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My ironic journey

Mybrotherskeeper's picture

Well I'll begin this by saying that I don't have much family. The most important people in one's life for at least the majority of the 18 years that they take care of you until your legally considered an adult are your parents. Not that many of us are fully ready for all that truly being an adult means and are still very much dependent on your parents or at least that was my experience. Life is unfair and there is nothing you or anyone can do to change that is one of many lessons that pain has taught me. I lost my parents in my early 20's when I was already dealing with trying to raise two almost school- aged children alone while beginning to become severely addicted to opiates that had been prescribed to me for back pain I had. They both died within a year my dad in Dec '08 and mom in Nov '09 which also coincidentally caused me to no longer have the love of Thanksgiving and Christmas like I used to. I had only one brother (we had a sister but she died at 4 years old in a house fire when I was 9 and my brother 7) and once my father died I ended up packing myself and my kids up and moving into the house my dad had since I was 6 months old and I'd spent my whole life in. Me and my brother were close before but, moving in with one another made us even closer. He took over the role of "parental figure" for me even though he was the younger one of the two of us. My addiction drove our relationship to its limits many times but, he was always there whenever I really needed it! My brother has always had this mole in his face for as long as I can remember. It started out around the size of a stylus top. He would sometimes keep a full beard and it wasn't always so noticeable. I can't remember when I, he, or anyone else noticed that it was becoming larger. He spent most of his short life (31 years old) doing hard manual labor and I guess that added to being severely obese @ 410 lbs and the fact both of our parents died while in their 40's caused him numerous health problems such as scullious causing him to become hump- backed and inheriting our father's congestive heart failure left him unable to work. It took him a couple of years and a lawyer that took 25% off his back pay but, he was finally able to get it and for the first time since he was a child he had insurance! I encouraged him tho immediately go see a dermatologist's office and get the mole biopsied. The first time that he went the dermatologist said that it was some type of wart like thing and although I can't recall the exact abbreviation it was the letters and I believe started out as CF something and sprayed it was something similar to freeze off and pieces of it fell off so we'd believed him. Anyway it wasn't long after that something began growing similar to the mole began to grow out of his ear! I immediately made him another appt. and they biopsied it once and it said negative. The dermatologist said that they were going to biopsy deeper and that one came back positive for melanoma skin cancer. They sent him for a pet scan and a MRI and the dr said that it was all in his sinuses, his ear, two places on his face one which was huge, and had metastasis of the back and pelvis. It's considered stage 4 because there are so many spots where it's at. He just got a port put into his chest Tuesday and begins treatment Monday and we are driving to Vanderbilt in Nashville (a 4 hour drive from us) tomorrow to get a second opinion and see a plastic surgeon to see what if anything can be done to get rid of it. Every single time he has to do any test it seems to always be extremely uncomfortable and sometimes unbearable and this is the very beginning of the journey to being cancer free (hopefully). He's told me that if he is told that he's not going to continue the treatment if they tell him that it's only going to prolong his life for a short while and that he's not scared of dying from cancer but, he's terrified of having to live with it. I know that he needs me because I'm really all that he has (he was never married or fathered any kids). It's just decided that it was going to completely take over our lives and quite possibly hurt me indescribably! I wrote this for two reasons 1) in hopes that I'll at least connect with some people who know what he's going through and 2) as a therapy of sorts because I feel as if I carry the whole weight of the world on my shoulders.


NoTimeForCancer's picture

mybrotherskeeper, you have had quite a difficult road.  I am sure your brother appreciates your love and support, and I pray for your family.

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