My maternal grandmother was diagnosed with bowel cancer about 10 years ago, at the age of about 70, and just two years ago, was re-diagnosed with bowel cancer again. The first diagnosis was dealt with slowly but steadily, using a combination of chemotherapy, as well as routine operative surgery to remove the cancer bit by bit. It really helped that the cancer cells were detected very early on. She recovered completely, and was then required to have routine checkups in case the cancer redeveloped. It happened, 10 years later.
The second, current diagnosis of bowel cancer, however, is not going very well. It was detected very early on as well, but the location of the cancer near a large blood vessel this time means that it is too risky to completely remove the cancer, due to fear of excessive blood loss during surgery. This, combined with her age now (going on 82), which understandably means that her body is weaker than it was 10 years ago, has drastically reduced the chances of recovering completely, and the doctors have agreed that the best course of action is to undergo routine chemotherapy to hopefully reduce and control the growth.
It's been almost two years now, her body is physically very weak, but she's still fighting strong. The doctor's are predicting that she has maybe two or three years left. It wasn't easy for me to share this, but I can't say that I'm very close to my grandmother, even though she's the only grandparent I have left. I do love her, and I do want her to be well and healthy again, but I think it's time to accept what's happening, and take it all in stride.
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