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One year ago today.....

Susie_Brendon's picture
Susie_Brendon
Posts: 141
Joined: Feb 2011

My loving husband passed away a year ago today from EC. Please keep our family in your prayers and thoughts today as we try to focus on the good things Brendon brought into our lives rather than the sadness we experienced on this day.

My prayers go to each of you on this site as I know the pain and struggles you have or are experiencing.

God Bless,
Susie

BMGky
Posts: 666
Joined: May 2010

Prayers for comfort in your memories.

BMGky

Susie_Brendon's picture
Susie_Brendon
Posts: 141
Joined: Feb 2011

Brendon passed away on June 19, 2011 after a 4 month battle with esophageal cancer. Brendon was strong, healthy, and only 38 years old when he was diagnosed. After chemo & radiation, but prior to surgery, Brendon's cancer spread to the fluid in his abdomen. Dr. Luketich was still planning on operating (MIE) after an initial team would be filling his stomach up with liquid chemo, heating the chemo to a high temp, and then scraping all the lining to remove any cancer cells. Brendon was prepped and went into surgery. Within an hour (when the surgery should have lasted closer to 8 to 10 hours), Dr. Luketich came and sat with me. He explained how Brendon's cancer had not only spread to his abdomen but was basically covering him internally...small intestine, large intestine, cancer leading up to his liver. I took Brendon home from Pittsburgh shortly after we had him stabalized where he started a new, different kind of chemo. A blood clot to his lungs put Brendon back in the hospital. (Even though we had a filter put in to catch those nasty blood clots) He passed away 5 days later, on Father's Day. I miss Brendon so much but I know that he is watching over me and the girls.

Our 3 year old daughter, asks me all the time... "When is Daddy going to wake up".... I'm not sure that question will ever get any easier to answer.

Freida
Posts: 191
Joined: Nov 2011

Gosh Susie, in the 7 1/2 months since Bill was diagnosed I have learned more about this horrible cancer than I would have ever hoped to and did not think I could be shocked by it any more. But to read your story and how young your husband was and how rapid and aggressive the cancer, well words fail me. I am so very sorry for your loss and hope that you are able to find joy in your daughters and pleasure in seeing those parts of your dear husband that lives on in them. I hope the pain has become a little less raw as time goes on. Hugs to you and your girls.

stephikindred's picture
stephikindred
Posts: 153
Joined: Mar 2012

What a heartbreaking story! Thank you for sharing it as I have joined the board more recently. I am very sorry for the loss of your dear husband. I can't imagine how difficult life is for you and your little ones without Brendon. Please know you all will be in my thoughts today and I am sending loving and positive thoughts to you all!

Love,
Stephanie

FunGuy's picture
FunGuy
Posts: 22
Joined: Nov 2011

This hit me hard, reading your post. I was 36 when they found my tumor and operated. It's changed my life radically but I'm still here kicking and screaming.

Your husband looks like a great guy and a strong dude. Please be proud of the fact that you have made it through a very difficult year.

-Paul

paul61's picture
paul61
Posts: 1115
Joined: Apr 2010

Susie,

It is amazing that it has been a year already. I remember well the shock of hearing that Brendon had passed away in the hospital. He seemed so young and strong and we all had such high hopes when you went to Pittsburgh. This cancer can do some very unexpected things. Those of us who are fortunate enough to still be here know each day is a gift.

I remember what a strong advocate you were for Brendon. You were his caregiver, researcher, cheerleader, and protector.

Prayers and positive thoughts headed your way

Best Regards,

Paul Adams
Grand Blanc, Michigan

DX 10/22/2009 T2N1M0 Stage IIB
12/03/2009 Ivor Lewis
2/8 through 6/14/2010 Adjuvant Chemo Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU
Two year survivor

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!

Daisylin's picture
Daisylin
Posts: 380
Joined: May 2011

I, like Paul remember what a horrible shock it was to our little family when you lost your Brendon. My heart broke for you, and I still think of you and your positive, strong and upbeat attitude during your fight. You inspired me and many others with your knowledge, care and compassion.

I now know the agony of losing your loved one, and I do feel your pain. I thank you for the update, and of course I am keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Also, we have a smallish group on facebook, ladies that have lost our husbands to this horror of a disease. I'm sure you will remember some of them. Please let me know if you want to join us there, we try to keep it positive and supportive, although some days it's so hard!

Be well, my friend
Chantal
wife of Lee
deceased Nov 8, 2011

Bermudagirl
Posts: 120
Joined: Jun 2012

My deepest condolences to you.

Bermudagirl
Posts: 120
Joined: Jun 2012

My deepest condolences to you.

Bermudagirl
Posts: 120
Joined: Jun 2012

My deepest condolences to you.

bingbing2009
Posts: 179
Joined: Feb 2011

Susie, how very well I remember you and Brendon. My husband and I were just discussing the other day about you losing Brendan on Father's Day. It was such a shock--the loss of one so very young.

My heart goes out to you. You remain in my thoughts and prayers.

Sending hugs,
Melinda

DX October 2009: T3N1M0
November and December 2009: chemo (Cisplatin and 5 FU) and radiation
February 2010: Ivor Lewis surgery

Susie_Brendon's picture
Susie_Brendon
Posts: 141
Joined: Feb 2011

Sorry!

Susie_Brendon's picture
Susie_Brendon
Posts: 141
Joined: Feb 2011

Father's Day has always been a difficult day for me anyway. My dad died of cancer March 20th, 1998 so Father's Day was always sad. Father's Day falls in the same week of my dad's birthday, June 20th, (today!) and my parents anniversary (June 26th). Now my family will always remember Brendon losing to cancer on Father's Day and then again on his actual passing date (June 19th).

