What Next?


What Next?

I took my mom twice last week to visit my brother. My son left his car for me to travel in because my car doesn't have air conditioning and it was in the triple digits last week.

We went first on Tuesday and when we got in the room my brother blurted out, "Well, Mom, I have cancer!" My mom asked what happened and his response was, "I ate a jalapeno." We all laughed. We didn't talk much about the cancer, we just visited, talked about his kids and grands and mine. It was a nice visit; Mom and I stayed about an hour and then we came home. It seems we had very little to talk about on the way home. We were just enjoying each other's company. We did talk about what we had heard previously, that the cancer was in three organs and my brother would undergo chemo when his surgery from the colostomy healed. My mom asked permission to tell her siblings because my brother has always been the favorite nephew. My brother said that was fine, that he didn't mind that they knew. We talked about the flowers on the hospital grounds, my brother is pretty proud of them because he planted them and takes care of this one beautiful garden area. He is a groundsman and maintenance. Before we left I pushed my mom over to that garden area and took her picture. I also showed her the other flowers and landscaping on the hospital grounds. The picture here is my mom by the garden area. We couldn't go in because the sidewalk stopped there and she didn't want to go four-wheeling.

On the drive home I couldn't help but think about my Aunt Jean. She just passed on a few months ago, but she was always the one I went to with the "heavy" stuff. My mom was napping and I was having this little conversation, in my head, with my Aunt Jean. She was telling me that my brother has lots of support right now and I need to pay attention to my mom. Perfect sense, huh?

We came home and my mom asked that I call one child of each of her siblings and tell them the news except for her younger sister who she wanted to tell in person because they are the closest and my mom thought she would take it the hardest. My cousin brought my aunt over and my mom told her about my brother.

On Wednesday night, that aunt called me and wanted to know if when I took my mom back to see my brother if she could ride along We went the next day, early, and Auntie Alice went with us. We didn't get to visit with my brother much because they were changing the ostomy bag and doing other things that we couldn't be present for. We didn't talk about cancer but they brought my brother a popsicle and it was orange. I offered to open it for him and he told me he couldn't eat orange that they were bringing him another one. I told him that orange was my favorite and why didn't he like it. He told me that the orange gives him gas, it bothers his stomach, then he said, "I guess that doesn't matter now huh?" Broke my heart to hear it. We left and came home.

Later in the day my sister went to see my brother and came by, the doctor came in and told my brother that it was Stage 4 colon cancer and they give him nine months to live with Chemo and three months without. The cancer is also in his stomach and pancreas.

On Friday my brother had a biopsy on his liver; we didn't hear any results of that. Yesterday, Saturday, my mom didn't want to go but my sister and her family went and came by on their way home. The biopsy for cancer in the liver was positive and the doctor says they will only be providing comfort care. That was the news. I have no idea if they will still do chemo. I tried to get my mom to go today but she doesn't want to go so we will have to wait to hear news from my sister who, I'm sure, will go again today.

My mom and I will go one or two days this week. She has a couple of medical appointments we need to take care of. I ask you all just to keep my brother and the family in your prayers. This is so hard to deal with.  I keep thinking of all these things I want to tell my brother.  I have texted him twice but I'm getting no response so I think maybe my sister-in-law is keeper of the cell phone. I guess I will write him a letter and hope he gets to read it himself or someone will read it to him. I don't think I can hold it together to tell him how I feel.

Thank you in advance for reading my blog and commenting. I truly appreciate each and every one of you.


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Lillie, dear friend, I love the photo of your Mom! Please give her a hug from me. I think of some of the things Elly has said and wonder if it's hard for them (your mom & Elly) to see their family struggling physically while they are not struggling as much. I can understand how hard this is for you as you've dealt with so much loss lately. My heart goes out to you and your family. I will keep your family in my prayers, especially your brother.


My heart is so sad as I read about your brother and your family. If there was an illustration of the concept \"life is not fair', this is IT. There is no way to make this right. I know you, your mom, and your family will meet the challenges. I wish I could help you carry it, but I can't. Know you're being thought of today with love and support.

Anthony Zullo

Great picture of mom and so sorry to hear the news of your brother . \nI will keep you and your family in my prayers.


I'm so sorry for your news. \n\nOne wonderful thing about cancer treatment now is palliative (comfort) care. It's more than just using heavy pain meds to control pain. I have a friend who has been in palliative care for a couple of years now. She wasn't supposed to live this long. Everything is geared towards allowing her life to be as good as possible and I think she has been able to relax and not worry so much. That has helped everyone around her, too.\n\nIt sounds like your brother is very much loved in the hospital community. He will certainly get the best care possible. Love to you and your family.


Lillie, I am so glad your mom is well enough to travel to the hospital and visit with your brother. What a nice photo of her. Such a hard time for you now, you are handling it with such grace. (Even if you don't feel that way sometimes.) You are surrounded by people here that love, care and understand what you are going through, just as you provide comfort for us, we can provide it for you. I'm keeping you and your whole family in my thoughts and prayers.

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