Parker County Today December 2017 - Page 22

our stories: CANCER WARRIOR John Brumlow — Finding Love and Strength in His Darkest Days BY MISTY BROWNING J ohn Brumlow was not prepared to have cancer. He was diagnosed lymphoma and they took all his lymph nodes out, along with places on his hand and arm, and his face. When he went back to the doctor a year later, he was told that he was clear. It was a brief victory. Tragically, a few months later he ended up with liver cancer. “The liver cancer is bad,” he said. “You cannot imagine the pain, and the doctors that I go to now at the Cancer Center are wonderful. They have helped me. They said the last time that I took a scan that it had not grown, but it hadn’t shrunk either so maybe it will stay like it is for a while.” It was at this point in his cancer journey that he met the Careity Foundation. Brumlow will be the first to tell you that Careity has saved his life. “It it wasn’t for them; I would already have been gone. And that is a fact. I would have already died because I was not able with the high expense of medication to get back and forth to the doctor. These people, I swear that they need wings because they are angels.” 20 But it’s not the help with the expenses that has helped him fight this journey for so long. It’s the love that he has been shown in his darkest hours. The words of encouragement he has received when the pain gets so unbear- able that he can’t stand it another minute. “I can hurt, terribly awfully bad, and get upset. They can put their hand on me and tell me its alright its going to be OK. [They] help calm me down because the pain that I get in, like a lot of people, is unbearable. These people with Careity, how in the world they get up every day and see people that they know will not make it another week and still act like they love them. They are not afraid to hold their hand or put their arm around them. They’re not afraid to say,’ John, its going to be alright,’ and help you with things that you really need.” Careity has also helped him with his transportation needs, including getting back and forth to the doctor for his chemotherapy. When his medication is gone and he is unable to financially afford another pill, Careity comes in and helps him purchase his meds. They also help him with things that we take for granted, like eating and drinking. “There was six months that I couldn’t eat. I went from 210 lbs. to 140 lbs. They taught me how to eat with this cancer. Things that I did not know. The people at Careity have not asked for anything, they just want to help. That’s why I love them all. There is nothing that I would not do for them.” Brumlow knows that he doesn’t have long to live, that the cancer will eventually take him. He owes his life to Careity. He also knows that Careity needs all the help they can get to continue supporting those in Parker County with cancer. “They need help. They need people to say, these people have cancer and I want to help. These children have cancer and I want help. I would like people who have an extra dollar or 50 cents to give it to Careity. There’s a lot of people on television who ask for money. They [Careity]have never asked for one penny, but they need help to help us.” Brumlow will continue with his chemo and take his meds until he can’t. When he goes to the cancer center, he’s not in the best shape. He says that he’s not the bull rider that he used to be, and he can be weak and in bad shape. But he says when he leaves, their care and love make him feel much better, and he loves them for that. “I don’t love my coffee. I don’t love my steak. I don’t love my dog. I like them a lot. But I love these people. I really honestly do, because they care, they really honestly care. They will do whatever they can to help you, to make you feel good about yourself.”