Monday, April 18, 2011

Life goes on

Today was the last day of a series of days that all of us often know will happen, but that we don't want to see arrive.   I lost a brother to colon cancer.   We knew that eventually it would happen, we just didn't expect it to happen so suddenly.

Gordon had his colon removed 10 years ago, a perfect surgery according to the doctor.  No need for a follow up chemo.  Almost 5 years later, there was an "Oh, oh, I guess we missed something",  to quote the doctor.  So he has been on various chemos since.   About 3 years ago, he leveled with me that there was no cure, it was only a matter of time.  In the meantime, he carried on as if there was no problem.  Two years ago, he planted 8 foot corner posts on his farm that he bought from his father in law.  That is no small feat for a healthy 65 year old, but he seemed to thrive on it.   He and Ruth drove a hundred miles to the farm a week ago Sunday to treat mother in  Law and see how the farm survived the winter.  Tuesday, he had a pain in his mid-section and the doctor hospitalized him for observation.   Early Thursday morning,    Ruth got a phone call shortly after midnight that they had a "code Blue" on him and she needed to get there immediately. She didn't make it on time.

The blessing is that he didn't suffer a long drawn out painful exit.  For that we need to be thankful.  A sudden quick death is harder on some survivors like myself.  To put it simply, its hard to lose a brother, especially your second one to the same problem.   But life has to go on and we'll get over it.

Perhaps the most difficult part was informing my mother that she has lost her second child to death.  Mother is 99 and failing, especially her hearing.   We thought she comprehended what was said, but it took a couple of days to get it straightened out.  When she read it in the paper, it finally became clear.  Thank goodness, Sandy was there to carry the message for me to her.   One problem I have talking with mother is that my voice tones are very difficult for her to hear, where as Sandy seems to have no problem making her understand.  (Plus I get all choked up.)  So in the end, Sandy normally repeats what I've said or just tells her initially.

We have some things to get done on the RV (install a new water pump and modify our lights), but all of it involves outside work on the east side of the rig.  To make it difficult, its going to be cold out with a 25 mph east wind all day tomorrow.  Perhaps I can find enough paper to shuffle so that I'm inside all day!  I hope so.



  1. Gene:

    We're so sorry about the loss of your brother. Take care of yourself.

    Doug and Sheila

  2. Our deepest sympathies. I recently lost my father. He was 96 and certainly lived a full life, but the loss is still painful. Take care,

    Bob and Sandi Swanson