A One-Track Life in Understanding the Unthinkable

  • April 24, 2017, 12:54 p.m.
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  • Public

We went to Tampa to see my brother last week. He had a bad night on Friday and was still struggling when we arrived Saturday. His breathing was rapid and shallow, he had a lot of pain in the ribcage area, sensitive to touch, and his fingernails looked blue-ish/purple-ish. His wife called the ambulance and took him to the hospital.

They gave him a super dose of oxygen and his color got better but then the doctor came in with the scans and the news wasn’t good: left lung is collapsed, right lung is filling up and a “mass” or “congestion” was outside the lung, as well. The word “lymphoma” was mentioned.

The endoscopy revealed esophageal cancer. He had a few days of touch and go, and when I left yesterday, I wasn’t sure he’d survive the night, but he has improved a little and if he can maintain, they will insert a feeding tube in the hope of strengthening him enough to return home to die. It’s been a roller coaster ride. I know my younger brother had a brief rally before he died, so while I’m not saying anything, I suspect the same may be happening with this brother.

In the meantime, I’m dealing with the knowledge that with my older brother’s death just a few weeks ago and my younger brother’s ongoing health struggle, I will be the last remaining member of my original family. It is, to say the least, a bit of a shock.

Eldest son has been in Colorado, but will visit my brother when he gets back tonight. My brother’s son is here (he teaches surfing in Hawaii), so it’s good that the cousins are reconnecting.

Thankfully, work has been light, so the flexibility allows us to drive at a moment’s notice, which helps. I’m staying on top of paperwork and household obligations so there’s no short-changing anyone. I’ve handed over the reins to the non-profit to our vice president for the time being.

I wish I had something more interesting to write about, but my life seems to be one-track these days!

GypsyWynd April 24, 2017

I'm so sorry. I'll keep praying.

ConnieK GypsyWynd ⋅ April 24, 2017

Thanks. The prayers are so appreciated. HUGS

QueenSuzu April 24, 2017

I am so sorry to hear this, was really hoping that things would improve. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers ((hugs)).

ConnieK QueenSuzu ⋅ April 24, 2017

Thank you. I appreciate it.

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