One of my brother's friends just found out he has thyroid cancer. He's 16 years old.

I suppose he's doing well, all things considered. The cancer hasn't spread beyond the thyroid, and they took his thyroid out yesterday. The doctor is confident they got everything, and now David and his family wait for a week to find out what they do next - monitoring, radiation, all that stuff.

So, good news in the circumstances, I guess. But I'm still having trouble wrapping my mind around the idea that one of my brother's friends has cancer. It's such a dirty, horrible, ugly, scary word. I know people live through cancer, I even know some who have, but there's still a definite mental association with death in my mind. Probably because both of my dad's parents died from different forms of it.

David's older sister Jennifer is out of state at college, and truthfully, this is probably the hardest thing for me to deal with. I know realistically there's nothing she can do, that this is a waiting game that will take a while, and that she can't just drop everything for the long process this will be. I also know that different people react different ways to situations like this, and I have no idea if she wants to come, doesn't feel she can, her parents won't let her, or whatever.

Still, I keep replaying this scenario in my head, with me away at school in Indiana or living in Chicago (before I moved back to MD). If I had gotten a phone call that either of my sisters or brother had cancer, I don't think anything would have stopped me from throwing clothes in a bag and heading to the airport.

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