Well, it's been a long and difficult journey! Thank you all for travelling it with us. There was no way that we could have known the outcome, or expected it to be what it is, when this started back on July 20. The journey felt long, but it actually has only been 9 weeks.
The memorial service here in Pennsylvania is over and it was a nice end and somewhat of a closure for us here in DuBois. My parents were surrounded by their close PA friends and relatives, which offered much strength and support. So many people say, "I don't know what to say!" I can sincerely tell you that you don't need to say anything. Just being there with a hug is plenty!
As per Roley's wishes, his beautiful urn containing his ashes, were buried alongside his beloved grandparents and his Uncle Chuck and Aunt Linda, at our family plot here in DuBois at Morningside Cemetery.
We will be making one more trip to Ohio and Indiana this weekend. Some loose ends need finalized with family and finances. Then we will move forward with life because that is what Roley would want. He always wanted everyone to be happy and not to feel bad! We will continue to appreciate the good and positive that is going to come about because of his life!
I want to take this time to thank each and every one of you reading this for all the love, support, prayers and donations during this last 9 weeks. Now it's my turn to say, "I don't know what to say!" No words can describe what you all have meant to us! The donations have been amazing and it is literally what has been supporting Kim and Tabytha so far. This has been their only income and we don't expect any of their social security benefits to start for them until December - we hope!
With the help of Mom and Dad, family, and all of you, we know Kim and Tabytha will be fine.
If anyone would like to talk to me, ask any questions, or as I promised in the very beginning, if there is anything I can ever do for anyone of you, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'll be closing down GoFundMe in a few days. We're working on final arrangements for the burial here in Pennsylvania. We're all exhausted! I know Kim is having a really hard time, and I feel so bad for her. It's a very sad thing to lose your husband, son, brother, father so unexpectedly and so quickly.
My brain is tired! It's hard to think!
I know I posted this in my previous update, but it was at the bottom of a very long note. People have been asking, so here it is again. The visitation viewing will be held this Friday, August 30, from 5-7 pm, with a service immediately following at:
Cook Funeral Home
107 Vine Street
Sunman, IN 47041.
This journey that started with my first post on July 20, 2013, is almost over, but our memories and thoughts and love for my brother will never ever be over and done! It's only been five weeks since we started this and only 29 days ago since we actually received the biopsy results on Roley. As cancer illnesses go, this was very fast. For our family going through this it seemed like a nightmare that we kept waiting to wake up from. For Roley, I know he kept saying that he couldn't believe this was happening to him. He said that he thought that by the time he reached his 50's there would be a cure for cancer. Well, it wasn't a nightmare and there was no cure for this cancer.
As sad and painful as this was for the family witnessing our beloved Roley going through this, it was nothing compared to the literal pain that Roley was experiencing. We had the 5 weeks to accept and make peace with what was reality. We also could not be selfish enough to want him to go on any longer with the suffering and pain!
I want to thank every one of you that has donated to the fund for Roley. The amount has been astounding to us. The monies will be used for the outstanding bills that Kim and Tabytha are left with. I would update Roley every day with the new donations that came in, as well as the comments and messages. He would become emotional and overwhelmed by the generosity and it was a great comfort to him to know that Kim and Tabytha would have a little bit of a cushion to carry them through until other income arrangements could be figured out for them. This was probably Roley's greatest concern about leaving the family that he always took care of. In turn, this was a great comfort to the rest of his family!
I said in my first post that we would never forget each and every name that shows up here. If any of you ever need help in any way, please call on us if we can do anything. We are so grateful and amazed by you all!
I like to always look for any positivity in any situation, no matter now negative the situation may be. I have come to realize many positive aspects to this "cancer journey" that we have experienced as a family. Our family is closer to each other and I feel closer to God, and ultimately closer to Roley's spirit. I have spent many emotional hours with my brother Chuck and his wife Jill, my sister in law Kim, my nephews Jeff and Joe, my nieces Tabytha and Tiffany, and of course my Mom and Dad. This has been a positive thing! When you cry together, pray together, laugh and reminisce together, your love deepens and you become closer.
