December 18, 1927 to January 24, 2008

Dad was the most honest, intelligent and selfless man I have ever known. He had a wonderful smile and sense of humor and became quite an accomplished watercolorist in his later years, winning several awards. His battle with melanoma began about 5 years ago with a mole he discovered on his leg. After a test, he had a section of skin removed along with the lymph nodes in the groin area on his left side. No real check-ups were done other than a quick visual check by his doctors. Four years later he suddenly developed lymphedema in the same leg, and was told it was due to the blood no longer circulating well because of the lymph node removal. He was given a compression stocking to wear "for the rest of his life" and sent home. Soon he was diagnosed with shingles. After 7 months of that and no help from the medication he was prescribed, he was sent to a neurologist who said that he had shingles, but without the blisters. My guess is the cancer was already back and it was showing that his immune system was compromised. After further sensitivity and pain in his abdomen and waist area x-rays were finally taken that showed the melanoma was back, and there was a tumor in his lower spine and perhaps more. On October 18, 2007 my sister drove down and the 3 of us went to lunch before his oncology appt. to find out the results of the tests. During lunch he developed an unusual lower backache, and he could barely make it to his car. He then said his legs went numb, and he never walked again! He was in and out of the hospital, getting radiation, physical therapy, then later given a massive dose of chemo. and at the same time being put on experimental trial pills that gave him such terrible side effects he had to be pulled from the trial. One minute they are scheduling him for 10 months of chemo, and the next he is back in the hospital from extreme fatique and other physical problems. My sister and I took turns staying the night in the hospital in his room on a cot, and as I came in one morning I walked in on a doctor telling him the cancer had spread and there was nothing more they could do!! He declined quickly from this point on, saying that he didn't have to try any more, and he "didn't want to drag this thing out". He had gone back in the hospital on December 24, 2007, chose that to be the place where he wanted to die, and exactly to the day he lasted one month, where he passed at 04:15 a.m on January 24, 2008 with my sister and I holding onto him. I cannot imagine my life without "DA" but knowing that we will be together again one day comforts me. All of my love forever!!! xoxo Jules