A tribute to a friend

digitalbeachbum's picture

One of my good friends from school is in Hospice now. He's been fighting cancer for 10 years now. He developed these splotches all over his body and they spread almost making him look sort of blackish. Some parts of his body were covered with more than others but for a long time no doctors knew what they were. He then developed a tumor on his shoulder and they submitted him to tons of tests and treatments. The shrunk it, then operated. They thought he was done but then the tumor grew back even after taking half of his shoulder out.

Then after hundreds of hours of treatments he developed another baseball tumor on his neck. They didn't know where the source was coming from.

A week ago he developed pneumonia and went in to the hospital. They released him then told him to go home and seek Hospice.

His weakened state prevented him from fighting off the infection. Years of chemo caused his immune system to be ineffective.

When I found out today I went to the house to visit. His wife and kids were stronger than me. I broke down crying. He was a shell of the man I knew. No hair. scrawny boney body.

I asked if there was any thing else? Did they try every thing?

I will miss him if his passes. He was one of those guys that every one liked. He taught me about the Blues and taught me about smoking meats/BBQing. He taught me about fishing. He taught me to drink. He taught me so much about life.

What bugs me is how the medical system functions. It is the same thing over and over. If they do not know the answer then fire in to it with buck shot, maybe something will hit it.

Guys like this shouldn't suffer. He is a good man. He really liked every one. Not a mean bone in his body.

 

Vastet's picture

I didn't have exactly the

I didn't have exactly the same experience, but I did watch my best friend slowly wither and die from a brain tumour. Exactly the same kind of person. I should have been the one who had it happen. It isn't fair. It isn't pleasant. You have my sympathies.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

digitalbeachbum's picture

Vastet wrote:I didn't have

Vastet wrote:
I didn't have exactly the same experience, but I did watch my best friend slowly wither and die from a brain tumor. Exactly the same kind of person. I should have been the one who had it happen. It isn't fair. It isn't pleasant. You have my sympathies.

I have an opinion about doctors today. They just go with the flow. If they have no idea how to treat, they try a shotgun effect. Instead of treating the problem they treat the symptoms.

I've been fighting fibromyalgia for 25 years. It progressively got worse over the years until 2012 I went out to dinner with my wife. When we were done eating I couldn't get up from the table. My entire body wracked with pain and stiffness.

I told her that there must be a cause from food because it seemed that it worsened after eating. We researched it and found several possible answers. I first started to eliminate wheat and other grains because I found out grains are natural inflammatories. It had a dramatic effect on my when I quit eating breads.

I flipped around for years trying different combinations of foods. My doctor told me I was wrong. He told me it couldn't be the foods. He wanted to prescribe more anti inflammatories and put me on steroids. He also wanted to put me on stimulants and some other stuff to help me lose weight. I refused.

I am big on documentaries so I got on a kick of watching 'sustainable' foods. I learned a lot. I researched the web for all the information I could find. Eventually I found a story about a guy who had very similar problems that I had, who solved them by 'juicing'. I figured, what the hell I'll try it.

Almost instantly, less than 12 hours later, my pain had disappeared. The stiffness in my joins and muscles were gone. I felt younger and had more strength. I started once a day but eventually worked it up to twice a day.

No steroids. No anti inflammatory. No stimulants. No beta-blockers. No statin.

I've lost 23lbs in two months. I feel great. I still have issues with my age and my eye sight isn't what it used to be, my tinnitus is still here. However I did it only with a change in my diet.

I no longer believe in what is being presented to me through advertisements. I no longer believe corporations have my best interest in their agenda.

My friend died because doctors didn't think outside the box. It was chemo this, chemo that, with out actually knowing what the source of the problem was in the first place.

Vastet's picture

The main problem with

The main problem with medicine is that for 100% of all of history, including today, it has by far been the least scientific of the sciences. Until the 20th century, the only actual scientific studies done were on anatomy and hygiene. Even today, a great number of products are successful at doing what they are supposed to do yet noone knows why.

You are absolutely correct that doctors use a shotgun approach on anything the body can't take care of on its own. Unfortunately it is their best option. The only real alternative is to do nothing.

