And then there were two.

Bone marrow aspirate showing acute myeloid leu...

Bone marrow aspirate showing acute myeloid leukemia. Several blasts have Auer rods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It turns out my brother had acute myelogenous leukemia. My niece and I tried to reach him on the phone today to see if he got the results of the bone marrow biopsy. My niece was told there was no one on the floor by that name. They had moved him to ICU. He was intubated. The doctor said he had another 24 to 48 hours.

I drove home from work feeling numb. I forced myself to stop holding my breath. Just breathe. I arrived home. Sat in the car in the garage. Got out. Went inside. Picked up Sadie. I held her in my arms and stood looking out the window at the sparrows and bluejay in the feeder. Sadie purred in my arms. Five minutes passed. Then ten. Sadie purred. Each time I let out a sob, her paw seemed to squeeze my arm. She made no sign she wanted to be put down. I held her and cried while she purred, as we watched the birds together.

Eventually I set her down and sat in a chair. My neighbor came in. Hugged me.

“We’ve got to stop meeting like this,” I said.

I felt numb. Couldn’t think. Needed to pack. Maybe if I didn’t go, if I stayed home, it wouldn’t happen.

“Let’s go see Sophie.”

We went upstairs into the kitty’s safe room and sat with her. We took turns petting her as she purred and drooled.

“I don’t have to go to Houston, do I? I can’t do this again. Maybe it won’t happen if I don’t go.”

Was this one of those horribly vivid Viibryd dreams? Surely I was going to wake up to find it wasn’t real. This couldn’t be happening again. This kind of thing doesn’t happen. Can’t happen. It would be too cruel. This stupid fucked up random universe could not be that cruel.

But it could.

My brother died today at age 52.

Eleven months after our oldest brother died.

Five months after our father died.

Three days shy of getting his 90-day sobriety chip.

Fifteen minutes before I arrived at the hospital.

About UB Ella

UB Ella (f/k/a Unconfirmed Bachelorette) is a 50-something recovered lawyer who left the practice of law to embrace a full-time writing life. Never-married, child-free Ella resides in Austin, Texas and Ontario, Canada with her four bad cats.
This entry was posted in Alcoholism, Cancer, Death and Grief, Death of a sibling, Health, Sobriety and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to And then there were two.

  1. So very soory to hear this news. What an unbearable year it has been for you. Hugs over the ether.


  2. blueviking says:

    I’ve been there for one… not two, and certainly not three within a year’s time. I don’t know how you maintained your composure long enough to post a blog entry. Words alone cannot convey my sympathy. Be at peace, and take the time you need to process all this…


  3. Our sincerest, deepest condolences for your losses, your pain. We are happy that writing is helping you. Holding you in the light, xo Louisa


  4. free penny press says:

    Words fail me now…:-(


  5. Tahira says:

    From my heart to yours, I am so deeply sorry for your loss. You are not alone.


  6. Damn it. I’m so sorry your brother had to go. AML is a heartbreaker.


  7. fern says:

    I honestly got chills reading those last 5 sentences. I thought you were going to write that you found out you were the perfect match to be a bone marrow donor for your brother. I am so sad for you and your family. Indulge me while I selfishly scream out, “It is not fair that one family should have so much pain!” I don’t get it; it’s unfathomable.

    Sending prayers and hugs your way and keep hugging those kitties.


  8. bitesizelove says:

    my heart breaks for you. damn it. i’m so sorry, how could this happen? what is the meaning in so much loss? sending love and strength to you and your family.

    one bit of goodness: i’ve heard of an infinity or forever chip. your brother has that now.


  9. I hate to “like” this when what I really want to say is “I care.” I’m so very sorry for your losses…I’ll be thinking of you and wishing you peace.


  10. Soft paw pats and purrs are healing: you are here – you are loved.Somehow they know.
    There’s no understanding.
    You brother was well on the path – maybe he’d completed what he needed to do here.
    May warmth and peace find you


  11. I’m sorry.
    Infinity chip is a brilliant concept.
    Hugs and love to you and your family.


  12. I’m so sorry for you and your family. My sincere condolences.


  13. Hon…I’m so, so sorry. Unbelievable – and completely heartbreaking. Hugs, take care.


  14. Gail says:

    I share your tears today. I am very sorry for your loss. My prayers to you and your family.


  15. David says:

    So sorry for your loss.


  16. gertmcqueen says:

    Oh I’m so sorry! this has been a rough road for you, stay centered and strong
    I’m thinking of you!


  17. Fuck, this is just horrible, my heart’s breaking for you. I wish I could be there to hug you hun, to just sit with you… life can be a real bitch. Sending you my deepest condolences and tons of hugs and warm thoughts. Are you still in Houston?


  18. lightheartedlibrarian says:

    I am so sorry.


  19. s1f2m3 says:

    I was so shocked and saddened to read this this morning, and I’ve been thinking about you all day…sending thoughts, prayers and hugs to you and your family…


  20. theoldmaid says:

    I am so, so sorry. What a tough year you’ve had, but I am very glad you had those three last months with your brother. Definitely sending you virtual hugs and good thoughts.


  21. So sorry for your loss. You have had a rough year! Keep your head up but allow yourself to feel…. ((Hugs))


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  23. ((Hug))

    He died sober. That in itself was a blessing. Many of us don’t. When I leave this place, I want to do the same. I will meet your brother one day in the place after, we’ll compare those infinity chips and reflect on how we touched the lives of others in ways we can’t see in this lifetime.

    My prayers to you and your family.


    Liked by 1 person

  24. Mom wanted to tell you how sorry she was to hear about your brother. We fur people try to help you humans as much as possible through the really rough times so we’re glad Sadie could sit in your arms and purr. We’ve all been away from the puter for a few days so forgive us for not writing sooner. We hope that you will be surrounded by the love and comfort of family and friends.


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