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Wertbag

My brother is dying

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My brother had a couple of melanoma removed from his neck, but they have now confirmed the cancer entered the blood stream and is all over and untreatable. 

Devastating for me and my family. Hes only 44, but with no kids or partner so at least others won't suffer too. 

I have this weird contradictory feeling of both wanting to live life to its full (eat whatever, drink whatever, do whatever. Enjoy life now because you never know). But on the other hand I want to do everything to make sure I'm as healthy as possible. Eat right, exercise, and make sure I maximise the amount of time I have so I'll still be here for my kids. 

 

My brother has been very careful with suncream, covering and sun safety. He hasn't been burnt in over 20 years. As kids we got burnt on occasion, back before people really understood the risks. It is quite possible the melanoma has been dormant for half his life, a time bomb waiting to go off.

As I'm a pasty white boy I'm in the high risk category so have signed up for a full body mole map. 

 

Our family, friends and inlaws are all anti-funeral. Growing up it was always just an expectation that you would have a funeral, the only question was what type (long boring Catholic one with hymms, latin prayers and the traditional trappings, or perhaps a more modern version, secular in nature with speeches and music). Nowadays everyone is saying its very expensive, it doesn't matter to the departed, and it adds more stress, planning and effort to an already bad time. We have been having family memorials instead, more close family focus and without the cost. 

 

He never smoked, rarely drank, never did drugs, had a decent diet, was fit and is a really great guy. Perfect example of the problem of suffering, which I've still not heard a good answer to. There is no caring or loving god, bad things happen to good people. 

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That really sucks, Wertbag. All you can do is to be there for him. And we are here for you. 

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Wertbag, I am so, so sorry to hear about you brother. Life just isn't fair sometimes. :( I hope all the care and love of those around you provide comfort and peace to get you through the days ahead with your brother. My heartfelt and sincere condolences go out to you and your family. We're here for you if you need to talk.

 

Big (hug) for you.

 

Sincerely, Margee

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I echo what older and Margee said.  HANG IN THERE!

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Very sorry to hear this. All the best to you.

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I’m so, so sorry you are all going though this!  

 

Yesterday, I was at a funeral for a man in his 60s who had been ill with a form of Parkinson’s for a decade.  It was a Catholic mass followed by a gathering of family and close friends back at their house.  In his homily (sermon after the reading of the Gospel), the priest stepped down from the podium and spoke directly to the widow, but also, in a sense, to the congregation as a whole.  He spoke with such compassion and did a very good job - within the context of Catholic belief - of consoling her.  I know she was immensely consoled by his words and by the entire ceremony.  Even as a non-believer, I had a lump in my throat.  I have no doubt that an eloquent humanist speaker could have offered a similarly effective type of consolation to a different audience.  I guess what I’m saying is that funeral rituals are important and valuable, not for the dead but for the bereaved.  And the gathering back at the house was so warm and filled with human love and kindness. As well as food and drink.  

 

Again, I’m so sorry and I wish you the best in the times ahead.  Wish we could all hug you right now...

 

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4 hours ago, TABA said:

I guess what I’m saying is that funeral rituals are important and valuable, not for the dead but for the bereaved.  And the gathering back at the house was so warm and filled with human love and kindness

I have been to lovely funerals, the one that comes to mind was the secular one for my grandad, where it was a "this is your life" kind of biography. I learnt a lot about his life that I never knew. 

On the flip side I've been to a Catholic funeral where it felt very generic, the deceased was hardly mentioned and they just went through some pre-planned script. Prayers, hymms, incense, readings and some music, all of which felt irrelevant. 

 

I think the worst thing about our situation is just the helplessness. You would donate kidneys or do whatever was required to help but are told there is nothing to do. 

Of the multiple cancers going on, they have said the brain tumours will probably be what is fatal, but there is no way to tell how it will progress or exactly how long he has. They guess a couple of weeks. 

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Two years ago I had a brother-in-law that went through a similar situation.  Very stressful for everyone.  You and family are in our thoughts. 

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If you can accept it, you have my love and support as well.  

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Sorry to hear that Wertbag. Unfortunately for us in NZ we have some of the highest rates of melanoma because of the weaker ozone layer above us.

 

My thoughts are with you during this difficult time. As Margee said, if you need to talk we are here.

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I'm sorry to hear that you are going through this. I went through the same thing with my mom 3 years ago, so I know what you are feeling. Keep us updated because we are here for you.

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The hospital has said they will do radiation therapy on his spine and neck, in the hope that breaking up the tumours there may return a level of mobility and reduce his pain. That won't change his life expectancy, but at least improve his quality of life. 

