My Lungs Are Fresh and Yours to Keep

      13 Comments on My Lungs Are Fresh and Yours to Keep
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About a year ago my Uncle Peter was diagnosed with lung cancer. It is now stage 4.  All cancers are awful, and nobody deserves cancer, but especially my Uncle.  Without getting into too many details, I believe the correct PC term for him would be “Developmentally Challenged”.

He also has Neurofibromatosis.  Talk about getting a bad hand in life.  Through it all he has always been happy, loving and full of life.  Over the summer he moved in with my parents so they could keep an eye on him. Through out all his challenges he was able to learn to drive and still holds a full-time job.  The last few weeks he has been too sick from chemo and radiation, as well as double pneumonia to work so he has been using up all his sick and vacation time.  He works overnights at the front desk of a nursing home close to my parents house.

Lung CancerMy uncle has been wonderful to me my whole life. When I was younger and on summer vacation my grandmother would watch me while my parents worked. He would take me to the town pool so I could go swimming.  My senior year of high school, I attended a different school in the district for afternoon art classes.  If I took the bus I didn’t get home until very late, and would miss any club meetings at my regular school. Uncle Peter would set his alarm (during the day he was sleeping because he worked nights) , pick me up and drive me wherever I needed to go.  Since he was always home during the day, he was also the one who got the phone call whenever I was being sent home sick from school.  He never complained,  and I didn’t thank him nearly enough.

For this Music Monday I wanted to share a song that holds so much meaning to me.  When it first came out, I loved it but didn’t actually related to it. Then in 2006 I got the phone call that one of my best friends was in a horrible car accident.  She was in the car with her fiancé, and his father.  His father was killed instantly. She was on life support.  I flew back to Long Island that night.  The whole situation was just gut wrenching.  I remember hearing this song and it held so much more meaning. I wished and prayed there was something I could do, but all I could do was be there for the family  – they lived across the street from my parents.  She lingered for a week before she had a seizure that released her to heaven.Now almost 7 years later I am reminded of the same song.  Another phone call I’d rather not receive. It was my mother saying my Uncle is pretty much day-to-day, but his spirits are good. My uncle has a complete DNR so all of his doctors needed my mom to make the decision between Hospice, or Palliative care because it is becoming obvious that the chemo and radiation isn’t stopping the cancer from spreading, and is just making him weaker.  In hospice they wouldn’t give him antibiotics for the pneumonia so my mom opted for the palliative care.  He is out of the hospital and back home but any day he could take a turn for the worst. I wish I could share my lungs with Uncle Peter. It breaks my heart to know he is suffering.   I wish cancer never existed.

This song was written by Jesse Lacey the singer of Brand New.
He wrote this song for his grandfather who was dying of lung cancer.

“Guernica” by Brand New

Ever since I was young your word is the word that always won.
Worry and wake the ones you love.
A phone call I’d rather not receive.
Please use my body while I sleep.
My lungs are fresh and yours to keep,
Kept clean and they will let you breathe.

Is this the way a toy feels when its batteries run dry?
I am the watch you always wear but you forget to wind.

Nobody plans to be half a world away at times like these,
so I sat alone and waited out the night.
The best part of what has happened was the part I must have missed.
So I’m asking you to shine it on and stick around.
I’m not writing my goodbyes.

I submit no excuse.
If this is what I have to do I owe you every day I wake.
If I could I would shrink myself and sink through your skin to your blood cells
and remove whatever makes you hurt but I am too weak to be your cure.

Is this the way a toy feels when its batteries run dry?
I am the watch you always wear but you forget to wind.

Nobody plans to be half a world away at times like these,
so I sat alone and waited out the night.
The best part of what has happened was the part I must have missed.
So I’m asking you to shine it on and stick around.
I’m not writing my goodbyes.

I’m not letting you check out.
You will beat this starting now and you will always be around.
I’m there to monitor your breathing
I will watch you while you’re sleeping.
I will keep you safe and sound.
Does anybody remember back when you were very young.
Did you ever think that you would be this blessed?

Nobody plans to be half a world away at times like these,
so I sat alone and waited out the night.
The best part of what has happened was the part I must have missed.
So I’m asking you to shine it on and stick around.
I’m not writing my goodbyes.


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13 thoughts on “My Lungs Are Fresh and Yours to Keep

  1. sam dock

    I have never heard that song before but you are right, it is very fitting for situations like those. Im so sorry that your uncle is going through all of that 🙁

    Reply
  2. Wendy Mastin

    Thank you so much for that beautiful song. My mother-in-law passed away 5 years ago with lung cancer and this just brought back so many great memories.

    Reply
    1. Diane Post author

      Thank you for your comment. I’m sorry to hear about your Mother-in-law passing but im glad you have great memories with her

      Reply
  3. Alana Mautone (@RamblinGarden)

    My best friend from childhood has been battling lung cancer for the past year. She is already a cancer survivor from a different cancer, years ago. Just passed the 15th “passing” anniversary of a work friend who died from lung cancer. I am sorry about your Uncle, and feel for you. Your Uncle sounds like a man I would have loved to met. I’m glad I did meet him through your blog. I’d like others to meet him too, and I intend to post a link to this blog post on my Facebook fan page.

    Reply
  4. Cher

    Diane so sorry, bless you and your family. I couldn’t actually listen to the song as I am still a little raw myself and i will end up in tears all night 🙁 If it is any comfort at all – I would rather my loved ones not remain in pain – xxx

    Reply
  5. Bella's Bookshelf

    I lost my Aunt Jackie to lung cancer when she was 51. Right after her birthday 🙁 she was a life long smoker though (I HATE and DESPISE Tobacco companies too) I was 18 and in Chicago, I was aware she was sick, but was so young, I never lost anyone, except my friend who was 17, but she killed by a truck driver she hitched a ride home with (thats another story) so I never imagined I thought you got chemo and radiation and went into remission and was ok until you were very old.The naiveness of a kid huh?.My Dad described her last days..Yeah..Needless to say I hate Cancer too. I will pray your dear Uncle is ok and as pain free as possible. I’m sorry. I truly am. I hate feeling powerless to mortality and diseases and I dont like others hurting either.
    Tell him hello from me 🙂 Thank you for sharing this <3

    Reply
    1. Diane Post author

      My uncle was a smoker his whole life as was the rest of the family (except my mother thankfully). Im hoping this serves as a reality check for the rest of the family and they start taking better care of themselves better!

      Reply
  6. Susan Smith

    Sorry about your Uncle. Lung cancer is tough to beat. I had a friend who died of lung cancer. I’m glad my parents quit smoking.

    Reply

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