Brian was almost exactly 4 years younger than me, minus 4 days, and although through the years we hadn't been close, for which I was always sad. We went to see him in February and I found it quite extraordinary how alike we are. I suppose I should have expected it as we shared the same parents but siblings aren't always alike. We look alike and were very alike in so many ways.
I had known my brother has been dying for quite some time. He was given 3-6 months almost 6 years ago when he was told he had stage IV cancer and had had it for at least 3-5 years before it was discovered quite by chance.
Like me, Brian believed in finding a doctor who was proactive rather than being reactive and such doctors aren't so easy to find. But he managed to find one that kept him alive for almost 6 years.
The growth was on the outside of his stomach and he decided to go an unusual route insofar as after interviewing quite a few Oncologists he decided on an Oncologist who specialised in Pancreatic Cancer as this Oncologist gave him the best chance of a cure.
But his route was not an easy one as the treatment was for Pancreatic Cancer and not Stomach Cancer so his insurance company refused to pay for it. Brian paid for it himself for the next 5 years at over $1,000 a week.
A year later when he was in hospital having half his stomach, and the tumour, removed the nurses couldn't figure out why he was so happy. He explained that this was because he was still alive when he shouldn't be.
Because of his determination in beating this cancer and the route he took this medication is now funded by insurance companies in the US for Stomach and Bowel cancer as well as Pancreatic.
I'm sorry if this email is disjointed but I couldn't read it and put it together properly because my brother passed away last Friday and was buried on Sunday as our religion dictates.
Brian you beat the odds. You didn't just last 3 or 6 months but almost 6 years. You fought long and hard until the very end. We came to see you in February and we spent every day with you and Sue (your wife) and my nieces and nephews and great niece. It was the best time we had ever had and I will always remember it and be grateful that I came to see you when I did.
Brian Michael Lemberger you were one very very special person that touched many lives as the Rabbis said at your funeral and my life a life. I respected you as man, as a brother, husband and a father.
I miss you my brother and will until the day I die
American by birth and MOUTH
but British in every other way