There are many people that have come into my life that I would like to give special thanks to.
Bernie was diagnosed in October of 2000. He went to the VA and had a check up and a chest x-ray. They told him at that point his chest was clean. Two days later he was to have a sleep study done and went to a private doctor. Another chest x-ray reveled a tumor in his right lung. After a biopsy he was told he had to have 2/3rds of his lung removed. It hadnt gotten to the lymph glands so any need for chemotherapy. His surgery was the 4th of January of 2001. In October of 2001 with a routine scan they discovered a brain tumor. Surgery again. That was the only way for them too find out if it was cancer. It was the most devastating day in my life when the doctor came out and told my daughter and myself that it was the BIG C. After the surgery he had 24 treatments and 6 radical treatments of radiation. This is when I discovered I couldnt do it all. I had many friends that stepped forward to help. After the treatments I couldnt leave Bernie alone. It had affected his memory.
The following May I took him to Ft. Meyers, Florida and stayed on Estero Island with my sister and her family. We had a wonderful time and my daughter, grandson and her boyfriend went with us. We made it a family vacation.
A scan was done before we left and they called and wanted us to come in for the results and I said no. I would call when we came back. The results were bad; the cancer had spread to his spleen and liver. This was the end of May. I worked my job until August and quit to take care of him. He started chemo in June and continued until two weeks before he passed away.
So all in all it was about three years that he fought this cancer with a positive attitude and always had a sense of humor. You had to take Bernie at face value because he always said what was on his mind, never pulled punches with anyone. He didnt complain, other than saying he had a headache. I knew how he felt, I could see it in his eyes, and my hero was slipping away.
This brings me to the people that I want to give a special thanks to:
My daughter, Angie: I couldnt have done it without you.
My grandson, Brian: At 9 years old is wiser than most adults
My Goddaughters, Jackie and Ginger: Would give me a break and take their Uncle Bernie out to eat or shoot pool or anything he wanted to do.
Veterans: Bill, Ron, Rich, Sam, Freddie and Manny for taking Bernie to radiation, sitting with him so I had time to myself, taking him out to dinner, going to the driving range. I appreciate this all.
Friends: Karen, that knew what a veteran with PTSD was like when strapped on a table for radiation and also talking to me my first time about PTSD and getting me in contact with Dan Foote.
Dan Foote: For all the compasion he showed
Linda: Would call and could tell by my voice when something was bothering me and she was my mind when Bernie was in the hospital and after he passed away.
J. J.: Always there to give me my back porch therapy.
Joan: For all the chocolate cookies right out of the oven.
Trilla: For letting me cry on her shoulder and telling me I was doing the right thing.
Marg and Bill: For the many many days coming to my house and having a conversation with Bernie when he didnt even know what he was talking about.
All my daughters friends and our surrogate kids: Lee, Niki, Gene, Annie, Rich, Carrie, and Joe
All of the Vet wives for getting me through the past three years.
Thelma, Sara, Anita, Claudia, Peggy: For listening
Janice and Ken: For understanding.
My family for words of encouragement.
My 93 year old Dad, I love him.
If I have left anyone out I am sorry, it doesnt mean that I dont appreciate what you have done.
A proud Vietnam Veterans Widow