Loss is such a little word with huge impact. My spouse, Stan of 37 years passed away July 25, 2013. He battled bravely a rare, progressive, incurable disease called Amyloidosis. Rare because very few are diagnosed each year. Progressive because a sticky protein is produced in your bone marrow, travels in the blood stream and attacks your vital organs. This disease attacked Stan’s heart…such an athlete, always on-the-go-kind-of-guy was diagnosed January 2007. First order of business was to do stem cell transplantation only to discover his heart wasn’t strong enough to survive the treatment. Second option heart transplant only to discover he had it in the upper and lower GI tract which nixed him from the program. His only option was chemo; it’s not a cancer but it acts like a cancer. Stan became the poster man of survival. He began treatment Feb. 2007 with 10 treatments in 8 months. He was very ill and slept a lot that first year. Golf was his passion. He was only able to chip and putt for most of 2008 but it didn’t keep him from winning the club championship. He was very proud, rightly so of his 8 championships. I would tease him though because in all his golf he never had a hole-in-one. The disease would return again in May of 2011 but the ratios didn’t indicate treatment was needed til July 2012. The weekly treatments this time, with their symptoms were extremely hard on Stan. Because of its toxicity treatments had to be halted in December 2012. He began having more lung complications January 2013 requiring at times 2.5 liters of fluid drained. A right lung catheter was placed May 2013 shortly after he was denied a new heart. We would have to continue draining 3/4 of a liter every two days til his passing.
Stan had his faith, family and friends which was his stronghold. A saying he had taped in his well-worn Bible:
You play the game, you do the best you can, and if you’re loved when you die, you win.
Stan was loved!