Posts Tagged ‘siblings calling from beyond’

He Decided To Paint

September 5, 2008

GnuKid is heading back to Oklahoma to visit his Brother.

My Brother is on recurrence number five of the brain cancer. Each new regrowth of the cancer has happened faster than the last.  Aggressive treatment is required each time.

At each recurrence, the doctors pull another weapon out of the arsenal to fight it.  This time it was to be some nasty ass chemotherapy—basically poisoning the system in hopes of killing off the cancer cells.  I say ‘nasty ass’ because the side effects of any chemotherapy are bad… nausea, fatigue, etc.  But, for this round, they were proposing something that would really make him sick, so would have to hospitalize him to ensure he didn’t dehydrate or have other bad side effects without being at reach of a doctor.

Backtracking a bit, my brother has taken up a hobby to help him through all of this.  He’s putting together a 1/32nd scale village, using bits and pieces of different toy sets. He sets up scenes (like, recently, a homecoming parade) with buildings, vehicles, and people.  Some of the people and scenery he paints himself.

Brother was in the midst of painting some people when the calls came from the docs to discuss options for this latest round of treatment.  One point came out that caused my Brother to pause.  The chemo proposed had a chance of inhibiting some of my Brother’s fine motor skills (as well as some other potentially nasty side effects)… fine motor skills like, oh, painting 1/32nd scale figures.

That news had a profound impact on my Brother. After discussion with his wife, my Brother has decided to defer any more treatment.  He came to the conclusion that he wanted to live the rest of his life like he wanted, not like how the doctor’s wanted.  He wanted to paint, play with his grandchild, and do what he could to live his life.

When he called to tell me his decision, he joked that he would have to add a new tombstone to his toy village cemetery with a special epitaph – – –

GnuKid’s Brother

Town Founder

“…in the end, he decided to paint…”

Who knows how much time we’ll have left with him.  I’m off to visit just to be with him and share some more time.

Spooky Addendum:  I called my sister-in-law to make sure it was okay to visit.  My Brother was in the background, talking as well.  Right in the middle of our conversation, my sis-in-law stopped and repeated something my brother said:  “Hijack?”.  I thought that rather a strange wish for my flight the next day.  Then Brother said something I couldn’t hear and my sis-in-law said, “Oh!  You said, ‘Hi, Jack’!”  Seems my Brother ‘saw’ my other brother, named Jack, and was just calling a welcome to him.  Jack died in 1963.

…I’m very glad I decided to go now…