Thursday, September 10, 2009


My brother in law, Jerry was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He has some special needs and lives with his mom and dad. He's been through so much in his life, starting with open heart surgery when he was 15, and consequently contracting Hepatitis from the blood transfusion, to dental problems, hearing problems, to a multitude of skin issues. And through everything he's kept smiling and joking. He's spent more time in doctor's offices in about 40 years of life than anyone should ever have to endure. He's had to take countless medications, endure painful shots, deal with all sorts of side effects, and miss out on many things in life. This summer we were hoping he might finally get a break. The shots he was taking actually cured his Hepatitis, and the various medications for his skin finally got rid of all his rashes. Then he had a lump on his thyroid tested. The doctors confirmed that it was cancer. This crushed the rest of us, although Jerry seemed to take it in stride. His brother (my husband Jim), has been consumed with worry. It makes it so much harder that we live in Ohio and Jerry lives in Tennessee. It's an 8 hour drive, but we don't even have the money for gas right now. Jim would have to go by himself anyway, because I can't leave leave Gramma. I know he wants to be with Jerry more than anything right now. We may be able to work something out in the near future though.
Today Jerry had his thyroid removed, and thankfully everything went well. I even heard him in the background when I was talking to Mom. He actually felt well enough to thank me for the Jack O Lantern candle holder I made for him. He felt well enough to eat and drink a little bit too, as well as appreciate the pretty nurses! We don't know how long he'll have to be in the hospital just yet. He'll have to take chemo treatments starting in about a week. I think we should know a little more tomorrow.
It seems so unfair that such a kind and gentle person like Jerry should have to suffer so much. He's creative and artistic, has tons of different hobbies he enjoys (he's not able to work), he's great with kids and animals, and even helps Mom around the house. He actually got the wild foxes to trust him enough to eat from his hand! He's the only person in the world aside from myself, Jim, and Gramma who have ever petted my cat Cedric. That shows a HUGE amount of trust. Animals know good people. And kids just adore Jerry. He gets down on their level and plays with them and listens to what they say, and sees them as equals, rather than "just kids".
We're all praying as hard as we can that he'll be OK and get through his chemo with a minimum of pain and side effects. He doesn't seem to be worried or scared. He's such a good natured person, no matter what he's forced to deal with. Jerry's always got a smile on his face and a joke to tell.
I'll post more as I find out more. Hopefully it will all be good news.
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

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