As I was eager to get back on track with my blogging after my midterm examinations, but I had received news about my already ailing Grandfather. His cancer has turned for the worse; a Stage IV Gastric Adenocarcinoma with metastases in his liver. That being said, he is terminal. Most likely my next few blogs will for him. So, instead of a pure photography, medical school, or music entry, this is going to be for my Gramps.
As I am typing this (February 13, 2012 at 12:15am), I am sitting in my grandparents’ kitchen table, taking a break from my readings (yes, even if I am currently in Pangasinan and will ultimately be excused from school activities this week, I still need to read), my Grandpa is still fighting… even when he said so himself “I can’t fight any longer.”
He was confined for over a month in AUFMC, where my sis, Debbie, is currently a resident in training in the Department of Internal Medicine, but requested to return home at Pangasinan to wait for the inevitable. I wasn’t planning on coming along with the entire family as I still had classes, but as a request from my family, and my grandpa himself, I certainly can’t turn a whim. So, just like that, packed my clothes, laptop, and my trusty camera (along with booooooooooooks) and ended up here.
Here with most of my family, missing in action for now are my Dad and my Uncle Dario. Dad will be here later in the day and Uncle Dario will most likely be here by Thursday, which might be too late for him to see Gramps… And I will make it back home at Angeles for 3 or so exams on Thursday as well; I will be back on Friday though…
Another leader of a band is about to go, as my Gramps from my Dad’s side of the family passed away when I was younger… very young, in fact, that I didn’t know the very concept of death. Not saying now I know how to deal with death, no, it’s harder now that I understand what death and dying is, and in this field that me and my sister chose for our careers, we will no doubt have patients that will die on us, but me being just a second year medical student, and my sister being a first year resident, I don’t think we’re quite ready to have this, let alone, have our Gramps die on us (well, even more so for me…). I’m also not saying that losing this grandpa is harder than that of my father’s side, they were both tough.
I always told this to my friends in class that it’s wonderful to see all my relatives and have my eldest sister visit here (completed our pack) but given the circumstances that brought them here, it’s quite sad. But that’s just the way it is…
Apart from the song “Leader of the Band”, the other song that is running around my head is Third Eye Blind’s “How’s It Going To Be”; How’s it gonna be, when you are not around… Wonder how the world lives on the way it was when my Gramps leaves… How’s it gonna be, when there’s no one there to talk to between you and me… Our conversations, albeit, not always making sense and filled with a lot of needless conjunctions and the like, they did mean more than they ever made sense… if that makes sense.
Grandpa, or Tatang as I would like to call him, is now 88 and really at the end of the road; he lived a great, great life, that’s for sure. All his children, of course including my Mom, have all come a long way; they have or have had great careers in their respective professions; his children’s children, are reaching their goals; he has done a great job. He should have nothing left to teach his children, or even us; he has nothing left to worry about… we won’t abandon each other.
This really puts perspective to my chosen career path. At first, I felt that I can’t handle this. But it’s natural seeing that he is my grandfather in all, that’s why I can’t be objective… everything becomes subjective and biased. Right now, my emotions are taking the best of me. I thought since I’m a guy, I can’t be this emotional, but was I wrong. With him… I promise, that I will become the best surgeon I can ever be.
To my Grandpa, Tatang, I salute one of the toughest trooper I have ever met. You fought hard and long; You became a great father and that of a grandfather; You are the Leader of this Band; and How’s It Going To Be when you are not around? That I am not too certain, but I can assure him, that we will take care of each other and make him proud.
I love you, Tatang.