I have seen many indications that the science of medicine is actually becoming a real science, but it's going to take a few decades before it can stand with physics and electromagnetism without hanging its head in shame.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

digitalbeachbum's picture

I found out later this

I found out later this morning that my friend passed around 1:30am in the morning.

i've been depressed this morning. I sent out emails to every one in our group. So many of us have gone off and started families. We change email addresses and lose track of each other.

This guy was the center piece of the group for the longest time. Every thing we did was at his house or at the cabin he had on the lake. We did a lot of fishing there and big bon fires, drinking, celebrating our youth.

 

As for the science. I agree, but I also believe that doctors should share information. There are too many cases of egotistical attitudes. Doctors wanting to be published or to be the first to solve a problem.

I've read articles where parents were told "your kid is going to die" or "there is nothing we can do" and the parents go out on the web and find a doctor in Boston who has a procedure which works.

It reminds me of the intelligence community not sharing information before 9/11. It was always a competition between them.

 

Brian37's picture

 It is absolutely gut

 It is absolutely gut wrentching to watch someone you are close to go down especially slowly. I am so sorry you are going through this. Stay strong.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37

digitalbeachbum's picture

Brian37 wrote: It is

Brian37 wrote:

 It is absolutely gut wrentching to watch someone you are close to go down especially slowly. I am so sorry you are going through this. Stay strong.

I was lucky. I didn't have to sit through another passing of a family/friend. I stopped by about six hours before he passed. I left thinking he might pull through.

What is bothering me is all the time I missed hanging out with him because I didn't change my schedule just a little bit. I had not seen him in months, only twice over a twelve month period.

 

Brian37's picture

 Seriously, don't feel bad

 Seriously, don't feel bad one bit. I know having directly seen a slow decline with my mom, it is a double edge sword. You want to be there to comfort them, but at the same time, you still don't want it to happen. Don't let all the ifs get to you. Even prior to her diganosis with prior health problems you can drive yourself nuts putting all the "what ifs" in your brain. You had time with them, and ultimately that is what matters. Sure you want more time in retrospect, but that is normal. Just think about all the time you did have. 

I still find myself even today wanting phone to ring wanting it to be her. I still want to call her up and tell her about everything I am doing online. I still want her to remind me to do things and bug me. It will take you time to adjust. You never get over it no, but you still cant drive yourself nuts over all the things you might have done differently. 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37

digitalbeachbum's picture

I know in time the desire to

I know in time the desire to want them back will decrease. We cry and get upset because we know they won't be back. This is part of my argument with religious people. Why cry and get upset if you believe that they go to heaven. When they go to NY for the summer you don't get all upset (well some mom's do & some lustful people do). You know they are coming back, eventually.

When people die we know it is over. They are gone. People who claim in heaven or what ever are just in denial.

I have had people want to fist fight over this when I point it out. They get so upset and defensive. I've learned not to say anything any more. I just let it slip on by

Brian37's picture

 Theists don't know any

 Theists don't know any better. It isn't that they are dumb, or bad, it is that they don't accept or ignore the real evolutionary reason they cry. We evolved to socialize and that is how we as a species create bigger numbers. That causes us to have empathy. Death is also a reminder to us of our own mortality. That reality is a harsh reminder that conflicts with all life's evolutionary drive to reproduce. Humans cry because they have a sudden loss of support and contact. 

But yea, I cant stand that logic. Used to buy into it when I was a theist, but looking back yea, that logic sucks. If heaven is their alleged megabucks cosmic lottery prize, why the hell should you be upset, they are now in the cosmic after party forever. It makes even less sense when it comes to death from a crime. A kid or loved one gets murdered and they get upset with the criminal? Why? If your goal is to win that lottery and be in that utopia where everyone is happy, then you sould thank the killer, not put them in prison. If someone drove me to the party why would I bitch? 

With disease or natural disaster or crime or old age, when we lose a loved one in reality, there is no magic to it, no super hero vs super villian battling over humans like we are poker chips. It sucks that it happens, I know, especially right now. But it is an unfortunate part of reality for all humans. The life of the atheist is no different in that we have ups and downs and lose loved ones as well, and we hurt when we loose loved ones as well. We simply don't assign the good or bad to old myths, superstions or god/s.

 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37