Topic: My brother was just diagnosed @ age 44

Hi,  I found this site and hope that you all might be able to help me.  What is the best way I can support my brother other than being with him for the doctor visits?  He's already had such bad news.  Not sure yet if this is operable for him (we'll find out on 1/11/07).  He already has RA and osteoporosis.  Is a single dad and my parents are on their 6 month annual RV trip.  The future looks so bleak for him.  He lives 45 min from me and 1 hr + from hospital!

Re: My brother was just diagnosed @ age 44

oh Candy, I am so sorry!  I am a single mom with the disease and that is the hardest thing for me to deal with.  How old is your brother's child?  As far as support, the best thing for me is knowing that people are there for me.  The other thing is if he is ready to deal with he needs to go into "commander" mode, or list mode.  Are all his insurance paperwork up to date, who is the guardian, does he have a will, POA, etc.  When he has all that stuff taken care of he can concentrate on dealing with his illness.

Do your parents know?  Are they reachable?  Don't you think they would want to come back to be with you and your brother? 

My prayers and good wishes are with you as you embark on this journey

Re: My brother was just diagnosed @ age 44

thank ou so much for your reply.  I was planning to ask him if I could take on the insurance and medical bill review, but the other things are great suggestions too.  We should find out Friday if he is a candidate for surgery or not, although the doctor didn't seem to have high hopes.  I keep trying to keep positive since his CEA and CA19-9 were fine and his biopsy was negative, but the doctor also said that doesn't mean anything.  My parents are very selfish but have said they'll come home if they need to.  It's bad, obviously they would be needed now rather than the permanent vacation they are on, which they could resume later or take smaller trips more often.  My brothers children are teenagers, not driving yet, but they live with his ex-wife so there isn't a real care issue, just a coping issue.
My prayers are with you as well, it seems like you're diagnosis might be fairly recent?  What kinds of treatment have you had?  How do you feel?  I can't really imagine how difficult it would be to manage this disease as well as raising children; I had very early ovarian cancer when my girls were 4 and I was incredibly lucky and am fine now.  The thoughts and worries that I had about my family were so difficult; I do have a very loving husband who has been my rock.  I only hope he can handle what I'm going to need to do to take care of my brother.

Re: My brother was just diagnosed @ age 44

Candy, one thing you can do is find counseling for those kids!  Do they even know yet?  Don't put it off too long, school and neighborhoods are a hotbed of gossip.  My biggest fear was well meaning neighbor's hugging my son and saying "I am so sorry about your mom" before I had a chance to tell him!
A good start would be to call the American Cancer Society they have lot's of resources for support groups, etc.  Here in cincinnati we have an organization called Cancer Family Cares, they provide counseling for families whose lives are touched by cancer.  My son, who is 10, loves his counselor, she comes to his school once a week and they talk about dealing with his mom's illness, grieving, etc.  One positive thing is that he had become MUCH more diligent with his school work, he told the counselor it helps take his mind off what is happening to his mom.  I am so sorry about your parents, I am so lucky to have my loving family surround me. 

I feel fine today, that's how I deal with it, day to day.  Some days I feel like absolute doo doo, other days I forget (almost) that I have cancer. 

How was your brother's diagnosis made?

I was diagnosed in August, I thought I had the flu, hepatitis at the worst.  what's worse is that I had just had my gall bladder out the previous November, not a sign, my poor surgeon about fainted when he found out.  Everyone deals with this in their own way, I find humor is the best way for me.  I remember playing a trick on my oncologist, got a fake tattoo and told him I got drunk in Mexico.  The tattoo said "It's all about me!" 

I have a blog, http://thecdr.blogspot.com  I've found it very cathartic, and I tell people that this is the ONLY place that they will find the truth about me and my illness, any other source is pure gossip and not allowed!

Re: My brother was just diagnosed @ age 44

Things that help-
1)my husband is the contact person for family and friends. Sometimes I call, but when it is bad news, there is nothing worse than having to repeat it over and over again.

2)continue to do "normal" things. I love it when Hans gets annoyed with me and doesnt treat me like I am going to kick the bucket if he does

3)be prepared to listen and have the weight of emotions put on you. Your brother will need it. But that doesnt mean you have to bear all the responsibility, you too can unload your burdens to someone, in fact you will need to. But let your brother know he can come to you with anything.

I will think some more. I am so sorry for you and your brother.

Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: My brother was just diagnosed @ age 44

Hello thecdr,Kris and everyone else great posts they help me out alot just knowing of differant situations, I had alot of questions to ask this older doctor and still think he has not told  me enough information on certain things maybe this is the only place for me to get access to my questions because he is older and set in his ways,left house at 830 morning arrived back at 5 pm very busy day and almost overwelming  I also use a form of humor to help deal with day by day  Glad I got Bio Billy of my back (i mean side)today god bless all Mr J