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 Dealing w/ a lot...

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scottbtdmb



Age : 36
Location : Bel Air, MD
Registration date : 2010-02-19

PostSubject: Dealing w/ a lot...   Thu May 16, 2013 7:58 pm

Good evening Brothers,

I have posted so infrequently over the past 6 months that I wanted to check in. Seems to be a lot of new folks on here these days, which is really exciting, as well as some of the long-time BoB'ers that I have come to know and love over the years.

Going through a real tough family crisis right now. My grandmother was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this past Monday. Her and my grandfather came up to my parents' house for Mother's Day and we all knew something wasn't right with her. She was extremely jaundiced, skin as yellow as can be, and her eyes were the color of a lemon. She had little to no equlibrium/balance and my grandfather said she had been sleeping all the time for the past couple weeks and not eating. For some reason or another, he was going through some major denial and thought she was just having a bad couple of weeks. Full disclosure, she has also been suffering from dementia for the past 5-10 years so I suppose she couldn't necessarily verbalize how she was feeling properly for him to diagnose the situation.

We were able to talk him into taking her to the hospital, only to reason the terrible news late Monday evening. This is a complete and utter shock to my system. I have a very small (but close) family, with my parents, brother, grandparents (dad's side) and an uncle (dad's brother) making up my immediate family. I am 32 and am blessed to still have 2 grandparents alive (never knew my mom's parents), but it is so hard because honestly I have never lost anyone close to me. Numerous emotions are going through my mind as the inevitable loss looms closer and closer. I understand pancreatic cancer is a nasty cancer towards the end, which makes it even tougher.

Anyone on here go through a similar experience? It's tough, but I do understand that as I get into my 30's, such events are going to happen. I only hope I can be strong enough to help see my father and grandfather get through it okay, as I know that they are hurting much more than I am. I had my own health issues this year due to excessive weight gain, which in turn caused heart palpitations and high blood pressure. I have finally got myself back to decent health and now this has to happen! Sucks how life always throws you a curveball. Any advice/shared experiences would be much appreciated from my Brothers.

Thanks,
Scott
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Dealing w/ a lot...   Thu May 16, 2013 9:02 pm

Let's just say I've had a large target on my chest for the universe to crap on for quite a while. You either get used to it and nothing else really seems like a big deal, or things go great and it's a sudden "eventuality" that you're not prepared for. None of it is easy.

For example, I'm having to watch my mother deteriorate mentally and physically, we're looking at putting her in a home. She's 69, and I'm only 35. Never had grandparents to speak of, so this is all brand new to me. I barely have my crap together, was never taught how to really take care of myself as an average person (survival is different than "living life" I've learned)...so I'm pretty unprepared. Bad family, bad past, blah blah blah. What'ev.

You do the best you can, that's all you can do. My role has always been the positive thinker, the productive "doer" when things go bad, and broad shoulders for others to lean on. Being the strength of another just suits me. It's when I need to borrow strength I have a problem. Laughing

Hang in there, brother. You seem to have decent family--best asset you have in a situation like that. Love is an amazing source of power.

Cool
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Fatman

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Age : 54
Location : Alaska
Registration date : 2013-02-14

PostSubject: Re: Dealing w/ a lot...   Thu May 16, 2013 11:31 pm

Hang in there Brother Scott, I have been down that path you are travelling and know how badly it sucks. I just tried to keep myself busy, and if I needed to cry, I'd not try to stifle my grief, I would cry. I did not give a hoot if anyone saw or not.

One day at a time Brother, and feel free to message me if you need some to "talk" to.

John
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huffelpuff

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Age : 47
Location : Laramie, WY
Registration date : 2011-12-10

PostSubject: Re: Dealing w/ a lot...   Fri May 17, 2013 1:17 am

Wife's grandmother lived with us the last 6 years of her life. She died of pancreatic cancer and you're right it's a really rough way to go. Take care of yourself, and don't hesitate to reach out for help.

