Yesterday day I went through every emotion known to woman, my brain was numb with shock one second and racing out of control with emotion the next.
I wanted to scream, cry, laugh myself silly, and weep until I'm numb.
I could not even begin to imagine how my brother felt; he has cancer.
It began as a sore arm about 4 weeks ago.
A 20cm (8in) tumour appeared under Peter's right arm 3 weeks ago.
They began radiation therapy Tuesday last week, once a day they said for 20 seconds.
The tumour was growing so fast and aggressively it was pressing on the nerves and blood vessels, the circulation was being cutting off to the rest of his arm; Peter was in agony.
Peter's arm was distorted and bent at an odd angle, he could not lower his arm, the tumour was enormous, his shirts did not fit, his hand became gigantic, he could not move his fingers.
Sunday Peter ended up in emergency in agonizing pain. Drugs so strong were prescribed, the pharmacist could only dispense a three-day supply at a time.
Monday this week they increased the radiation treatments to twice a day and extend duration of the dose. Trying to manage his pain they tripled the frequency of the pain medication.
Tuesday they continued the radiation treatment and tried to relieve the pressure on his arm by draining fluid. They began to give him morphine.
Wednesday the tumour had doubled again, they cancelled the radiation treatments and admitted Peter to hospital; a zillion more tests were done. High doses of drugs were tried with no relief. The tumour was still growing at a rapid pace.
Thursday the surgeon came to see Peter at 7:30 told him the straight facts. "We operate today, we will remove the tumour and we may need to amputate your right arm." From 7:30am till 4:30pm my brother had to think of this possibility.
My wait, and my parents' wait was agonizing slow, from 4:30pm to 9:45pm we did not know anything other than Peter was still in the operating room.
The surgeon came to see us at 9:45pm; they removed a 40cm (15in) tumour from under Peter's arm, along with some muscle.
The surgeon gave us the good news Peter was doing well, "he is a fighter and came thought the operation fine. The tumour came out clean."
He gave us the bad news too, "60% chance the tumour will return.
It was an "aggressive fast growing cancer.
Peter may need skin grafts as the skin on his arm was severely crushed by the tumour and may not survive the trauma.
Peter may not regain full use of his arm or hand; the nerve damage caused by the tumour may be too great.
Peter will need physiotherapy.
Peter will need Radiation therapy.
Peter will need Chemotherapy."
I cannot even begin to imagine how my brother must feel knowing he has cancer and the very long struggle ahead of him. I feel very helpless as I cannot fix it or make it go away, I can only wait and watch.
I need to appear positive, be strong, be encouraging, be the voice of hope when I'm around Mom, Dad and Peter; when all I want to do is scream, cry, laugh myself silly, and weep until I can no longer think, my emotions are in a turmoil.
The operation went well, he is fine, he has cancer, treatment to follow. The good news & the bad news are intertwined as one news; my brother has cancer.
I'm considered the strong one in the family, I'm really not you know; it is just a stoic mask I wear in public, in privite I weep.
My soul weeps in the early morning on the East Coast.