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The Happiness Report #11 – My Brother Larry

Wow – what a week! Last weekend, my husband and I took our kids to Iowa to spend the week with Grandma and Grandpa. When we arrived home, I collapsed into bed only to be jarred awake a few minutes later by the phone ringing. It was one of my sisters and she told me I needed to get to the Emergency Room ASAP… our brother was not doing well and things weren’t looking good.

I arrived at the ER to discover my brother in a horrible state. He was hallucinating, dehydrated, extremely weak and his chest sounded like a fish tank gurgling along. His oxygen level was very low and he was in tremendous pain. To make matters worse, he was nauseous from the chemo he had earlier in the week and he couldn’t throw up because the tumor was blocking his esophagus. He also had pneumonia in both lungs, but couldn’t clear his chest because of the tumor blocking his esophagus. Can you imagine how horrible that would feel?

I watched helplessly as my sister-in-law dealt with the “do not resuscitate” orders… nurses came in and out just trying to keep him comfortable. It was one year to the day that my friend Ann lost her battle with cancer. I was cursing cancer and hating what this disease had done so quickly to my brother.

I ended up staying the night with him at the hospital. I had to leave for a short business trip to Chicago the next morning and as I gave him a hug and kiss goodbye, I honestly was fearful that this would be the last time I saw him alive.

Our friends here at home and those of you who heard the news online committed to praying relentlessly for him, his doctors and his family. I’m excited to tell you that those prayers have worked…my brother has taken an unbelievable turn for the better, thanks to your prayers and the innovation of a great doctor who has apparently gone through something similar with his own family recently.

It was discovered that the tumor had punctured a hole in my brothers trachea and esophagus causing everything from his feeding tube and other fluids to leak out into his lungs and body cavity. The doctor decided to perform surgery to put a stint in his esophagus and it worked! He came out of surgery and is now able to eat, drink, cough, breathe again. After seeing him on Sunday and then visiting him again today, I can’t believe the improvement in just these few short days.

His prognosis is still the same… he’s not going to be with us all that much longer, but we are thankful that we have awhile longer to have him in our life.

So, today’s happiness project is a long story but boils down to one thing. I’m thankful to have my brother alive. Actually, make that two things… I’m thankful for your prayers as well. I’ve received so many kind emails, phone calls, tweets, facebook messages from all of you. Thank you so much for keeping our family in your thoughts. It is so appreciated.

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Comments

  1. Oh, Kristen, my heart goes out to you, your brother, your whole family…. He and y’all are in my prayers. If there’s anything I can do, let me know. Love you!

  2. Robyn |Add a Pinch says:

    Kristen,
    I’m so thankful your brother made such a wonderful improvement! Praise the Lord! We’ve been praying hard for you all and will most certainly keep them going!

    Love and hugs!

  3. Kristen,
    You guys are in my thoughts. I am so glad he is doing better. Sending many hugs to you!!

  4. I’m so glad they were able to do something to relieve his suffering and give him the chance to spend every minute he can with his loved ones. Sending my love to you and your family, you are in my thoughts. -xo

  5. Kristen,
    still praying for y’all and so thankful you get more time with your brother.

  6. It really does become about the little joys doesn’t it when you are walking with cancer? I hate that disease, too (and I don’t use the ‘h’ word very often).

    Hugs and prayers to you and your family.

  7. I’m so glad to hear of the improvement. I will continue to pray for you, your brother, and family and friends!

  8. Such wonderful news!! I hate Cancer in the worst possible way! I’m so sorry that your brother doesn’t have long, but I”m so glad his days are better!! Love and hugs. and prayers to you and your family :-)

  9. Praying for your family tonight. I’m thankful with you that you still have him.

  10. That’s such wonderful news. We’re so thankful too and beyond happy.
    sending our love to you and your family.
    diane and todd

  11. Hi Kristen,

    I’m so glad that the doctors were able to do something to help you brother feel a bit “better”.

    I know it might be a bit too late but I think it is important to understand that behind most of our illnesses there are stressful situations, conflicts, etc.

    I think healthy nutrition is very important to prevent cancer, also to go through a live blood analysis but if your mentality is not right, if you live a stressful life, healthy nutrition is not enough. I don’t know if you heard about the German New Medicine? This “method” offers a completely new understanding of what we call “diseases”. By understanding the system’s 5 biological laws (that Dr. Hamer discovered), we liberate ourselves from panic and fear that often come with the onset of an illness. It is really a gift to humanity. Here you can find some information about it: http://www.germannewmedicine.ca/. It might help you to understand what was the reason that caused your brother cancer. It also helps you to avoid illnesses/diseases in the future.

    Sending love to you and your family,

    Zita

  12. Fantastic news. Your family has been in my thoughts and prayers.

  13. So thankful for the answered prayers!! Yea! for more time. Hugs to all of you!! Here’s to many more good moments together…

    Love ya, D.

  14. This gave me chills. I am so amazed that you have found the light in this situation and so glad your wonderful family gets a bit more time with your brother. Thinking and praying for you guys.

  15. Glad to hear this news Kristen and happy that you have a little more time with your brother.

    Sending love to you and your family

  16. Pleased to hear the news, Kristen. The relief you are all feeling must be wonderful. I will keep him in my prayers.

  17. Kristen, I’m so happy to hear this! I’ll keep your brother, and you (and your family) in my prayers.

  18. So happy your brother is doing better. You are all in our thoughts and prayers! Hugs!

  19. Kristen – You’ve got a good attitude in the midst of all this sadness and that will help you get through – and will help your family too. Of course we are praying for your brother and family. Stay strong.

  20. Such fantastic news Kristen!! I just can’t imagine what he was going thru!!

    Keeping you all in my prayers!- Stay strong!

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  1. [...] collapsed into bed, exhausted. Dealing with my brothers illness has taken a toll on me I never expected. When a family member is dying I’m discovering there [...]

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