I know many of you have commented, emailed, messaged and called over the past month, curious as to what’s going on and why it’s been awhile since you’ve heard anything. This is Zach, Jeff’s son, writing on his behalf to let you know what has been going on for the past month and a half.
Unfortunately in this case, no news is not good news. Over the past month, my dad has become weaker and weaker, and the big c has used this opportunity to grow more aggressive. On Monday, my mom and I went to his doctor’s appointment in his place, as he is no longer able to get out of bed. Doctor Ocean discussed alternatives with us, but the truth is he is losing his battle and the disease is too far advanced to reverse from this point. As of yesterday we have stopped his cancer treatment and he will be starting his hospice care in the next week or so.
We are undeniably heartbroken at the thought of losing him in the next few weeks, but remaining positive and cherishing each and every moment we have left with him. His original diagnosis gave him 6 months to a year to live – yet here we are 15 months later, having gotten to spend an incredibly special last year with him. I have gotten to know my dad more in the past year than ever before and shared talks with him that I never expected to have. His attitude toward the big c has always been so upbeat, optimistic and inspirational that it has been hard to have a bad attitude towards this terrible disease, because the person doing the suffering has been so positive about the experience. As he said right after he found out, “Well, if I only have 6 months to live, I’d say I lived a pretty full life. I don’t have too many regrets.” If only we all could have that kind of an attitude toward life.
My dad has been the best dad I could ever ask for. He has been my rock when I’m feeling weak, my sage advisor when I’m feeling lost, my big fish whenever I need a good story, and my friend when I’m feeling alone. Now it’s my time to be there for him and my incredible mother.
Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers. I will try to keep everyone updated if and when there are changes. Thank you all for all the love and support you’ve given my dad. This blog really helped him channel his thoughts and emotions over the past 15 months and it meant the world to him to know how much it affected and inspired the people who were on the last train with him.
For anyone in your own life that may be going through this disease, try to focus on the good moments and enjoy every last second you have to spend with them. Encourage them live every moment to it’s fullest and to fight with everything they can, until they can’t fight anymore. Be their biggest cheerleader and let them know that you are always there for them. It’s not just them fighting this thing. It’s your fight too.
Here’s a look back at some of the awesome moments and memories he’s made since he was first diagnosed 15 months ago.