Eulogy for my Dad

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compiler
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7270
   Posted 7/9/2010 10:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Five years ago, my father passed away. I still miss him greatly every day. He was 97 years old, so he certainly lived a long life. He also lived a happy and healthy life (until the last year). This is not PC=related, except that he was dx. with PC at age 81. He had an orchectomy (sp) and that actually did the job. But I thought I would share with my virtual HW family this eulogy that I delivered at the funeral. I've done some editing, eliminating identifying names.
 

EULOGY FOR MY FATHER

By Mel

Some of these thoughts were formulated while I sat by my dad’s side in his hospital room. At that time, he was here physically, but was somewhere else in another world, because his job here in this world was done. He was on the final page of his long life’s novel.

If there aren’t many people here today, that would be understandable. Twenty years ago, there would have been hundreds, as dad was well-loved and well-respected by his many friends. But, at 97 years of age, suffice it to say that he outlived almost all of his good friends.

My dad, , was born on M, 1908 in the town of Letichev in the Ukraine, Russia. This was a difficult time, especially if one was Jewish, as the terror of the pogroms took its toll. In 1919, dad, his brother (x) and his mother (xxx) came to the United States. They settled in Boston. Dad finished high school and was preparing to go to college and then law school. However, finances were such that he had to work full time and give up that dream. After a stint in the jewelry business and the grocery business he and his family came to New York in 1929. He started working for Nabisco in 1930 and retired after 40 years with the company. He came to California in 1970 and spent many years as a realtor.

During his life, while living in New York, dad was a member of the Knights of Pythias, the AJC (American Jewish Congress) the ADL (Anti-Defamation League). He was always a regular contributor to the UJA. He was also a member of Bnai Brith. Before his final move to Ft, he lived in the P in SXs, where he formed their Homeowners Association.

But enough of such a formal resume. When I think of the man, my dad, the words "integrity," "intelligence," and "love" immediately come to mind. During much of his tenure at Nabisco, he was Chairman of the newly formed Salesmen Union and Chairman of their Negotiating Committee. During my formative years, we had many discussions about these activities. At the time, Nabisco’s retirement benefits were unclear – some may say "somewhat secretive." Nobody was sure what those benefits were. This issue was a major one for the union and the result was a victory: finally a clear policy was developed. But, my father had plenty of conflicts within the union. He demanded that before we negotiate, the salesmen should do their jobs completely and unequivocally. By doing that, he felt he had a stronger negotiating position. He was willing to negotiate for higher salaries as long as the workers did their part. Basically, it was the philosophy of "an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay." He absolutely refused to defend workers who wouldn’t do that. I remember two major situations. One worker was fired for continually leaving early and not finishing his job. Another worker was fired for stealing. My dad refused to defend these men, despite the ire of those who felt the union should always defend everyone for every reason. Yes, my dad’s integrity was evident in these dealings. My dad had values and character before it was "cool."

My father was an extremely intelligent individual. He was always interested in politics, economics/finances, and the world around him. He would fiercely debate anyone on a variety of issues. His arguments, although at times vociferous, were always intelligent and cogent. His positions were well thought-out, despite his best friend Paul’s attempts to egg him on. I remember one evening calling my dad just to say hello. At the time I called, the President was giving his State of the Union address. I got royally chewed out for wasting my time calling him, "while our President was talking to the nation."

But, I’ve saved dad’s best attribute for last: the ability to love deeply and unconditionally. My dad married my mother, , in 1930. He loved her deeply. Upon their divorce after over 30 years of marriage, I chose to live with my father. We became quite the team; there was nothing we couldn’t do together. We discussed sports, politics, whatever. Dad was brokenhearted that his marriage did not work out, but we got through it. He was a wonderful dad, encouraging me to stick with my studies and taking joy with my own little successes and giving me suitable condolences when things didn't work out so well. I could not have asked for a more loving, supportive father.

