Day 46: My Worst Fear…..

No, I am not referring to the song by Rascal Flatts. I am referring to the results of the PET Scan. My worst fear was that the cancer had spread, and after speaking with my brother’s doctor today, my worst fear has been realized. According to the doctor, the PET Scan shows signs of cancer under my brother’s arm, in his stomach, and in his windpipe. I was told that my brother’s team of doctors will get together and discuss which “problem” is more critical and put together a plan of action. There was mention of having a biopsy done of the other areas for a definitive conclusion, that what the PET Scan shows is indeed cancer in the other areas of my brother’s body. But it looks like we are definitely in this for the long haul.

I mentioned in my previous blog post that my brother has completed his second round of rehab. Therefore I will be traveling to PA to bring him and his belongings to live with me in MD. A few friends and family members have shared their reservations about my future living arrangement. I understand their concerns. But he’s my brother and I need to be there for him. I feel like I am the only one that will be, and have his best interest at heart.

My brother’s doctor also shared his concerns about the move. First, he is concerned that the health insurance company may not continue to cover him upon learning that he no longer lives in Pennsylvania. Second, he is concerned that applying for health insurance in Maryland will delay treatment for my brother because the Pennsylvania insurance has to be canceled before the application for insurance in Maryland can be submitted. And at this stage of the journey, any type of delay is not working in my brother’s favor. Lastly, he’s concerned about me having to drive my brother to the many appointments that he is bound to have. How long will my employer be understanding? What happens if I have car trouble? What happens if I get sick? All things I did not take into consideration because my focus was on ensuring my brother had a place to live that would be conducive to his healing.

So after speaking to my brother tonight, he shares the same concerns as his doctor. He said that there may be facilities local to him, that house cancer patients going through treatments. He also said he spoke to someone at the rehab facility and inquired about him possibly staying there. We don’t have a solution yet. But what I do know definitively is that I only want what is best for my brother.

Naturally the news was disappointing. It was reminiscent of my mom and dad. I’ve been here before. I stopped short of asking why am I here again. I’m not really sure I want the answer to that question. But this journey with my brother has definitely brought back memories of speeding down I95 South headed to North Carolina every time I received a telephone call that my mother had been taken to the hospital. Memories of feeling anxious every time the phone rang late at night, thinking there would be bad news on the other end. Memories of receiving the telephone call that my dad was admitted to the hospital and not expected to survive through the night. Memories of having to make the decision to stop treatment for my dad and place him in hospice care. And eventually having to bury them both. Yes, the last 46 days have been an incessant reminder that life as we know it can change in a matter of minutes.

I can feel this for sure
I’ve been here before
I can fell this for sure for sure
I’ve been here before

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