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This page is dedicated to a hard working young man, who for many years, wanted the best for his family. He spent almost 13 years in the Army, but had to leave because he lost 85% of his hearing, working on a grenade range. After the Army, which was his dream job, he slowly climbed up the ladder, having a few setbacks along the way. In 1995, he got the second job of his dreams, working at a local steel mill. Things were going great, so in December 1996, he quit his other full time job as assistant manager to our states paper. We should have known things were too good to be true. On March 3rd, 1997, he was diagnosed with Small Cell Lung Cancer. On October 13, 1997, he died in his sleep, at the age of 37.

This mans' name is Larry. He was only 36, when the doctor told him the bad news. Larry had always been a very private and sensitive person, and had only cried a few times in the 20 years we were together. So when he came home with tears in his eyes, I knew something was wrong. As he told me the bad news, I couldn't believe my ears. He was told he had cancer. The doctors couldn't remove either lung, because the cancer was right in the middle of where the two lungs hooked together. They told us not to worry though, because with the cancer being so small, there was an excellent chance of killing it. Even though they knew what type of cancer it was, they wanted to take more tests. What a mistake that was. One and a half months later, the cancer had spread to his brain and liver. On his second session of chemotherapy, Larry was told that he had five years to live. We both went into total shock; I burst out crying. Why is this happening? The doctor just shrugged his shoulders and said that "some things are meant to be". Right then and there I took a disliking to this 'so called' doctor. {He was the one who wanted more tests, after Larry had already had many of them.}

How can a man, who was only sick a few days of his life {and once in a blue moon, get a headache}, get cancer? Well, he did start to smoke when he was 15, but, he usually smoked only a pack {if that much} a day, after he was an adult. A lot of checking on my part gave me the answer. When Larry was in the Army, he guarded a chemical plant while he was working for a well known security company. One day, after guarding the plant for a week, one of the older guards came out and said "HI" to Larry. He had hair missing on his head like an electric shaver gone haywire on his head, teeth were missing, and he talked like some crazy person. For some odd reason, he wanted to show Larry his family pictures. During this short During this short conversation, Larry happened to see the guys driver license. It was only a year old. "How long have you been working here?", Larry asked. "Just a little over seven months". Larry wanted to know if the guy had any health problems. The other guard said he was getting some bad headaches lately, and bringing up some blood, and he was to see a doctor in a few days. About that time, another guard came out looking worse than the first one. Right then and there, Larry decided to get out of there. He told the security company not to send him back and to find him another place to guard. Larry found out later, that the chemicals in the plant were causing this. Shortly after that, the plant was shut down.

Years later, Larry was working for a well known plastic plant. He worked there for a few years. By the time he left for a better job, he was a material handler. He mixed all the colors for the different things that were being made. All the other employees would go home looking the same as when they came to work. Larry, on the other hand, would be the dirtiest because of the colored powder. It became a game with the kids and me to try to guess what colors he mixed that day. Usually we were right. The one thing that none of us knew, was that these powders contained chemicals. By the time 1995 came around, Larry got the job he wanted at the steel mill. In the meantime, he was delivering our states paper. He would get up around two in the morning. Stuff his papers, deliver them, and if he got done early, he would come home and take a nap. If his shift where he was working was later, he would come home and sleep until he woke up. When he became assistant manager, his workload changed. He would deliver only the missed papers, answer the phones, and do most of the paper work. Believe it or not, he loved all this work and still he would try and find time for his family. {As my health at yhat time was poor, I could no longer be on the work force. Housework, children, a loving tired husband, and in the home daycare, was enough for me.}

