Three briefs and a funeral. Or to be more accurate three briefs and a slow death.
A good friend of mine was diagnosed with prostate cancer about three years ago. By the time he was diagnosed it had already metastasized into the bone. He had had P.S.A. tests every year for several years and each year the numbers had come back high. His doctor told him not to worry and I do remember him talking about it at one point. Well, it looks like he should have worried. (My wife knows of another guy that the same thing happened to.) I wonder what the purpose is of either the tests or the doctor in question? I do recall that he asked me why, when he first found out. He said that he had done everything he was supposed to do, and it still happened. I still feel guilty, since I've done nothing that I am supposed to do (except not smoke tobacco, but that was because I needed the money for alcohol and more serious drugs).
At any rate by the time he was diagnosed it was already terminal. He took a very aggressive stance and some experimental treatment and I think it bought him about two good years. Then this January or February things started to go south. He got to where he couldn't walk and they found spots on his spine. Those spots were treated with radiation and then chemotherapy. About mid-way through the chemotherapy treatment he became so sick that he had to be taken to the local hospital (he was being treated at the Cleveland Clinic for this last round). That was about three or four weeks ago. He had an infection and they stopped the chemo because he was too weak for it. From there it was down hill the entire time with little or no up swings. by last weekend he was clearly beyond making any decisions about his own life or even understanding what was going on. On Sunday afternoon he died.
We've been up to his room almost every day since he was admitted. We didn't make it Sunday because when we went up there the nurses were doing something and we told his son that we would be back later. Before we were able to go back his wife called and told us that he had died. I doubt if it would have mattered he did not recognize anyone on Saturday although he did recognize me on Friday when I walked in.
Tonight I drove by his bike shop a place I've hung out more or less off and on for twenty-five years. He was a terrible businessman, but a great guy. If you took your bike in to have it fixed there was really a fairly decent chance that you might get it back before the end of the season, if you were lucky. I was shocked at how strongly I felt the loss.
One of his old friends had simply not shown up at the hospital, saying it was too difficult for him. I've heard other people say things like that in similar situations. I wonder just how that works? I do not perceive that one has any choice in these things. There are things that one does because that is what one, in fact has to do. One does not have a choice, I would think.
During this I was also working on three different briefs, not something I particularly like to do. I was finally able to complete the last one Sunday (also) and that will be filed today. So I am kind of tired and I think that maybe I can start looking at what I normally look askance at. Like Obama convicting Manning before trial. Some fun.