Let’s Hope that Igor Gets the Right Jar This Time

Four weeks ago I was talking with my brother on the phone and he casually referred to the experimental brain surgery he would be having soon. “Wow, we should talk more often!” I said.

One of 12 of the first cohort, one of seven of those getting the higher dose.

Three quarter size holes in the skull to precisely add dopamine cells. Hopefully to slowly, determinedly grow, release their magic chemicals, and undo some of the deterioration of Parkinson’s.

Five weeks from NC to NYC; two days in hospital and the rest holed up in a hotel across the street, walking across for lots of follow ups.

64 years to my 66, imagine my brother as an aging Viking, booming laugh, talks too much, knows it, passionate about ideas and inventions, family and dogs.

Inventor, artist, writer, aikido practitioner, enthusiastic wielder of chainsaws (though not now!), watcher of bad tv, re-creator of ancient weaponry and new soft versions made for doting on his great-nephews and nieces. Up to mischief, irreverence and glee. Even when he talks about this.

The title is his line.

Four days ago I told him he had to start a graphic journal. Hoping to combine some of his many talents, keep him out of trouble, and wow, will he have a story to tell.

First time ever he took my advice.

Ten panels he has sent me, including t-shirts he’s designing- think “I came to NYC and all I got was a brain transplant.”

One million hugs and kisses and hopes and prayers I am sending.

My brother is hoping for some personal Bluetooth or wifi receptors from this!

14 thoughts on “Let’s Hope that Igor Gets the Right Jar This Time

  1. I love the way your playful tone captures the relationship between you and your little brother. His attitude is an inspiration. Blessings to you both!


  2. Three words you never want to experience: experimental brain surgery. Your brother is very brave and this is such a gift he is giving to the Parkinson’s doctors and community. Prayers that his decision to participate benefit not only him, but those who come after him who need help with such a horrible disease.


  3. There is so much I love about this post. Despite the the heavy topic, your description of your brother. Love the title and love this line: “I came to NYC and all I got was a brain transplant.” My prayers are with your brother.


  4. WOW! Sending lots of good thoughts your brother’s way for complete healing from his Parkinson’s. He sounds like an amazing man, and he’s too young to have this disease doing it’s thing in his brain. Hugs and prayers to you both.


  5. Your brother has quite a sense of humor which I imagine will be put to good use in this rather frightening sounding “experiment”. You relay it well here. I love that you suggested he document this experience and that he has taken you up on it – and that he is sharing it with you. Keep us posted.


  6. Fran, I love this piece. I wish you could rent him out as a brother to the rest of us. Seems like he brings the hype to all family gatherings!

    Here is to science and medical trials and a very successful outcome!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a wonderful gift he is giving to the future of medicine! My mother and grandmother both had Parkinson’s Disease, and I’m grateful for all those who participate in any research and experimental procedures to slow progression and lessen its effects. Give your brother a big hug from everyone at Slice of Life for his courage and resilience.


  8. You balance the emotion and the humor so beautifully in this piece. Love the specificity of the ways you describe your brother, ending with: “Up to mischief, irreverence and glee.” So much love in the way you paint him on the page.


  9. Oh wow, this is such a powerful post, written in such a lighthearted (almost) way. I envy the relationship you have with your brother, I hear from mine once a year. I do hope and pray it goes well for him, Parkinson’s is such a debilitating disease.


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