I should start at the beginning I guess. I'm from a large family, 6 boys and 2 girls. My sister is eldest followed by 5 boys, then there is me and last but not least my baby brother. We all lived a pretty interesting life with joys and sorrows. My Dad is an alcoholic and Mom was left to deal with running the house and taking care of everything. We lived in our bubble for decades until the bubble burst. My eldest brother Jim, a construction worker and carpenter by trade was suddenly fatigued constantly. He worked as a private contractor and had no medical insurance. His girlfriend was concerned enough to push him to go to the Doctor. ( This is where the story goes very bad) He went to our family Doctor, the one who made house calls when I was a baby. The Doctor examined him and did some blood work. He returned two weeks later to be told his labs were good and he was just aging, he was 47. Fast forward 9 months and my family and I are in ICU watching my brother die from the lymphoma that went undiagnosed for 7 months.
Jim has a twin who also worked in construction. On the day Jim had his labs drawn his twin went to the ER. Don had injured his hand and had an infection in his finger. Don had labs drawn got some meds for the infection and went on his way. He got a very disturbing phone call the following day. Please come back to the hospital we need more blood. He was told something very serious showed up in his labs. The next day he went back and had extensive blood work done. He was to report to the Doctor the next day for the results. The Doctor told him he didn't know what had happened but all his labs from the second day were normal except his white blood count was a little high. This was due to the finger infection no big deal sorry for the trouble. What he didn't know is that his very sick brothers blood was sent to the same lab for processing. Seeing they have the same last name and birthday it's not too hard to figure out what happened.
My big brother was my only true father figure. He always worked hard and took pride in whatever he did. He was not a saint, just a man, handsome, strong, and weak at the same time. He enjoyed his life and lived to the fullest. It was very hard to watch him die. He was so sick by the time anyone figured out what was happening to him it was too late. So here I am alone with my grief and your reading about it. Go figure!