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 boy...um...man...that 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 now...you 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 told...me, 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.