My recent visit to see my brother in Oklahoma was spurred by more than familial longing. I am not sure how much longer he will be with us. My brother has brain cancer.
I had written a detailed saga of his battle to post here. On re-reading it, I found it good for me to express it on paper, but I was pretty sure, for The Wilds of Ohio…hell, for me!… it would be a wet blanket… a moldy, smelly, wet blanket. GnuKid just can’t do that.
Rather, I still must fall back on the oldest and best defense mechanism known to man—thermonuclear war. Okay, not really…we’ve only known about that for about 70 years. No, I’m talking about that good old humor. How people can laugh in the face of danger and death amazes and emboldens me in life.
So, my brother was diagnosed a year ago after an MRI revealed a shadow in his brain. The doctors decided the best action was surgery to at least do a pathology on the cancer, if not remove it altogether.
I was on the telephone with my brother prior to that surgery, discussing what to expect and offering him hope and encouragement. I guess he didn’t think I believed what I was telling him. So he attempted to reassure me—
“Don’t worry, it’s not like this is brain surgery… oh… wait…”.
They removed a portion of the skull to get at the brain and, at the end of the operation, screwed it back in place. There was my chance at a comeback. On phone calls since, I’m sure to occasionally throw in—
“Ahh, you just have a screw loose.”
My brother’s battle continued, through a second occurrence and radical surgery in January where they removed most of his right temporal lobe.* My brother’s reaction then?—
“I need this surgery like I need a hole in my head.”
I think my family carries a gene… or a full chromosome… for bad and bizarre humor. But, it’s kept us afloat through trying times. And I am thankful for it.
… and, now, a just diagnosed third re-occurrence. [heavy sigh] But, I’m sure our humor and love will carry us through whatever happens…
*And I was utterly amazed that he was on his feet and discharged just 3 days after major brain surgery.