Apr 10, 2013 - 5:33 pm
My husband called about 7:30 this morning to let me know that Joe, our "other" in law, died this morning of metastatic melanoma. Joe was our daughter-in-law's uncle; and over the past several years we have become good friends of he and his wife. (and here's where the small world thing happens- Joe and Dave played football together at Oregon State U during the 1965 season.)
Joe had a surface melanoma removed from his shoulder about 5 years ago and was checked regularly. On Dec. 21 he collapsed with what they thought was an aneurysm in the brain. After a CT, it turned out to be a bleeding melanoma tumor-one of several in the brain, with more found in the spine, lungs, and bones of the hip. After being residents of Mazatlan for the past 8 years, they came back to the south SF area to be seen by Drs. at Stanford. The plans were for whole brain radiation for 8 days (2 wks), then recovery and do chemo. We went down to San Ramon to visit in mid-January after the first 4 days of radiation. Joe finished the radiation but never got well enough to have chemo. First it was seizures they had to control, then an upper respiratory infection, then pressure sores that became infected, then esophageal and swallowing problems. He'd been unable to eat for the past week and didn't want a feeding tube put in.
After reviewing our options and plans, my husband left very early yesterday morning and arrived by mid afternoon to say his good-byes, and help Joe's wife. They have family and lot's of friends in the region to help, too, but I'm proud of my husband for "being there" for someone else. He's learned a lot from the problems we've faced together since 2006.
Thanks for listening. And everyone, please have those moles checked. Be aware of any changes; wear suncreen, a hat and long sleeves.
To better tomorrows.