Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Brother, Wayne

Yamelis and Wayne
My brother, Wayne, was diagnosed with lung cancer. He had surgery in September and had 1/3 of his lung removed. Three weeks later he was back in the hospital going through another surgery. He had an staph infection that evidently began with the first surgery. They had to remove more of his lung and they left his whole side open so they could make sure the infection was abating. They found another pocket of infection in his shoulder and had to cut that open and put a tube into drain. He was in ICU for many days and now is in a room. He's had a few set backs but everything is looking good right now. He had to be given blood because they couldn't get his count up and that is fine now so they are doing surgery today to close the side up. They will take skin from his abdomen and use that to cover the opening.
It's been such a rough way for him to go and he's not a happy camper because he can't work and can't golf and bowl and do the things that he loves. He's a very busy person and this relaxation doesn't seem to suit him well at all. He says, "everyone says how lucky I am. If I were lucky, I wouldn't have cancer and I wouldn't have had the surgery at all." He IS so fortunate and blessed and I'm sure he knows that. People in the McBroom side of the family are lucky to reach 60. They get lung cancer and die in their 50's. It's a fluke that this cancer was found in time. Always in the past, by the time they have symptoms, it's too late. They found the growth and removed it. Then he got the very serious infection and couldn't even eat for three weeks. He didn't die from that and they finally found it and found an antibiotic to work against the infection.
I'm so thankful that my brother is alive and will be well again soon. We lost our oldest brother, Bob, to this same lung cancer when he was 59. He wanted to be 60 but it wasn't in the cards. My Dad would have given anything to live out his retirement fishing and boating but he died at 57.
I could make this about smoking because this is about smoking but it would not be well received by Wayne or my other brothers, three of whom smoke. I'll give up the lectures. I am 62 and thought I would prove that not smoking could help you see 60. There are always other reasons besides smoking to the smoker though...things like you didn't get it because you are a girl! Where have I heard that. LOL Or you don't have cancer because you have more of Mom's blood in you than Dad's. Well, I won't argue the case with anyone. I do wish my brothers were not smokers but I love them just like they are and Lord, I want them to live. The older I get the more important they are to me. I don't want to loose any more. Wayne has a good chance now and after surgery he can heal and live to receive his social security. I don't know if he will smoke again. I only know I love him and I want to enjoy each day with him and my other brothers and my mother (who is also a smoker) in good health.
I'm so thankful that things are going on a good path for Wayne right now. I think he's very lucky and so am I.


Mary said...

I think we have to love others just as they are, as chances are they will not change. LOL.

I had not realized that your mother smoked too, Judy.

I really know few smokers anymore. Not one family member that I can think of.

I am hoping that all will go well with Wayne now, and despite the setbacks, he will now recover and be able to enjoy his life and his activities again. I hope he and the rest of your brothers will reach 60!

Mary said...
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Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Judy -

I was sorry to hear about your brother's battle with lung cancer, but glad he's doing better.

Someone I knew once said it was easier for him to give up alcohol than cigarettes. It's a brutal addiction.

I'll add Wayne to my prayer list.


Anonymous said...

Blessings and healing thoughts for Wayne. Thinking of you

Darrell said...

Judy: Wow--sobering. My first thought is, I'm so glad I quit. It's been 5 years for me, and believe it or not, sometimes I still miss it. That's how powerful it is. In fact when Mom died, I thought for sure I was going to start smoking again. It's a miracle I didn't, and I figure, if I got through that, I'll probably never smoke again. Tell Wayne I support him 100%, and "there but for the grace of God go I". I started smoking when I was 12! Crazy, but I had an early morning paper route, and it was the perfect time to sneak smokes. I'd steal them from my Dad, and I'd be pedaling my bike through neighborhoods puffing on my cigs. Funny picture in your head, isn't it? Sad, but funny. By the time I quit, I had several spots on my lungs that they called "pre-cancerous", they warned me to stop. It was a real wake up call, and it worked. Quitting was the hardest thing I've ever done. Hang in there Wayne, and here's to many more prosperous, full years with your family.

Judy, I too did not realize that your Mom still smoked. I remember she had a dog at one point who smoked. Strange...

Love, Darrell

Victoria said...

Judy, I love you and the way you write from your gut and your life. I always think I tell it like it is with me until I read your posts. Then I recognise my own relative reserve. Your love for your brothers is so hot and real and urgent. I wish recovery to Wayne and peace to all of you.

Lynne said...

There's just something about brothers, isn't there, Judy. I love both of mine with a vengeance too. I'm hoping and praying that Wayne is doing well and on his way to a full recovery.