?My dad died at the age of 56; he was a husband of 35 years and a father to three children. He lived for 18 months after receiving his lung cancer diagnosis before dying on Christmas Eve of 2004. His cancer was not found until it was stage IV with brain metastasis. He was misdiagnosed for several months due to being a non-smoker and not considered likely to have lung cancer. Once the cancer was found, he began a grueling courses of surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. Through it all, he kept his spirits up. He even continued to work until his last hospitalization.
In between his treatments, he made the most out of his good days. He attended the Army/Navy football game in the bitter Philadelphia cold to support his son, Matt, who was attending the US Naval Academy (Go Navy! Beat Army!). He flew to New Orleans to surprise his other son, Jason, on his 30th birthday. He went to concerts and plays with his wife, Estella; he traveled to Texas to visit his family; and most importantly for me, he saw his first grandchild, and my daughter, Elizabeth Tanner, who was born two months before his death.