Celebratory ice cream

McKenzie Nelson, Co-Editor-in-Cheif

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My Grandpa Mohr and I have always had a relatively close relationship. We would watch television together, look at photos, and I could always count on the fact that after dinner he would pull a gallon of ice cream out of the freezer that we could have for dessert.

While his habits of eating ice cream for dessert didn’t change, he did. He was still the same person, but as he aged, his health declined.

Cancer. It had been a part of my family since I was little, and almost everyone in my family has had cancer at least once. My mom, my Grandma Nelson, my Grandpa Nelson, and now my Grandpa Mohr.

After my mom told me about my grandpa’s diagnosis, I was reminded of when my Grandpa Nelson passed away when I was in elementary school. I remember regretting not sticking around the nursing home a little longer the last time we saw him because I thought that the homework assignment I needed to finish was more important.

So I listened to my Grandpa Mohr’s stories a little closer, worked on puzzles with him, or just sat in the chair next to him in an attempt to make more memories.

I remember the first time that we saw him after he was done with his radiation. We brought him new flavors of ice cream to eat after dinner.

As time went on, the celebration seemed to mute because my grandma had noticed the wound from radiation wasn’t healing. Even though the wound wouldn’t heal, each appointment confirmed that there wasn’t anything to worry about.

That all changed this fall, when the doctor discovered that my grandpa had skin cancer. It had spread into his bones, and the doctors were worried that without treatment it could be fatal.

So the tests came to see if he could handle being under anesthesia for that long. It was a hectic time of phone calls and appointments. Each one confirming that the surgery would be a risk, but one they thought my grandpa could handle. Once the decisions were made, the date was set, Oct. 19th, 2018.

I was lucky that the surgery was during fall break so I could be with my grandpa and the rest of my family before he had to go into surgery.

Once we went to the hospital for the surgery we all had to say goodbye and we all had to come to terms that this might actually be goodbye.

The time was slow and I didn’t have enough focus to do anything except watch soap operas. The time reached 5 hours, which was as long as we thought it would last, but there was still no news.

It had been eight hours since the surgery started when my grandma came down the stairs with a hop in her step and glassy eyes and told us that they were able to complete the surgery and got all the cancer out.

Lots of things have changed since then, but I make sure to send him lots of pictures and visit him as much as I can so that he knows how much he means to me.

On April 2nd we’ll celebrate my grandpa’s 90th birthday and even though I won’t be able to celebrate with him I’ll make sure to eat a bowl of ice cream after dinner.

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