The last real conversation I had with my dad was on September 7, 2016. It was his 56th birthday. We went out for dinner and a movie (Hands of Stone) just us two. I explained to him my intentions to leave the family business sometime in 2017 and my plan to freelance full-time. I received his blessing and I think subconsciously I needed to hear that, especially with the news that was about to come down the pike. When we left the movie theater that night, I remember him hugging me saying “this was the best birthday present I could have asked for.”
Fast forward a few short weeks and my dad was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma (GMB) brain tumor. Here are a few resources that explain things way better than I ever could from a medical perspective: Wiki, WebMD, Mayo Clinic. The tumor was so large and in such a delicate spot, surgery to remove it wasn’t an option. He could have opted for aggressive radiation and chemotherapy but the quality of life could have been poor and he decided against that. He saw his dad go through a prolonged battle with cancer and I don’t think he ever gave that option consideration. Deciding against treatment, he was given three months to live. He wanted to be home amongst family, friends and our dogs. And that’s exactly where he would be.