Reub's journey

07 October 2015

Kind of good news

One's brain contains a teeny tiny landlady. She leases rooms, and although you chat with her on a daily basis, she sometimes goes ahead with contracts that you can't control. The head becomes occupied by strange neighbors.

For the last couple of months a lot of my head space has been given over to the likelihood of donating stem cells to my cancerous brother. Despite all odds, our DNA is identical, and he is in the end stages of multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood probably caused by exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam war. I was identified as his best last chance.


So I've been reading up on what a donor might expect, even visiting a helpful doctor last week, at the urging of a friend. There has been a certain amount of tension. I hate needles, but want to do this thing.



My brother called last night, and now the waiting is over. His primary oncologist does not want to give the green flag for such a high-risk transplant, preferring to try a brand new drug that he believes will keep my brother going for another year or two. This is kind of good news.




Oh man. Isn't cancer a bitch? Such a roller coaster. Up and down, up and down. I'm not giving it the time of day anymore. It doesn't even get the back burner from now on. The landlady has evicted it from my head space.

That is, until we deal with it again later. Then I will gather courage and go forth with battalions of healthy blood cells, kicking cancer's ass in my brother's body.


Until then, just carry on. 

Finally, this is a video of a band my husband John plays with, at a recent gig. John is on the left, playing the dobro:


It tells you to love one another
Your sister and your brother
Live right, 'cause you know
That you reap just what you sow

And so to have no regrets
And to find what you're missin'
Bow your head and listen
To this sermonette.



30 comments:

  1. Such anguish for all. God Bless your brother and his valiant fight. Thank him for his service. Thank you for sharing his battle and loving him so dearly. I pray the new drugs work.

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    1. Thank you Granny. So often-in terms of health issues- Vietnam vets keep on giving, and that the time they were not necessarily appreciated by their fellow Americans.

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  2. hopefully the new treatment lasts longer

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    1. Hopefully, but the drug is so new that there is no knowing.

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  3. wow, what a rollercoaster. i'm with you, kickin' it to the curb. BIG BIG LOVE TO YOU!

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  4. I can only imagine how harrowing this ride has been for you and of course, for your brother. I hope he will do well with the new treatment. I hope you can put your mind at rest for a while. I love how you illustrated your head space.

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    1. Thank you Hilary. My mind is definitely freed up for awhile. :)

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  5. Oh I hope the new drug works for your brother! You are a brave lady to agree to donate stem cells to your brother. But if I was in your situation, I'd do the same thing. Sending you and your brother lots of good thoughts.

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    1. Thank you Linda. I'm a big chicken, not brave at all. :-)

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    1. Yes, a reprieve for sure. Not sure for how long.

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  7. This is good news. It relieves the tension somewhat. Now is the time to be with your brother, to share some awesome joy and memories while you both are able. Be joyful for both of you, laugh together lots and share some fun because waiting on cancer, trying to second guess it, is the worst.

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    1. Hi Linda. You speak from experience & I know what you say is true.

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  8. I sent out a post, but it seems to have been lost. Anyway my heart and thoughts are with you on this ride and cancer is a very evil monster. I can so empathize with your feelings. Stay strong.

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    1. Hi Tabor! Thanks for these nice words of support.

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  9. Such distressing and upsetting news. I am sure your brother will finally win the battle against this evil disease. Have belief and pray. The power of prayer is miraculous.

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    1. Hello RR. Thank you for your good wishes. :)

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  10. I hope the treatment works. If it does, will the stem cell issue come up again in the future.

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    1. AC, I don't think they know how well this drug will work, but they are optimistic that it will control the cancer for a time. It isn't a cure, though, and the stem cell issue will re-surface in the future. Because the cancer patient only has a 25% chance of surviving the transplant it is a last-ditch effort.

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  11. i do hope the new drug will help!

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  12. I'm so glad your brother has access to this new treatment and do hope it works. Your brain seems quite tidy. I'm sure mine would be an awful mess if I had gone through what you've been living through recently. Good luck for the future for you both.

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    1. haha, a tidy brain! Nobody has suggested that about me, so I am quite pleased to appear as such. Thank you!

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  13. Thinking of you and hoping that the drug gives both of you some quality time together. Your life right now reminds me of this: https://www.storyarts.org/library/nutshell/stories/strawberry.html
    XO

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    1. Oh I love that. The sweetness of strawberries has never been greater than it is now.

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  14. I will keep your brother in my prayers, that the new medicine works. It is a good idea to erase the thoughts of cancer from your brain.. Wishing the best for you and your brother! Have a happy week!

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    1. Thanks Eileen! You have a happy week too.

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  15. I am speechless. All I can do is send a huge hug for you and your family across the water.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. A hug all the way from London is happily received! Thank you.

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