Thursday evening, I arrived home full of anticipation and excitement to spend time with my family and celebrate Christmas, even if it was a week late. Shortly after arriving home, my mom received a phone call from my uncle and by looking at her face, I knew exactly the news that he was delivering. Grandma had passed away.
In November of 1999, Grandma was first diagnosed with cancer. After two surgeries and 6 rounds of aggressive chemotherapy in the first year the doctors decided there was no more that they could do, placed her on hospice and gave her six weeks to live.
The family was devastated and we celebrated the first of several what we thought would be Grandma's last Christmas in 2000. Grams continued to live at the farm and have nurses come to house on a regular basis to care for her. After 3 years, the decision was made that it was time to move her to a nursing home. My Grandpa willing went with her and joined her in an assisted care facility. While there she had her ups and downs until she fell and fractured her hip and had to enter the hospital. During this time, my Grandpa moved back to the farm when it was believed that my Grandma would not ever leave the hospital.
After being in the hospital for about a year it was decided that she would move back to the nursing home. At some point she went off hospice and returned to the nursing home. In April of this year, the family was called in and told that she would not live through the night and was placed on hospice, again. Well, being the fighter that she is, Gram lived through the night and kept on improving until she was taken off hospice care in August.
On Thursday morning, one of the nurses called my mom and told her that Gram's lungs were filling up with fluid and that they would like to place her on hospice for a third time. Knowing that my grandma did not like being on "end of life" care, because she never saw herself as dying, my mom said no. The nurse responded that she was in my grandma's room and that gram had agreed to hospice care this time. Later that day, only a few hours after my grandpa's daily visit to her, she took her last breath.
As much as I miss her, I am so glad that she doesn't have to suffer anymore.
[Edit]: My brother brought up a very good point after reading this post. Grandma never once complained or said "why me?" during her 7 year battle with cancer. She was a very brave and strong woman.