Just feeling very, very sad
My paternal grandfather has been suffering from dementia for the past 3 years. Over the past year or so, it has gotten much worse. I haven't been able to visit him in the past 2 years or so, between the kids school schedules, being pregnant, and stuff that comes up with DH's family.
My grandfather, before the dementia, was one of the most wise and intelligent people I knew. Of my maternal grandparents, it always felt that he was the only one that really loved and approved of me when I was young. In my family, that whole "it takes a village to raise a child" is very true, and when I was a teenager and not getting along so well with my dad, I knew I could go to Grandpa for guidance.
By what my mother and brother tell me, Grandpa is functioning on the level of a 5 year old now. He's had a stroke, he's incontinent, stuck in a wheelchair... he doesn't recognize my brother anymore, so I doubt he'll remember me.
It breaks my heart to hear that he's like this, and while I'd rather remember him the way he was the last time I saw him, I know I'll regret it if I don't see him at least one more time, at least so I can come to terms with what he's become.
My youngest cousin (on Dad's side of the family, his older brother's dd) is supposed to be undergoing a bone marrow transplant this month (need to touch base with my aunt (Dad's sister) to see where things stand with her. Cousin is 12, and has some kind of leukemia going... I'm getting all this information 3rd-4th hand. Poor girl has been through so much. She was dx'ed with a cancerous brain tumor 6 years ago, and managed to fight her way through that, and now this. She had a stroke this summer too, and spent most of the summer in the hospital between that and fighting a nasty strep infection.
Fuck you dementia! Fuck you cancer!