I had such a great weekend and I couldn't wait to share it with you all! Unfortunately that great weekend is a bit of a memory now after today. Almost a year ago I posted about numerous sad things that were going on and in that post I mentioned my friend Dennie, at the time he had just been diagnosed with cancer but it was unknown what type and stage it was. Shortly after that post it was found that Dennie had a very aggressive cancer that started in his pancreas and had metastasized to his liver. It was a very odd cancer in origin as it wasn't an actual "pancreatic cancer" it had actually died off in the pancreas and had been spreading for many years the Dr's said. It was likely to have been there close to a decade before it moved into the liver and took on a life of it's own.
I should tell you here that this is not the same friend I told you about here, that is a different friend who is currently fighting his terrible battle with cancer...
Let me tell you about Dennie, he was 40 when he was diagnosed and was the husband of my lifelong best friend Shanna. I was the Matron of Honor in their wedding. He was a great Christian man who dedicated his life to God's calling, was he perfect? NO! He fought trials just like us all. Dennie was actually a very good friend of my other life long best friend Trisha and they had met through church. He had a daughter (whom he pretty much raised) and my friend had 2 daughters so they spent alot of time together with their girls. Dennie had a best friend named Mark and he helped get Mark and Trish together who have now been married for 7 years I think. After that they always felt so bad for Dennie because he was single and would make an awesome husband! That's where Shanna comes in, they introduced the two and they pretty much hit it off from the start. They were married within a year, Shanna had 3 kids from her previous marriage and Dennie had the 1 daughter. Then after being married for a year or so they got pregnant and had a son of their own.
Such a handsome man!
Dennie and Shanna shared a somewhat hard life together. Even though they were both awesome people who loved each other dearly they had problems they couldn't get past. After about 5 years of marriage they ended up separated which was around the time that Dennie was diagnosed. Their divorce was actually finalized after he was getting fairly sick...In any case Dennie had a great support system and first tried chemo but then after the Dr's decided that the cancer was not responding to the treatment they gave him an option, they told him that he could have surgery to remove half of his liver and with that scenario he had a 50% chance of dying on the table and there was no promises that it would work. He chose not to do the surgery and decided to try a natural healing clinic in Colorado. I am not sure what the clinic did for him, but I do know that they teach you about taking care of your body and trying to kick start your body to fight the cancer itself. Unfortunately this did not work, so Dennie was then left without any options.
Dennie with his little sidekick ;)
He fought this battle for almost a year, the cancer ravaged his body. He no longer looked like a man in his late 30's, he looked like a very sick man in his 60's. He spent months in so much pain from the cancer spreading and growing massively in his body. So big that he could point to the area that was forming under his skin. His quality of life was not something good it was terrible, the last few months of his life he couldn't even stay awake longer than a few hours a day and needed constant care to do even the simplest of things...I bring this up because there is so much confusion among some people where they think that only chemo treated patients will lose all ability to do anything and lose precious quality life time. It is simply not true...Not that ALL cancer patients will go through what Dennie did, but patients with cancers of that nature will.
Dennie sharing his last Father's Day with his kiddo's
I am so saddened to share that Dennie passed away early Sunday morning with friends and family all around him. They knew he was getting ready to leave them as his system started shutting down Saturday, however they did not expect it to be so quick. Dennie left behind 2 children, 1 daughter who is the same age as my DD of 11, and 1 son who is 3 1/2...He also left 3 children who still considered him their stepdad and my other friends 2 girls that considered him as an uncle. He will be missed deeply but he will never be forgotten.
A smile that will never be forgotten...
So my message today is simply this, treasure those you love and never take a single moment for granted. I think we are all guilty of it, I know I sure am!
Then to just top everything off this Sunday afternoon J's 9 month old Australian Shepherd was struck by a truck and killed...Struck by a truck that was driven by a friend of his! She was never a dog to go in the road so we don't understand what she was doing out there! J's friend had passed our house a few minutes earlier and was not driving fast like people usually do down our dirt road and when he came back down the road he said she just flew out from beside the mailbox that sits on the other side of our road, I was very thankful that this young man at least came to our door and told the Hubby what happened, he felt extremely bad about it...She was a sweet little girl and incredibly loving! She also liked to bark...ALOT...J is very upset over this, I wish I could just take the pain away! What a crappy way to end a previously great weekend...
Chevy at 3 weeks old...I'm sure I have more current pics but I just love this one of her!