He Was Dying Of Cancer


One of my patients was dying of cancer. He was a kind gentleman -we’ll call him John- who came to our nursing home after spending over a month in the hospital where he received a diagnosis of lung cancer. He was a little bit less than 60 years old and was living alone in a trailer. Because of legal issues, he lost his trailer and became homeless. He was at a friend’s house for a couple of weeks who offered him asylum when he fell ill and had to be rushed to the emergency room. He came to our facility in the hope of overcoming his deadly disease. Truth be told, John was doing pretty good when he came and barely look like a patient. He was full of energy, walking around and going out with the lone friend who would visit him. About five months later, after many rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, it became apparent that treatments were ineffective and the cancer was spreading. John couldn’t eat anymore; he lost a lot of pounds quickly. He couldn’t walk and barely had enough energy to talk. He was released from cancer treatment and given a couple of months to live.
About two weeks later, a Friday afternoon, John’s children, grand-children, some nieces, and nephews invaded the facility. They came in an RV, parked in the facility’s parking lot, and spent the weekend with him. Ten days later, he passed away. All these months, we didn’t even know he had children. Is this how children should honor their father?



Serge Destin,

Author of From Man To Dad

Co-founder of the League Of Extraordinary Dads

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