Do you think there is anyway I can just skip the 3rd week of June??????

Thanks Melinda for your message and for remembering Brendon and I.

GerryS's picture
GerryS
Posts: 238
Joined: Aug 2010

Susie,
Thanks for posting again and it really doesn't seem like it has been a year! I remember your journey and I will continue to offer my prayers for your young family. God Bless..

Gerry

birdiequeen's picture
birdiequeen
Posts: 329
Joined: Mar 2011

I have been wondering how you and your girls are doing. I think of Brendon often as my husband works with Brendon's relative. I hadn't put it together until Brendon last hospital stay. We have missed your spirit here on the board. It is very nice to get your update and our hearts breaks with you on this day. There is much goodness to focus on and I pray you found that focus today.

Take Care,
Lee Ann

Susie_Brendon's picture
Susie_Brendon
Posts: 141
Joined: Feb 2011

Words can not express the thank you each of you deserve for supporting families and friends who have to go through this horrible cancer.

Last night my girls and I filled 40 (how old Brendon would have been) helium balloons. Inside each balloon we put a note with the EC ribbon, an EC fact, and photo of Brendon. We let them go outside "up to Heaven with daddy". Living in Kansas, we had a wonderful windy day to take the balloon high into the sky!

Thank you again for everyone's kind thoughts, prayers, and love.

Susie

cher76's picture
cher76
Posts: 302
Joined: Nov 2010

Susie,
I was so glad to see your post here! I had been thinking about you lately and wondering how you were getting along. I don't frequent the site as much as I did before. Rickie lost his battle on Jan. 4, of this year. He was not a candidate for surgery and the cancer metastasized to his spine and eventually to his brain. It has been so hard, and even though we think we are prepared for it, I guess we never really are. I always enjoyed reading your posts as you always tried to stay upbeat in the face of this horrible disease. Love the balloon idea. Our youngest granddaughter, Avery, is 3 also, and she is constantly asking "When is Grandpa coming back from heaven?" One day shortly after Easter, when she asked my daughter that question, my daughter explained that he was in heaven with Jesus. Avery turned right around and said, "Well, Jesus came back from heaven!" How do you answer that?? Out of the mouth of babes...
Know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers,
Cheryl
wife of Rickie dx Oct 2010 Stage IV EC
Mets to bones and brain
Deceased Jan. 4, 2012

Donna70's picture
Donna70
Posts: 920
Joined: Aug 2009

Dear Susie,
So sorry, I remember your struggles well and Brendon's fight to get more time. Cannot believe it is a year. So sorry too that all these unhappy days have occurred around the exact time of year, like all the hurt clumped into one-two weeks. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Tell your little girl, Daddy is awake but in a different place and watching over her with so much love. You will find your own right words in your own good time. many hugs,
Donna70

JReed's picture
JReed
Posts: 463
Joined: Nov 2011

Susie:

I am so sorry you and the girls have had to go through this. What a tragic loss you have suffered and Brendon is so young.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE your idea of putting an EC fact and photo of Brendon in a helium filled balloon. I hope you won't mind if I were to borrow your idea. What an awesome way to spread the word on EC and our loved ones who are battling the beast or have battled this beast.

I will always remember Brendon and you and your littles on Father's Day. My grandfather was born on June 18, my mom on June 25th and I was born on June 21 - so now I will add your family to my Father's Day people to remember.

Peace be with you,
Judy

Susie_Brendon's picture
Susie_Brendon
Posts: 141
Joined: Feb 2011

Judy -

The girls and I wanted something that we could do as a tradition, a memorial, and something to spread the word. On some of the facts, the girls added their own story (Hi, I'm 3 years old and my dad died on Father's day) and put their name and address. The older girls (age 11 and 13) are excited thinking maybe someone will find their message and write to them. We also wanted to include something that would count the years and we decided to go with Brendon's age rather than the number of years since he passed away, that way we can add another balloon every year to represent the celebration of life. It was also something my 3 year old could understand now and participate in.

I think it's important to get the word out so others have more of a chance than my Brendon did with early diagnosis. Brendon's tumor was large already once they found it.

I will remember your family as well that week of June.

God Bless,
Susie

JReed's picture
JReed
Posts: 463
Joined: Nov 2011

Susie:

You and your girls are so brilliant! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful memorial to Brendon. I really hope this catches on and everyone will be sending up periwinkle colored balloons with facts and photos epecially during EC awareness month.

You really should put this up as a separate post - very touching and absolutely brilliant.

Thank you again for sharing this and the permission to 'borrow with pride' your great idea.

Hugs to you and the girls,
Judy

mrsbotch
Posts: 377
Joined: Oct 2010

Susie

I so remember all of hour posts about Brendon last year. We were all so happy that he would see Dr. Lukitich.
Our hearts were so heavy when we realized that life as you knew it with Brendon was. No more. You are a bright, sweet
loving wife who did EVERYTHING you could for hour precious husband.

May you and your family find more peace and comfort with the passing of time.

Thank you for sharing your story with us once again.

Love
Barbara

sandy1943's picture
sandy1943
Posts: 883
Joined: Jun 2010

Susie, So glad to hear from you. It doesn't seem like a year since Brendon passed. I beleive we were all shocked how fast Brendons illness went. We all had so much optimism,he would be cured. There's one thing for sure, this beast is hard to fight as evidenced by the many new ones, that are joining our family.
You are often in my thoughts and always in my prayers,
Sandra

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