Hello, my Venomites. Please accept my apologies for not updating y’all earlier about my brother’s health. I did, indeed, fly home for a visit. He looked good, and was in good spirits, although tired following his appendectomy. (Not to mention a bit frustrated with the number of drainage tubes they’d left hanging out of his gut.)
At that point, we didn’t have any news from the doctor. Still, my extended family descended on the house to express their love and concern. Considering how far back my family goes in Texas, our “extended family” is rather sizable, so it’s probably a good thing I was staying at a hotel rather than adding to my sister-in-law’s hospitality burdens. As a result, I didn’t get to see all of my cousins that visited, but I did reconnect with one whom I hadn’t seen for almost thirty years. Odd, but even after all that time, we’d have been able to pick each other out of a crowd!
One thing about my brother: he’d a stubborn sort. So, even though my mom and I kept at him to rest and stay off of his feet, he insisted on getting out and about. We had lunch together one afternoon and did a bit of shopping, and although he got tired towards the end each day I still considered it a good sign that he had so much energy. Also, being stubborn, he seemed to get a bit testy that so many of us were doting over him, or at least that’s how I decided to interpret his suggestion that I get out and enjoy myself one night while I was in Austin.
For the protection of all those concerned, let me just say we agreed that ‘what happens in Austin stays in Austin’… especially if what happens in Austin is far too many shots of Patron tequila in a what turned out to be an “alternative lifestyle” karaoke bar!
Far too soon, it was time for me to fly home. I was nervous about leaving, since we still didn’t have any news from the doctor, but simultaneously nervous about staying longer since VH and the Big-Eyed Boy were at home fending for themselves.
As it happens, I didn’t need to worry on either count. My brother had a CT scan last week and the results are finally in: although his appendix was riddled with cancer — and had ruptured — when they removed it, according to the scan the cancer hadn’t spread. He’s looking at six months of weekly chemo, following which is prognosis is excellent. Thank you, God!!!
As for VH and the BEB, they did just fine in my absence, thanks in small part to the three casseroles I’d put together before I left. They even stayed out of trouble by keeping themselves busy! VH, you see, decided to build a wood-contained garden bed on the deck so I can grow vegetables this year without worrying about that damned woodchuck! Apparently, between building it and hauling 28 cubic feet of peat moss, vermiculite and potting soil to fill them, he and the BEB were too worn out to get into mischief, or even to mess up my house!
So here’s the first shots of this year’s garden, which I planted on Mother’s Day. Every day when I go outside to water my plants, I thank God that they’re growing… and that my big brother’s cancer is not.