Here are some of the things I found out. Cigarettes do not give you cancer, they only weaken your system. We are all born with cancer in our bodies. If your body gets weak enough, you can aggravate that cancer (as with smoking). Because Larry was a smoker, all the chemicals he had been around, caused the cancer to start working on his body. By the time late Fall of 1996 arrived, Larry was complaining that he was tired. He said that since he had a good paying job at the steel mill, he was going to quit the paper at the end of the year. Around Christmas, we were all catching colds. The kids would bring it home from school, and Larry caught one from the guys at the steel mill. The colds went away, but we all had these nagging and lingering coughs. By the time we couldn't take it anymore, the coughs started going away. Larry's' just seemed to get worse. Late January he said enough was enough, that he was going to the doctors. The family doctor suspected it might be one of two things, so he sent Larry to a specialist. She suspected what it might be, so she sent him to the hospital for some tests. These test eventually sent him to one of the major cities for more thorough tests. MRI's are not light, and by the time he took everything to the hospital, where they're kept, he had a very large and heavy load. On March 3rd, I had a doctors appointment, and was getting ready to go, when Larry came home from the doctors with the bad news. It wasn't until November that I finally made it to my appointment. Larry came first.

For years I had been trying to get Larry to stop smoking, but when someone has been smoking as long as Larry had, it would be like telling a child that they couldn't play with their toys ever again. A smoker comes up with every excuse in the book why they need to smoke. Larry tried several times to quit, but always went back to his smoking. If he had only kicked the habit, he would still be with us. The longer you stay away from smoking, the stronger your body gets. During the last few months of his life, Larry started to put down the people that he saw smoking. He told some of his friends that they might end up like him, if they didn't stop. He was right. Five or six months after Larry died, a co-worker found that he had cancer. Last I heard, one lung had been removed, and he's doing fairly well. I've yet to see any good come out of smoking. When someone starts to smoke, there's a lot of coughing and back pounding. That doesn't sound like fun to me, also, the ones that usually start smoking are, teenagers or younger. Another thing that happens when someone smokes is, it ages their face, and when a woman smoker gets old, her lips have horrible wrinkles in and around them.

1997 was the worst year of mine and my children's life. Life might go on, but it's lonely and not fun. First we were in shock about the cancer, then Larry's death. Why must we die young? We grow up thinking that we'll die old. Larry and I used to joke about growing old together and sitting in our matching rockers on the front porch. The last summer of his life, Larry and I sat out on the deck or the front porch and only talked of the present and my future without him. I tried not to cry in front of him, but he told me to be myself and let it go. I did most of my crying in bed or in the shower. This is a man who didn't want to give up life. I busted my butt trying to find a cure for him. I wasn't going to let him die. Three loving children, a stepdaughter, two precious grandchildren, a very loving wife, and a job that he loved going to, were keeping him going. I changed his eating habits so that the cancer grew slower. Cancer for one thing, loves cheese. I think he was eating better than when he was healthy. If it seemed reasonable, we tried it. With cancer, you don't just sit back and let it take over; you and your family take control.

Larry had several different kinds of chemo done. The first one didn't do anything. The second worked a little. The next couple worked for a bit. The specialist finally said that nothing more could be done and that Larry should go on Hospice. While he was on Hospice, Larry had to go through radiation treatment. This is the point when the cancer victim just wants to roll over and die. Larry had it done on his brain and chest. He was suppose to be taking radiation medicine for this, but he was prescribed the wrong kind. After it was found out, the doctors wondered why he had no upset stomach. I guess they're still wondering. The only thing that went wrong, was his esophagus developed an ulcer. Here was Larry, with a cupboard half full of medication, now he had to take more for the healing of his esophagus. Having this ulcer felt like when you get food stuck in your throat. This lasted for a few weeks until it healed. Meanwhile, he was rapidly losing weight, because he couldn't eat properly. He drank an ounce of Ensure each time he got hungry. Chicken broth, orange juice, Jell-O, and whatever we could find that was smooth or of liquids, we gave him. Still, it was hard going down.

