Smoky Mountain Colors

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Saying Good Bye

Warning: this is a rare occasion where I publicly vent.

Sunday, April 23, 2006, my aunt passed away from cancer. She was a heavy smoker and found she had lung cancer 4 years ago when they removed one lung. Since then it's been a terrible and horrific chain of events as the cancer spread in spite of every kind of treatment you can think of. Once it got to her brain about 2 months ago she stopped all treatment. The doctor's could do nothing more for her. So on Sunday, she left this life to go onto her next.

I'm sad, frustrated and hurt all at one time. Her and my uncle lived with me while I was young (3-5 years old). Then they were our neighbors for many years. They didn't have a child at the time, so I was their kid too. Their only son is now 35 years old.

I hope that I haven't offended anyone with his post, that is not my intent. But, (you knew that but, was coming) watching and being in a persons life that is dying, slowly from something that could have been prevented is a frustrating thing. Every time I seen her over the past 4 years more and more of her was gone. Her life was in one room, a good day was walking to the bathroom by herself. She unfortunately isn't the only family member that I have watched slowly go.

My uncle and one of her sisters for the most part were her caretakers 100% of the time. They both smoke.

For 20 years I have lived with an inhaler within reach of me, 24 hours a day. I would love to go a day without having times where I struggle to breath. I would love to never have to use medicines to get through the day. And yet, people like my aunt and uncle daily, decide to take their breath away.

Choices, it's about choices.


jackie said...

I'm with you in this one. I am a puffer-aholic too. Thankfully, no one in my family smokes (excecpt my brother, but we won't talk about WHAT he smokes) And I am an ex-smoker. My husband hates it and convinced me to quit. It was easy actually, because I was ready to. It was also hard because I had to change my whole life. I had to away from all of those "I want to smoke" triggers. Which ment I left a lot of my smoking friends behind. When I look at all of my healthy children and wake up being able to breath, I am thankful for my decision of more than 12 years ago.

Cathy said...

I'm with you on this one, too. It's really sad people make the choice to smoke even though it's undeniably bad for your health. Not mention they're made by an industry that has deceived the public for many decades. It's sad. I'm sorry for your loss.

jenifleur said...

I'm so sorry. My mother is dying of lung cancer right now. They've given her 8-12 mos if her chemo and radiation helps. She has smoked for 40 years. The cancer was only discovered after it had spread to her spine and now her lymphnodes (all within weeks) and it's devastating for the whole family. I'm terrified of watching her die, more than I am afraid of the actual loss. And every thing about this that is painful? The fact that it was a choice that caused it twists the knife.