EDIT: Dad has now passed. I got the news a little after 9 am on January 26th. He passed quietly in his sleep as my dear sister Gillian watched over him.
My name is Adrian Joseph Hunter Jr and I want to talk to you about my Pop.
Just a couple months ago my father, Adrian Sr, was diagnosed with lung cancer. It wasn't really caught early enough, so by the time all the analyses and diagnoses were complete, it was already stage 4. It had metastisized to a lump in each lung, each lymph node in arms, and a nasty mass in his neck. It's all bad, but the mass in the neck is the worst problem-it has expanded and although it has somewhat responded to chemo and radiation, it has grown so much that it's causing 2 monstrous problems: it's compressing his espohagus to the point where it is literally impossible to eat or drink.
This of course is weakening him in the fight against both the disease and the treatment. The other thing is that the mass is occluding his carotid artery, and may penetrate the artery, making clots AND bleeding a possibility.
The treatment has been IV fluids, chemo (two types) and radiation. Very soon, probably within the week, a gastric feeding tube is going in so he can get nutrition to fight the disease and the treatment.
His insurance has been handling things well, but as happens in these circumstances, other things have built up-electricity, especially in this extra-cold winter, normal household bills, phone, etc. It's getting overwhelming and some bills are starting to note "past due".
Let me get deeper.
Adrian Sr, my father, has been with his devoted Cynthia 54 years. There are five of us children; Cynthie-May, JurJana, Adrian II (me) Gillian Jane, and Dale Constance.
Dad has always taken care of us the best he can, but economic circumstances and a big family left no room for saving. We moved around a lot; Pennsylvania, Michigan, Connecticut. Dad worked as a machinist mostly, and sometimes an electronic technician. We're pretty much blue collar and a college education was largely out of our reach. Dad's love of science and technology though, engendered in me a love of technology and science I use to make my own living to this day.
Dad's a total nerd. Star Wars, Doctor Who, Star Trek. My first "chapter books" were the novelizations of the original Star Trek episodes he owned in a great slipcase edition. It was quite a blow when he demured several times from seeing "The Last Jedi" because he just wasn't up to being in theatre chairs. Seeing a Star Wars flick with my pop is always a great day.
Ruling the Galaxy as Father and Son!
He loves Westerns and John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. He likes bluegrass and old rocknroll and Johnny Cash. He likes superheroes and it breaks my heart whenever I hear how he lost all his Golden-Age comics ( I got him back into that world when i started reading them independently!) with the standard "my mom threw them out!"
Dad's a quiet man with a great sense of humor, slow to anger. He charms the pants of everyone he meets. His ambitions have never been monumental, but when he retired he took to film script-writing and amateur movie-making. He finds his best times surrounded with a happy family. He's a good guy. He's an Everyday Joe.
But cancer will stick it in and break it off all the same.
Since retirement Mom and Dad have been working off Section 8 housing and Social Security. Their combined income is roughly 1600 dollars a month. We live in Connecticut, so even in a smaller city like Middletown, you can see how this makes things difficult.
Mom's income is now only 2/3 of what it was, and Dad left some signifcant bills. Anything you give will go to burying Dad, feeding, houseing, and clothing Mom until we can work out a proper budget.