I really want to write about that horrendous loss on Sunday. But my brain just won’t let me. Not because it was that awful, though it was, but because my mind is completely somewhere else.
At the beginning of the season, I wrote about my brother, Brian, and the awareness campaign for UPMC’s Cancer Institute. My brother was diagnosed a year ago with early, stage 1 oral cancer. A couple surgeries, and later a bout of radiation and chemo and we thought we were home free. In fact, he came to MD just a short month ago to see the kid play football. We ate crabcakes (that is what you do in MD afterall) and hung out with our father and then Friday Night Lights.
That next week, he went to the hospital not feeling well, coughing up blood. He went through test after test after test. No cancer. All of his scans, in fact following the second surgery were clear. The doctors were sure this was a lung infection made worse from his weakened immune system following the chemo and radiation.
Then last week, in a routine follow up scan, it came back with heartbreaking news. The cancer has spread to his spine, lungs and back on his tongue, where it started. There is no cure this time. He’s in so much pain too, it’s awful. Today he started chemo that will hopefully extend his life at least for a little while. But ultimately, this is the worst thing that my family has ever had to endure. Absolutely the worst.
So, if you are looking for posts about the Steelers, well, I really just am not in a place to write about that. Not today. Football will probably remain my safe place, somewhere I can disappear to get my mind off of everything else.
Many of you have expressed prayers and support for me and my family. We appreciate it. Truly. It means a lot to me that so many people, many I haven’t even ever met in person, have reached out in support. It’s pretty darn amazing.The kid and my brother, a couple years ago.
I would not, in a million years, want anyone to have to suffer the way we have this last week (or really since cancer became part of our life a year ago) so I hope that you will consider donating just $10 (or whatever you are comfortable with) to the UPMC Cancer Institutes (directions below) for oral cancer research. It certainly can’t help my brother, but hopefully it could help someone else close to you or to someone you know.
Thank you again for everything. The kindness and support, like I said, is completely amazing. Thank you.
To donate, please visit: http://www.upci.upmc.edu/giving/
Choose UPCI Cancer research
Fill in your name/contact
On this page, write in “other” with Tumor Microenvironment & Virus Program to make sure the funds go to Dr.
Ferris’ research team specifically focused on oral cancer!
Thank you for donating to future research. It will mean a lot to other families this cancer might affect.Me and my nieces, my brother’s adorable little daughters.