May 25, 2014
I chose to write about my own family member, John Francis, my father in-law who is now deceased over a year ago, and his departure changed a lot of personal choices for the people around him. This family is an extended family, comprised of John Francis who is 71 years of age, his wife Jacqueline Francis 66 years old, between both of them they have 7 children, 6 grandchildren, and his middle son lives at home with his wife and kids. John is retired from the water and sewage company, he is a chronic alcoholic, and never spend valuable time with his family, his kids has high school level education, and work mediocre jobs.
It was New Year’s Eve night and John had one to many drinks as usual; he came in that morning in the wee hours of the morning, from drinking and celebrating with friends. That morning it was not strange that John did not come out for breakfast with the family. It was customary that he was hung over and no one thought anything was wrong until it was several hours later when he was called to have lunch there was no answer, his wife Jacqueline went in to check on him and he looked worse than she have ever seen him before. His eyes were very yellow, extreme back pain which he stated that has been going on for a while but he just used pain killers for relief. The couple went in for a doctor’s visit, extensive work showed he had cirrhosis of the liver, and not long after he was told he needs to have a prostate exam because he complained about being unable to completely empty his bladder. What the family found out was there were a lot of complaints that he never shared with his wife of 28 years of marriage. They lived in the same home but slept separately for the past 7years, because of his ongoing extra marital affairs and drunkenness. He had his first prostate exam and blood test, his PSA results was very high suggesting prostate cancer. What a double whammy, this diagnosis was unexpected except for cirrhosis of the liver, we knew this was coming one day, but cancer was not no way in our thoughts.
Cancer, somehow the cirrhosis was put on the back burner; the family wondered how are they going to deal with such new development. At time he stated that he knew he was responsible for cirrhosis of the liver, even stated when warned about excessive drinking he would say you only have one life to live so live it. Well he didn’t feel like that anymore, He wanted to live and had no control anymore. Prostate cancer is not preventable; but with early detection treatment can be successful. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, (Mayo Clinic 2014). At the age of 71 John never had a prostate exam, was not informed on what it really was, the only thing he can say abut it was, I didn’t want anyone putting their finger in my “butt”, that is a very common statement men use. At this time John was diagnosed with stage II which advanced to stage IV prostate cancer later on. He was treated for cirrhosis, immediately he stopped cold turkey drinking alcohol, he was educated on what appropriate medication he can use from over the counter. This was the easier of the two to deal with and from there he looked at his life and wanted to live. He started immediate treatment for the prostate cancer, chemotherapy and radiation treatment, it seemed like just in a few months things change nit only for John but everyone. John joined the Seventh Day Adventist, he was a new man, and slowly he dropped off his old ways and sought God. With the constant back and forth for treatment to and the doctor the bills was piling up, the financial burden came along with caregiver burden. He became a burden very quickly, and this was because he was not a very supportive and involved father and husband. In fact he cheated on his wife constantly and the children only known him to hurt mom and provide food for them.
At this time their retirement was being depleted, that was the