The Melanoma Journey

A few months ago I posted about the diagnosis that my brother received. This was the start of a short and rough journey for us. I have learned that Melanoma is not a cancer with a lot of hope, at least once it has metathesized.

For Charlie it was already too late. He did however live bravely.

We helped Charlie live these last months, and so he lived until he died - July 11, 2011. I want to share his story so that someone, somewhere else is helped by him.

Charlie spent 3 months in the daily care of Stratford General Hospital. He was there before his diagnosis and then spent the last 2 months at home.

In the real world, he lived with our mom, (a mutually beneficial situation). The family comprised  Mom, myself and my family, two more sisters and their families (living in the US), and a brother along with a collection of Aunts, Uncles, and cousins all over the place.

Life threw Charlie more than his fair share of challenges and he faced them all with an amazing attitude. He did not complain about his circumstances very often but always looked at how he could keep on doing what he wanted to do in spite of them. He was always working at getting his life on track.

Charlie had both knees spontaneously fracture in the early 90's due to calcium loss from kidney disease. Then the kidney disease -glomerulonephritis - led to dialysis and eventually a renal transplant in 1996. He fractured his hip. The hip replacement failed and he had it repaired in 2003.

With all this he walked many  miles every day, with routine stops for his Timmies .

to be continued:
Part 2 - The Man
Part 3 - The Gift
Part 4 - The Goodbye