Jim
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Guest
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PostSubject: Re: Dealing w/ a lot...   Fri May 17, 2013 8:12 am

Slowly losing a loved one is as painful as it gets. Dylan Thomas sad, "Do not go gentle into that good night."; but that can be the prayer. Cancer is a nasty beast. Time can smooth the edges for those left behind but it is hard to understand such permanence. Being my age provides a lot of that but it is harder on those meeting the loss earlier. It doesn't pass but it will get better. Do all you can for your Grandfather and wish your Grandmother the most peaceful passing possible. That will see you through.
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pepesdad1

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Age : 73
Location : Tallahassee, Florida
Registration date : 2013-03-03

PostSubject: Dealing w/ a lot...   Fri May 17, 2013 10:26 am

Kyle said it best: "You seem to have decent family--best asset you have in a situation like that. Love is an amazing source of power."
You can count on the brotherhood to see you through this.
Hang in there and take care of yourself, too.

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monbla256

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Age : 71
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Dealing w/ a lot...   Fri May 17, 2013 11:29 am

I'm somewhat in the same position as your grandad is with my mother. I care for her at her home and she's 89 and things are beginnig to happen more and more each day it seems. The hard part is that I'm involved in her 'end game" part of her life and regardless of what we do it all is leading to the end of her life relatively soon. It can get rather daunting at times, but it is what it is so as my father used to say "...omward thru the fog" . My condolences and can only say hang in there.
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gramnum1

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Age : 23
Location : Havertown pennsylvania
Registration date : 2013-05-13

PostSubject: Re: Dealing w/ a lot...   Fri May 17, 2013 4:20 pm

Not sure if your religious but ill keep you and your family in my prayers anyway.
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scottbtdmb



Age : 36
Location : Bel Air, MD
Registration date : 2010-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Dealing w/ a lot...   Fri May 17, 2013 5:34 pm

Thanks for all the wonderful thoughts, prayers, and advice guys! I really do intend to try and frequent BoB a little bit more now than I have for the past 6mths-1year. I miss the camaraderie and the brotherhood and it's times like these when I realize how great a place this is on here.

-Scott
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Dutch

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Age : 52
Location : On the road.......
Registration date : 2010-11-06

PostSubject: Re: Dealing w/ a lot...   Fri May 17, 2013 6:23 pm

One of the realities of long life, is seeing the passing of almost everyone in your own life. Like Kyle said, all you can do, is the best that you can.

I remember when my grandfather was dying of skin cancer, one of the nurses told me that once they got him in the hospital, they would give him so much pain killer, that he wouldn't feel anything. It was the time before the hospital that was so rough on him, as it took 7 years before it finally got the best of him. I would have much rather they had given him only 7 weeks, instead of the 7 years he got, because I just hated to see him go through that 7 years of hell.

Hang in there scott, after all is said and done, you want your family and friends to admire your strength in helping the family through this trying time.
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scottbtdmb



Age : 36
Location : Bel Air, MD
Registration date : 2010-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Dealing w/ a lot...   Mon May 20, 2013 5:35 pm

Thanks again for your kind thoughts guys! I was able to get up and see my grandparents both Saturday and Sunday! It was really kind of special getting back downtown Baltimore both days and made me feel like a kid again. Met some pipe guys Saturday morning at the old Sip n Bite restaurant downtown and had a real good breakfast. We followed it up with a trip to the Cross Street Cigar lounge on Light street. Never been there before, but it had a really great atmosphere and we enjoyed some coffee and stogies for a few hours.

Finally headed up to my grandparents around noon. I was really surprised with how much better my grandmother looked since getting proper treatment from the hospital. Her jaundice has subsided, she was moving around on her own, she ate several times while I was there, and she even snuck in a few cigarettes....just like old times! My uncle was up there too, whom I'd hadn't seen in a few years. We slipped out for a few hours in the afternoon and went downtown to look at a record store and wound up having lunch at my favorite burger joint downtown (G&A).

Sunday, my brother and I stopped down on the way to the Orioles game. It was like night and day between Saturday and Sunday. The jaundice was back, my grandmother seemed real tired, and apparently my grandfather had to give her a drop of morphine because she was complaining of stomach pains. On the way back from the ballgame later that afternoon, my dad called and said they had to take her back to the hospice care center because she was in so much pain that they gave her a stronger dose of morphine, which in turn caused to her to have seizures.

What an odd weekend....I suppose a preview of what's to come. There will be good days (like Saturday) and not so good days (like Sunday). I hope that she can hang in there for a little while so that we can at least have a few more good days together. At the very least, it was nice having that Saturday down there where things almost seemed normal again....I certainly will never forget being blessed with that opportunity to see her (even if once more) in a more relaxed and normal state. Take care guys and thanks again for listening!

