ARTICLES / Cancer / Brotherly
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"Buddies! Buddies! Buddies!" That is
what my brother and I would say to each other. We hoped
to go into business together and planned on being
roommates before marriage. It never happened. My only
brother, who was four years younger than me died of
cancer at age 15.
We didn't always have a perfect storybook relationship.
We had the typical "brother" arguments like whose turn
it was to use the remote control and blaming each other
whenever there was a mess in the house. However, we did
have many good times together which I will never forget.
When we first discovered Andrew had Cancer, my bags were
already packed for our ski trip to Colorado with our
father. Andrew noticed a bump on his hip, but thought it
was a bruise from playing baseball. After having this
"lump" looked at by a doctor, he said. we should cancel
the ski trip. I was so upset that our ski trip was
canceled. Then, a week later, I found out my brother had
cancer. At that point, I forgot all about the ski trip.
Being a caregiver for my brother was difficult because
sometimes it seemed like he might have been jealous that
I didn't have cancer. Sometimes he got upset with me
when I would just attempt to walk in the room. Also, I
was a little jealous of all the attention he was getting
since everyone in the family was caring for him.
Sometimes I even wished I could trade places with him,
so I would be the center of attention for a change.
Aggressively trying to find a cure for Andrew meant he
was moved from Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami,
Florida to M.D. Anderson in Houston, Texas. My mother
moved to Houston with Andrew. Since I was in college, I
stayed in Florida and was only able to visit Andrew a
few times in Houston.
When we were together Andrew and I would always talk
about baseball. He and I were both avid fans. I was
impressed when he received letters from outfielder Tim
Raines and a visit from San Diego's Ken Caminiti, then a
Houston Astro. It seems like sports figures have a
special place for in their hearts for kids who have
cancer. Even Mark Duper of the Miami Dolphins came to
see Andrew at home. They played Nintendo and Mark
watched as Andrew scored a touchdown as Duper on
Nintendo. Andrew was thrilled.