Thursday, August 29, 2013


For the past month and a half, my beloved brother has been dealing with his leukemia and it's been shitty.  Real shitty.  I don't know how to adequately describe how I've been feeling because my emotions have been all over the place.  I'm sad, angry, sad, heartbroken, super sad, anxious, stressed, burnt out, and super fucking sad.  I want to scream all the time.  I want to scream as loud as I can from the top of a building.  I want to shout, "FUCK!" until my throat is raw.  I want to take a bat to the ground until I don't have the strength to lift it up anymore.  I want to punch the walls.  I want to run.  I want to run so far away.  I want to cry and scream and not wake up until the leukemia is gone.  As I type this, I want to puke.  I want to puke all of my insides out.  This isn't supposed to happen.  It wasn't supposed to happen.  Anyone but my brother.  Why not me?  Not my brother.

From one moment to the next, things can change.  It did here.  Brother's body started resisting his meds for CML and, in a week, it accelerated into ALL, a very aggressive form of leukemia.  It grew so rapidly and my brother was in so much pain that briefly, I feared the worse.  And yet, I didn't cry.  I held it in.  I didn't want to cry like I did last time.  And yet, one day, while I was visiting, I was informed that brother needed a lumbar puncture to check if the leukemia was in his spine, which is bad.  And they wheeled him away and I stood there, holding in those tears, screaming at them from the inside, "Don't you dare fall.  Don't you dare trickle out of my eye because I know you won't be the only tear. You'll bring your friends. DON'T YOU DARE FALL OUT!"  As soon as brother was out of the room and down the hall, I sat down, held my face in the palms of my hands and cried.  I cried puddles of tears into my hands and sobbed.  The BNC, who must have developed ninja skills because I didn't hear him creep up to me, all while holding The Kid, stroked my hair, held his hand on my head and then left.  He knew I didn't want Noah to see me like this.  

The sleepless nights I endured when I was younger have returned.  I lay awake at night, hiding my insomnia from the BNC, and think horrible thoughts.  The Kid never really kept me up but my brother's disease does.  I think of all that he has gone through and all that he will have to go through.  I think about how I need to not cry in his presence.  How I need to keep it together for his sake and for our parents' sake.  I think about The Kid and how he can't see me upset because kids are smart.  Brother was upset one day and Noah came over and stood in front of him and held his knee.  I'm sure he knows something's up and I'm preparing myself should he ever ask me about memories he has from this time.

All the doctor appointments, the special tests, the blood transfusions, the chemo treatments, the dialysis for his blood, the lumbar punctures, the loss of hair, the pneumonia, the biopsies, the bruises on his back and his arms, the port on his chest, the morphine-filled phone calls in the middle of the night because he was so doped up he didn't know what time it was, the special clean room he was in, the move to the ICU because he developed heart arrhythmia, the throat infection, talk of a bone marrow transplant, Sportscenter all day, and my brother laying there, doing it all, fighting back his tears, not wanting to be there, and slowly breaking my heart watching this, this is what we've been through otherwise known as my family's darkest hour.  

I thought a lot about my brother during this time but also of my mom.  Now that I am a mother, I have looked at her in a whole different light and have grown to admire her so much more than I already had.  However, I cannot imagine what she went through, and still is, as her son, her youngest child, battles leukemia.  I prayed for her.  I asked people to pray for her.  I don't know what I would have done had it been my own kid going through all of this, feeling powerless because the one thing you want, enduring this rather than your kid, isn't going to happen.  My momma had already lost a son, born before me, and I know it changed her.  She still thinks of her lost son, mourns for him, wonders what he would have been doing now so watching her 33 year-old son lay there, broke her heart all over again.  My dad, watching all of this, crying, begging God to spare his son, all while my brother shed hair and spoke incoherently to people who were not in the room.  

And is spite of this awful time, I look to my faith to help me keep it together.  I don't question why or how because it can drive you mad, but rather, I seek strength during these most difficult times and I must be getting it because I've made it this far without cracking.  I do beg.  I beg just like I did that time 4+ years ago.  I beg for my brother and I won't stop begging.  I also have had the BNC, who has been a rock to me and my family.  He's run errands for us and checked in on Brother when we couldn't.  The support of family and friends has been overwhelming.  Just this past Saturday, a benefit was held to help raise some funds for Brother whose short term disability will end soon and, if he's not back at work in January, will have to be let go.  Our goal more than doubled.  It was amazing and so emotional and I wish I could thank everyone who is praying for us.  It was quite the job to handle all the phone calls and texts from people wanting to help.  My brother's friends are amazing.  I started coordinating who could visit and take food otherwise Brother would have had about 10 dinners taken to him each evening.  I'm glad we aren't alone.

I also have my Noah who celebrated his first birthday while B was in the hospital.  He's hit several milestones during this time as well such as walking, drinking milk, dancing, learning to be gentle with the cats, etc.  He's been a joy and part of my salvation.

My beloved B, the light of my life, my growing-up partner in crime, one of my bestest friends, one of my favorite people, how I love thee...


C Los said...

Sorry I couldn't make it but I did eat one of the plates Jorge brought back. Keep on being strong and I am always here for those moments you need a laugh. :)

Margie said...

No worries. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. They are very much appreciated. :)