Being on Hospice when you're young and you're fighting to live, is a horrible experience, but I'm glad they were able to help us. Larry was too young, and a determined fighter to just give up; and I couldn't give up on Larry. He was a good man and deserved to live. We cried more at this time then any other time after that. Larry didn't want to die anymore then the rest of us wanted him to. I checked around and finally found an experimental chemo. This one was very successful in ovarian cancer. He told Hospice bye bye, and for them to help other's who needed it more than him. He started the treatments the following day. (I was later told, by one of the people from Hospice, that they wanted to put a scare in Larry, because they knew he wasn't ready. It worked) What a difference that treatment made. Larry was tired when we went in, but full of energy when we left. This treatment worked for a while, but treatment was stopped when it showed signs of slowing down. Every time Larry went in, his blood was checked. It was more healthy than mine. Cancer travels through the blood. Larry never got nauseated from the treatments. He lost some of his hair on his head, but he still had his mustache and was growing a beard. (He tried for years to grow one, but it always started to itch. In the Army, he would work on it when he was on leave. By the time Larry died, he had a beautiful beard that never needed trimming.) It was about this time that we discovered a health food product that was suppose to kill cancer. It cost more then we wanted to pay, but his life was more important then money. When his cancer started getting the better of him, the only pain he complained about, was his liver. Before Larry started to take this product, we were at our wits end. About two weeks later, his system was working again.

Here was a strong man that was being weakened by cancer, but still had a sharp mind. I tested him all the time. He had an excellent memory and was faster than a calculator. When I woke up in the morning and came downstairs, the first thing he would ask for, would be the product. After awhile, I doubled the dose. (Some people take it all day long). This proved to be the right thing to do. Unfortunately his liver was still hurting. Just before school started in the beginning of September, Larry slipped and fell off the front porch. It was early morning and he was getting the paper. About the time he came back in the house, the noise of the door woke me up. No one saw him, and he knew if he called me, I wouldn't be able to hear him. At first he wouldn't let me see, but finally gave in. I cleaned up his face and knee, called the hospital, and took him over. X-rays showed him ok, but a week later his right foot started losing it's feeling. Everyday it got worse. Finally my oldest son and I took him to the doctors. Larry said he was becoming a burden to us and he wanted to go to the hospital. The doctor said that Larry could stay at the hospital while tests were being done, to find out why he was losing the feeling in his foot. While in the hospital, the numbness went up his leg and started on his left foot. Doctors thought at first it might be tumors on the spine causing it. No tumors were found. By the time, a few days later, he lost feeling in both legs, it was discovered that the cancer was pressing on his brain.

I went home to get things ready for Larry to come home, but that evening, his mother came over and told me that Larry didn't want to come home. She said that he wanted to go to a care home. I was shocked. All Larry ever wanted was to be with his family. After all the talks we had throughout out our marriage about care homes, I thought she was mistaken. His mother took me back to the hospital, and I asked Larry. He quietly said yes. If his mother hadn't been there, and I hadn't been so upset and concerned about Larry all at the same time, I would have questioned him more. A few weeks later he was begging to come home. He was not getting the proper care that he needed. He wouldn't eat unless I was there. He would cry when I went home, so would I. The kids and I would go everyday. What a smile that would put on his face. Everyone missed him. While he was in the care home, he was suppose to get physical therapy and turned every two hours in bed. None of this was happening. I had to do it myself or get help. All the while Larry was there, morphine was used more then it should of been. I was told it was to keep the patients quiet. During this time, Larry and I had a long talk. We discovered that it was his mother that wanted him in the care home. Larry never wanted to go. She told him that I wanted him there and told me that Larry wanted to go. What a wasted three weeks. She only visited him a few times. It took a few days, but Larry finally came home to his family. He didn't need the morphine that much, he was more alert, he ate more, and he was once again watching sports on TV.