So the funeral arrangements are complete. The visitation viewing will be held this Friday, August 30, from 5-7 pm, with a service following at:
Cook Funeral Home
107 Vine Street
Sunman, IN 47041.
Memorial donations may be made to:
Hospice of Cincinnati Western Hills
at Mercy Health Western Hills
3131 Queen City Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45238
We can't say enough about the compassionate and loving care that Roley received there.
Also, upon many requests, this site will remain open for a while longer.
My brother, Roland Bechtel III, passed away at 6:08 am. With him at the time were our dad, his wife Kim, and 3 of his children, Tiffany, Jeff and Joe. They all spent the night with him in his room. About 4:00 am they maxed the morphine and he passed away peacefully 2 hours later. As sad as this whole journey has been, the difficult journey makes the end much more bearable - a feeling of relief really. Our suffering the last few days was hard, but it was nothing compared to the suffering Roley endured for the last month and a half. We feel he probably suffered a lot longer than that in silence and we just weren't aware of it. Maybe he even knew there was something wrong but didn't want anyone to be concerned or worry. That would be like Roley!
We are leaving in a few minutes for Cook Funeral Home in Sunman, Indiana, to finalize the pre-arrangements already made.
I will post one final entry later tonight when I know arrangements and can think more clear!
I am sincerely grateful to all of you reading this!
This is just too much! Roley is still hanging on and we don't know how. His breathing is very labored and the gurgling in his lungs just sounds as though he's drowning. I guess in a way he is! We really just want him to go now. I don't know if any of you have watched someone go through these last few days of pancreatic cancer but it is not a calm and easy end! Mom and I came home to Chuck's at 7:00 pm, after a long day by Roley's side. It is tough to watch him, although the nurses tell us it's more painful for us than for Roley. They just increased his morphine dosage this evening from 50% of max. to 80% of max. He also received steady injections of Ativan, a sedative for anxiety. His blood pressure is very low. Unless and until you witness this first hand, it's maybe hard to appreciate the fact that animals are treated with more compassion when they are terminal and suffering than humans are allowed. Don't misunderstand me - the staff and the nurses in Mercy Hospice are angels and have been wonderful! They are so loving and caring. It truly takes a special person to be able to do this! But why is it against the law to help them die more quickly at this point? I don't know the answer, or I should say that I don't quite understand the answer! I'm just asking the question! Please pray for my brother that God feels the time is very soon!
A message just written by my father, Roland Bechtel Jr.: A Sorrowful Journey is Ending
6 minutes ago
Son Roley is now in a coma-like sleep at Hospice. We are all waiting for the inevitable as he quietly slips away.
The family is visiting him and speaking to him one at a time, giving him their own individual message. He seems to be hearing and understanding; but his eyes are closed and his responses are either real or imagined by each loved one who speaks to him.
His wife Kim, his two sons Joe and Jeff, and his daughter Taby are spending the evenings with him. Others of us are at his bedside throughout the day. We have all learned to observe when he is in pain; he winces, grimaces and sometimes releases a noise (best as I can describe). Even though he is on a Morphine drip, one of us call for the nurse and she administers a shot of something else. He relaxes and returns to his coma-like sleep.
Joe and Jeff read passages from the Bible, and prayed with him the evening before last. He accepted Jesus as his personal savior just before he fell into his deep sleep.
This is nearing the end of my journal entries. I will subsequently advise of the date of his departure; and the particulars regarding his funeral services.
God bless everyone who has followed this sorrowful journey. It has been a cathartic experience for me.
Our whole family is exhausted! Joe and Jeff, Roley's sons, spent the night with him last night. After we left, they said that he became much worse and seemed to be in a lot of pain. They called us early this morning and said we should get back up to the hospital as soon as we could. By the time we got there, Roley was on more pain meds and he was unable to speak words to us or even open his eyes. By noon they had put him on a morphine drip. The whole family was there most of the day and we each spoke to Roley one by one and said our own private words and goodbyes with him. The day was extremely emotional and it just has us all worn out. We all realize and have accepted that Roley only has a few more hours. Kim, Joe, Jeff and Taby are spending the night with him at the hospital .
Today was also Mom and Dad's 57th wedding anniversary! Who could have ever imagined an anniversart spent like this!
