Wednesday, July 21, 2010


"Inoperable tumor -- consult in the morning -- comfort measures"

That's the phone message I keep seeing on my desk. One of the founders of the firm where I work, and have worked off and on for the past twenty-plus years, had what they thought was a benign cyst on his pancreas. It had grown a bit too much and was encroaching on his bile duct causing some jaundice, and that and other digestive issues were why he went in for a Whipple procedure last Friday.

So he was going in for surgery. Major surgery, not minor, and very serious at that. He said himself that his doctors told him "Well, with a Whipple, yes we pretty much are telling you that you'll have this or die."

They didn't mention the "and die" possibility. But with surgery under general anesthesia, that's a given.

The medical team went in and instead of the benign cyst, there was an invasive malignancy. They closed him back up after putting in a shunt to drain the bile and relieve the jaundice.

"Inoperable... comfort measures..."

He had a second operation on Saturday. He was bleeding out.

My parents visited him in recovery. He and Dad have been business partners since 1975. I grew up with their son. I've never said "He was like a second father to me," because my own father has always been more than sufficient. But he was.

His liver was failing, and so were his kidneys.

Dialysis failed.

He passed away Sunday. We've been shell-shocked all week, both at home and at the office. My last entry was beyond disjointed, and I know it. I wrote it after I got the news, and was just striving for some sense of normalcy. Bombed that.

The funeral is tomorrow. My father will be delivering the eulogy.

I told my dad he's not allowed to go the route of this gentleman, or of the other firm founder who passed away earlier this year. He smirked a little, and said that there might come a day when I wish he would.


"Comfort measures."

My grandparents are all dead. Now the people of my parents' generation are passing. I'm moving right up in the old mortality chain.

I don't like it. At all.


I'm Just Another Fat Girl -jafg said...

Oh Honey. I am so sorry. I am praying for you and your family.


Sweeter than Sugar said...

I am so deeply sorry for your loss. And I know so well what you mean with your last words..

Drazil said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I had words to make this all better. I wish nothing but strength for you as you go through the grieving process. He must have been wonderful...

Amanda said...

Hey, thanks everyone. And yeah, he was a great guy. He and my father had a remarkable business partnership for over thirty years, in large part due to both of their innate honesty and trust in each other. And personally, he was the best husband to his wife, best father to his son... someone who could always be depended upon.

He also got really cheesed if the garbage can across from the coffee maker got too full and folks stacked junk beside it rather than, say, EMPTY it. We had an office meeting at the trash can about that one day... LOL.

He is and will be missed.

Jen said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. I hope he wasn't in too much pain. Hugs.

Patsy said...

So sorry.... It always hits so hard... :o(

Amanda said...

Thank you everyone -- I really do appreciate everything, both here and via email. :)