Dixie Peach: Brother and Sisters

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Brother and Sisters

I'd like to express my gratitude to all of you for your kind good wishes and prayers for my brother. I called my mother yesterday evening to see if she'd received any word from him but at that time she'd not heard from him. My sister happened to be there with my mom and when I spoke with her she said she'd left voice mail at his home and on his cell phone and on my oldest nephew's cell but as of then hadn't heard back from them.

I took it that no news was good news. At least he'd made it through surgery safely.

Today I received email from my sister say that she'd spoke with our brother. He was back home and one of his buddies was with him. My brother is divorced and three of his kids live in Ohio and the other, my oldest nephew, is in the Navy and is currently stationed in Twentynine Palms, CA getting ready to ship off to Iraq in a few weeks. We were hoping he could get a few days away to go back up to Los Angeles and spend some time with his dad. Sister didn't tell me if that request had been granted.

Anyway, the surgery was successful but unfortunately it was more than had been initially expected. The tumor was in the left testicle and that was removed but the ultrasound showed some areas of concern in the right. It turns out it was cancer as well so unfortunately both testicles had to be removed. Any further treatment hasn't yet been determined until they do the histology. And now is when I'm beginning to get scared. I worry that the cancer was in both testicles and it means that it has spread to the lymph nodes.

But whatever it is already is so worrying is pointless. Instead of wishing that it's not what it already may be I need to focus on being supportive of my brother and praying that any further treatment he may need be successful. I want him to defeat cancer.

I suppose it's a sign that I've been in Germany a long time but I was absolutely shocked to hear that my brother was back home the day after surgery to remove both of his testicles due to cancer. I had my ovaries removed four years ago due to large benign tumors and I was hospitalized for two weeks. I understand removing my ovaries was a lot more invasive than the sort of surgery my brother had but damn! As he rolled through did they ask him if he wanted fries with that?

My sister said that Brother felt okay but was tired and was sleeping a lot. And he sounded good too so that was nice to hear. She offered to come out to Los Angeles to be with him but he declined and said everything was under control but I imagine if he needs her he'll ask for her.

I hate being so far away and feeling helpless. I hate that there are still so many unknowns in the situation and that unwanted answers can be very dire indeed. But it costs just as much to be positive as to be negative so I'm putting on a brave face and I'm spending my time educating myself to the possibilities and what courses of action are offered. If there's anything worse than being worried it's being ignorant and worried.

Again, thank you for your kind words and support. They're very helpful at a time like this. Knowing that I'm not alone as this situation unfolds means a lot.

And Mr. Gallbladder Attack seems to have hit the road for a while. If he can just leave me be until I can get back from my trip I'll see about having my gallbladder removed. And I guarantee you I'll spend more time in the hospital having a simple gallbladder removal than my brother did to have his jewels snatched.

It just doesn't seem right.

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Blogger melusina said...

I'm glad he got out of the surgery. He's in my thoughts, I really hope things end up better than what you fear. But thinking positive is definitely the way to go.

Time to call both my brothers and remind them I love them!

11:13 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

I was thinking about your family today, sending good thoughts your way. I hope the next news is good news!

Hey, we need to talk! I am seriously thinking of having my ovaries removed, largely due to mom's ovarian cancer and the worry that brings me... and because I (sigh) don't need them anymore...

But TWO weeks?! I thought it was more like a laprascopic slit and home and BOOM -- well again. No??

Warm thoughts sent your way!


11:36 PM  
Anonymous Juanita said...

I'm so sorry to read about your brother's health problems and sure hope the cancer hasn't spread any further.
I my opinion it is criminal the way we are shoved out of the hospital after major surgeries. After my husband had his prostrate removed, they sent him home early the next morning without any of the supplies I needed to take care of him. Just criminal!

11:38 PM  
Blogger Marsha said...

My dad was sent home the next day after having his prostate removed. He had to have bone spurs removed from his shoulder and went home the day. I am keeping you in my prayers. Sometimes you just have to cry. I was such a bitch when my dad was going through all this, I would snap at everyone and I lost several friends. I guess it comes out somehow.

12:01 AM  
Blogger Dixie said...

My sister had her gallbladder removed and she went home the same day. She was happy about it but then again she's a nurse and knows what to do.

It just much more common in Germany to keep people longer after surgery. I think it's lessened in the past few years but it's not uncommon at all to keep people 2 or 3 days for gallbladder surgery.

Carol, I was kept longer because I had very invasive surgery to remove my ovaries - one tumor was about 4 inches wide and the other was about 2 1/2 inches wide. If you're wanting yours removed to avoid cancer I'm sure they could do it via a laparoscopic incision.

12:12 AM  
Blogger Rositta said...

First of all, I am glad that your brother's surgery went well and I'm sure everyone hopes for the best. Regarding hospital stays, my neighbour just had a total hysterectomy and was kept in hospital 3 yup THREE days. I had mine in the 80's and it was two weeks. Hip replacements, go home in 4 days, total knee, 5 days and gallbladder, well I can't even book surgery here, not allowed. Gotta wait until I have an attack serious enough that an ER doctor decides I need it, never mind that it might turn into Pancreatitis as happened to my Mom, and end up with whatever surgeon just happens to be on call. Hell, I'm going to Greece, I'll take my chances there...the best, thinking of you:)

1:57 AM  
Blogger BetteJo said...

Hoping for the best for your brother, I'll float a little prayer on up for him! I agree that worrying is pointless but it is SO hard not to do it. Sending good thoughts your way.

All the short hospital stays are scary - but they kept me for FOUR days for a kidney stone! Talk about a contradiction! They went in to retrieve it - big deal - it's not really even surgery.

4:18 AM  
Anonymous Diosa said...

I'll keep your brother in my prayers. And you, too.

2:20 PM  
Blogger UmmFarouq said...

The US is one of the only countries that boots folks out and has these "same day" surgeries. I hate them.

I was booted out after I had my first child after only 27 hours. I went home and freaked out, and it turns out she had some issues that needed to be monitored in the hospital. It's all about money.

Anyhow, I really hope and pray your brother comes through his ordeal healthy. And the gall bladder surgery is very easy these days, and the people close to me who've had it tell me the relief is instantaneous and life-changing.

Here's to the health of everyone!

8:12 AM  
Blogger hexe said...

Still keeping my fingers crossed for you and your brother. A scary time to be so far from home, but it must help to know you will be traveling home soon.

I agree with the concerns about rolling someone out of the hospital too quickly. My second c-section, I was discharged within 48 hours. A bit overwhelming.

9:17 AM  
Blogger cncz said...

That scares me the way he was rolled out of the hospital so quickly. I can't imagine how overwhelmed he must feel. You and your brother are in my thoughts.

11:19 PM  

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