The last week or so has been trying for my family. My brother is still on a ventilator after his surgery last week. The reason has nothing to do with the cancer itself but because he is having breathing problems because of the nature of the surgery. It was long and difficult. They going to check his numbers tomorrow and see whether they can attempt to remove the ventilator or wait another day. In addition, aside from the pain, he is communicating with doctors through hand signals and he understands what is going on with his treatment and his recovery. The procedure, as it relates to the cancer, leaves the doctors hopeful. However, the long-term prognosis they gave my brother was grim and told him that chemo would allow him a few years. For me, that is not enough.
I continued to search about his condition, a condition that only affects 250 Americans. Fifty percent die within a year, the other 50% survive. When you think about that, 50% seems like a lot but considering the number of diagnoses; it doesn’t seem like a lot, does it? I found that there are survivors and they are scattered all over this great country, the longest being fifteen years in remission. In my research with the several non-profit and patient advocate groups, I found that there are many survivors who are five, six or more years in remission and what that means is that there is hope.
I am the process of getting my brother into see a specialist in this condition who works through the National Cancer Institute. I was told that there is hope; it just has to come from the right people. I have spent a lot of time crying and trying to make sense of this diagnosis. I have lost sleep but the one thing I never stopped believing was that there were survivors out there and my brother will be one of those even if I have to drive him a thousand miles away to get the treatment he needs.
There is hope because God’s does not stop believing in us if we continue to believe in him.