Friday, December 17, 2010

I've been trying to figure out how to write this blog entry for a while now.  I always try to remain somewhat eloquent and make some sort of sense while relaying the thoughts that are constantly racing around my brain like the Indy 500.  My brain never turns off.  I'm always thinking.  When I'm awake, I'm thinking.  When I'm sleeping, I'm thinking.  When I'm awake but should be sleeping...that's when I think the most.  I've had alot to think about in the past couple of weeks or so, too.  Oh so much to think about.

When you hear the word cancer, what's your first thought?  Heartless monster.  That's mine.  I would never wish cancer on anyone, not my worst enemy and certainly not a family member.  When you hear the news that your younger brother has an advanced stage of cancer, it kind of takes your breath away.  Immediately you think the worst, and no matter how hard you try to think about something else, it consumes you and becomes all you think about.  Trust me, I know.  Sadness, anger, asking why, yelling at anyone or anything that will listen...who could I blame?  Certainly this is someones fault, no?

Let me stop and explain a few things.  I know this is not about ME.  Never will I try to make it about me, when certainly the battle does not lie ahead of ME.  But, this is about to fight, fight, fight; he's my brother.  My younger brother.  My first best friend.   He's my family.  And for those who don't know this by just don't mess with my family.  I don't care who or what you are, that's just a HUGE 'no-no'.

After the initial shock and "oh my God, he's going to die and I'm going to have to be sedated for the rest of my life" 'about me' "moment, I then want to fix it.  What can I do to fix it?  There has to be something, right?  Guess what sister, there's nothing you can do.  Not. One. Thing.  Or is there?  You can pray.  And boy did I pray.  Oh, wait, there's another thing I can do, I can tell others and get them to pray.  And they can get people to pray, and they can get people to pray, etc...I may not be the most religious person you'll ever come across, but damn it, I believe there is something to be said about the power of prayer.  Not everyone believes, and that's fine, but it's what makes ME (about me, again) feel better, makes ME feel like I'm doing something that can help my brother, and that makes ME feel good. (me, me, me)...For those of you reading this who joined me in praying for "the patient", I thank you and my family thanks you...and keep it coming.

There was good news in all of this.  The cancer, even in it's advanced stage can be treated.  Prognosis is good.  His surgery to remove the tumor was a success.  He was released from the hospital a day or so early.  He won't start chemo until after Christmas.  All things considered, this boy is so lucky.  Lucky in so many ways.  Lucky that there has been charitable people who have been made aware of his story, people who wants to help.  (more on this later)  I think he realizes how lucky he is, and that makes me so happy.

Chemo scares me.  This part is about me.  I know what chemo does.  It sucks.  It's a necessary evil that will keep my brother around to play with my children and watch them grow up. Yes, please and thank you.  But I have a feeling it's going to be ugly.  My biggest fear is that my kids won't recognize him.  How do I explain all of this to my young, but so not dumb 3 and a half year old who notices everything?  How do I remain strong for them?  How do I remain strong for HIM?  I think I've done okay up until this point (excluding the meltdown of epic proportion when I was first, me, me), I just hope I can continue it.

His attitude is amazing, I will say.  He's kind of over this whole 'waiting' thing, and just wants to get it started so it can be finished much quicker.  His optimism is inspiring, and I hope it continues.  However, it's okay to be scared.  It keeps you humble, hell, it keeps you human.

I've been thinking alot about other ways I can help.  A fundraiser, perhaps?  Financially, he's been blessed in a few ways, but there will still be expenses.  Then I started thinking about starting an actual charity foundation, to help people who need financial assistance due to cancer treatments.  It's something I've been thinking alot about, actually.  Then I remembered I know nothing about starting a foundation, so advice would be greatly appreciated if there's any to share.
I think I may have rambled enough for now.  The next 6 months are going to be a trying time for all of us, so keep us all in your prayers.  This will be the fight of his life and there is nothing any of us wouldn't do to help him during this journey. 

Love you, Joge. 

1 comment:

  1. Boy, do I ever wish I was back east now to be your friend for hugs, crys, whatever. I know this pain all too well. When the news of my niece having leukemia came, well, let's just say that Cat5 hurricane is putting it mildly. It brings about, as you say, so many emotions and thoughts all at once that it's hard to keep up with it all. I think that's why, in instances like these, emotions just tend to seep out when they do, and those around just need to understand that it's nothing that they did, and to just listen and be there. It's hard for everyone, the most obvious being your brother. But it's a battle that everyone faces, family and friends included. Joe needs his army now more than ever. He needs his platoon ready for battle, knowing what to do, and being steadfast soldiers against this cancer. You know that for sure, but the only thing I can give you now is the strength of my words, my faith, and my prayers. The devil hit you w/ the first pitch, but now you know where his pitches will be, and you all can knock all of the other screwballs outta the park! Hang in there, Lee. All you can do is take things one moment at a time. You have a wonderful husband who will help you share this burden as well, which you are helping your brother to share. All of you share this, his load being the heaviest, of course, but you all share, you all have a duty, and like an army, will carry out orders faithfully and diligently, w/o question or delay, and lead your brother to victory! As far as the kids are concerned, well, the cardinal rule applies "Honesty is the best policy". Keep it simple. They understand more than what we give them credit for sometimes. If you guys as their parents empower them w/ knowledge in a way they can understand it, they won't be so scared. And listen to them and talk their feelings out together. That helps w/ my boys, anyway. They feel more empowered and in control when we just take it to their level. Unfortunately, what's happening right now is just a fact of life, and a sad one at that. Just be honest and forthcoming, and they'll be ok. Lee and Greg, do not doubt yourselves! You are great parents! You are an awesome team together! Joe, you're in my prayers. I will ask my boys to pray for you as well. Well troops... it is time for battle. ON TO VICTORY!!! I love you, Lee!