Last Thursday night, at 8:38 pm, I found out my brother had no active cancer in his body. He is a survivor. At the time, he was still on the surgery table being stitched up, and I couldn’t wait for him to wait up and hear the news.
It’s been a long six months. For a while there, we heard nothing but bad news. First, there was a mass it was most likely cancerous. Then, it was definitely cancerous but it might not have spread. Then, we found it had spread, but we didn’t know how much.
He has worked so hard to kill this cancer. After almost 20 chemo treatments in nine weeks, two surgeries, numerous shots and countless days of feeling sick, he is done. For all those nights he spent throwing up and wondering if it was worth it…he no longer has to wonder. It worked.
The day before Halloween last year, I took him to his 10th chemotherapy appointment. He was halfway through his treatment and it was quite the humbling experience for me. Did you know the nurses have to wear a special gown and hat before they touch the chemo IV bags? It is a chemical you can’t get on your skin, but they were pumping it through my brother’s body. It was very difficult for me to watch this go on, and to see the other patients and their families coming and going. We sat there for three hours, eating Taco John’s and waiting for the medicine to drip in. I drove home that night and realized my brother had done this for several days already and he had to go back the next day to do it again. And not only that, but he often got sick in the evenings between treatments. I can’t imagine the strength it must have taken.
Not only for him, but also his girlfriend and their baby, Carson. If Carson was sick, my brother couldn’t be around him, because his immune system was obviously compromised. This meant Liz had to watch him by herself or find someone else to watch him while she went to work. In the past 16 months they have had a baby, bought a house, found out he had cancer, had two surgeries, completed a very aggressive round of chemotherapy, and found out they have another baby on the way. It has been a ride. Now the focus is on recovery for the next 6-8 weeks until their daughter is born! (After that, I hope they can relax a little.)
Six months ago I didn’t know much about cancer. It has brought our family closer together than I could have imagined and I do not wish it upon anyone, but it did give God a chance to show off. Praises.