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We don’t know what strong is until being strong is all we have

Posted Dec 07 2010 12:00am
The tears finally came.  I have spent the last week being as strong as I could be and today, I finally let it out.  Watching my 31-year-old brother’s fight with cancer, helping my mom hold it all together and being the person making all the decisions finally took its toll on me.  Everyday it’s something new and my brother continues to fight.

Cancer is evil and every day, it seems like there is a setback.  Since my brother went back on the ventilator, it seems like there are no victories.  Today, the ICU doctor told me it was time for a tracheotomy. That will probably happen in the next few days but I wanted to talk to my siblings about it first.  How does a 31-year-old go from appearing perfectly healthy a few months ago to fighting for his life?

The doctors have scheduled a family meeting for tomorrow afternoon and they want to discuss with us the overall picture.  My brother cannot start any treatments until he is strong enough and right now, he is barely holding on.  I hate watching him struggle just to recover from the surgery and I hate how evil cancer is.  It does not care how old you are, how healthy your life has been until that point, nor does it care about creed or color.

I don’t know what I am supposed to do here and I am waiting for our miracle to come because this should not happen to someone who has not had a chance live his life, to get married or to have kids.  But cancer doesn’t care.  Cancer doesn’t care that his nephews and nieces miss him so much and that they have so many questions my sisters and I cannot answer.  Cancer does care that our mother is dying inside and that the rest of us know that we will lose her if we lose him.  Cancer does not have any compassion nor does it care who it hurts. It does not work on my timetable or anyone else’s.

I hate you cancer and I hate that you have forced to me to be strong whether I want to be or not.  If cancer teaches us anything, it teaches us that we don’t know what strong is until being strong is all we have left. Right now, my strength is keeping me from falling apart or else I would join suit with my mom and sisters.  Someone has to stay strong but it doesn’t mean that I am not waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Every day is a struggle for us and for him.  I have to keep it together in order to make good choices as they pertain to my brother’s treatment and that means I have to stay strong for him.

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