My friend Steve has been in a battle for his life for the past 3 years. The first inkling that I had that something wasn't right was 3 years ago in July. We were at Dressage at Devonwood. We were sitting around the tailgates of our vehicles having lunch. Steve was struggling to eat. The crusty bread I'd brought wasn't going down very well. He was having trouble swallowing and his wife, Joanne, said he had been losing weight and she was trying to get him to see a doctor. Steve made that doctor appointment, but before he could keep it he began to bleed profusely and his diagnosis was esophageal cancer.
For the next year my two friends spent copious amounts of time traveling back and forth between their home in Salem and OHSU while Steve underwent treatment for his cancer. In the end all indications were the cancer had not only gone into remission but had disappeared. Apparently, esophageal cancer is a hard cancer to beat, and Steve had seemingly beat it. Life went back to normal, and Steve went back to work.
For a time all went well, but eventually Steve began to have other symptoms. Not throat symptoms, but headaches, and dizziness, and auras that precede seizures. The cancer had moved to his brain. So they began treatment for that. His first surgery seemed to go well, but he ended up developing a malevolent infection that led to four more surgeries. Two years and five surgeries later my friend has lost his battle and his spirit has moved on to wherever our spirits go when our bodies betray us. He fought long and hard. He stayed positive. He never seemed bitter. I never heard him say "why me?" Rest in peace my friend. You will be missed.