Father remarried in 1970. He loved his **** very much and was devastated when she passed away in 1987. It is a measure of the man, that ****'s daughter-in-law at that time, P, is still a wonderful friend with us and considered dad her father, too. Upon ’s death, my father felt that at the age of 79 his life was over, too. However, he eventually joined a bereavement group, where he met the love of his life, M. They were married in 1989. How wonderful it was to see the smile return to his face. This past June 13 marked their 16th wedding anniversary. During those 16 years, they wrote many little love letters to each other, left on the kitchen table almost every morning. I want to thank M for bringing such joy into my dad’s life. Thanks to their mutual love, my dad was reinvigorated.

For many summers, my dad and his lovely wife, M, came to %%%, Michigan to spend a few months with us. (That would be me, my wife, C, and our two children, Y and T.) Those were some of the best days as we shared lots of joys and discussions together as a family. I also remember dad’s impatience and annoyance when, God forbid, M and C+l went shopping and came home five minutes later than expected! But, mostly I remember the sweet tears of joy at their arrival and the biting tears of sadness when it was time to end their vacation with us.

Once again, it is a testament to this man that he was a wonderful father to M’s daughter, Jy and grandfather to Bt, y, D, and St. Sadly, he was not well enough to meet his great grandson, O, but he did enjoy the pictures we sent.

Seven years ago, I was amazed that dad, at the age of 90, decided to sell his home in P and move to S in D. What spunk!

Oh, and I must tell the story about his driver’s license. Dad knew, in his early 90’s, that he really shouldn’t be driving, but he refused to give up his driver’s license. Then one day, he received his auto insurance renewal bill. It reflected a huge increase; surely there was a mistake as dad did have a flawless driving record. My father inquired about this and was told the increase was due to his advanced age. Well, he didn’t hesitate. He gave up his driver’s license before, as he put it, he "would let those SOB’s get another dime from him!"

Dad’s love and sense of humor was evident even in his final days. At the nursing home, M and I were feeding him lunch at a time when we were convinced that his communication skills and cognitive abilities were totally gone. He was in the aforementioned other world. He kept pushing his plate away, towards me. After the tenth time, he suddenly opened his eyes, leaned towards me, and whispered "You eat it, I’ll pay!"

So, you see, little did dad know in those sad days in 1987 that his long life’s novel would have such a wonderful final chapter. Dad, you can finally rest now. And rest assured that you’ve lived an honorable, loving life, worth living. We love you very much and now we bid you adieu. As we say, "you did good!"


63 years old . PSA-- 3/08--2.90; 8/09--4.01; 11/09--4.19 (Free PSA 24%),  after 45 days on cipro! DREs have always been normal. PCA-3 was about 75 (way above the 35 threshold). That led to:

Biopsy on 11/30/09. 5 out of 12 cores positive. Gleason 4+3. 2 cores were 3+3 (one 5% and the other 30%) on one side. On  other side:2 cores are 4+3 (5%)--1 core 3+4 (30%) no peri-neural invasion. prostate is 45 grams. Stage: T1C.  

Surgery with Dr. Menon at Ford Hospital, 1/26/10. He says all looked good. Spared nerves. Unfortunately: Pathology Report: G 4+3 (65%-35%). Cancer in 15% of gland. Lymph Nodes: Clear.  Perineural Invasion: yes. Seminal Vessical Involvement: No.  Extraprostatic Extension: yes.  Positive Margin: Yes-- focal-- 1 spot .5mm. Final Weight is 52.7 gms.  (Second opinion from Jon Epstein at Hopkins confirmed these results)

 Incontinence: joined that club-- definite leaks—1 pad/day. Night is dry, was  using 1 pad at night for security, but pretty much dispensed with that most nights. Update: no pads at night. No pads while at home, but still very uncomfortable. Use 1 pad for out-of-house activities. Suddenly got MUCH better on 3/10/10, almost overnight. Still some urgency but no pads about 90% of the time.  As of 3/12/10--completely continent! Uh...OH. As of about 3/16/10 problems with constant urgency although no pads needed--feels like an infection but none showing in urine.

