Brother Bob

I haven’t written in a while because my wife, Carole, and I made a quick trip to St. Charles, Missouri to visit Carole’s younger brother, Bob.    Ordinarily, Bob and his wife, Sue, would be returning from two months of enjoying the sun and sand in Florida.    But this year, their world got flipped upside down.

In December, Bob went in for a routine check up for his arthritis and mentioned to the doctor that he had felt some discomfort in his stomach area.   The doctor decided to do a CT scan and when the testing was done, it was determined that Bob had pancreatic cancer with tumors on his pancreas and liver.   The first round of chemotherapy was a flop.  It made Bob sick and didn’t slow the tumors down.

Bob is an extremely likable guy.  Bob was a toe-head when he was young and still remains a blond with light complexion.  Mustache, sometimes.  He stands about six foot tall and always has a funny comment to make.   When the doctors reevaluated his case and decided to go with a 24/7 chemo drip (stent in his chest), he nicknamed his chemo fanny pack, “Chemo Sabe.”

At an earlier time, Bob had been an air traffic controller and very dedicated to his job.  But, he was strong on the union and was caught up in the strike that resulted in President Reagan firing a large number of ATCs.   I have always felt guilty that I didn’t call Bob and tell him that I was convinced that President Reagan was serious about firing them.   I don’t know if it would have made any difference in Bob’s decision, but I have regretted through the years not making the call.  What’s the use of having insight if you don’t share it.   I have used that experience as a lesson learned so as not to make the same mistake twice.   Now, I tell people what I think and annoy them.

Bob is great company and has gathered a very large number of friends through the years.  One of his loves is electronic gadgets.   As soon as something new comes out, he has it.  So, when they stuck him in ICU with a 12 inch TV with five channels, he went crazy.  “Where’s my 60 inch Sony?”

I’m not sure about his handyman skills.  Bob was telling me about a painter he knew that was going to do some interior painting for him.   The painter told him that the job would cost $1,000.   But, if Bob wanted to help, it would cost $2,000!

The cancer has been tough on Bob.  A short while back, he had pneumonia and now he is trying to dissolve blood clots in his leg.  They seem to be moving in the right direction and hopefully, in a short while, he will be sitting at his command center in front of his 60 inch Sony.

3 thoughts on “Brother Bob”

  1. Carole and Jack – we are very sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. Our thoughts and sympathy go out to you and to his family.
    Best regards,
    Barry and Nicole Kime

  2. Thanks Barry and Nicole,

    We lost Bob yesterday, just four months after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. We are so glad we didn’t wait on our trip to see him last month. Putting something off can be disastrous. We leave on Monday for the services in St. Charles, MO.  So, there won’t be any new blogs for a while. See you soon.

    PJ Rice

    PS  Bob and his family ran a blog during his illness.  Anyone wanting to look in, please go to http://www.skippyhawk.com.

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