Cancer

There is some hope that this is wrong, but yesterday I was told my brother may only have a few weeks. He can’t keep any food down and is repeatedly in the hospital with severe dehydration due to diarrhea. According to my sister, the doctor, this is how it can often end. People repeatedly go to the hospital until they give up and go home to die with hospice. So it went from a few months to a few weeks overnight. I was pretty freaked out yesterday. One of my best friends is a therapist. She was a godsend last night. I talked to her for an hour and let me tell you a friend that is a therapist is a hell of a lot better than a therapist alone. You get the skill and compassion along with REAL love. I like my therapist, but she couldn’t have done what my friend did for me last night. Not at all.

So now I’m facing possibly not getting any real chance for closure with my brother. When I thought I had months I could go hang out at my sister’s and spend leisurely time with him. Now he’s in New York and the whole family will be converging upon New York with no where to stay. Hotels are like $250 a night. We might be able to squeeze into a few friends apartments, but no one has space in New York. Everyone lives in the smallest space they can possibly fit into. Usually that means no room for guests. We’re hoping he is given a days reprieve in which he can still get to California, that is where he wants to die. I hope he gets his wish. And I hope I can have some private time with him. I so need that.

I’m going to write him a letter now. My friend suggested that last night and since I don’t know if I’ll get the chance to tell him how much I love him, how much he has meant to me all these years in person, I have to write it to him.

I may have told you this before–he is my big brother and he fulfilled the job very well. He reached out to me starting when I was a teenager filled with angst. He assured me things would be different once I escaped the oppression that was my family and the backward town I lived in. He was my lifeline to the outside world and all he predicted would be in my future in the way of my reality opening up and finding people I could relate to came true. He was my knight in shining armor. I wanted to marry someone just like him. (and my husband does indeed have some similar traits–though they are very different too) Alas, I idealized him and this ugly process of death has knocked him off his pedestal as I’ve talked about in other posts. There is part of me that is angry with him–making my grief even more painful. But I can still tune into the great love I have for him and that is what I will do when I write this letter. I want to get it out in today’s mail.

About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters

5 Responses

  1. Terra

    (((Gianna))))
    How incredibly sad. I think it must be a blessing and a curse to have a doctor sister. I have a friend who is, and sometimes the things he tells me just makes everything worse for me, even when he is meaning well.
    A letter is a great idea.
    Surely there is someone who would let you bank on the couch for a few days, though???
    All the best. My thoughts are with you.

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  2. Polly

    It’s really nice that you’re writing him that letter.

    I’m glad you had your friend to talk to yesterday.

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  3. Gianna

    Thanks for all the support and kind words all of you.

    Terra, you’re right, having a doctor sister is often quite awful. 4 years ago when he was first diagnosed she gave him 6 months to live. She shoots off horrifying statistics. Now it’s hard to ignore her. I was able to for a long time. The writing is on the wall now, though, my brother’s day to day experience is making it clear.

    And Polly, I did write that letter and it felt really good. I also talked to him yesterday. He doesn’t like to talk on the phone lately and he went out of his way, while in the hospital and called me. He sounded himself thought obviously weak.

    We hope he can make the trip to California. He is determined to do it, but it will be his body that allows it or disallows it. In the next week or two most likely I will be traveling somewhere–I hope it’s California and that he gets his wish.

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  4. Stephany

    I’m so glad you wrote the letter while he is still here. Being able to say good bye and thank you and everything while someone is here; before they die, is a gift for them, as well as yourself.
    Blessings,
    Stephany

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