For nearly three years now, Wife's brother has been battling against a terminal illness. He is already past the 50% survivorship point, but although the long-term prognosis is poor, in the short term there is always hope.
This year, for instance, he was able to still put huge amounts of effort into his cycling, culminating in the ascent of Alpe d'Huez that we did in September. And in early November I was able to join him for a long club ride where we did nearly 80 miles - my longest bike ride ever.
But soon after that last ride, he started to get pains in his legs again and after some deliberation, he decided to go ahead with an operation to try and remove some of the bone spur that was pressing on his nerves and causing the discomfort.
This operation went ahead in mid-December. We went to see him the next day and he was in great discomfort, but this improved as the day went on. But he had a further operation a day later in case one of his current symptoms was a sign of a bigger problem (which it wasn't). And then he was kept a further five days in hospital, only returning home on Christmas Eve.
So much of our run up to Christmas was based around this. If things go well, he hopes to be back on the bike sometime in late January and then we'll just have to see how it goes. If things go well, we are thinking of organising a cycling holiday at our house in France, which Andrew can use to invite his cycling club friends.
But 2015 could also be a year of decline for him.
It is strange how the illness has brought us much closer as a family. We had the occasional year when we only saw Andrew and Julie at Christmas. Now we have been on holiday with them twice and have shared the cycling hobby. Its sad that it takes such an event to bring us together.
So good luck for 2015!