When Life Goes On

The older you get the more your perspective of life changes.  I am 33 years old and my older brother LT3 at the age of 39 lost his battle to brain cancer.  He left a wife, a house with a mortgage and a family who loved him very much.  Children were in his plans, but they weren’t in God’s plans.  Wellness living is not only about how you live but also about how you prepare to die. 

My brother was my father’s name sake, the first boy born to my dad during his previous marriage.  My brother ultimately grew up with his mom and older sister and I grew up with my mom, dad and younger siblings.  My older brother and sister would visit on the weekends but once they hit their teenage years they stopped visiting.  Although my mom and dad welcomed them it just didn’t work. Their mom would talk bad about my dad and discourage them from seeing him.  

Time passed and my brother decided for himself to start hanging out and to have a really good relationship with my dad, mom and the rest of us.  He moved out of his mom’s house and lived with our grandparents and that’s when we became close and were like a family.  He would pick us up from school in his car, play basketball with us, and just do what older brothers do. 

He attended community college and transferred to a State University.   He finished up in 2000 and graduated with a degree in communications.  By this time he was dating a young lady who turned out to be his wife. 

After having some trouble finding a career and after 9/11 he decided to enlist in the Navy.  He married soon after basic training and started his life in the military.   With a communications back ground he worked in communications in the Navy and was on a missile frigate during the gulf war.  

LT3 was in the Navy for 4 years , and decided to get out and go into law enforcement.  He joined the local police department and during a workout regime in the academy he abruptly fell to the ground, unconscious and had a seizure.    They rushed him to the hospital and completed a cat scan and found a tumor in his head the size of an orange.  They doctors said he was very close to dying but was lucky they found it in time.

After more tests the physician found that the tumor was indeed cancerous.  He underwent a 12 hour surgery while conscious that removed most of the tumor.  We were all so worried and scared and sat in the waiting room with our hands clutched when the doctor came out and addressed us.  Good news the operation was successful.  They removed 89% of the tumor. 

After radiation treatments and chemotherapy the rest of the tumor was gone.  We all were so happy but he wasn’t out of the woods yet.  The doctors stopped the treatment and advised the next 6 months is critical because if the cancer would come back, it would within those 6 months. 

It was like clockwork on the 6 month MRI appointment my brother and his wife drove down to the hospital in their family sedan.  They went to the physician, completed the MRI, and later they found a new growth.  

So he went through all that stuff all over again the same surgery again with chemo but without the radiation. 

By this time we all knew it was a matter of playing catch-up with the tumors and after his 2nd surgery he decided he wasn’t going to go through that again.  God must have heard him because his next round of tumors was inoperable.  How devastating that must had been to hear the doctor utter those words to him and his wife, that this is it.  

After another year and half of different treatments we lost him about a month ago.  How courageous my brother and sister in law were, having to plan the hospice care, to the funeral homes, to burying him.  I can only imagine the pain my sister in law feels after losing her life partner so young at the age of 39 and she only being 35.  Imagine having to wake up in the morning to an empty house, the feeling of being alone when you are use to your spouse being there.  She is a strong woman. 

My brother did accept his fate with bravery and said he was ok with the way things were going.  For that I am grateful.  He believed in living a strong life.  He was a personal trainer towards the end and worked with other cancer patients and survivors.  He expressed how much he enjoyed that and that it enriched his spirit. 

This is a type of story that I have experienced and many other people have experienced.  I don’t know anyone, who doesn’t know anyone, who has died from cancer, who currently has cancer or who survived cancer. 

The most that we all can do is prepare our finances and make sure everything is in order.  Keeping sound financial wellness is the key. Preparing for what we all are going to eventually do and; that is dying one day.  From my experience, I would recommend getting life insurance as a part of one’s financial wellness plan.  Term life and Permanent life products are out there to make sure when your time comes that your loved ones don’t have to worry about paying the mortgage or bills.  It ensures your family has one less thing to worry about when your time comes and leaves a legacy to them when you are gone. 

Wellness living is not just being holistic or a smart dieter or being fit, but being well with your finances.  It’s all about being prepared when your loved one’s time is up or when your time is up.   You can morn them in piece without having to worry about the bills.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Thank you

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