Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Toughest Person I Have Ever Met

After 38 days in different hospitals, I am very glad that the toughest person I have ever met is back at home.  It was 5 1/2 weeks ago that he was walking out of a restaurant after attending church, when he fell and broke his femur in multiple locations.  When he went into the hospital to have the titanium rods implanted into his femur, it was at that point that everything that seemingly could go wrong, did go wrong.  The multiple hospitals, doctors, nurses and staff were all amazing in professionally and compassionately working through all of these issues, procedures, surgeries and rehabilitation.

The reason for the toughest person label is because in 1975 he was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) and told to "get his things in order" which is code for your time left on this planet is measured in months at this point.  He was at Stage 3 cancer.  The CLL came from one of his tours of duty in Vietnam (he was a USAF air traffic controller and has two Bronze Stars) and had the misfortune of being in a cargo plane where agent orange had previously spilled.  He stayed at level 3 cancer for 30 years - which is unheard of - then in 2005 it went to stage 4.  He has been on chemotherapy since 2005 and at 42 years since initially diagnosed at stage 3 CLL, he is believed to be a USAF record holder for CLL survival.  When I asked him how he dealt with the incredible amount of health issues he has had, he simply said, "you just don't think about it." Easier said than done in life.   Most people would have worried themselves into an early grave.

Th person I am talking about is my 83 year old father.   Below is the first time he was able to sit in his new power recliner my mother just bought for him.  Glad you're home Slim! (nickname I gave him in 1977 :-)