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my brother

Bella

Active member
Ok guys, prayers, healing thoughts, whatever you have for my brother's family.

He's 49, and is dying of lung cancer, which hit him in a rather nasty fashion.

He has tumor behind his eye, and one surrounding his heart, which is the one causing him the most trouble now.

It's getting to the hospice phase.

Anyway, he's not the one who needs the prayers and healing waves, as much as his wife. Her place of employment, 6 months after his terminal diagnosis, made the announcement that is would be closing later this year. She's worked there for over 20 years. She's had to take a leave of absence, to take care of him, so if she can't get back to work before her family medical leave act runs out, she loses all those benefits, and packages she's entitled to when they close. Their 3 sons are all in the Army, the older two have deployed to the desert 2 or 3 times each, and the youngest, her baby, just left for South Korea for a year. They do have a daughter in town, but her baby is one, so she isn't able to help a lot. He can't be left alone for very long, he's very confused, and gets his meds mixed up, and gets lost. For the last few weeks, it's been December to him all the time, but the year varies, and people are always in danger.

She's running on pure adrenaline right now, I really fear for her when this is all over. She will not ask for help, but she will at least call me for medical stuff, and I can get her to vent some then. She's tough, but right now, she has my hero medal award.

And me? I'm the big sister, I'm supposed to be able to fix things, but this is way bigger than me. I'm also a couple hours away, so it's hard to be there much.

Anyway, I haven't lost a sibling before, parents are rough, but younger siblings dying, really hits you in the old mortality.
 

Ellethe

Ex-Marcy'd
Aww Bella :(

So sorry to read this. Sending all the positive energy I can muster your way and for your family too!
 

1love

New member
Bella, I'm so sorry. :( I had a coworker who went through something similar and she was able to get hospice care in her home all day while she went to work at no cost to her. Has your sister-in-law asked about this kind of care? Maybe she would not want to be away from him. However, I wonder if she could do it for a short time so she can go back and manage to save her benefits and severance package. Also, does she have health insurance that could provide nursing care? Just some thoughts... not sure what else to suggest, but I am sure she is exhausted on all levels. I know you feel pretty helpless as well since you live so far away. My heart goes out to you and your family. (((hugs)))
 

Bella

Active member
The problem is, part of his confusion is, he knows friends and family, but even the nurses at the hospital are part of the danger. They have to call her back to calm him down whenever she leaves. He rationally knows he's sick, and in the hospital, but he's in danger when he's there alone.

That's the hardest part for her, that he's so, well, nuts.

The good thing is, that he's had lots of nice conversations with his kids, on a nearly daily basis, even though, since they only happen in his mind, his kids don't get the benefit of those talks. He tells her about them though.

The doctors are at a total loss as to why he's so confused. His brain is clear of tumor, so it isn't that.

It would be funny, if it wasn't so sad, really.

He's never been a warm and fuzzy person, always rather gruff, so it's not like he has buddies to go sit with him. He's always been the kind who was happier out sitting by a river alone, fishing, than in the company of lots of people. Having to depend on stranger for care, I'm sure is why everyone is dangerous. He also has managed to push away some well meaning family and friends, by being irritated with them for, as puts it, crying all over him.

He did a lot of that in his angry phase, so now people are scared to step up.
Being the big sister though, he does talk to me, but I'm very careful not to act all emotional, I know he doesn't want that, he wants to be treated normally. He'll look you right in the face and tell you he's a dead man, and he knows it, but don't you dare feel sorry for him. I think I passed the test when my response to that was, "we're all dead from the minute we're born, it's just a matter of when, and to what degree and what we do with the time between"

Then I just go home and cry all over David, who doesn't get mad at me for it
 

1love

New member
Then I just go home and cry all over David, who doesn't get mad at me for it

That is so sad. At least you can keep it together when you are with him. I don't think I would be able to. I was born crying and haven't stopped since. I am so sensitive that I pretty much, *at least* tear up, once per day. A situation like this would put me under the rug. I'm glad David is there for you. Sending you hugs, Bella. :grouphug:
 

Bellydancer

Live your dreams!
He also has managed to push away some well meaning family and friends, by being irritated with them for, as puts it, crying all over him. He did a lot of that in his angry phase, so now people are scared to step up.

Hi Bella, I am so so sorry to hear your pain. He is having trouble coping himself and he doesn't really know how to deal with this, especially if he isn't used to people fussing over him. He is most likely confused by all the mixed emotions he is feeling himself. This is such a difficult time for all of you and I don't really have any practical advice to give you. Just know that you are not alone and we are thinking of you and your family. You will get through this - one breath at a time, one day at a time.....

