[Nameplate] Fair ~ 91°F  
Heat Advisory
Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

Depressing thoughts on a beautiful day

Posted Thursday, October 6, 2011, at 10:50 AM

(Photo)
A season for looking back

I hope you'll pardon me on this bright, sunny, beautiful fall morning, if I'm thinking about death.

Apple icon Steve Jobs just died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56, so those of you who know me are aware of how my mind is drifting through the past this morning.

Yes, my husband Dale died 14 years ago at the age of 56, and yes, it was pancreatic cancer which took him. Unlike Jobs, Dale didn't know until 3 months before he died that he had the disease.

I used to bemoan the fact that we didn't know about Dale's cancer sooner, but the lesson this morning's news seems to bring is this: It doesn't make any difference, in the long run.

Job's millions did give him more time, which he used to continue his remarkable business career. The stories about him are impressive, and it would seem that if anyone could defeat cancer, he could.

Alas, it is not to be. Not yet.

I look back through my husband's life to see what could have caused that awful disease to take hold within his system, and I see no similarities with whatever could have given the Apple creator his version of the cancer.

Was it the asbestos that Dale came into contact with, as a carpenter? Was it the cigarette habit that he could not kick? Was it the stress associated with his later life, when he was a project manager and estimator?

Could it have been his environment? He grew up on Mulberry Street in Dexter, before his parents moved to the farm west of Dexter. Then there was Cape Girardeau; Fairbanks, Alaska; Poplar Bluff, where he worked for a perfectly horrid boss; and finally, our farm in the hills of Tillman.

Was it the chemicals he used on the crops we raised?

We still know so little about what causes pancreatic cancer (and all the other forms, for that matter), but, as far as I know, a diagnosis with that particular cancer is still a death sentence.

When we were in the hospital, a lady visiting a patient in Dale's room said, "Is he afraid of cancer?" and I was speechless. "Afraid?" Was there any other way to look at it?

As I look out the window and enjoy the sunshine of this Indian summer before winter creeps in on us, I thank God for the people who share our lives, no matter how fleetingly we are here on this earth.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Research: "Nearly 37,000 people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer die from the disease each year. In fact, the average survival rate for those who have metastatic cancer is six months. While progress is being made in terms of research, the five year survival rate for those living with pancreatic cancer is still less than five percent. Early detection, when the tumor is still small, can increase the five year survival rate to 25 percent. The American Cancer Society says that the one year survival rate for this very aggressive cancer is 20 percent. The low survival rate is tied to the stage of tumors at the point of diagnosis."

Patrick Swayze lived 20 months after his diagnoses, and Michael Landon died shortly after his diagnosis, so Steve Job's 9 year survival rate must have set some sort of record. The research gave 6 months as the average.

-- Posted by Madeline1 on Fri, Oct 7, 2011, at 5:55 AM

Research: "Nearly 37,000 people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer die from the disease each year. In fact, the average survival rate for those who have metastatic cancer is six months. While progress is being made in terms of research, the five year survival rate for those living with pancreatic cancer is still less than five percent. Early detection, when the tumor is still small, can increase the five year survival rate to 25 percent. The American Cancer Society says that the one year survival rate for this very aggressive cancer is 20 percent. The low survival rate is tied to the stage of tumors at the point of diagnosis."

Patrick Swayze lived 20 months after his diagnoses, and Michael Landon died shortly after his diagnosis, so Steve Job's 9 year survival rate must have set some sort of record. The research gave 6 months as the average.

-- Posted by Madeline1 on Fri, Oct 7, 2011, at 5:55 AM

Any sickness or healh problems can be devastating. Cancer seems to be the word that scares anyone. There has been much research snd great results the past few years and prayerfully more will be accomplished someday. May the Lord walk with anyone who travels this road.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Fri, Oct 7, 2011, at 6:04 AM

Before I lost my brother to cancer any numbers given in any articles about cancer were nameless numbers. Today when I read articles and numbers are given the first thing I think of is MOM, DAD, SON, DAUGHTER, BROTHER, SISTER, HUSBAND, WIFE.

-- Posted by gdh1958 on Fri, Oct 7, 2011, at 10:36 PM

Just heard this morning that musician Roger Williams died of pancreatic cancer this week. I didn't hear how long he'd known about it, but he was 87. It usually kills its victims much earlier.

-- Posted by Madeline1 on Sun, Oct 9, 2011, at 9:38 AM


Respond to this blog

Posting a comment requires free registration. If you already have an account, enter your username and password below. Otherwise, click here to register.

Username:

Password:  (Forgot your password?)

Your comments:
Please be respectful of others and try to stay on topic.


Off the wall
Madeline DeJournett
Recent posts
Archives
Blog RSS feed [Feed icon]
Comments RSS feed [Feed icon]
Login
Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net or by phone at 573-722-5322.
Hot topics
Is "Happily ever after" a myth?
(0 ~ 11:19 AM, Aug 19)

The view from my deck
(2 ~ 8:29 AM, Jul 30)

Goodbye, 1975!
(3 ~ 5:17 PM, Jul 29)

The cat who wouldn't brush her teeth
(0 ~ 5:53 AM, Jun 19)

Another Mother's Day gone by....
(1 ~ 10:27 AM, May 20)