Last night i said the words for the first time…

So…. my brother is dying.

By far the toughest words to ever leave my lips. It beat out the time i had to say…

That community theatre performance of Annie Get Your Gun, starring a 60 year old Annie, was fabulous ! And we totally DON’T call it Granny Get Your Gun when you’re not listening!

How can i make jokes at a time like THIS, right? I don’t know. I guess i just don’t cope like a normal serious person, but when i said those words, i was met with a moment of clear reality. I’ve know for 2 days now and most of that time has been filled with a numbness that is surely a part of the shock. I have moments of intense breakdowns, but they only last mere seconds and then pass. But those words passing from my lips opened up a gateway of negative thoughts. I started thinking about EVERYTHING negative. I suppose misery does love company. I dug up some high school bully trauma, i feared the loss of my work ethic, and, most notably, i lamented the loss of affections from a certain gentleman… like i didn’t have life and death matters to attend to and could afford to be a whiny 15 year old girl.

Tonight is my first night staying here at the hospital with Nathan. I’m writing most of this blog with one hand so that i can hold Nathan’s hand with my other. One handed typing is tough. I don’t know how you men do it. It’s oddly comforting to actually be present with Nathan. I would think that i would be traumatized by all the tubes and ports that they placed in his body, but the need to be strong for his sake overrides all other emotions. Here’s the skinny… Nathan has adenocarcinoma all through his body. It’s an aggressive cancer (as opposed to the ones that knock before entering) and rarely spreads this extensively, especially in the body of someone so young. Even if chemo COULD help it at this stage, Nathan is now too weak to handle something like that. Our goal is to get his lungs cleared up from the pneumonia that landed him here in the FIRST place, so that we can back off the oxygen level he needs, and take him home. From there, Hospice would get involved and we would celebrate the time we have left with Muppets and potato salad. OH! The good news is that today Nathan had food via the mouth for the first time in weeks. Giving him control over his own food intake is really important. Hopefully, we can get him off the feeding tube before he heads home. But, right now, he’s still having too many oxygen issues. I can talk about it now because, well, i’m still in shock.

My brother is THE most important person in my life. No contest. But i think that subject deserves a blog all of it’s own.

Every time i begin typing with both hands, he reaches out for me. No time for heartbreak tonight. I’ll save that for another day.



8 responses

  1. Stay strong Carrie. Judy and I are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Let us know if there is anything we can do for you. At minimum we can offer you an atmosphere to blow off some steam 😉 Take care, you’ll make it through this and we’ll help any way we can.

  2. You’re stronger than you know … but remember, it’s okay to be weak, too. It’s okay to *not* be in control; to be scared of the unknown. Nathan is your heart … he forever will be. Hold that hand until your very own goes numb. These are among the days you will one day look back upon fondly … those nights when it was just you and him, alone in the silence, brother and sister … when love roared so loudly it shattered time and space. Take it all in … and *despite* the nature of the situation, be grateful for EVERY SINGLE MOMENT. All my thoughts and prayers are coming your way; and Nathan’s too.

  3. Had no idea you are going through something like this. Stay strong. Cherish each moment you have with your brother. Many prayers for you, your brother, and your family. ❤

  4. Carrie, what a shock! I am so sorry to hear that this isn’t just a hospital stay. I am thinking of you and your parents and your brother. You are such a good sister to him. And really, there is no “normal” way to grieve. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Humor is often a coping mechanism. You have a great spirit, Carrie, and I know it will help your brother thropugh the weeks to come. If you need anything at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

  6. Carrie, Nathan is one, very blessed, young man. Oh to have a sister with as much love as you have for him. Thank you for taking the time to share this blog. You remain in our hearts and in our prayers. I hope to see you soon.

  7. Oh Carrie, I am so sorry to hear this. I had no idea. Your strength & your faith will carry you through this (no pun intended). I am praying for you & your family. The wonderful thing is that you can be there for him & he, no doubt, knows that you are there!

  8. Carrie…there are no words, but know that you and your family are in my heart right now.

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