Friday, July 15, 2016

Family Ties

Love plus one

We had a rather nice mini-week in Washington, all things considered. The whole family arrived Friday knowing Bill was not feeling well, so the only thing my mom wanted to be sure to have happen was for us all to be able to visit our brother Kevin's grave at Arlington National Cemetery -- which was a challenge as she and Bill had to be "up for it" at the same time. Thankfully, her wish was granted on Day Two, on a sunny but unseasonably dry afternoon where there wasn't a dry eye in sight. Beyond that, lots of little moments, including introducing Damian to my Arizona family (he'd met Bill and Terence before); a day trip to visit Terence in Frederick, Md.; and my parents taking Damian and me to Mount Vernon. 

While we were at George Washington's estate -- mainly there to distract ourselves from Bill's long-awaited appointment that morning with his team of specialists at Johns Hopkins -- Bill got his official diagnosis. While it was pretty much what we had feared -- the "bad" kind of bile-duct cancer is what spread to his liver -- the "good" news is that they did not tell him there was nothing they could do for him (as his wife and I secretly feared), and they already have an aggressive treatment plan set up, which we are hoping his relative youth and good health can withstand. 

Bill's sense of humor is clearly still intact 

While the outlook is far from ideal, some people have made it past five years -- and a little hope was all we were wishing for at this point. From here, we intend to take it day by day, and enjoy every moment we have with one another. While Bill is the one fighting for his life right now, what this has taught me more than anything is that any one of us could be gone in the blink of an eye, so that's the only positive to come out of this whole nightmare. xo

Meet the parents: Damian got to meet all outstanding family members at Mr. Henry's on Capitol Hill

Ally and AJ and their Uncle Damian

Watching my brother Bill's infamous bike-riding videos!

Mother and child(ren) reunion 

Fun little tour of the Capitol, Supreme Court and Library of Congress 

Lunch at the Double T diner in Frederick

Market Street

With Mom and Terence

Enjoying a bit of history with my parents

Bypassing the line at Mount Vernon ...

I could get used to this senior lifestyle!

Ally and AJ were thrilled to learn their Uncle Bill was once a viral-video sensation! 


James Dwight Williamson said...

Every good wish and I am putting love and kindness from all my family to yours as a booster!

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing your brother's update.....don't know him, but have him and your family in my thoughts.

BloggerJoe said...

both sorry and happy to hear your brother's diagnosis. thoughts and prayers from my family to yours.

Blobby said...

If it's worth anything at all, my friend is a year into his colon cancer - which spread to his liver and metastasized. He'd been getting IV and oral chemo. Many of the tumors shrunk considerably. Unfortunately, while he does have a new tumor, they're trying a new chemo pump on him.

He's been healthy enough to still teach college. He still occasionally plays at weddings etc and is very active. Honestly, it used to be when any cancer made it to liver or lungs, there was nothing to do. That is no longer the case - so I do see some silver lining for your brother.

Austin said...

Kenneth - Thank you for sharing your photos with us. I am so very sorry to hear about your brother, but let's stay positive and send those good wishes, thoughts and love his direction. The wonderful thing is that he truly has the support and love of his family which is what will help give him the strength and motivation to fight this.