I feel I need to explain some of the stuff going on the last week or so. I had a few posts written ahead of time and I’ve posted most of them but have not been reading other people’s blogs hardly at all and haven’t even been responding to comments on mine.
A little bit of back story. My brother has always been one of my heroes. I remember when I was little, before I started elementary school I think, I fell out of a huge oak tree beside our house and fell into a wasp nest (or hornet or some kind of bee). My older (of the two) brother took off running for the house and left me. Monte came back and practically carried me to safety.
Another time, when I was about 4 or 5, my parents had given me a doll for Christmas that year that was called “the Sassy Walker”. I called her Saucy Walker. She was almost as tall as me and when you’d hold her hand and kind of pull her along she would “walk” with you. She was my favorite doll and one of my best friends came over and was jealous of the doll and pulled her head off. I was devastated, inconsolable over my doll. Monte searched and searched until he bound a rubber band big enough that he could finagle it to hold her head back on. He was my hero after that.
And just so you know what the monkey part means in my title. My girls for some reason had a hard time saying the name Monte but they could say monkey so they have always called him Uncle Monkey. So when I say praying for monkeys I mean their Uncle Monkey, my sweet sweet brother, Monte.
A few weeks ago Monte hurt his shoulder at work. They think he tore his rotor cuff. He has been in a lot of pain. Last week the pain got so bad he finally allowed his wife to take him to the emergency room. He was supposed to have an MRI the next day. Their main concern at that moment was trying to get him stabilized and his heart under control. He was in such an agitated state and in so much pain that they were afraid he was going to have a heart attack.
After several tests they diagnosed him with cancer. In the last week we have found out he has inoperable stage 4 cancer. It apparently started in his right lung, possibly years ago, as he has been a pretty much lifelong smoker. It is now in his lungs, his abdomen, liver, around his kidneys, brain, lymph glands and I think adrenal glands. Bottom line… he is one sick little puppy. He has a LONG hard fight ahead of him. He has started radiation and chemo.
Not only does he have stage 4 cancer but his oldest step daughter does too. She is the one I wrote about previously that I was doing the 3 day walk for. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was pregnant with her last child, in her mid twenties. She had a mastectomy and radiation and chemo and it came back. She now has it in her lungs and brain also. She had three children under the age of 10. She was put in the hospital last night on the same floor as my brother due to a reaction between her medication and her chemo. Hopefully she will be getting out today. (She got to go home).
I plan to stay in Virginia as long as he and his family need me here. It’s just I feel very fortuitous that I am not working right now so that I can be there. I can be there for him and his family and be able to carry my mom and dad back and forth a few times a week since they don’t drive long distances any more since they are getting older. It’s about a 2 and a half hour drive from where they live to where my brother lives. I want to be there to do whatever I can to help.
The reason I even tell you all about it at all is because I need a favor from all of you. I ask that any of you reading this PLEASE pray for my brother and his family. If you have prayer lists at your church, please add them to it. If you have prayer vigils, please remember them then. If you want to pray for them personally, please do. If you want to ask others to pray for them, please do. We can use all the prayers we can get. This fight will be literally the fight of his life. I so appreciate each of you so much. Thank you for your love, prayers and support.
If I had not made a commitment to post every day for 2011 I would be taking a break. I will try as long as I can to keep that commitment. Please remember my brother and his family. Thank you again for your support and your prayers. Please pray for our “monkey”.