What do you say or do when you find out someone in your family, or even a friend, has some form of cancer?
Where to start?…
A little more than a week ago, Brian, my son-in-law, left work and arrived home in the wee hours of the morning. While taking care of things and securing his vehicle in the Bakersfield, California, tule fog, he noticed something going on at his neighbor’s a few houses down. Having been burgled recently, Brian decided to check out the scene when he noticed a couple of young lads taking things from his neighbor’s garage. Brian took out his cell phone and attempted to capture the events on camera when the lads scrambled, jumped into their vehicle and proceeded to run Brian down. With a broken knee and some bumps and bruises, Brian was still able to call 911, while my daughter, Ashleigh went to his aid.
In the hospital, the doctors confirmed the broken knee but also they noticed a tumor in the area of the break. They transported Brian to UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, California. Doctors there ran their test and told Brian that some surgery would need to be performed to repair his leg but they would wait a while to see what type of cancer they’re dealing with before progressing forward with the procedure. Surgery is scheduled for this Friday for them to do something to repair his leg, which will probably entail removal of tumor from inside the bone then either repairing with rods and plates or replacing the knee (and surrounding bone), what ever will be most productive.
So far, so good, right? Well, let’s learn a little bit about Brian. Brian you see is a bit of an unknown success story already. Brian was raised in adversity, a not-so-great family environment; and a little bit of trouble along the way. However, this did not stop Brian from doing something with his life that many would see as good.
Many people (family and friends) call Brian, Bear or Da Bear. I’ve called him a few things over the years, more endearing terms like knucklehead and Brain and son. Ashleigh calls him her best friend and her husband; the four grand kids call him Daddy.
Brian hasn’t always had a smooth path but has made the most of life and has done the best he could with what tools he had to work with. But one thing most people don’t know about Brian is his personal dedication to family and friends. Ashleigh and Brian met some 15 years ago–I vaguely remember meeting him some time ago but it was a quick event. I never thought much of any guy my daughter was associated with then or since but I know more of Brian now. He was there with Ashleigh when her parents went through a very unpleasant divorce; he was there with her when she had growing pains with her mother; he was there with her when her mother died prematurely; he has been there with her and their four children through hard and good financial times and he is there now, with his leg in a brace waiting to be fixed. Just imagine what would go through your head in the same or similar circumstances.
As most daughter’s fathers, I’m not sure that I really thought that Brian would ever amount to anything but he of course surprised me. When getting jobs is tough, Brian has been working several part time jobs plus taking care to be with his family ensuring quality time with his children at any opportunity. I’m not sure when he slept but I’m sure he had to at some point.
Brian works on cars; he dips cars (some type of plastic funtastic coating applied for looks); he is learning and does furniture upholstery; he DJs karaoke at local clubs and also DJs weddings and events from time to time.
So, what do you say to a family member who has some form of cancer? I said goodbye to my mom 25 years ago (I was in the Navy and couldn’t be there)–my brothers, however, gave her physical support and went through her last days with her; and I have given love and moral support to my dad with his cancer battles over the past 20 years–of course, he only lives 1,200 miles away.
What do you do when you know you can’t personally fix it? I spoke to Brian over the phone all the way from here in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to let him know my wife and I are concerned for him, we love him and we are praying for him and the family. I let him know that I hope his heart and mind, like never before, are open to Jesus as his Lord and Savior and that his relationship with God grows closer. I know that I can’t personally do anything to make it well. I can’t fix the cancer, the bone, the head or the heart. I can only show love and support. For this has happened to Brian and indirectly to his family; we’re all affected greatly by these events and hope for the best possible outcome.
You see, Brian is almost 28-years-old and has a lifetime ahead of him. I am an olderly guy who wants Brian to have that lifetime with his family so, I pray. I pray first, that God’s Will be done; then I pray for Brian’s comfort and healing; I pray for the learned doctor and his team to have all the right stuff to carry out their duties; I pray for Ashleigh and the kids, for their comfort and strength to deal with this mess in their lives and that the Lord provide them insight into why He is there and how He is there for them first and foremost. Although I do not know the outcome of all of this, I keep faith in my Lord and God that He is the one that knows the best outcome–for from a bad event, He let it be known there was a tumor in Brian’s bone.
I wanted you to know a little about a young man that much of society would not put much stock in because he hasn’t done things as society dictates, he hasn’t lived a so-called perfect life. I want you to know that sometimes, as much as it would be nice to gripe about the weather, gas prices, world events, terrorists, congress, and a piss poor president, there is a person who needs the love, if just for a moment, of a few good people to may be able to provide him support during a difficult time in his life — perhaps the most difficult time of his life. So, if you could take a moment of time and please join me in saying a prayer for Brian Ransom of Bakersfield, California, and his family–I would greatly appreciate it. And while you’re there, say a prayer for the rest of the people out there going through similar things in life…you know who they are.
Let’s bring something personal to the fight–let’s bring names to those who may be suffering alone and let them know that they are not alone. Those of us who are affected by their plight are with them in love and spirit.
Love and God’s blessings.