I couldn't even post the funeral here a week ago. It was more than I could do. I tried, and just walked away.
Losing Brian was tough. Oh, how we miss him! But how thankful we are to know that he is released from all he had to endure, and is in a much happier state. I have to say, it was a learning experience. I learned how kind and wonderful so many, many people are. I learned how much stronger Brian was in character than I ever knew before, seeing him endure so much. He did some funny stuff from time to time, that lightened the moments. He liked to tease and would fake a startle to the nurses from time to time when they stuck a thermometer in his ear, or things like that. Sometimes he grew impatient, because he wasn't one who liked to wait around. After one round of chemo in Salt Lake, Brian was tired of waiting for all the paperwork and this and that before they would let us go home. I was waiting at the nurses desk and finally Brian said he was going... and he walked out! The nurses' eyes popped out and jaws dropped. "Where is he going?" "He's gone...to the car. No point in stopping him." Later, while waiting in line at the hospital pharmacy, I got a call from Brian. "Moma, what level did you park the car on?"
In Denver, the CT scan transport and Pre-OP people showed up at his door both wanting to take him at the same time. I really wanted him to get the CT first. We talked, and they talked and I thought and time was wasting. Brian popped out of bed, grabbed his IV pole and walked to the service elevator and proceeded to walk to CT. I quickly followed and so did transport. Don't you want a wheelchair? No. He walked all the way to CT. His nurse waited with me outside the door. Then, when that was done, he walked to Pre-OP. The nurse there was so flustered, she didn't know what to do. He was still in his t-shirt and gym shorts! When the CT results arrived to the Pre-OP confirming he needed to have the right lobe of his lung removed, I got emotional. He stayed calm, assuring me that it would be all right. And he went through it, patiently, making friends with the surgical team along the way.
When we got back to St. George, he was not in the best shape. In time he actually got better for a while, and even got to do a little walking in the halls again. He insisted on taking the IV pole in one hand and dragging the oxygen tank in the other, himself. The day he finally got to go home, tired of waiting on paperwork and whatever, he did it again. He walked out of the hospital...all the way, clear out across the parking lot to the truck. He insisted. It wouldn't be so unusual, if he hadn't been in such bad shape. What a joy it was when we got home to see him poking around the kitchen looking for food. Like the old days. One day he put his arm around my shoulders and had me walk with him into the kitchen...just to check the cupboard and the fridge! Sweet memories.
This has been a long, hard journey, mostly for Brian, but I was blessed to make it with him and even though there were tough times, I am thankful I could spend it with him. Coming home to St. George was the most amazing experience. The love coming from so many friends and family was just amazing. We were so glad to be home. Our family shared an experience that we will never forget. I thought we were close, but now we are that much closer.
The support after his passing was so comforting. We were and continue to be deeply touched by the many people who offered their support and condolences, prayers and love. What an experience it has been! Thank you so very, very much! You held me up through some very hard days. We will be together with Brian again, and we know that he is doing well now.
Brian’s Blog was created for all of his friends, family, fans, and community members who are cheering him on in his fight against leukemia. Brian graduated from HHS in May of this year. Many people know Brian due to his leadership, sportsmanship, and outstanding athletic achievements including three state championships in wrestling, a state football championship, state discus champion 2011 and varsity track and soccer teams. He had received a call to serve a full-time mission to Uruguay and was planning to start his mission at the end of the month. After completing his mission to Uruguay, Brian planned to play football at SUU where he has already received a full-ride scholarship. Brian was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) on Tuesday October 2nd. That very day he was taken to Salt Lake City for intensive inpatient care. He has been receiving chemotherapy, blood transfusions, and other treatments. We hope and pray that Brian will recover with the help of competent medical care. Doctors say that there is an 80% chance that Brian’s cancer will respond favorably to treatment. Thank you so much for your support. We will keep you updated regularly on Brian’s progress.
Update: On January 14, 2014, Brian passed away after a 15 1/2 month battle with leukemia. He was in remission following the first series of chemotherapy treatments for only 3 months, in spite of earlier optimism. Another harder hitting chemotherapy began in June with the intention of following with a bone marrow transplant but instead, alternative treatments in Colorado Springs and later Atlanta were chosen. Those also were unsuccessful, too little too late. In November he underwent yet more chemotherapy in Denver. The leukemia did not respond. Brian returned home to Southern Utah friends and family on December 12, 2013. Leukemia took his mortal life, but it can't touch his spirit.