Dixie Peach: Don't Look My Way

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Don't Look My Way

My fifty-one-year-old brother found out late last week that he has cancer. Testicular cancer.

This was not the news I was expecting to receive when my brother called me last night. I'd been out picking up my MIL at a friend's house and missed his call. He sounded perfectly normal on the voice mail message he left and I assumed he just called to check in and see what was new with us. I'd spoken to my mother on Friday and she'd mentioned that he had told her that he wanted to come with my niece to visit us next summer. I told my mom that I was thrilled with the idea of him coming to visit and I assumed she'd relayed that message and it had inspired him to give me a call.

If I had to predict the topics of conversation in which we'd engage when I called him back, him telling me that he's going for surgery on Tuesday to have his testicle removed would not have made the top ten. It wouldn't have made the top ten thousand.

Brother gave me the news and I didn't know what to do with it. Of course I'm concerned but even though a day has passed since he told me I still am not quite sure what to do with the information. Being worried and scared seems pointless and unhelpful. I asked him questions but he doesn't know what's going to happen past surgery because that's when they'll be able to determine whether the cancer has spread. He doesn't feel sick - all he can say is that he can feel the tumor and he likens it to having a stone in your shoe. It's irritating but not terribly painful. I asked him questions and told him I'm praying for an excellent outcome to his surgery and that I love him. I said I'd keep in touch with our mother to find out the latest. And then we talked about him and my niece coming to visit. Hard news delivered, looked at and put aside. Now we'll talk about normal things because moving forward is what we do best.

My brother is not the first person I know who has had cancer. I've had friends who have been diagnosed with cancer and some of them have since passed away from it. A cousin died from breast cancer. Both of my maternal grandparents died from cancer. And still I felt a detachment from the disease. Cancer was something that I could liken to a distant acquaintance - maybe my face seemed familiar but it didn't know my name. It feels a little different now.



Blogger Haddock said...

I really hope the surgery is a success for your brother.

2:12 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Telling him that you love him and that you're thinking positive thoughts... and then carrying on as usual, was probably exactly the right thing to do -- especially now, before anyone knows more facts.

I will be thinking about you and your brother in the next days!

I'm glad he caught it now. Too many men -- my husband among them -- probably wouldn't get something like that checked out, in case it was too late... for fear that it might be too late. Makes no sense to me either, but when it comes to their bodies and disease, some men really do believe that ignorance is bliss (or at least not scary).


4:48 AM  
Anonymous TitanKT said...

I have two uncles who have had prostate cancer so I know for sure that testicular cancer is by no means fatal. But it sure as hell isn't GOOD news either.

Your post bummed me out. I had a bad, bad weekend... but I sure didn't get a call from my brother that he had testicular cancer.

I know the odds are pretty good that he'll be fine, but it's going to be damned unpleasant for him for a while and I'm sorry about that. I really am.

I know you will, but I just want to remind you to keep us updated and you should know that you and your brother and your mom and B and your whole family have my care and my prayers.

5:25 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

I'm with Titankt: I had a bad weekend, but I am grateful that both my brothers are healthy. I'll be praying for a good outcome for your brother... and for peace of mind for you.

12:44 PM  
Blogger christina said...

Oh man, Dixie, that's rough. I'm so sorry. You just never know what life is going to throw at you, do you. You'll all be in my thoughts - I'm visualizing a positive outcome for this.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Katya said...

I'm so sorry, Dixie. I'll be thinking about you and your brother -- I'll go by church and light a candle for him.

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

I'm sorry about the bad news, Dixie. I hope the post-surgery news is better. Love to you and your family.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Marsha said...

I am keeping you and your brother in my prayers. My dad has/had prostate cancer-we are at 10 years and it is good news one day bad news the next, I understand the surealness of it all. One of those times when it is hard to be away from family.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merde. These are the things in life that cause reality to shift.
I think you said the right things to your brother and I’m sure you’ll continue to.
I’ll keep your family in my prayers, Dix.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Diosa said...

Hey! I'm not anonymous! I'm Diosa!

Love to you.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

Dixie I'm sorry to hear this news. I will keep your brother and family in my prayers.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Hilda said...

Dixie, I'm sorry.

I know you have the strength to deal wit this, but it still sucks.

My thoughts and prayers will be with you, your brother and the your family tomorrow.

Good toughts and prayers are a powerful, powerful force - and you've got those by the truckloads.

7:15 PM  
Blogger purplepassion said...

I am sooo sorry. I will keep him and your family in my prayers especially tomorrow. Sending only positive thoughts out into the universe for you...

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...


Keep hope, lady.

8:46 PM  
Blogger hexe said...

Fingers crossed and prayers said. And now the wait. I hope the news is good.

11:40 PM  
Blogger sari said...

I'm praying too. Please let us know what happens.

My husband is one of 10 kids and one of his brothers just found out he has stomach cancer. It's really just weird because it's just like you said - it's the last thing you'd ever think if someone said "Guess what?"

I'm sorry to hear this news but I hope the outcome of his surgery is good.

12:57 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I really want to say something profound like you always do when I find myself not knowing how to feel about something.

I suppose you might tell me something like, go ahead and worry a little, go ahead and be sad and feel some anxiety.

Give yourself permission to get through the fear. Through. I'll say what I say and have said for years every single day, "Through, not over."

Thinking of you and praying for you and your family.

7:14 AM  
Blogger cncz said...

So sad for you. Know how hard it is to be far. Keep us in the loop!
I hope he comes to visit you anyway, even if he is feeling bad.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Buda Baby said...

Keep the faith, Dixie!

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kim, you must be scared sh**less. I will pray for your brother. My dad's twin had testicular cancer back in the late 80s- you know the advancements thta have been made in 20 years.

Keep us posted- I will be praying for all of you.
D Mollie

7:18 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Thank you, everyone, for your heartfelt good wishes and prayers. I appreciate it so much.

I doubt I'll know anything today but perhaps tomorrow or Thursday. I'll let everyone know something when I get the information.

Again, thank you all so much.

9:13 PM  
Blogger melusina said...

Oh Dixie, these things are always so much harder when we are so far away from home.

I hope your brother's surgery was a success and that he is on the road to recovery.

Many blessings to you and your family

9:36 PM  
Anonymous beege said...

Oh, Dix! Praying for you and your family...

Cancer sucks wookie.

3:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are so many great treatments these days--my husband has had cancer of the liver, cancer of the prostate and skin cancer and he's still going strong!!
Hang in there. Will be thinking positive thoughts for you all.

4:49 PM  

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