We bought him a high end gaming PC, so hes been playing some games that his old PC couldn't handle. Also means he can watch YouTube from the hospital bed that they've installed in my folks place. 

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At my roomie's funeral (he died very suddenly, we don't really know why), we had a laptop showing pictures of him from childhood on up, and each of us passed around a mic and told stories of the good times and laughs we'd had with him. It was more a celebration of who he had been than about his death. 

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On 1/25/2020 at 4:04 PM, Wertbag said:

My brother had a couple of melanoma removed from his neck, but they have now confirmed the cancer entered the blood stream and is all over and untreatable. 

Devastating for me and my family. Hes only 44, but with no kids or partner so at least others won't suffer too. 

I have this weird contradictory feeling of both wanting to live life to its full (eat whatever, drink whatever, do whatever. Enjoy life now because you never know). But on the other hand I want to do everything to make sure I'm as healthy as possible. Eat right, exercise, and make sure I maximise the amount of time I have so I'll still be here for my kids. 

 

My brother has been very careful with suncream, covering and sun safety. He hasn't been burnt in over 20 years. As kids we got burnt on occasion, back before people really understood the risks. It is quite possible the melanoma has been dormant for half his life, a time bomb waiting to go off.

As I'm a pasty white boy I'm in the high risk category so have signed up for a full body mole map. 

 

Our family, friends and inlaws are all anti-funeral. Growing up it was always just an expectation that you would have a funeral, the only question was what type (long boring Catholic one with hymms, latin prayers and the traditional trappings, or perhaps a more modern version, secular in nature with speeches and music). Nowadays everyone is saying its very expensive, it doesn't matter to the departed, and it adds more stress, planning and effort to an already bad time. We have been having family memorials instead, more close family focus and without the cost. 

 

He never smoked, rarely drank, never did drugs, had a decent diet, was fit and is a really great guy. Perfect example of the problem of suffering, which I've still not heard a good answer to. There is no caring or loving god, bad things happen to good people. 

Oh my gosh. I am so sorry to hear that. 🤗

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@Wertbag!

 

I just read about your brother. (Been inactive for a couple months).

 

I am very sorry to hear this. At least he has a caring brother in his time of need.

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Wow Wertbag. How freighting coming suddenly from out of the blue for such a young person and then that prognosis with possibly only a few weeks left, so unfair!  I'm very very sorry to hear this and wish there was something do or say. I hope you are able to enjoy this last bit of time with your brother and the closeness this kind of situation can bring with your family and friends. Thank you for the updates and for generally keeping us in the loop. Like all the others here I wish you the best possible in this difficult emotional time.

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Originally they had said 2-3 weeks based on the speed the brain tumours were growing.  For some unknown reason those tumours have stopped growing, and he's now 6 weeks from that time.  Of course the rest of the tumours are still growing, but the life expectancy is now a big question mark.  Still likely to be a few weeks, but we just don't know.

He can't walk without a walker, is on liquid food and heavy morphine doses, so its hard watching a loved one go downhill. 

Even the likely cause of death is an unknown.  Tumours inside of organs can break away leading to internal bleeding and organ failure, the brain tumours may resume growing, the tumours could block the blood supply to the brain or the strain could cause a heart attack.  At least with one cancer you have an idea of how it will proceed, but with multiple spread randomly there is no way to know what will happen.

 

Always wear that sun cream, don't get burnt even once, its not worth the risk.

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Sad news...best wishes, my friend.

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My brother passed away on Tuesday. He woke unresponsive and was taken to the hospice where he passed away a few hours later. No sign of any consciousness in his last day, which also means no pain or understanding of the impending end. 

Seeing a loved one degenerate, slowly losing the ability to move, enjoy life or even eat is a painful process. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. 

Enjoy your life while you can. We never know how long we have. 

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Oh man, I’m so sorry!  I hope it’s some consolation that he’s no longer suffering.  

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I am sorry for your loss Wertbag. My condolences to you and your family.

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57 minutes ago, Wertbag said:

My brother passed away on Tuesday. He woke unresponsive and was taken to the hospice where he passed away a few hours later. No sign of any consciousness in his last day, which also means no pain or understanding of the impending end. 

Seeing a loved one degenerate, slowly losing the ability to move, enjoy life or even eat is a painful process. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. 

Enjoy your life while you can. We never know how long we have. 

 

I'm sorry to hear this. 

 

And you're right. We never know how long we have. Enjoy the capacity to experience human consciousness while it's taking place. 

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On 2/18/2020 at 2:23 PM, MOHO said:

I am very sorry to hear this. At least he has a caring brother in his time of need.

  

My words as well. And we'll be thinking of you in the weeks ahead.

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Sorry for your loss!

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