I’m visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Austin for a couple of days.  I had two reasons for making the trip.

First, my brother has finally completed his doctoral dissertation.  And having spent a decent amount of time editing his masterpiece, there was no way in hell I was going to let the milestone pass without attending his public presentation.  He did great.  And I’m very proud of him.  The road was a long one, not without many bumps and potholes, but he’s finally made it through to the other side of the tunnel. Congrats, Mr. PhD.

Second, my sister-in-law was recently diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.  Of the nefarious triple-negative variety no less, because as she’ll readily admit, when she gets sick, she goes all in.  When she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis about nine years ago, the onset was similarly sudden and violent.  In any case, she’s been through one round of chemo so far and had a couple of pretty horrible days, but is feeling better for now.  She’s documenting – with lots of humor – her latest adventures with doctors, chemicals and pain here:  www.lumpsinmybumps.blogspot.com.

Spending time with both of them has been great.  It’s been hugely reassuring to see my sister-in-law, who, all things considered, is in really good spirits and determined to beat the hell out of this scourge.  I greatly admire her fortitude.  It’s truly an inspiration.

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