Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cancer Comes To Dinner

Prayer is uniting family and friends of my cousin Doug whose life is being threatened by cancer. He got the news that liver and pancreatic cancer could end his life in 6 to 8 months. He’s seeking a second opinion as he begins chemotherapy to add months not years to his prognosis. We’re hoping a second opinion means a second chance.

I enjoyed dinner with Doug twice during a recent vacation in Michigan’s U.P. He talked openly about how ill he’s felt since March when he was tested and was still waiting for definitive word when we enjoyed venison stroganoff at my sister Kathy’s one night and a day later turkey at my mom’s.

As is usual with Doug he leavened the conversation with humor. Last year he found out he had diabetes. He joked at the dinner table that he had lost weight and was finally eating right and now that he is…well you get the picture. The cold beer he used to enjoy with the rest of us has been replaced by diet soda.

Doug and the rest of his family were originally from Illinois and vacationed in the U.P during the summer. As pre-teens up through our early adult years a bond grew tight between our families. I can’t say I’m that close to him, but my brother John the other day said for him Doug is like a third brother. That bond grew tighter after Doug and his longtime girlfriend, “Al”, as we call her moved to Manistique.

I’m not sure what challenges lie ahead for them, but I’m hoping somehow that life takes a kinder gentler road and the journey will take much, much longer. My sister Diana says she’s going to remain optimistic, I will too.

It’s unfortunate that cancer has reached the point that it can be casually discussed at the dinner table. It’s been the subject of too many family discussions far and near. It’s an uninvited guest. It demands too much from us and the people that we care about.

1 comment:

berl67 said...

Thanks so much for this Bob. I like it. You and your family mean the world to us. We have shared so many good UP moments together. Thanks so much for the thoughts and prayers. Im glad you were able to spend time with Doug this summer. Im traveling north for the 3rd time in a couple weeks. Just cant see him enough now you know? Take care Bob! Hugs~