Update: since late March all is well in that area. I would say 99.9% continent (a spurt here and there, maybe 5 spurts per week). As of 6/22/10, I would say I am 100% continent, but I do have (controllable) significant urgency.

First post-op PSA on 3/10/10--DRUM ROLL: 0.01 Next PSA in mid-June.

Second post-op PSA on 6/21/10--0.02--Not too bad!


60Michael
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2243
   Posted 7/9/2010 11:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Mel I enjoyed that. My father passed away June 8 and he and Mom had been married 64 years. I gave his eulogy but words still fall short in telling what a wonderful father he was. My favorite picture of him was taken when I was about 2 yo and we were sitting on a porch with his father and Dad had his arm around me. I call the picture three Fathers and a porch!
Michael
 
Dx with PCA 12/08 2 out of 12 cores positive 4.5 psa
59 yo when diagnosed, 61 yo 2010
Robotic surgery 5/09 Atlanta, Ga
Catheter out after 10 days
Gleason upgraded to 3+5, volume less than 10%
2 pads per day, 1 depends but getting better,
 started ED tx 7/17, slow go
Post op dx of neuropathy
T2C left lateral and left posterior margins involved
3 months psa.01, 6 month psa.4, 6 1/2 month psa.5 on 11/28/10
Starting IMRT on 1/18/10, Completed 39 tx at 70 gys on 3/12/10
6 week Post IMRT PSA .44 a drop from .5 but maybe more
Great family and friends
Michael


Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 7/9/2010 11:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Beautiful words from a son tha obviously loved his father. Well said, well felt.
Age: 57, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incontinence:  1 Month     ED:  Non issue at any point post surgery, no problem post SRT
Post Surgery  PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, next one:  July
Latest:  7/9 cath #6 - 41 days, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 - 38 days, mapped  9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath, 10/5 - 11/27 IMRT SRT 39 sess/72 gys ,cath #8 33 days, Cath #9 35 days, Cath #10 43 days, 1/19 - Corr Surgery #4,  Caths #11 and #12 ,Cath #11 - 21 days,  Cath #12 - 41 days, 3/2- Corr Surgery #5, Cath #13 - 4 days, Cath #14- 27 days, Cath #15 - 26 days, Cath #16 - 31 days, Cath #17 - 39 days, 7/2 - Corr Surgery #6, 7/2 - Caths #18 & #19


maltratado45
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 7/16/2010 4:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Somehow I missed this until now.  Thank you very much for posting that and I appreciate your taking the time to share.
 
I now find I must pause and consider all of the good this site does for both readers and participants.  We are better off because this site exists and works well.
 
Thanks again, Jim 

Age 60 when presented to GP on 3 Aug. 2004 with elevated PSA of 13.8.
Referred to Urologist. Biopsy and bone scan in Oct 04.
Pathology report in Nov 04.  Initial Results are T2cNoMo carcinoma of prostate gland.
Had a RRP on 14 Feb 2005. Boy talk about irony look at that date again.
Dr. called 3 days after surgery. I want you both in my office tomorrow morning, we must talk now.
"I wish to apologize because I misdiagnosed your condition.
Biopsy of your organ says Staging is T3bNoMo. Please accept my apology."
At that moment I fell in love with my Dr. and have never changed my mind.
Followup radiation of the prostate bed started early June 05 and ran 42 sessions.
All PSA checkups to date, 5 1/2 yrs, are undetectable.


