Saturday, September 12, 2009

Please Don't Smoke

I saw this picture linked on one of the message boards for Barry Manilow:

For those who don't know, my father died from lung cancer, after having survived cancer of the tongue. Yes, that's right, tongue. Just 4 months after Decker died, my father was diagnosed with cancer of the tongue. The modern miracles of medicine saved him from what would have been a very grizzly death. They surgically removed a large part of his tongue and used chest muscle to recreate a tongue. His speech was slurred for the remainder of his life.

A few years later, after the surgery and subsequent radiation treatments made him cancer free, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. It was in an area that was inoperable, which is basically a death sentence. They did their best to prolong his life with chemo, which did give him an extra year to live.

My father was already a frail man, having been thin pretty much all of his life. We tried everything to fatten him up, even the neighbors brought brownies over to make him gain weight, but the only area that eventually gained weight was his gut.

His frail body fought as long as it could, but eventually the cancer ate a hole in his lung and his lung collapsed. The low oxygen count that the other lung had left (after years of smoking) was not enough to sustain him and my father passed away on December 13, 2006.

From Roberts Review: A view of a lung with cancer after years of smoking.

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