Thursday, June 3, 2010


My brother is one of my most favorite people. The BNC is first, of course, but my brother is my pride and joy and the light of my life. I was 3 when he was born and I remember his birth. Waiting all night for him to arrive and relieved once he did cause it meant I could go home. My mother had 3 c-sections before him and was warned that another pregnancy would result in either 1 not making it or both. My father begged her to terminate the pregnancy but my mom, being the die-hard Catholic that she is, refused deciding to leave it in God's hands. If it had been me, I would have chosen the other option. In November of 1979, my mom gave birth to a 10 pounder and easily one of my bestest friends in the world. She has always referred to him as her little miracle, her treasure, or tesoro in spanish. I'm glad she stuck to her guns though.

In February of 2009, my brother, after what seemed like a terrible flu, was diagnosed with leukemia. I cried and sobbed and, in a split second after I ended his phone call in which he sobbed to me the news of his health, I imagined a world without my brother. It was the worst moment of my life, even worse for the reasons I am in therapy. I'm Catholic and while I disagree with some of the items presented by the church including how they have handled some things, I still pray and occasionally attend mass. I don't pray for material things but rather strength to deal with whatever may come my way. However, that day in February, I begged. I begged for the life of my brother who was facing acute leukemia since I knew exactly what all that meant. After he was admitted to the hospital, a day passed before he was to be administered his first chemo treatment. They were being very aggressive as to raise the chances of his survival rate. Family and friends poured in including our beloved Ama. And then, a miracle occured. Nurses rushed in late Friday night as his chemo was suddenly stopped with news that his leukemia was now labeled as chronic which we would learn much later, could be treated with a simple pill to be taken daily. And just like that, my brother's port was removed, a blood transfusion was administered and he was discharged Monday morning. 6 days. 6 long days that he spent at the hospital with me by his side. It was the worst week and the best week. My mom still finds it difficult to talk about that week and B doesn't like to make a big deal about it. He basically is just not ready to talk about his feelings. He keeps up his regiment though with monthly visits to the oncologist. Last month he had to have another bone marrow biopsy to check the status of the leukemia and all is well. His blood work is just as awesome. My father's face grows pain and sorrow whenever someone mentions it or asks about how B is doing. It fell on me to tell my parents and their reactions to the news will always remain fresh in my mind. My dad asked if it was something he did and that broke my heart. My mom, on the other hand, called me a liar and begged me take it back. Even as I type this, I feel the tears well up in eyes and my heart feels as if I am standing in for Giles Corey.

I don't know what I would have done if anything had happened to B. I just know that my life would have been full of darkness and extreme sadness. If an option was to give my life in exchange for my brother's, I would not have hesitated.

My little B, how I love thee.

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