Friday, 23 January 2009

Some days are just rubbish

Today is not a funny day. Grace in Small Things was HARD today; because today is a bit crap really. Not just for the rain, and the wind, and the gut wrenching, heartbreaking news, though all of that is wretched. Last night the Bearded One rang me to say that my brother had just got his latest scan results and they are not good.

My brother - that brilliant, kind, crazily hard-working man - has a brain tumour (grade 3, tumour watchers). All brain tumours are bad, but his is towards the very bad end of the spectrum. It's big, malignant, inoperable; the prognosis is poor. He found out in October 2007 and promptly decided to jack in his crazy high pressure city job for a lovely relaxed life as .... a hedge fund manager*. Yes. This is my brother. Why face one challenge when you could be facing two ridiculously hard ones that would send a lesser mortal to the asylum?

Since then , he has had brain biopsies, radiotherapy, chemo and more chemo and then more chemo. All the while running his new hedge fund. And being a superlatively wonderful father to his 6 year old daughter and 3 year old son. And celebrating his fortieth birthday with a huge party. Then he and his wife went to the Manoir aux Quatre Saisons for a birthday weekend while I looked after the kids and wrote my dead crow poem and my nephew amused us all by telling us that he hated farmers and that pigs did not make sausages, they made dirt. They really enjoyed it, even if my brother had to go to bed quite early. They are good at having fun.

After a short period of inactivity in the autumn, it appears the tumour is growing again. Fuck off, stupid fucking bastard tumour. My brother and his wife, being the kind of people they are, were going out for champagne, before screwing up their courage for another round of chemo. I wish I could at least have been there to babysit my wickedly funny niece and nephew. At times like this, the distance is such a frustration. I want to live down the road and be able to drop round for a couple of hours to do the washing up, or take the kids to the park. I go over whenever I can, and whenever they want me to, but it never feels like enough. It's too far to be a proper support.

So my father and I sat in silence on the phone for a while. There isn't much to say. We knew it was coming. - these kinds of tumours don't discreetly fade away - but we hoped the stupid fucking thing might give him a few more months respite before it going on its pernicious way. Worse, none of us really believe in anything, so we can't pray or do anything much but rally round and keep each other close. I wish it was closer though.

41 comments:

Simon said...

Shit. Sorry.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Words can be of tremendously little comfort when faced with such terrible unfairness in life, JW - Thinking of you all...

Potty Mummy said...

So sorry to hear that.

Pearl said...

Shit is right. So sorry to hear this.
There just seems to be no reason at all to things sometimes, and it's hard to take in...
Pearl

Chantal said...

What Potty Mummy says. Fuck you, oligodendroglioma, even if I can't pronounce you.

Knowing that someone you love suffers and not being able to do anything about it is probably one of the very worst things about being human.

I am sending atheist non-prayers your way xx

La Belette Rouge said...

Awful news. I am so very sorry.

SUEB0B said...

I'm so sorry. Awful.

P said...

Thinking of you and performing sacrificial rites with the entrails of dead crows in honor of your brother.

Iheartfashion said...

Terrible. I went through similar with my dad and still never know what to say.
I will pray for your brother and family.

Pochyemu said...

That's really scary and really awful and how come it always happens to good people? Why don't fucking horrible people like...Hitler, or George Bush...why don't they get fucking horrible things wrong with them?

Couldn't you still go to your brother's house for a couple months to help out? Like do the Eurodrone stuffs long distance? Or doesn't it work like that?

Persephone said...

To accompany Chantal's atheist non-prayers in an interfaith/non-faith way, I'll be lighting candles and holding your brother in the light. (Hope that doesn't piss you off.)

I'll also be saying "forstfu" (my word verification) because it seems to fit, somehow.

Kitschen Pink said...

I am so very sorry. t.xxx

Kitschen Pink said...

I am so very sorry. t.xxx

Kitschen Pink said...

See? I am so very sorry I said it twice! t.xxx

Elsie said...

Though, as you’ve noted, quaker education can be very weird, one thing it does right is build a community. The community here is directing all its power and love to your and your family.

katyboo1 said...

Arse, shit, Tit, fuck, wank.

That's it really.

I shall see what a word with Cheezus can do. I may even go down to the shed to do it.