I can't even keep my eyes open as I write this.
What a long day! I got into Cincinnati at 8:30 this evening. Jill, my sister in law, Chuck's wife, picked me up and we went straight to Mercy Hospital. I find out that Roley is in the room right next door to the room my mother in law was in when she died of pancreatic cancer 3 years ago, but at age 78, not 53. It was still a very sad, painful event to watch unfold! So here I am again! I walked into the room and there were 4 Bechtel men standing in the room, surrounding the bed of another Bechtel! That sight just struck me! There was my dad, my other brother Chuck, and 2 of Roley's sons, Joe and Jeff.
Roley woke up when I came into the room and said, "There's that jet setter!". I told him jet setting really wasn't that much fun anymore. It's very difficult to travel. Other than that, he sleeps most of the time. He'll fall asleep mid sentence. We also notice that he seems to have lost some control of facial expressions. His expressions never change, no matter what he is doing or saying.
We left about 10:00 or so and his son, Jeff, is staying the night with him.
Now we all need to get some sleep and be ready for whatever tomorrow brings our way!
You know how sometimes life can throw you a big fat curve ball right out of left field, catching you completely off guard and bopping you right in the head?! That's what has happened in our family. One of those things that you thought could never happen to you, or your family, and it has! Proof that no one is immune to illness, sadness and disease, no matter how good your life is. Some of you know me personally, some of you only know me through social media, and some of you are complete strangers. I just want to start off saying that we are a family that believes in a "hand up" and not a "hand out". I heard about this site through a friend and I initially felt very odd about carrying through with this at first. I'm not accustomed to or comfortable at all with asking for help or money! But I will also do anything and everything to help my brother. I am of the mindset right now that I want to exhaust every outlet, every opportunity, every possibility that is available to my brother.!
Roland Bechtel, III, is my brother. He's 53 years old, the father of 5 and grandfather of 7 (shown above with his grandson, Roland V). He is a loving husband, brother and son. His wife was diagnosed a few years ago with MS and Roland has been her primary caretaker. He worked and his insurance covered her expenses. Several months ago, due to the increased expense of health care, Roland's company went out of business. He was left unemployed, through no fault of his own. This left him with no insurance and a small monthly unemployment check. They were able to get some state (Indiana) assistance for his wife that is now helping with some of her costly medical needs. Roland makes sure that she gets the meds and the shots on schedule and cares for her daily needs.
New employment was not coming quickly, but Roland is very resourceful, intelligent and motivated and so was just starting up a new self employed business venture and clients were coming to him. He was excited and happy that things would work out for the best as they always seemed to do. That is until he got a very bad pain in his leg! Still with no insurance, but without being able to take the pain any longer, he went into the ER. It was discovered that he had a blot clot in his leg. It was caught just in time before any major damage, he was put on blood thinning medication, told to keep his leg elevated, and we all thought that scary little incident was over.
After about two weeks of the pain not going away, and an overall feeling of exhaustion, Roland went back to the doctor and scans were done. The thought at first was that there could be some heart issues. The good news came back that his heart was fine. The very bad news was that there looked to be some sort of mass on his pancreas! A few days, and many more scans later, it was discovered that he has pancreatic cancer that has spread to his liver and part of his lungs.
No one saw this coming! He's 53, never in the hospital a day in his life before this, and no symptoms before this! Are they sure? Yes, they're sure! He's now sent home with strong pain medication and more medical appointments scheduled.
Now here he is with no insurance, unable to think clear and concentrate on his work, a small income that is shortly going to end, an ill wife that he was the primary caretaker of, and medical bills that are already piling high after only a few weeks! As a family, we are helping out in every way we can, including monetarily, but the cost of medical bills is and will go way beyond what anyone can pay out of pocket.
I would like to think of this web site as an opportunity for me to help and give to my brother. In my own mind I am considering this a chance to pay it forward to any of you that reach out to me someday and need a little something when that curve ball hits you. I, my brother, and my family will keep track of the names of everyone that feels they are in a position to lend this helping hand. We will not forget!
If you are not able to help monetarily at this time, we just ask that you keep Roland and his family in your prayers. That means just as much! Thank you. And thanks so much for taking the time to read our story!