Friday, May 1, 2009

shout-out to the family

Dad did an incredible amount of phone calling yesterday. It was his way of aggressively pursuing multiple angles in our search for a better treatment route than than the standard therapy which Mom is slated to undergo. Dad is also the guy handling incoming calls from Mom's friends, checking our appointment calendar and making sure that friendly visits don't get crammed together into a single day.

My brother David has been the main Internet research guy, finding articles on new techniques and passing that info along to the rest of us. He's also been great about visiting the house during his free time, sacrificing his mountain biking and other aspects of his social life to spend time with Mom, often hanging out with her and my aunt upstairs.

My brother Sean has provided invaluable emotional support by coming over quite often. This is significant because, for as long as Sean has been a professional musician (for those who don't know: he's a cello teacher and performer), he's been hard to reach by phone and by email, and seeing him has been a rarity. Like David, Sean works seven days a week; both of my brothers often look exhausted. Now, however, Mom gets a larger dose of Sean, and this obviously cheers her up. The fact that he brought over his dog Maqz yesterday (Maqz is still here) is icing on the cake. Maqz definitely serves a therapeutic function; I don't know whether endorphins play any role in staving off brain cancer, but making Mom as happy as possible is a major goal for all of us.

My uncle John's visit and my aunt's continued stay have also been hugely beneficial to Mom. Both relatives have supported Mom with their presence, their humor, and their help around the kitchen: through sheer determination and elbow grease, Uncle John rescued Mom's charred pot (from the morning on April 16 that began with Mom burning the oatmeal and acting strangely, and ended with her in the ICU of Fairfax Hospital, tentatively diagnosed as having a mass in her brain); he also bought food for us (hooray for string cheese!). My aunt, for her part, has been constantly at Mom's side and has done the lion's share of cooking for the entire family; she will remain here until May 5th, the day after Mom's birthday. She also promises to come back; the rumor I'd heard was that she'd be back in a month or so. Uncle John, if I understand correctly, will be back sometime in the latter half of May.

It's good to know we have a family that pulls together in crisis. They all deserve my thanks for everything they've done and will do.


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