Before he died, my husband's last request was that I write a book about our struggle with cancer. In the months preceding his death, I kept a diary of our daily events, taking notes strictly regarding cancer. However, as I began to write the book, I was frequently reminded of his tremendous ability to intertwine humor with the gravity of his disease. My Bob, or Robert E. O'Connor, was a lawyer with a fascinating mind and an unbelievable wit. I supplemented these diary entries with fond memories of our lives together.
On December 8, 1980, doctors in Omaha, Nebraska diagnosed Bob with adenocarcinoma with pleural effusion. We flew to Mayo Clinic for a second opinion, and Dr. James R. Jett confirmed the previous diagnosis. Dr. Jett would care for my husband until the end.
At the first signs of his illness, Bob attributed the symptoms to possible heart complications, which ran in his family. He never dreamed it could be cancer.
We made 16 trips to Mayo Clinic for Chemo treatments and these pages tell the story of the treatments, frustrations, drug side effects, and what we did about each incident.
Throughout this time Bob never lost his faith, his hope, or his sense of humor.
Agnes O'Connor wrote this first book at the request of her dying husband, Robert E. O'Connor. She tells the story of their daily lives as he battled his last fifteen months of cancer. Using a diary she kept at the time, O'Connor skillfully intertwines fond memories of her husband with the sobering tale of his death. O'Connor illustrates the physical pain, emotional stress, and extreme frustration that come with terminal illness in the hope that others may learn from her experiences.
While Robert was aware he had no chance of survival, he fought courageously for every bit of life he could. Robert had been blessed with an exceptional mind and an understated wit, which he retained until the end. He left a magnificent legacy of how to live life to the fullest, and with a devout faith in God, he served as a shining example of perseverance for his children.