My only sibling died at the age of 8, so I do understand the pain you are going through. I really do. Keep reminding yourself that you will get through this with support and love from friends and family. Lean on people whenever you feel the need. Take care. :grouphug:
 

Jody<3

Registered member
:( ((hugs)) Im so sorry, Bella. And what a guy David is... *smiles*

I'll certainly keep your family in my prayers. I don't know what it feels like to lose a sibling, I can only imagine..but I know it has to be extremely difficult and hurtful.

Your sis-in-law certainly sounds like a hero..and I will pray to give her strength, both now and when this all finally comes to an end. So, so sad. He is quite young.
 

CindyLee

New member
Oh Bella, I am so sorry to hear this too.

My cousin is 51 and was just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and it is also in his kidneys, bladder and a tumor on his shoulder.....so I understand all those feelings.

Will keep you in my prayers.
 

Polly

Doorperson for my pets!
Bella, you have my prayers, as do your brother and his wife. She IS a hero! Poor thing! How awful to be losing her job and benefits at a time like this! I'm sorry your family is going through this. Try to be strong for her and for your brother...it's all you can do. :(
 

Angel

Anger Thrives In A Fool
Just wanted to add hugs and prayers to the growing pile coming your way. This thread reminds me of when I lost my sister and was posting about it. Given my family upbringing losing my siblings was far more painful than losing my parents. But I remember everyone's kind words and in particular Karen saying to me she was kneeling right then to pray. Man that touched my heart and I've never forgotten that little gesture. So I want you to know right now I'm going to stop what I'm doing and pray for you and your family.

Since your SiL won't reach out for help and is a couple hours away could you make arrangements to cook meals in advance when you are heading her way for a visit that are freezer friendly? Could you set-up a web page that you can gives updates about your brother to alleviate some of the constant "how is he doing" conversations to free up some of her time and emotional energy? Does she have someone coming in to help clean up the house? Could the family pitch in together to hire someone to come in and help her take care of the little stuff like that? The economy's bad right now so I don't know if it's an option. Maybe she'd qualify for some help given her husband's condition.

Hospice care is a really difficult time for family and I'm so sorry that your family is in pain right now and that you are losing your brother. You are so sweet to focus your attention to his wife's needs given this is a big loss in your world as well. Don't forget about yourself, okay?

Know that my heart is there with you and should you need to just vent come here and do so.
 
G

gorillagirl

Guest
My dad's wife died from stage 4 about 5 months ago. Hospice came, gave her morphine, and she was dead a few days later. Her body shut down within 48-72 hours of the drugs being administered. Wishing your brother a painless departure and all your family peace, healing and abundance.
 

SheLikesKitties

OW/YM 21YR GAP
Oh Bella, what a sad situation. I will be praying for your sister in law and you.
It is so hard to lose a loved one, and to lose them to mental infirmity before they are physically gone is a tougher pain.

Big hug.
 

whiterose

Administrator
Bella, my heart goes out to you, your brother, his wife and your family. I lost my oldest brother to cancer when he was 30 years old. May God bless your brother and his wife and send them both lots of courage and strength in the times ahead.
 

eponavet

New member
I'm so sorry Bella. :( I just saw this thread.....i'm thinking of you and hoping you and your family can have as much peace as possible through this terrible time.

We love you. :grouphug:

~ epona
 

kittylane

New member
He sounds very scared and he has no way out of dealing with this.

I pray that his fear leaves and he finds calmness.

I am sorry for his pain and your pain. I hope things improve for you all.
 

LadyInWaiting

In The Woodwork
I am so sorry for all the stress and sorrow that your family is going through. I hope that your SIL can find some respite care that your brother can accept.
 

Bella

Active member
He's out of the hospital again, had coffee with them on Saturday morning, right after he was discharged.

We had a cousin die last week too, age 62. His funeral was today. Bummer of a week in the family.

Surprisingly, he told me to keep on coming to visit. I really do think in spite of his macho bravado, he's absolutely terrified.

Oddly enough, this cousin is buried right next to my brother's cemetary plot.

My aunt is 96 years old, and in a nursing home. She looked totally wrecked at the funeral today. Can you imagine being that age and losing your youngest son?

AND one of my grandson's friends, age 11, also died Friday night from that STUPID choking game. What the H!! This was a bright, funny, sociable kid. I've known his grandma for years. The police talked to several of his friends, and they've been experimenting with it after reading about it on the internet. My grandson said he'd heard about it, but thought anyone who would do that would be stupid.

I'm kinda ready to curl up in the fetal position.

Thanks for all your good thoughts everyone, I probably should move this to the blog section, or something.
 
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