Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Bad News

On July 7 2009 my youngest brother -- we're going to give him the pseudonym Wolverine -- was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 40. Nothing prepares you for the 7 am phone call from your mother telling you that there's a possibility you might never see your baby brother again. They operated on him the next day, and the outcome from the surgery was the best we could hope for--full physical functionality, no damage to speech, 80% of the tumor removed. Adult members of the family mobilized and flew from Midwest and East Coast to the West Coast to be with him. Friends brought support, love, and obscene amounts of chocolate. We spent a long weekend waiting to find out the results of the pathology tests on the tumor, doing what modern adults do when faced with uncertainty--we obsessively scoured the internet for information, taking notes, building hope, writing down questions.

When we were finally able to make contact with the surgeon, we got the really bad news: it was a grade four glioblastoma multiforme tumor, "aggressive". Now the networks of friends with contacts in the medical field sprung into action, researching treatments, doctors, and facilities, and offering help in every possible way.

We are at the beginning of a long, arduous journey into unknown territory. I told my baby brother I wanted to start this blog so that in ten, twenty, thirty years he and I and the rest of the family will be able to look back on this challenging time and revel in having helped him to survive.

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