When I first found a lump in my breast I sat out on my front verandah, as I do most nights, having a quiet drink. I remember suddenly feeling very alone, and I got this urge to call my brother for a chat. It was kinda weird, cos we don’t really have much to do with each other anymore…but I just had this need for family. At the time I was pissed at my parents over something, so I was too proud to call them.
I called and called, but couldn’t get my brother. When we did eventually talk a few days later I hung up on him pretty quickly as he started off on a rant about how much I suck, our family sucks and the whole world sucks. He didn’t even give me a chance to say anything… “Hey bro, I found this lump and I’m shit scared and I’d kinda like it if you could forget about yourself for thirty seconds and just be my big brother…”
I saw him today, and I’m pretty sure he saw me. But neither of us said anything, and he walked on by. And I felt sad. And I still do.
“You used to be proud to be my big brother. You used to say you’d protect me if anyone picked on me. Well that lump I found that I never got to tell you about? His name is Fuckin Herbert the Cancer, and he’s pickin on me. They say I have to get him cut out, and then spew my guts up for weeks on chemo. I thought you should know…”