Remembering my Grandfather Who Died of Multiple Myeloma

March 24, 2010 0 Comments

My grandfather died several years ago because of rare blood cancer called multiple myeloma.

We never knew that he had cancer until it was too late. At 75 years old, he was strong and independent. He went to do his errands and would even still climb trees. Whenever he felt some pain, he would just rub some mentholated stick on the area to relieve the pain.

His only ailment was cataract. We had wanted him operated on but he refused.

But then one day, he just fell on his face on the roughly cemented pavement. Because there was no control on his part, his face smacked on the ground and he was all bloodied. We were so scared so we rushed him to the hospital. But the blood part and the surface wounds were just the minor injuries. We never expected the following circumstances.

When we went to the hospital, we were told that his blood sugar shot up to 600+. We were stunned because he told the doctor that he did not have diabetes. So the reason he collapsed was that his blood sugar was way beyond normal levels.

But one of his doctors suspected something and we were referred to an oncologist. My mother just agreed but she did not know what an oncologist means. I told her that is a cancer doctor and asked why would the doctor refer my grandfather to a cancer doctor?

After a very painful bone marrow test where my grandfather only let out a sigh, we learned that he had a rare blood cancer called multiple myeloma, stage 4. Although he was immediately given oral chemotherapy, there was not much hope left for him because his was blood cancer and not just one body part that can be removed. Blood goes all around the body and the cancerous blood has already affected many of his body parts, that was why his blood sugar was that high.

In about a month from the time that we knew he had cancer, my grandfather passed away but he had been very brave. He did say he felt pain, but he would just cringe and had never cried. We could only cry for him.

We wonder where he got his blood cancer. We suspect that he got it from inhaling chemicals while doing dentures, as he was a dental assistant and he continued to make dentures even after retirement. I believe that his case was something like patients who have mesothelioma prognosis because of their exposure to a harmful chemical called asbestos.

We are just thankful that my grandfather has lived that long. But after his death, about a month later, my grandmother also died because of loneliness.

Just remembering the two of them…

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