Sunday, June 7, 2009

Just a note..

Because you all have been so very supportive, helpful, caring and loving, I want to let you know what's been happening.

My brother Larry, has been fighting stage 4 lung cancer for almost a year..his cancer was and remains inoperable.

Larry is 10 years older than me and has always been my hero- even the age difference, or maybe because of if it, he has always been bigger than life to me, as I am certain, all big brothers are all younger siblings.

Me & Larry circa 1961

He called on me a few times during his chemo knowing I had faced my own battle and for the first time in my life, I felt I had something to offer experience.

My sisters had not been through chemo although they were within my staunch network of strength during my crisis.

But this was MY time now, to be strong, to be the voice of experience. I told him of my experiences, not to frighten him, but to give a realistic view of what was ahead.

I didn't sugar coat it, I wanted him to know what was going to be happening. A doctor who has seen it all still has not "been there".. and there are times when they don't or can't tell you what to expect, and when things start happening, you fear the worst.

The chemo was rough and the radiation, the easiest part for me, was extremely hard on him. He was undergoing some experimental processes and that path was unknown.

He loves horses and all thing associated with riding, roping and living the western way of life. So it was not a surprise that while undergoing chemo, he rode often. He lives in a remote area and has the freedom to ride minus distractions.

It was while going out for another ride on Saturday that his left hand was the point of him falling off his horse and hitting the ground full force.

My sister and Larry's wife, Cilla were instrumental in getting the help to transport him to Tucson, where the medical staff first thought it may have been a small stroke.

It was not. The CAT scan confirmed that the lung cancer has spread to his brain and the swelling of the brain is causing the numbness in his hand.

This, too, is inoperable.

Although hesitant to call for fear I may upset him by crying, I decided to take my chances. I wanted to hear his voice and possibly his great Irish laugh..and I did.

My very first question to him was "How's Choppo?" (the horse)

He laughed deeply and said "He's fine. And if you're wondering, I am too.."

We spoke briefly and I am in the process of making plans to go see him (with the rouse of having a "sister's weekend"....shhh! )

My heart is heavy, but knowing he is not currently in pain (other than his back from the fall from Choppo) and that Cilla and Gerri and his family are near to him, I can make plans for my visit, knowing good and well we'll stay up too late laughing and telling the same old stories over and over and knowing that what will be ..will be.

We may not be able to control the circumstances, but we CAN control how we deal with them.

Thank you all from the very bottom of my have been extraordinary in your love and support and I am better for knowing all of you..

With deep gratitude..


Charmingdesigns said...

OOOOH Dear friend, I am so sorry. My prayers are with you and your family!! Laurie

Laurie said...

My prayers are most certainly with all of you, and with the support and prayers of so many of us throughout the world, we will get you through this. God be with all of you,

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

Thank you for sharing Larry's journey with us. I will certainly pray for all of you. I hope you are able to visit him soon and your time is filled with many smiles!

Fondly, Carrie

Heather said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. My prayers are with you and your brother.

Lucy said...

I think it's wonderful that you have a brother that you care about so much and he back to you. I have two brothers....neither of which speaks to me nor I them. I think it was the "original dysfunctional family". Keep close to him.

The Feathered Nest said...

Dear sweet Colleen, I'm so very sorry dear friend, I will keep your brother, you and your entire family in my thoughts and prayers ~ sending you hugs and love across the miles, Dawn

Gaston Studio said...

So sorry about your brother Larry. Words can never express fully how much a person can actually care about another's tragic situation, but I think you'll find that your friends in blogland are truly compassionate.

Artistic Accents by Darla said...

What a touching post! I'm sorry your brother is having to go through so much and I'm also sorry to hear you had to as well!
I hope you have a nice visit with him and enjoy every minute of your time spent with him, helping him.
You're an angel!

Stella said...

More prayers for you coming from England. Big brothers are so special. Cherish the love you share.
God bless

Shari said...

Oh, Colleen, I am so sorry to hear that your dear brother's cancer has spread. Please let him know that we'll be sending up prayers for him and your whole family. I'm so glad that you'll be able to go for a visit with him.

I loved seeing all the pictures of Larry - he has that same wonderful smile that you have. The picture of the two of you from 1961 is very precious. Big brothers are so incredibly special to their little sisters. Mine has always been my hero too . . . so my heart goes out to you.

Our arms are around you, dear friend.

June said...

Oh, I am so very sorry. All I have to do is think of my own brother to feel the magnitude of your pain. I'll be holding you both in the light. I'm glad you can go to him: Laughter IS healing, and you are so good at laughter.

Pearl said...

Hang in there Larry!! Sending prayers your way.

Betty said...

Words can't express my sorrow for Larry's situation and my sorrow for how it is affecting 'the sisters'! My prayers will continue for all of you!

PJ's talking... said...

Here's hoping ya'll have a great visit, and make some more memories for you to cherish. You've very blessed to have a close family. big hug, PJ

wbruch said...

That is news that we didn't want to hear. But all of you come from a long line of fighters!! Be know it rubs off.

Wilf and Jane

Julie said...

Oh, Colleen,

I am so, so sorry. I will be praying for your brother. Keep the faith.

Hugs, Julie

debi @ life in my studio said...

I'm so sorry about your brother...what a difficult time this must be. I love the b + w pic of you and your brother...sooo special.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Hugs, Debi

diane said...

Big brothers are very special. Hoping he doesn't suffer too much.

white o'morn cottage said...

Hi, just cathching up with the blogs. Sorry to hear that your brother has another battle on his hands. I really hope he can get through it. All our love of cours for him and you all.
Paul has to have another operation and some radio therapy. Was not expected but what can you do. Best wishes...Pam

Laurie and Chris said...

I'm so sorry you are going through this. You will get strenght you didn't know you had.