-Scott
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Rob_In_MO

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Age : 44
Location : Park Hills, MO
Registration date : 2011-01-19

PostSubject: Re: Dealing w/ a lot...   Mon May 20, 2013 7:46 pm

Hang in there, Brother! We're all pulling for you.

Check in when you can, but keep the priorities where they should be. Cool
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
Registration date : 2011-05-24

PostSubject: Re: Dealing w/ a lot...   Mon May 20, 2013 9:03 pm

Hang in there Scott. I'm sure your folks appreciate seeing you during these times, even if they can't vocalize it. My parents are 94 and 87, every time I leave them I wonder if it is for the last time (even though they are pretty healthy).
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scottbtdmb



Age : 36
Location : Bel Air, MD
Registration date : 2010-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Dealing w/ a lot...   Mon May 20, 2013 9:06 pm

riff raff wrote:
Hang in there Scott. I'm sure your folks appreciate seeing you during these times, even if they can't vocalize it. My parents are 94 and 87, every time I leave them I wonder if it is for the last time (even though they are pretty healthy).

Thanks Al! You know every time I hear from you I think it's a shame I only live an hour and a half away from you and we haven't gotten together for a pipe yet! We have to work on changin that!

-Scott
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pepesdad1

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Age : 73
Location : Tallahassee, Florida
Registration date : 2013-03-03

PostSubject: Dealing w/ a lot...   Tue May 21, 2013 4:54 am

We are there for you, Scott. That's what brothers are for. Hang in there.
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Briar Spirit

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Age : 49
Location : England UK
Registration date : 2012-08-30

PostSubject: Re: Dealing w/ a lot...   Tue May 21, 2013 6:05 am

It is essential to keep your head out of the strain for a spell every now and then Brother, spend some time here with us nutcases as much as time permits, we might not be able to help ease the pain your are enduring but we might be able to lessen the load a little with some genuinely loving humour, take good care, sending healing thoughts your way, stay strong, it's hard I know, heck, if you need to you can always come here and gives me a cyber slap if it helps, Kyle does it all the time, big girls blouse that he is, journey well and stay safe yeah. I love you
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scottbtdmb



Age : 36
Location : Bel Air, MD
Registration date : 2010-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Dealing w/ a lot...   Mon May 27, 2013 6:24 pm

So I had a most interesting Memorial Day weekend. Saturday morning started much like last week with a meet-up with my buddy Jon (cigar2you) at the old Sip n Bite in Baltimore. We followed breakfast up with another trip to the Cross Street Tobacco shop which was very therapeutic and much needed.....I feel like if I start my Saturday mornings with good food, good friends, and good tobacco, I am at least in a decent frame of mind when it is time to head to my grandparent's house.

I wound up arriving at around 12:30pm and my uncle informed me when I got there to be prepared because "things had gotten a little weird". Instead of sleeping 15-16 hours a day like she had been doing, a certain restlessness had overtaken my grandmother. As weak as she is (hardly able to walk or get up), she couldn't sit still. We moved from the living room couch to the kitchen chair to a chair on the outside porch well over 50 times throughout the course of the day! Apparently, one of the medicines they are giving her was causing the restlessness and we were able to talk one of the nurses into prescribing some valium when she came by to check on things in the afternoon.

By the time I left at 8pm, she had received her first dosage of Valium and seemed to be more at ease, not moving around so much and actually seeming to be in a more jovial and all around relaxed mood. Unfortunately, this was to be short lived, as I was informed yesterday and today that she was continuing to become more and more restless (and confused). It is bad enough that she has dementia, only to have it compounded by the medicines she is taking. I sure hope they figure out the right cocktail to give her so that the pain is managed and the side effects are all offset.

Anyhow, aside from Saturday, I was able to have a pretty decent weekend. Went to a cook-out on Sunday and enjoyed some good food, great craft beers, and a few pipes and cigars. I am really digging GL Pease Navigator and had a wonderful bowl in my Savinelli Estella, while listening to good music and imbibing in good ale on my girlfriends' parents' back deck. Today was also a great day with my girlfriend and I enjoying a day down in the town of Havre de Grace (right on the water). We enjoyed a lot of antique shops and local boutiques and also joined up with Jon and his wife for a few antique shops and a wonderful walk on the promenade overlooking the bay. It was nice to stroll on the promenade smoking some Wessex Burley in another Estella pipe, looking at the water and feeling a nice cool breeze.