April6th
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 264
   Posted 7/16/2010 7:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Very touching, thanks for posting

Dan
Here are some of my stats:
Age:54
Father diagnosed with PC at age 72 - wasn't contained to prostate when found in 1992.
My PSA rose from 3.2 to 5.1 over the course of 1.5 years with Free PSA at 25% for the last two tests.
DRE showed no evidence of tumor but Uro thought my prostate was a little large for someone my age
PCa diagnosed 4/6/10 after biopsy on 4/1/10
1 out of 12 biopsy samples was positive with 5% of biopsy sample cancerous
Gleason 3+4
Da Vinci surgery on 6/1/10
Pathology report shows cancer confined to prostate and all other tissue clean
PSA 7/15/10 Zero Club membership card issued (trial membership with 90 day renewal)


Burlcodad
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 7/16/2010 10:24 AM (GMT -6)   

That was beautiful Mel.  Thanks for posting

 

Ray


Diagnosed 9/09 at age 54  
PSA 6/09 1.3 
Stage 2b (biopsy done because of firmness felt on right side) 3 positive cores out of 12 (all less than 25%) Gleason 6
 
Surgery  1/13/10 at UP- Penn Presbyterian - Dr David Lee. Home 1/14/10 Nerves spared on both sides -Catheter removed 1/19/10  Path report scheduled for 2/11/10
 
Post OP Pathology Report Gleason score was upgraded to 7 (3+4)
no capsular involvement, seminal vesicles clear, lymph nodes clear, negative margins, gland involvement 2-10%
 
Since report was good and recovery going well next appt is now  the first psa test appt scheduled for 4/22
 
POST OP PSA   4/10 <0.1,
 
Incontinence - Initial 6 pads a day, 3 Weeks - 3 pads a day relatively dry at night , 3 Months mostly dry 0-1 pad per day
 
ED - yes but seeing some improvements - levitra 10 mg 2x week 3 months  100 mg almost daily
 
 
 


Drums
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 134
   Posted 7/16/2010 2:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Mel. I'm happy you had such a great relationship with your Dad, not everyone could say that.
Bill
Age 52 at diagnosis, father died of PCa
 
PSA: 10/16/09 - 2.8; 1/11/10 - 3.8
Biopsy 11/25/09, 11 core samples - HG PIN on right side
Biopsy 2/17/10, 11 core samples - left side, adenocarcinoma, Gleason 6, one core at 5%
Notified of dx on 3/12/10 (27th wedding anniversary) via phone by the nurse! (dropped this Uro!)
MRI 3/17/10 and bone scan, 3/23/10, indicate: gland volume is 27mL, PCa is confined to prostate, seminal vesicles and vas deferens are unremarkable.
 
RALP conducted 19 May 2010 by Dr. Lee at U. Penn Presbyterian
Pathology report on 10 Jun 2010: Gleason 6; gland involvement by carcinoma < 2%; tumor in peripheral zone on BOTH sides; no capsular, extracapsular extension, lymph node, or seminal vesical involvement; and no positive margins.
 
Incontinence: first four days after catheter removal - only1-3 pads/day (but urethra was inflammed); 2d week (after inflammation) - 8-10 pads/day (sometimes more!); 3d week - 4-6 pads; 4th and 5th weeks - 3-4 pads; 6th week down to 2 pads. Of course, all this depends on how much I stand and it gets worse later in the day.
 
ED: started the pump the 4th week after the catheter removal. Four sets, twice a day per instructions. Not as fun as it sounded.


pa69
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 260
   Posted 7/16/2010 5:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mel,

The eulogy was certainly well done. My mother was born in 1908 as well and died at the age of 99 about 2 years ago.

I have a little rush of memories stirring after reading your eulogy.

Thanks,
Bob
Age 70, First ever PSA 7.8 taken June 2008, Biopsy July 2008, 10 of 12 cores positive, Gleason 3+3=6
da Vinci surgery December 10, 2008, catheter removed December 29 2008
St. Lukes Hospital, Bethlehem, Pa.
Dr. Frank Tamarkin
Prostate weight 73.0 grams, Gleason 3+3=6, stage pT3a
Tumor locations: right anterior apex, right posterior apex to mid
left anterior mid to base, left posterior apex to mid
extensive perineural invasion in right anterior apex, right and left posterior apex to mid
seminal vesicles negative
Six PSA tests undetectable, latest April 30
Pad free beginning Mar. 18, 2010!


