2.01.2009

oligodendroglioma



About 5 years ago, my brother, the one just a year younger than me (I'll call him yb), suffered a seizure in the middle of a racquetball game and was rushed to the hospital. An MRI scan showed a tumor in his brain with the name you saw in the 8-syllable mouthful that is the title of this post. To make a long story short, surgeons removed the tumor (along with a bunch of tissue from his right frontal lobe) and he's been "okay" ever since. ("Okay" being defined as placed on anti-seizure medications and scheduled for regular MRI's for the rest of his life, but able to return to work, school, driving a car - after 3 months' wait - and life in general after recovery.) He had another seizure about 2 years ago, but other than that, has pretty much been just a regular guy (missing a chunk of his brain - that's yb's brain in the picture after his surgery).

Yb waited until after Christmas to tell all of us that his most recent MRI showed another growth in the right frontal lobe again. His doctors told him this was common with this type of tumor and scheduled him for another surgery. Last Monday, they removed the new growth, along with "quite a bit of tissue" (the surgeon's words). Recovery hasn't been so smooth this time, but yb still manages to find the time to blog about it.

What I find so amazing about this whole deal (aside from the marvels of modern medicine and their associated technology) is his attitude. I talked to him the night before his surgery, and we talked a lot about how he felt about the whole thing. His attitude basically boiled down to this: It's all in God's hands, and I know everything will be okay.
How different would our lives be if we all had this attitude? Toward everything, not just brain tumors? Would people still complain? Would this kind of patience extend to minor frustrations as well, like today, when I've chased the puppy around the house 8 times after she snatched 8 different things she's not supposed to chew? I just marvel at such a perspective. He's a great example.

4 comments:

beckbot said...

I'm so sorry to hear that the tumor came back. We'll keep your "little" (if you're in your 30s can you still be little? )brother in our prayers.

Jeff said...

If you can't be "little" in the sense of mentorship and having someone to look up to, what's the point of having a birth-order in the family. I really need people who walk ahead of me in certain issues of life where I've not been to show me the way. So if I'm "yb" I guess that makes you "os" right? Not bad for someone with half his brain missing, eh?

While I'm at it, the other night at dinner time, dad was telling one of his stories of growing up in a small town and telling us that one of the ways you could be a hooligan is to raid the pea patch of someone you didn't (or did) like...sort of like how you might go to a friend's house and throw toilet paper on their trees and shrubbery. So instead of "T-P-ing" a house, you can "De-Pea" a house. What a thought?

Leroy said...

I appreciate that perspective too. It makes me think of the YW song, "I walk by faith," as cheesy as it may seem. On certain tough days I find myself singing that song in the back of my mind. We wish you and your yb all the best. ~Janet

Larissa said...

So sorry about your brother. He sounds like an amazingly strong guy...must run in the family :)