Overall, a tough start to the weekend with the grandparent visit, but I know that my main mission is to spend time with my grandmother and make the most of it. I don't know if she has 3 weeks or 3 months left so I have to take in every minute down there and enjoy her company while I can. It's a tough time right now, but having a great girlfriend and some supportive friends really eases the burden a little bit...

-Scott
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Dealing w/ a lot...   Mon May 27, 2013 9:12 pm

Life ain't always pretty, but the stuff that is, is worth it. Food, family, friends, and...Navigator. Very Happy

Cool
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scottbtdmb



Age : 36
Location : Bel Air, MD
Registration date : 2010-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Dealing w/ a lot...   Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:59 pm

Just wanted to let you all know that my grandmother passed away peacefully last Thursday almost exactly at noon.  Throughout the past month, she only had one night where she had a bout of pain; other than that, she never complained about being in any sort of pain (thank God).

I take comfort knowing that I was able to make the most of the past month and took as many opportunities as I possibly could to go down and visit her.  Though she was late state dementia, there were some moments of clarity towards the end, particularly a week and a half ago during the last visit where she was conscious.  She talked about pets that she had when she was a little girl, recognized her maid of honor by name when shown her wedding picture, and even called my grandfather "Anthony" at one point, something I had not heard her do in years.

The last time I saw her alive was last Monday.  She was sleeping peacefully, the morphine doing its job to ensure that she would suffer no pain.  Thursday afternoon I got a call from my Dad in the morning letting me know that she was starting to struggle to breathe and would most likely pass soon.  I rushed down to my grandparents' house, arriving at 12:35, just 35 min after she had passed.  I was soon joined by my parents and brother and we were able to comfort my grandfather for the short time that he allowed us to be there, before insisting on being alone.

I have stayed fairly strong throughout the past few days, breaking down only twice.  Tomorrow is the viewing and Monday is the burial.  This will be my first time doing the whole burial process, and though I am honored to have been asked to be a pallbearer, I am also nervous and worried on whether I will be able to hold off through it all.  It is my hope that I can stay strong while in the presence of my grandfather, as this has been particularly devastating for him.  He was together with my grandmother for 63 years, 59 of which were spent at the very house that he now will live in alone.

Thanks again to everyone on here for their well wishes and advice.  I was able to get out this morning with a few pipe/cigar buddies and enjoyed breakfast and a few good smokes at a local cigar shop in Baltimore.  It is so therapeutic to have good friends that share the same interest and I feel that the social interaction did me a lot of good.  Please keep my grandmother in your thoughts and wish me luck with this forthcoming process that is so unknown and unchartered for me.

Take care,
Scott
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Ocelot55

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Location : Columbus, OH
Registration date : 2012-03-28

PostSubject: Re: Dealing w/ a lot...   Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:11 pm

My condolences on your loss Scott. May you and your family be at peace in this time of sorrow.
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pepesdad1

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Age : 73
Location : Tallahassee, Florida
Registration date : 2013-03-03

PostSubject: Dealing w/ a lot...   Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:21 pm

Scott, Take the time to be with your Grandfather...he will need  some solitude, but he will also need loving family to help him grieve.  Be there for him...he'll need your strength and love.
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Fr_Tom

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Location : Diocese of Northern Indiana
Registration date : 2013-05-29

PostSubject: Re: Dealing w/ a lot...   Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:21 pm

May light perpetual shine upon her.

You and the family are in my prayers.
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alfredo_buscatti

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Age : 62
Location : Piedmont, North Carolina
Registration date : 2007-12-17

PostSubject: Re: Dealing w/ a lot...   Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:40 am

I think the death and dying phase is exquisitely difficult to experience. You love them and don't want them to go but there it is in your face, day after day, and day after day the only thing that happens is that they get worse. But you remember them healthy, that is the norm, so when they deteriorate, that deterioration is always an affront to what you've experienced with them.

I try to build extra value into the time I spend with my loved ones so that when they do dying and death, I have more to remember them by.
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