Sleepless09
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 1267
   Posted 7/18/2010 1:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Mel, something I also missed earlier, but I'm sure glad I logged on tonight and found it. What a beautifully written piece about a great man. My dad died 22 years ago --- the 22nd anniversary was the day you posted this. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him several times.

Your tribute is wonderful. If my children can say one tenth, and show one tenth the love, when I die I shall consider my time on this earth a great success.

Thank you for sharing this. What a gift you have given us!

Sheldon AKA Sleepless
Age 67 in Apil '09 at news of 4 of 12 cores positive T2B and Gleason 3 + 3 and 5% to 25% PSA 1.5
Re-read of slides in June said Gleason 3 + 4 same four cores 5% to 15%
June 29 daVinci prostatectomy, Dr. Eric Estey, at Royal Alexandra Hospital Edmonton one night stay
From "knock out" to wake up in recovery less than two hours.  Actual surgery 70 minutes
Flew home to Winnipeg on July 3 after 5 nights in Ramada Inn  ---  perfect recovery spot!
Catheter out July 9
Final pathology is 3 + 4 Gleason 7, clear margins, clear nodes, T2C, sugeron says report is "excellent"
 
Oct 1st 09 -- dry at night, during day some stress issues.
Oct 31st padless 24/7 
 
First post op PSA Sept 09  less than 0.02
PSA on Oct 23 test again less than 0.02
PSA on Jan 8 less than 0.02
PSA on April 9 less than 0.02 
 
  


compiler
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7270
   Posted 7/18/2010 6:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for the kind words.
 
I was VERY hesitant to post such a personal item, but HW is sort of a family.
 
Mel

63 years old . PSA-- 3/08--2.90; 8/09--4.01; 11/09--4.19 (Free PSA 24%),  after 45 days on cipro! DREs have always been normal. PCA-3 was about 75 (way above the 35 threshold). That led to:

Biopsy on 11/30/09. 5 out of 12 cores positive. Gleason 4+3. 2 cores were 3+3 (one 5% and the other 30%) on one side. On  other side:2 cores are 4+3 (5%)--1 core 3+4 (30%) no peri-neural invasion. prostate is 45 grams. Stage: T1C.  

Surgery with Dr. Menon at Ford Hospital, 1/26/10. He says all looked good. Spared nerves. Unfortunately: Pathology Report: G 4+3 (65%-35%). Cancer in 15% of gland. Lymph Nodes: Clear.  Perineural Invasion: yes. Seminal Vessical Involvement: No.  Extraprostatic Extension: yes.  Positive Margin: Yes-- focal-- 1 spot .5mm. Final Weight is 52.7 gms.  (Second opinion from Jon Epstein at Hopkins confirmed these results)

 Incontinence: joined that club-- definite leaks—1 pad/day. Night is dry, was  using 1 pad at night for security, but pretty much dispensed with that most nights. Update: no pads at night. No pads while at home, but still very uncomfortable. Use 1 pad for out-of-house activities. Suddenly got MUCH better on 3/10/10, almost overnight. Still some urgency but no pads about 90% of the time.  As of 3/12/10--completely continent! Uh...OH. As of about 3/16/10 problems with constant urgency although no pads needed--feels like an infection but none showing in urine.

Update: since late March all is well in that area. I would say 99.9% continent (a spurt here and there, maybe 5 spurts per week). As of 6/22/10, I would say I am 100% continent, but I do have (controllable) significant urgency.

First post-op PSA on 3/10/10--DRUM ROLL: 0.01 Next PSA in mid-June.

Second post-op PSA on 6/21/10--0.02--Not too bad!

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