Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Reality Sucks

My friend Brian has been fighting a monster of a beast - cancer - for three years. I remember that he felt ill during my wedding* (very unlike him), and he sought medical help (very, very unlike him). In the course of their investigation, they found out he had Stage 4 colon cancer. In the meantime, Hurricane Katrina came and forced him and his wife to move to Baton Rouge. As he likes to say, there is no cure, only treatment. And he has been constantly treating and monitoring the spread of the beast. He has seen several doctors, trying to find one that shares his stubbornness and hope. He has been to Arizona to enroll in an experimental (of sorts) treatment regimen. New medicines are always just around the corner, but after three arduous years the reality is grim.

The cancer has spread and increased its invasion of his body throughout the last few months, taking over his lungs and significantly hindering his ability to breathe. JazzFest, Brian's favorite New Orleans event, was almost a chore because he had a great deal of difficulty catching his breath, and with all the dust he had several coughing bouts that lasted hours. It was sad to see your best friend struggle to enjoy something he loves.

He has fought valiantly for a long time, and I hope he has the strength left to continue his fight. I sit here in Pennsylvania wishing there was something I could say or do. All my words feel trite and meaningless. It's hard to know what to say, so I try to keep myself upbeat. But the truth is that I feel helpless. In the next week or two, our new family is coming down to meet Uncle Brian, hoping that we get to spend more time together in the future.

Fight on, brother. We are rooting for you.

*Brian was my best man, and he and his wife paid for and hired a brass band which turned out to be the highlight of the entire weekend. Who does that?


Kate Mitchell said...

We love Brain- oh yes we do! (That is supposed to be a cheer of some sort...) Seriously- you can't ask for better friends than Dayna and Brian. Brian- we think of you daily. XXOO- kate

Mr. Clio said...

You're not entirely powerless when you can write something like this. Nice job. It matters. Somehow.