Wednesday, May 10, 2006


My mother and I aren't exactly on the best of terms due to a long-standing feud that I don't want to explain right now, or, frankly, ever. There's just too much there. So on Friday when my cell phone rang while I was away from my desk, I hurried back only to see, on the final ring, that my caller ID said "Mom." My mother and I don't speak that often, and she would never call me during the day, unless it was my birthday, which it wasn't. She left a message and asked me to call her back later on that night.

I knew that my plans of bike riding and then dinner and drinks with friends was going to make calling her back that evening not so easy. I called her back to see what was what. After the hi, how are you's she told me my grandfather was sick and started to cry. I calmed her down and got the information- he went to the doctor (something my family isn't that good at doing) and they found reason to believe that he has cancer of the liver and colon. They used the one word that I think makes cancer sound really, really bad: inoperable.

We talked about it for a couple minutes, I told her to be strong and to have hope, that the future isn't set and that we really didn't know anything yet. She told me that if I talk to my brother to not tell him anything, then decided that was how the "chain of command" gets broken, so that if I did talk to him, to tell him everything. That's when I decided that my job as his big brother was to call and tell him the news. There was no answer on his cell phone, and because he has a relatively new job and house, I didn't have his home or work numbers, so I had to call my dad, and, subsequently, I had to tell him the news, too.

My parents were married for almost 20 years, and that's just not something you can turn off. He still cares about my grandparents, and they still care about him, so he was feeling almost exactly what I was feeling- shock, frustration, anger and helpless. I got my brother's contact numbers and told him what was up. He was in the same boat as my father and I. We talked for a few minutes after that, shared our concerns, and went our separate ways.

My defense mechanism was going out on a bender, his was to plant a new apple tree in his backyard. My little brother has always been a bit more Zen than his big brother.

So, we waited the weekend, found out the CT scan which was supposed to be Monday was actually going to be Tuesday. I spent all day yesterday jumping whenever my phone rang, and it did a lot, so I spent a lot of time jumping.

Fast forward to this morning- I had worried all through pub quiz about this, but as they say, the show must go on, and it did. I couldn't sleep at all last night, though, and I woke up early for a quick bike ride, for which I was getting ready when I heard my phone ring. I dashed out of the bathroom ostensibly naked and picked up the phone. It was my brother. The results were in.

The CT scan revealed a growth on my grandfather's colon, but they no longer believe he has liver cancer. They're doing a colonoscopy today and getting a biopsy to find out what the next move is. Essentially, the news is much better than the original outlook was, and I can breathe a little easier, at least for now.


Blogger cynthia said...

glad to hear well...

1:15 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

My thoughts are with you and your family.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Thank you both for the well-wishes!

12:28 PM  

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