My brother had surgery today to locate and remove the source of his cancer in his intestine. My sister-in-law called late this evening and started rattling off numbers of cancerous lesions found, the amount of intestine and colon removed, and the length of the surgery. I didn’t hear a thing. I was in a bit of a state of shock because a) I didn’t think the surgery was until Friday and b) I had no idea who I was talking to – it wasn’t until mid-conversation did I dare ask who was calling. I figured it was my sister-in-law’s younger sister since it didn’t sound like my sister-in-law at all. But, I guess exhaustion will do that to you. The bad news was that there was at least one tumor, possibly more, that was too dangerous to remove during surgery. Prognosis: unknown.
We chatted for a bit about how everyone had been doing. Apparently, my brother hasn’t been dealing with this too well, and it showed in his blood pressure, which in turn delayed his surgery date because he couldn’t go under the knife until he got his numbers down. My sister-in-law is in hunker down mode and is doing her best to hold it together and keep things as normal as possible for their three teenage kids. On the rare occasions that we talk, we talk easily as if this huge gulf between my brother and I didn’t exist. When I thanked her for letting me know in such a timely manner, she said “of course, you’re his sister.”
I’m considering driving down to San Diego to say “hello” while he is in the hospital. Make it short & sweet, and hopefully he’ll be heavily sedated so at least one of us will be at ease during the visit.
The other night I was laying in bed with my heart full of anticipatory grief. I fear for Alaska’s health, and also have my concerns about Sasquatch who has been very quiet lately. Then my mind turned to my brother. My only remaining immediate relative. Even though we are not in each other’s life, the idea of being sole survivor of my family before I even reach the age of 50 was very sad.
Tomorrow I’ll check in with my sister-in-law, ask my boss for the time off, talk to a friend who lives in LA for a place to stay and see if the boyfriend is willing to watch my menagerie so I can take a quick trip down south.