March 27, 2012. Today my energy and emotional fortitude is all but drained from my body. My initiative for things creative is in the gutter. My brother’s condition is sapping me of anything I might give to those around me. He’s fallen gravely ill and I’m doing my best to make a quick trip out to Florida to see him while he is yet conscious. The health care system seems to be failing him so very badly. It is explained to me that the tumor on his pancreas is preventing him from making digestive enzymes needed to turn food into energy and he is wasting away. He barely has the energy to walk anymore and I’m afraid he will starve if there is no intervention. They never keep him in the hospital when he’s there for tests and yet he is on death’s door. I’m not medically trained but anyone I talk to says he should be fed intravenously if he cannot absorb nutrition the usual way. He’s been told to get stronger and gain weight to be in shape to survive an operation… but shouldn’t they be helping that to happen?? I feel so hopeless in all of this… …and being in Canada now, for all the talk in the US about how “the Canadian Free Public Healthcare System is so inferior”, I know for a FACT Phillip would be checked into a hospital and everything that could be done for him WOULD be. NOBODY, not even a homeless person gets left to die on the street…
New addition to my original post. April 26, 2012. I’m grieving the loss of my dear brother Phillip. As my sister Dina wrote, “Our hearts are broken into pieces. Our dear brother, son, father, soul mate, uncle and friend, Phillip Myers, passed away this morning at 3:30 a.m. There was no kinder, compassionate, beautiful and talented man. He would help anyone in need, no matter how difficult the task. I had the privilege of holding his hand during his last few hours. Phil, we will miss you more than you will ever know but you will live in our hearts forever. It pains me to have to let his friends know the sad news and I know it is probably a shock to many of you. Phillip was a very private person and didn’t want to burden people with his illness but I know you would all want to know.” He will be greatly missed indeed.
I feel like the healthcare system failed him somehow. I’m not a medical professional so my opinions may not be count. I just know that in the town I call home, there’s a man going about his business who hasn’t had a working pancreas for years by now. He has to wear a “back-pack” with special “food” in it that is somehow automatically fed into his digestive system through a special port on his side. He functions well and appears totally “normal” in every other way. Apparently this is the only method by which you can survive without the digestive enezimes normally made by your pancreas. Phillip basically died of starvation. A pretty horrible way to go. He was unable to eat anything due to the digestive problems created by his pancreas not working. I’d like to learn more about this problem and would love to see other people going through this better helped. My heart is so very broken right now….
I was born Julie Clare to Joseph Frank and Peggy Anne Myers in Memphis TN. I was their fifth and last child, a bit of an afterthought or possible mistake… as there was five years between myself and my older sister Dina. I’m told I was a precocious child, slightly hyper active, and physically adventurous. Apparently I was always tumbling or dancing to music, that was virtually always playing in our home, from the day I could stand holding onto the sides of my crib and playpen. As a five or six year old I mastered the technique of climbing up the walls of a hallway or door frame by using both my hands and feet to put pressure on the opposing sides. My mother took pleasure in my physical adventures and enrolled me in ballet, tap, and jazz dance classes when I was very young. Even before all that, I wanted to be on a stage badly enough that at five, I lied about my age at an audition to land the roll of the “Fairy” in Peter Pan. I can’t believe I made it in there because I couldn’t even say the name of the Catholic Private school, “Immaculate Conception”, I was supposedly attending as I had no front teeth! I was in Grade one when I brought my much older brother David to school to accompany me on guitar as I sang “I’m Leavin’ on a Jet Plane” at the school talent show. I won for the Grades 1 through 5 category and I’m not certain if I wasn’t allowed to enter again or why it is that I don’t remember another talent show in all my Grade School years. Perhaps they wanted to make sure more people had the opportunity to win these things and had rules to help make that happen. It wasn’t long before my mother added acrobatic and gymnastic classes on top of it all. I realized when I was older that my mother lived vicariously through my exploits of the things she got me involved in. My entire family was very supportive and I loved all that stuff. It was also years later that I found out that the reason my brother’s friends would ask me to do back hand-springs across the back yard all the time was because they would be on drugs and they loved the trippy effect of seeing that under the influence. I lived it all day long and dreamt about it every night. One of the things that stands out as a great memory is the Mid-South Fair. Here, some of my best friends and myself were doing all kinds of dance, dance mixed with acrobatics, and/or solo singing. It was all a big competition and I had to work hard to win a spot on these stages. Music and dance has always been huge in Memphis. One really great memory that stands out is a dance group I belonged to winning first place one year. Christmas shows, recitals, and performances were great and most of it came easy. I always looked forward to anything on a stage…except for gymnastic meets. They made me so very nervous. Maybe it was that there were bigger expectations on me than those I had of myself…I’m not sure. Music and dance proved to have the bigger pull on me and there was a lot of time when that was all I wanted to do.