No Trouble Found; Telling Family

It’s Saturday, nine days after The News.

No Trouble Found

Today I took my car in to see it’s doctor for the low tire pressure warning and to get its whatever-thousand-mile service. I’d originally planned to wait at the service center but apparently ever since the state reopened on June 15 the service center has been swamped with people wanted to get regular service. The CSR said even if she prioritized my car it could be two or three hours, perhaps longer, since they have a long queue. Taking a loaner was best. Told the CSR that I had Monday morning and afternoon meetings up the peninsula so I wouldn’t be able to bring it up til the late afternoon. She said that’d be fine, so off I drove with an NX.

At around 3:30 I got a text that the car was done, and the low tire pressure light was now off. Ok nice but I really wanted to know why that light was on. Drove back and returned the loaner, and asked if the CSR was available. She came out and said they didn’t find anything wrong with the TPMS or the tires, and that it could be that the pressure set point with the new tires is now higher than I’m used to. She noted they’re now at 32 PSI, which is somewhat higher than I remember.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed that that’s it, and the car remains happy for another 6k/6 months. Did I write somewhere that cars are magical, temperamental creatures?

Telling Family

I’d been wondering how and when to tell my sister about what was going on. We don’t communicate regularly, but I still think we’re on the close side. I used to see her much more when she was in the Bay Area. But several years ago she and my brother-in-law moved to Portland, where they could afford a house.

JT had suggested I wait until the staging had been done, which sounded like a good idea since otherwise there’d just be a lot of questions. But as the week dragged on there were questions I felt I needed answers to – what was the family history on cancer? And liver disorders? I’m sure these were things that would be important to know in the upcoming consultations.

I decided to send an email yesterday so I could catch my sister up on everything that had transpired to date and give her a chance to digest things. In the email I suggested we could chat live whenever was convenient.

We ended up FaceTiming a couple hours tonight. She was, as you might expect, shocked by the news. But she did say she was glad I shared it since she’d rather know than think everything was fine. We talked about what had been found so far, and that I would like her to check around with the cousins on the family history of cancer, colorectal in particular, and any liver issues. I told her things were still up in the air and I wasn’t sure what stage things were or what kind of treatment might be involved, though from what I’d read so far it there was radiation, chemo, and surgery.

I brought up advance care directives, and she said “That’s so adult stuff.” But really she’s doing a lot of stuff for my father and reviewing POAs and ACD for him, so I know she can handle it. I reminded her that I’m ten years older than her and it is the normal course of things that I’d die before her (me being a vampire and she not notwithstanding). That led to an amusing discussion where I mentioned I wouldn’t be surprised if I went at 65 or so. She seemed shocked since that was so young. I just said I can’t see beyond that. She replied she intended to keep going on into her 90s, like my maternal grandmother who lived to be close to 99. My brother in law chimed in that when he was younger he thought he’d be dead by 35. I gently told him that, well, he was right and that he was indeed dead!

I told my sister that friends were supporting me and she added that at least I’m in the Bay Area, which has a lot of good medical facilities. So she wasn’t worried about access to good medical care. I told her that since she and her family live in Portland I don’t expect she’ll be able to play a big role in whatever is to come, but would she want to be kept closely informed or just periodically updated? We decided I’d give her access to a folder I keep various bits of information related to the journey in, and also add her to the daily update so she’d always be up to date about what’s going on.

Now one thing that I’d been looking forward to was meeting my sister’s daughter, who was born in the middle of the pandemic and just turned one. Even with the delta variant running amok I had thought I might make a trip to visit in the fall. But it looks like travel is now out of the question for the next year or so. I hope they pay a visit to the Bay Area at some point so I can meet my niece.

My sister said she’d like to tell my brother, which was fine with me. I don’t communicate much with him – mostly the exchanging birthday and Christmas greeting sort of thing. I’d already told her that I’d told one of my aunts – one I’m particularly close to. She was free to tell people as she saw fit – from my perspective it’s no secret and there’s no shame. Some people want to hide their illnesses, and I suppose if I’d done something stupid and broken my arm I might not want to tell the world. But I see no reason to keep the cancer journey hidden.

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