That sucks. Not that you hadn't got that. But I thought you'd like to know you've got company.

xx

justme said...

That is sad and depressing and altogether grim.....I am so sorry. Why indeed do such things happen to good people.....

bonnie-ann black said...

i join in the general sadness and sympathy for you. i lost a brother a few years ago. i wish there were something i could do for you, and your brother and his family.

thriftymrs said...

God, fuck. Sorry to hear your terrible news. Just found your blog but thinking of you and your family.

Completely Alienne said...

I am so terribly sorry Jaywalker. I am sending you virtual hugs and tidal waves of sympathy to your family.

Marie said...

Oh no. That's awful.

Your post, incidentally, makes your brother sound brave and brilliant.

More than a Mother said...

Marie has summed it up. Your brother is indeed brave and brilliant, and you are even more so. Big hugs to you.

Lisa said...

Dammit all. I'm sorry for you and will keep your brother in my thoughts.

Z said...

Being a believer doesn't really help, because all prayer does is help one to cope at best and may not do that. We're in it alone and together when it comes down to it, and I'm with your other virtual friends in sending love and sympathy.

Red Shoes said...

Being a believer doesn't really help, because all prayer does is help one to cope at best and may not do that.

I can't really agree with that, so I'm saying prayers for your brother and all of you who love him. Stupid, bastard brain tumors! I can't stand it. I just can't. I'm so sorry.

He sounds like an outstanding human. Amazing. I crumble because I drop and shatter my bowl of leftover risotto. He has brain biopsies and horrible treatments and terrible prognosis and still shines. Truly amazing.

It must feel awful to be powerless to fix it and too far to help as much as you would like, but I'm certain that what he needs most is your love, and you've got buckets and buckets of that.

Coding Mamma (Tasha) said...

Very, very sorry. There is absolutely nothing I can say that will make it better, I know. Will be thinking of you and your family.

Parisgirl said...

Truly sorry to hear that, Jaywalker. As others have said, words won't help, but lots of us are thinking of you and your family. x

Mr Farty said...

Fuck. Shit. About both your brother and the nursery. Sometimes life really sucks.

xx

shebrews said...

My daughter (34) has the same fucking thing......we are devestated, and it makes me ill to hear it has returned to your brother after all that stuff he has already gone through----my daughter says she cannot do it again.....I cannot let her read that your brother's is back.....she is scared to death.....
holding hands..........

Laura Jane said...

Fuck. Bugger. Damn. Jeesuzman.

These are very good reasons for a day to be just rubbish.

Crap, Jaywalker. I really feel for you. I know that dread pit in your stomach feeling. So sorry to hear this news. Your brother sounds brave, and sensible, and really hard to be without. Especially from afar when he is ill like this.

Hugs, and Lindt.

lisa in san diego said...

so sorry, emma -- virtual hugs coming your way.

Dani said...

How cruel and unfair. I'm so sorry.

Titian red said...

So sorry to read your news, I know there is nothing that can be said that will help, but we are all thinking of you and your family. It must be so frustrating. Being at a distance will make you feel even more helpless. Take care and hang on to F & L.

Grit said...

so awful. be strong. again i think enjoy what is here and now, because we are privileged to have so much.

G said...

Life really sucks sometimes. And then you have to deal with idiots going on about random nonsense, like merkins. Sorry. Swear a lot, it always helps.

expateek said...

I'm so sorry to hear such terrible news. I'll be thinking of all of you. It just seems incredibly unfair. xx

Jaywalker said...

Thank you all so much, you are really lovely and all prayers, incantations, chocolate, black magic, holding in the light, atheist non-prayers, crow sacrifices and idiots talking about merkins are TOTALLY GRATEFULLY RECEIVED. Honestly. It does help.

Shebrews I am so sorry, I can't imagine how bad this is for you and her.

Red Rum said...

Jaywalker - only just back from a night on the tiles in Lovely London. So sorry to hear this too, my thoughts are with you. RR x

Kate said...

I'm so sorry. My friend's father has a brain tumor and a friend of mine had one. It sucks. There's no better way of saying it. It just sucks. I'll be thinking of you all.

emily said...

you poor sweetheart *hug*
thinking of you... and i agree with others - it shouldnt happen to someone who sounds so lovely

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