May 27, 2017

When a close, personal friend faces death

The final journey

Hard to think about much today after Amy and I learned from a longtime friend last night that he has pancreatic cancer.

Without immediate treatment, he has about three months to live.  He will start chemotherapy and other aggressive programs that might prolong the inevitable.

It brings back painful memories of Amy’s mother, who was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer and given six months, max, to live in the late 90s. She lived for another five years and kept doing much of what she wanted to do until the final months.

We are praying…and crying.

Pancreatic cancer is nearly always a death sentence, one that comes late in later years for most, and too often is discovered after it has begun to destroy the parts of the body that one must have to live. It is aggressive and merciless.

My friend is a former newspaperman and we became good friends in the 1970s, nearly 50 years ago.  We worked together, partied together and shared a passion for older houses and the lifestyle we shared in a Mississippi River town.

I moved on to Washington, but Amy and I returned to Illinois and met he and his wife for dinner as often as we could. We last shared drinks when I was in St. Louis for business in the late 1980s but kept in touch via email and social media.

At 69, I too often must face the loss of friends and loved ones.  It comes with the age.

My encounter with a cow while on my motorcycle in 2012 brought me closest to death and a renewed awareness of how much the support of friends means to all of us.

If he or his wife need anything, we will drop anything and everything to be there with them.

He’s a friend and that matters.  I am crying now and have trouble focusing on anything.

When we lose him, I doubt that I will ever be the same.

One Response to When a close, personal friend faces death

  1. So sorry Doug! I lost my mother in 1973 at age 55 to Pancreatic Cancer. She was buried on Holly’s ftst biirthday. That void can never be filled, prayers fot all of you