I spent 95% of my time with Larry. When he told me to, I would go upstairs and try to get some sleep, but most of the time, I would sleep next to his air filled bed on the love seat. Every move he made at night would wake me up. Home nurses would come in twice a week, but it was the help of our kids that got us through the days. These last days together were very hard, as we had found out just before Larry came home that the cancer was leaving his body. The last MRI's show most of the cancer gone from his brain and lungs. The doctors were confused, but the rest of us weren't. It was the health food product. When I forgot to give it to Larry, his system acted up, but when he was given it, everything worked. This was highly recommended to us, but we were skeptic. Finally, after checking it out, and finding that some of friends were using it, with good results, Larry tried it. If we had only found and tried it sooner, Larry would still be alive. His liver was working overtime, and was getting weak. On October 10th, Larry had to be rushed to the hospital. He was losing a lot of blood It took three units of blood to get him back to normal. My youngest son and I spent Larry's last three days with him, in the hospital. Larry was told that since he had stabilized, that he could go home on Monday. Sunday, Larry and I talked about everything, the other kids came and visited with him, and he watched tv. By lunch time, his pain was coming back, worse then ever. Morphine was given to him every few minutes. Finally the pain calmed enough, for Larry to eat a good lunch. After lunch we told each other how much we loved  each other and how we were looking forward to him coming back home. Around 1:30 pm, he went to sleep.

My youngest son and I spent the rest of the day talking, watching TV, and keeping an eye on Larry. Around 8:00 pm, I told Larry, that I was going home to shower and try to get some sleep. I don't know if he heard me, but he moved. It hurt to leave him, but after three days in the hospital, I needed to get home for a few hours. I kept calling the hospital to check on him, he was still sleeping. The nurses said to go ahead and stay home until the kids left for school, in the morning. No one slept that night. A little after 4:30 am, one of the nurses called and said I better get back to the hospital. Our three children and I rushed to the hospital, my oldest daughter stayed home with her two kids. When I got near Larry's room, one of the nurses started towards us. "No, I said. I knew she was going to tell me he was gone. "Larry passed on a few minutes after we hung up the phone". "No, it's not fair. He's too young. It's not fair". I just kept saying this over and over. The kids and I went into Larry's room. He looked so peaceful, like he was going to get up and say, "This is all just a horrible nightmare, let's go home". But he didn't.

Unfortunately, life after Larry has been hectic, and very lonely. The year 1997, was a nightmare. We kept asking, "Why is this happening"? People say that God has his reasons; that the ones who die young, are a gift to us. If that is so, Larry was a wonderful gift, one that I wished I could have kept longer. He told me once, that maybe this was meant for the kids and me to change the world about cancer. Someone has to come up with a cure sooner or later, why not us? The thing is, there are cures out there, but they take time to work on the body, and by the time the cancer starts to die, the liver gives up. Most people can't afford the thousands of dollars for pills that are on the market, so they hope and search for a cure, and use radiation and chemo. I was skeptic about health food products at one time in my life, but took some here and there. If it hadn't been for this and proof with the one we used, Larry would have died much sooner. When someone has a serious illness, you don't say no to everything. I'm glad we tried it. I just wish we had known about it sooner.

Everything that could go wrong in 1998, did, but life goes on. The kids and me have gone through most of the things we did with Larry, only with sunken hearts. (I even catch myself watching one of his favorite teams on TV) Working in the yard, on my pages, and being with the kids, keeps me going. We have a picture of Larry in almost every room; this way we are greeted with a smile when we're feeling low or in a bad mood. Everybody has their way with dealing with a loved ones death, and I say, 'If you can cry and be tough, you're doing just fine'. You can't bring them back, but you still have the memories; and we have lots of them. My favorite aunt died a few days before Christmas when I was in high school, my great-grandmother several years later, and my grandfather died a few days before his 57th wedding anniversary. So you can see, I've faced death before, but not with someone so young. He was my lover, best friend, and my children's father. At least he lived to see two of his grandchildren. When someone dies, the people close to them have only one person to lose, while they, on the other hand, have they're family and friends.

The hardest thing to do, after someone dies, is to get things ready for the funeral services. All you want to do, is cry and be left alone, but you can't. Paperwork here and there, flowers arriving all the time, people coming over or calling, and calling the school to let them know that the kids won't be back for awhile. The worse, was going to the steel mill and sign the insurance papers. It's those papers and the death certificate that lets you know it's not a dream. Friends still say they how sorry they are, and how they miss them. Once-in-awhile, I'll run into someone I don't know, but who knew Larry and saw me with him, and they'll start talking. By the time we're done, I'm crying. He had lots of friends. Everyone who met him, liked him.

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