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 1961He 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 him..my 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 numb...to 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 soul..you have been extraordinary in your love and support and I am better for knowing all of you..
With deep gratitude..