Friday, December 10, 2010

You make me feel like dancing!

posted by The Sailor @ 5:57 PM Permalink

My youngest brother has had a brain tumor growing in his head since he got treated for leukemia when he was 9.

At the time it was an experimental treatment, and involved chemo and radiation, massive doses of each.

All those pictures of skinny little bald kids and such that you've seen on TV? Yeah, that was him. But he survived and has been in remission for 40+ years.

But survival doesn't come without a cost. He had a seizure a few weeks ago. The local hospital he was ambulanced to knew they were unable to deal with it and ambulanced him to a hospital that had the facilities to diagnose what was going on. Massive BENIGN brain tumor.

He was in brain surgery for 14 hours. He was in ICU for days, the dainbramaged [sic] ward for weeks, a rehab facility for more weeks, but Monday he gets to come home for more rehab, but at least he's home (well, not exactly home, it's a friend's house. A competent friend who can do more for him than I/we can.)

He's had problems as an adult, and he and I have been estranged for years. But maybe that damn thing in his head was part of that. Even if we're not as close as we were at one time, I think he's going to be better than he has been for years.

It makes me feel like dancing.



At 5:14 PM, Blogger Bill Arnett said...

I'm so happy for you and your brother, my friend.

Please think and remember, when you say, "He's had problems as an adult, and he and I have been estranged for years. But maybe that damn thing in his head was part of that…", that you have properly identified one of the sure signs of persons living through hell within themselves. The pain can be like nothing you can imagine, for unlike broken limbs, neurological pain grants no surcease and, helpless before the pain humans, like any living being withdraws to metaphorical solitude where it seems that any/everything aggravates the pain and causes the wounded to lash out even at those most trying to help. It ain't personal; the wounded don't wish to drive people away; it's just better sometimes to let go of friends and family and attempt to lead a "normal" life, whatever that might be, without adding the distress caused by purposely or not offending those that care. Sometimes your brother has to let go and suffer his pain, your pain, your family's pain, and all the pain the world normally provides, aggravated, exaggerated, and, when the pain is really freakishly bad, don't assume any responsibility for it, it is a force of nature that cannot be relieved and is not the fault of you or any other family members. Love him while he's here, miss him when someday he's gone, and remember him always. And call me anytime you want, friend, I truly enjoy our conversations.

At 4:14 PM, Blogger The Sailor said...

There was no extra pain involved, (AFAIK), it was just he would be incompetent sometimes.

I would notice when we worked a job together he would do great for a couple of days and then couldn't do the simplest thing. Same when he was my mate sailing.

I thought it was the brothers' dynamic, so I got him work with other folks. Same story.

We thought it might be drugs, and there's a history of that, but now I look back and see his anger about being accused unjustly, I've got to go with the brain tumor.

Haven't seen him yet, I can't go because I've got a cold, but a visit is definitely in the near future.

Regardless of whether we get along again, this may be the best thing that's happened to him for years.

Jebus, I feel like such an a**hole for even writing that.


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