The Battle Against Cancer Essay

1570 words - 7 pages

The elderly population is growing rapidly and now makes up greater than 13% of the United States population (U.S. census, 2010). With such a record growth, there are different aspects to aging that are still being analyzed. Many may think of reaching late life as a rite of passage, but many face this time with a different view. As we age, we are faced with various obstacles, and our reaction to these challenges can determine our success or not. Many have tried to define what normal or successful aging is, but many do not fit into a certain category. My grandmother, Beverly, has recently been dealt a crushing blow with her battle against Ovarian Cancer. Through an examination of her life, ...view middle of the document...

Beverly, always has been an independent woman who never let others be concerned with her health. Before the ovarian cancer diagnosis, she has had only minor health problems. She has always been the glue that holds the family together. They are relatively small family that have always relied on them for help during difficult periods in life. For as long as I can remember, they never lived alone. At some point, there was always a child or grandchild living in their home. According to Beverly, “We never wanted anyone to feel unwelcomed (B.W., personal communication, 2014).”
In today’s ever changing society, a typical household might have various definitions. For the past few decades, the multi-generational household’s popularity has been on the rise and has increased 60% since 1990 (Hooyman, 2010, p. 345).Beverly’s household consists of both her and her husband Daniel, and her two adult children, both of whom have been living in the house for a few years. They live in a two-story house within only a few minutes’ drive to downtown Pittsburgh. This living arrangement came slowly overtime. Each of them moved back to Pittsburgh, from other parts of the country. Since they both had a hard time financially living on their own and knowing that their parents needed minor assistance thought living with their aging parents would be a good arrangement. Each member’s bedroom is one a separate level of the house, which gives each one his or her own sense of independence. Beverly and her husband’s bedroom is on the main level of the house which than limits their need for climbing the stairs. Recently the kitchen was renovated and the cabinets were lowered to allow them easier access for supplies. In addition, in the past few years their bathroom was updated with grab bars in the shower due to my grandfather’s poor mobility issues.
They do consider themselves fortunate in terms of financial status. They do not have a large amount of money but due to my grandfather working as an accountant in a higher ranking position for Allegheny county he does have a good pension and retired many years ago. In their younger years, my grandfather had his own band on the Gateway Clipper and worked a full time job. My grandmother always took care of the house and all aspects of the family matters except the financial matters, which she did involve herself in once the children left the house.
Like the lottery, cancer only has two outcomes winners and sadly, losers. Cancer does not discriminate in fact it can choose anyone young, old, rich, or poor. Ovarian Cancer is a cancerous growth arising from the ovary and is the fifth leading cause of death in women (Hatmaker, 2011). Symptoms are usually unnoticed in many early on but may include the following: pelvic pain, difficulty eating, bloating, frequent urination. Heredity, infertility, having a previous diagnosis of endometriosis, and women who are post-menopausal who use estrogen therapies are all at an increased risk for...

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