgery, to being told she probably had a stroke and only needed some rehabilitation, to having an MRI that showed she had a golf ball-sized tumor on the back-left side of her brain. 

After that was discovered, she was sent to a neurosurgeon to really determine the next step. And what the surgeon found was our worst nightmare. She had what is called a "Glioma," which is a rapidly-growing malignant tumor. Long story short, they could remove as much of it as possible, but it would grow back-- quickly-- and eventually kill her. 

But we all kept our hopes up. She's Gamma after all. She fights all the odds. 

This was all discovered on Wednesday morning. My mom told me that afternoon. And surgery was scheduled for Friday morning. 

So I put my life on hold for about 5 days to be there for the world's greatest grandmother. 

I spent all day Thursday at her house with my mom, my grandfather, and just about every person in the city of Kennesaw. And I'm not really exaggerating that much. The woman had a stack of cards on the coffee table at least 100 cards thick. The phone was ringing constantly. And the living room looked like Grand Central Station. That's a lot of love. And for someone that's worthy of all of it, and then some. 

My grandmother spent her whole life trying to make everyone else's lives the best possible. She would do just about anything for someone she loves. She's made an impact on the life of every person she's ever encountered. And that's a fact. I've never met anyone else like her, and I don't think there is another grandmother quite like my Gamma. 

Friday morning she had surgery scheduled for 7:30AM. She had to get there at 5:30, so the rest of the family did as well. We all paid her a visit then the best neurosurgeon in the state went to work on my beloved grandmother. Two hours later the doctor came out to the waiting room to find over 30 people waiting for her. He took my grandfather, mom, and uncle into a consultation room and nothing was the same. 

My grandfather came out to tell us that it was the "worst possible situation." My mom and uncle clarified what that meant: she had about 6 months left. The doctor got as much of the tumor as he could, but it will grow back just as quickly as it grew before and continue to attack her brain. 

Half of the waiting room were people there for my grandmother. And every single one of them was completely torn apart by this news. She's only 74, how could this be happening? She was perfectly healthy three months ago. What could God be trying to do here? Is there anything we could do? Where do we go from here?

I can't really put into words how it felt, or what happened that day, or how I'm dealing with it all. I just know that I've been living in a shell of myself for 5 days now. I'm not sure what to do with myself. And I wish I could be home to help in some way. But I know my Gamma. And I know she wants me to resume life as normally as possible. 

And I'll try to do that. While saying my prayers for her every night and day. May God look over her and give her the best chance at enjoying the life she has left while sharing all the love she's got left in her. 

We love you Gamma! Just keep fighting, we've got your back.

xoxo, jgp


  1. This seriously brought tears to my eyes!
    I love Gamma! Continually praying for your family.
    Love you Caley!!!!

  2. I'm so so so so sorry to hear this! It is so very tragic. I'm sending all my prayers and hugs your family's way.