Friday, May 16, 2008

If You Can't Laugh At Your Brother, Then Who Can You Laugh At

My brother, Richard, was filming the family on Mother's Day. He put this together.
This short film gets my one nut of approval rating.
by the way, the tall guy: that's my cousin Ramone.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

One Year without Righty

My right testicle was removed one year ago today.
I remember the day clearly. Driving to the hospital with my parents. looking out onto the Sonoran Desert and the Catalina Foothills from behind the vans sliding door window. My aunt called from Michigan and prayed over the phone with me.
Once i checked in at the hospital and got laid out on the bed, the nurses were great. when they found out I worked for the Arizona Daily Star, they all asked about our columnist Bonnie Henry. One of my nurses had a daughter interning at the Star in the features department. Tucson is a small town, despite a million souls on record, i remember thinking.
i nearly passed out from all the needles. this gave everyone a good laugh.
eventually the anesthesiologist came around and injected me with the goods. as they wheeled me out of the pre-surgery waiting room, I started to fade. once we hit the corner and into the hallway, i knocked out. never even saw the operating room.
woke up about an hour later, my mouth sore from whatever tubes were in my mouth. drugged up and confused, I climbed out of the easy chair they propped me up in and crawled into my parents home. it was hot that day.
grandpa had flown in, just after fatty and Sarah flew out. carol ann came by that evening to check in.
at some point I checked myself out. surprised to find half my pubic hair had been shaved and i had a brand new scar to show. it took me about a week to gather up the courage to touch myself -- my scrotum -- again.
the operation was only the second or third step. next was the biopsy and its results. at the end of the week, I found out my tumor was cancerous.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mothers Day

Photo by Bean

I surprised my mom this year by walking in the door on Mothers Day. It was important to be home this year since I wasn't able to last year.
It has been nearly a year since my right testicle was removed. the surgery was two days after Mothers Day last year.
My folks spent last Mothers Day with Richard and Tina at the Huntington Library in Pasadena, CA. The day was real anxious. I was in Tucson with Fatty, Sarah and Alma, and I think probably the Gonzalez family. Just trying to relax, though we were all on the phone throughout the day. One of my memories from the day was mass at the Cathedral, where the presiding priest asked all the mothers to stand up for a prayer. But before the prayer, he said "look at all the lovely ladies." not the kind of thing you expect from a priest. in church. on mothers day.
Early the next morning, on May 14, 2007, my mother and father packed the van and headed east on I-10 to Tucson. We met at the hospital where I had a pre-operation meeting with my surgeon and had some blood work.
So a back yard barbecue one year later was a welcomed change of pace. grilled onion, pollo, carne, stories and laughter. everybody pitched in and cooked. the Bravo family stopped by as did Guadalupe and her nephew, Keanu.
funny -- the difference a year makes.