Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Only Thing That Really Matters

Warning: this post is not at all on topic and not very pleasant. I just need somewhere to vent and this is where I do it. You may prefer to go visit with some of my friends in the blog roll to the left.

First I'd like to thank everyone for all the support, prayers and emails. They are so greatly appreciated. I'm packed and will soon be on the road to Virginia to see my brother and his family. Things have been a whirlwind with his condition changing almost hourly it seems.

We have a diagnosis and it's not good. He has Pancreatic Cancer, stage 3 or maybe 4. We will know more for sure after the next MRI to check for metastases. Either way, it's not good. The tumor has invaded his arteries and veins and is inoperable. The prognosis is a matter of weeks, or if we get lucky, maybe months.

The doctors haven't actually told them that yet, but with my medical knowledge and what we have been told, I know. I am trying to hang on to the last little shred of hope that he will be in the less then 5% of people who beat this diagnosis, but that's been very difficult for me.

I feel as if I am stuck in a bad nightmare and I can't wake up. Because of my 30+ years working in the medical field my family always looks to me to explain things in plain language. I haven't had the courage yet to explain it all too them. I feel like I owe it to my brother and his wife to make sure they understand first, and I refuse to do that until I'm with them. Then we will have to tell their boys, I don't know how I am gonna be able to do that. The youngest is only 12. How do you tell a 12 year old boy who's father has been absent for large portions of his life, due to deployments to war, that his father may die, very soon?

My family up here where I live are either firmly in denial, or creating drama because they can't quite get that this isn't about THEM. Makes me want to slap all of them. For Musicman and I this brings up not only the pain of possibly losing my brother, but some very bad memories. This is almost the exact same scenario in which we lost his mother. She was admitted to the hospital with vague pains, diagnosed with widespread cancer and passed 6 weeks later. She never made it back home. We know exactly what they are facing and it's going to be brutal for everyone.

My goal now is to get to my brother and hope we can get him stable enough to go home. Right now, that's looking very doubtful. He is on a pain pump and a feeding tube. He is very weak and they were hoping to get him more stable, then do surgery. They can not remove the tumor but are going to try and bypass it so he can eat again. The surgery was supposed to be tomorrow or the next day, but he's not tolerating the tube feeding and will go into surgery later today. If he makes it through that, we might have a chance of getting him home.

At some point he will start chemotherapy, with the goal of shrinking the tumor enough to relieve some of his pain and maybe give him a few more weeks. That is if once he knows and understands, he doesn't give up. He's young, only 39, he has access to some very good doctors, if he fights, he might make it. We just gotta convince him of that and get him to fight with us. If we can, I'd like to try and get him into a clinical trial, that's his best bet for surviving this.

As things stand right now, I will be coming back home late Saturday. We both have to go back to work on Monday. I'm hoping to have a concrete plan of action for moving forward before we have to come back. I'm very much hoping to wake up soon from this nightmare and having some good news to share.  Maybe even something on topic occasionally.

If you've read this far, thank you. If you take anything from this post, let it be this: live every day like it's your last. Be generous in giving your love and open to receiving love, that's really the only thing in life that really matters.


  1. Safe travels faerie.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

  2. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


  3. I"m so sorry... I can feel your pain and my eyes are damp.

    I will pray. and send positive thoughts. there isn't much else we can do, except be here to listen when you need us.


  4. Oh God Faerie I am so sorry. I know it's hard enough having to deal with something this awful, but then to have the added pressure of everyone looking to you for answers makes it even harder. I too am the one my family looks to when a health crisis crops up and I know how hard it is when the answers you give aren't what they hope to hear. Lean on Musicman concentrate on your brother and his family and feel free to vent and rant to us as much as you need to. My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family.

  5. I'm so, so sorry. My thoughts are with you.

  6. I'm so sorry to read this. I feel like this year has been so so hard on families when it comes to illness.. It's just not fair.

    Sending you courage, strength, patience and love.

  7. Hugs, prayers and strength.....your family needs someone and that someone is you..lucky for them. I will keep you in my thoughts..hugs..

  8. All I can say is that my thoughts and prayers are with you as you deal with this crisis. And as Abby said, the family needs you although it is a difficult burden for you. I hope the support of all your blogger friends will help you as you deal with this. I'm sure we all would like to send our hugs.


  9. Uggg I fucking hate cancer. I am not yet 35 and I have lost one friend, had another friend who just had her 2nd round in the last 10 years and have lost two family members, one just about a month ago now.

    It is ugly, and I really feel for you and your family. Your support will mean a lot to them.

  10. I haven't words that are good enough Faerie only this (((( hug))))

  11. Oh Faerie, So sorry to hear ((Hugs)) to you and yours.

  12. Safe travels. Take care of each other. My prayers and thoughts will be with you all!


  13. Faerie, it hurts to read this. I cannot even imagine. I'm thinking of you lots and hoping your brother will pull through. (((hugs)))

  14. I'm so sorry, Faerie. Prayers being said for you and your family.

  15. My heart goes out to you and all those close to you. I've seen too much cancer and can only offer you prayers for whatever the future brings.
    I'm sure you know how wonderful hospice can be for everyone.
    Take good care of yourself these stressful times ahead.

  16. Oh faerie, im never any good at knowing what to say in these circumstances, but do know your in my thoughts, prayers for you all.


  17. Oh faerie I am so sorry. I'll email you.

    Dee x

  18. i'm so sorry faerie. Sending love and healing energy for all of you.

  19. Will be praying for you and your brother faerie. You have dealt with so much loss that you know how to step outside your own pain and help in all the right ways. Keep leaning on your MM though...knowing how tough this will be.

    Thinking of you.

  20. Oh fairie I am so sorry, I must have missed a post. I send my thoughts and prayers to you and your family.
    My sister is the go to medical person in our family. It is such an emotional burden in times like these. I will be thinking of you and hoping!

  21. 39 years old and having young children. It just is not fair. I recognize what you go through, so my thoughts are with you.

  22. Faerie,
    I'm so sorry to read this. Take care of yourself and yours. Your brother is lucky to have you at his side. My thoughts are with you.
    Lots of hugs, Julia

  23. I'm so sorry to hear this, faerie. My thoughts and prayers go out to your brother, his family, and you.

  24. Hugs! I am familiar with this type of cancer. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  25. It's hard when you feel like you have to be the one who is stoic, sensible, and holds everyone together. Part of you is glad that that's one thing you can do, when you feel like you want to do something. The other part of you wants to fall apart, just like everyone else. You, your brother, and all who love him, are in my prayers. It's hard to have hope, sometimes, when you are in the medical field, and you "know things". Just keep in mind that miracles continue to happen every day. The doctor told me that my husband would die before the night was up, and he's with me 3 years later. Yet I prayed for my mom, and she went on to heaven that same year. I will first ask God that if at all possible in His plan, that your brother be healed, that He will heal him. If not, then He will give him, and you all, everything that you need to make it through this time with comfort and peace from Him. My younger brother had GB surgery today for sudden onset gallbladder problems. Just that little thing made me pray for him, because I love him so. I can not imagine what you are going through right now with your brother in such a state. You all will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. -Belle L.

  26. Be generous in giving your love and open to receiving love, that's really the only thing in life that really matters. -Amen-