The News

Last night my mom have me the news about my grandmother that I have dreaded: she has maybe a month or two to live.

She is currently battling Stage 4 bowel, bladder and spine cancer. This is just three years after she underwent a mastectomy to get rid of Stage 3 breast cancer in spring 2011.

She is a fighter, that is for sure. She has always been. Strong, confident, and tough as nails.

When my mom told me this last night, I went numb. This woman is my person! She is my go-to gal for anything and everything. We have always had a strong bond, since I was a little girl.

My mom was a hardworking mom and her job required travel form time to time, and some longer hours. There was my grandmother! I would go to her house and all was right with the world. I would play “dress up” in her jewelry armoire and put on the “diamondy” jewelry (I was 5 so I said words like diamondy). I now have that armoire in my sitting room and every time I open a drawer I think of the little girl that so wanted to be like her grandmother.

My mom, sis and I joke that my grandmother is Emily Gilmore. But she REALLY is. My grandmother always wore killer designer suits and dresses to church. She ran a nursing program at none of the best hospitals in the area for four decades. She was on a million boards and committees. My grandfather and her toured the world and traveled a lot. They gave back to the community.

Never mind that my grandmother looked like Emily Gilmore, but was also one tough cookie in a fancy dress. But she is the greatest. And my sister and I are her world.

I was always by my grandmother’s side since I was a little baby. She is the one that taught me how to bake. She is the one that would pick me up from school and take me to choir practice. She taught me the piano. She supports me in anything I do.

She is my cheerleader and I am hers.

I simply cannot fathom a world without her. Without her saying things like “Right-O!” when getting off the phone with you or calling people a “dilly” when they do something silly.

I have admired this woman since I was pulling on the hems of her Sunday best. I am not ready.

She may be ready to be reunited with my grandfather, but I am not ready. I am selfish. I want her around for many more years.

I NEED her around for many more years. Wy has only had 3.5 years with her and that isn’t enough.

She is my therapist, my dearest friend, my role model, my hero, my Julia Child, my favorite person on this planet.

The loss of my grandfather gutted me (he died on my birthday six years ago) as he was the man that I thought raised the sun. He was the sweetest, most marvelous man.

But I had my grandmother. She would be there.

These two people are my pillars of strength. They are where I always got my support, undying love, laughter, great stories.

She cannot go. I cannot fathom a world where my grandmother isn’t just a phone call away. Or where I can’t tell her all about work or Wy or life. Where Wy can’t go over and cuddle with her on the couch.

I am not ready. I cannot wrap my head around this.

She is my hero. My person.

And there will be a permanent hole in my heart if she passes.

I won’t be the same without her. And I am devastated.

Just utterly devastated.

There’s a couple of stages of having a chronic disease; there’s the being sick - like suddenly you’re sick and you don’t know what’s wrong. And that can be super terrifying depending on how severe your symptoms are. Then there’s the being diagnosed part which comes along with this word chronic, which inside of it hiding there is the word incurable - which no one says out loud but which is the worst word. It means, not only has your life changed, your life has changed irrevocably.
—  Hank Green on Living with a Chronic Disease
wear darkness like a cloak, drink starlight. fear is not for you.

[Note: *Insert general “We All Have Opinions” disclaimer here.//For more information as to how these decisions came about, see The Totally Unofficial Fifth Harmony Sorting Poll]

Fifth Harmony Hogwarts House Sorting: Lauren Jauregui, Slytherin

Or perhaps in Slytherin
You’ll make your real friends,
Those cunning folks use any means 
To achieve their ends.

It is better to be hated for what you are, than loved for what you are not.
-André Gide

Lauren’s eyes still occasionally flash with the fire of a starving tiger and then she still tries to giggle and shrug it off like she’s the least ambitious Catholic school girl ever because she’s smart enough to know now is not the time to unleash the beast. (x)

Chronic illness is so different from “regular illness.”
No one is running medicine and soup over to your house when you say you don’t feel good. No one is running you to the hospital when you’re crumpled up in pain. Doctors don’t run around you ordering immediate tests and skipping lunch to go over your results.
You’re not excused from anything. You’re just expected to go about your life with way less spoons than everyone else has. If you’re in pain, you hide it, because it’s not a rare occurrence. If you need a doctor’s appointment, well the next one’s in five weeks at a time/day that you need to cancel all your plans for. And if you can’t make that one, well the next ones in 3 months. Need some tests done? We’ll order one at a time, and they’ll take a few weeks to have a spot open for you. Then a few more weeks to get the results. Medicine?! You don’t need medicine. You get through school/work just fine. Not like we’d know what to prescribe you anyway. And not like it’d actually help. Have you tried some Advil? Tums? You’ve had this for how many years? You must be used to it. We need to focus on the people coming in with NEW pains. Pains we may actually have a diagnosis for, and not just a coverall name.