I originally wrote this a couple of weeks ago, but didn’t post it at the time. I didn’t think it was ready. With some time to reflect, I don’t think it’s going to get any more ready, so here we go.
No seriously. I’m saying this from the bottom of my heart: Fuck you, cancer.
My brother Mike’s been diagnosed with bladder cancer. We don’t know much yet, as many scans, procedures, surgeries and discussions with medical professionals of all sorts remain in the future. But we do know that yes, it’s cancer (specifically bladder cancer, if you care) and it’s “high-grade.” Which may be a good sign if it’s been caught early, but is a bad one if we didn’t catch it early.
It’s not like he needed another complication. After two divorces, the second one far from amicable, two motorcycle crashes, the second one less initially scary than the first but more life-affecting in the long term, and a recent bout of diverticulitis, along with going back to school and then to graduate school, there was really more than enough going on already.
I don’t know how to deal with it yet. It’s not about me, obviously, except that it sort of is sometimes. I mean it’s about him most of the time – he’s the one with cancer – but there is the matter of my own life to lead in addition to doing whatever I can to help him. Case in point: I’m in San Jose for a conference. When I set this up, I knew I was going to miss a couple of Alex’s baseball games, including at least one pitching appearance. I didn’t know I was going to be missing Mike’s meetings with the oncologist, and possibly surgery as well.
I’m feeling unprepared for almost everything at this point. I’m here for a conference, but I don’t really know if I’m going to be paying attention to it, to be honest. Depending on what we learn over the next couple of days, I may be heading to the airport to buy a one-way ticket home.