Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Brothers and Sisters

I recently discovered a drama series called "Brothers and Sisters". It's essentially about a big dysfunctional family of grown up children and their mother. Weirdly enough, I could see a few similarities in the story lines and my life. A situation, where one brother was infertile, and used his brothers as sperm donors, the difficulty of being the outsider when faced with a very large, affectionate bunch of siblings ( OD has four brothers and five sisters) etc.

The last episodes I watched featured Kitty, the lead character finding out she has lymphoma. Poignantly, OD was in the room when this emerged, and he said, "If I have cancer, I'd like lymphoma!". Then he walked out. Lymphoma has a high cure rate. He's never really watched the drama with me. I think the similarities of the dysfunctional family freaked him out too much.

The news from the colonoscopy was not good. OD has rectal cancer. We have no idea how advanced it is and what the treatment options are yet. He has an MRI and then a discussion with a MDT. On Thursday, we find out whether we're dealing with pre-op chemotherapy and radiation ( chemo/rad) , followed by surgery, or surgery and post-op chemo/rad.

The last 72 hours have been a blur. By happy coincidence, my Dad had come to visit. And he was here when I got the phonecall from OD. There's no hiding from the fact that I was a complete mess. OD was holding things together- and I do feel selfish, because my lack of composure is probably contributing to his stiff upper lip approach.

He did however speak to his sister, and that was an opportunity for him to emote, and grieve as he needed to. I'm not going to say he's lucky- because frankly, cancer doesn't make the "lucky" list. But he is fortunate, to have the large, supportive family around him. He's been inundated with phone calls, and we're going over to Ireland at the weekend for a fĂ©asta. It will be a chance for him and the kids to bond with siblings and cousins.  There has already been talk of various visits from his brothers and sisters.

This blog was started very recently, as a means of dealing with my issues of blended families, inherited teenagers and laboratory stresses. It's still going to feature those things, but there's going to be a definite undertone of cancer.

I certainly didn't get a choice in this personal drama. But I'm going to have to hang on to the belief that "Everything is going to be alright in the end, and if it's not alright, it's not the end".

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