Nov 21, 2021 Latest post:
May 17, 2022
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
In September 2021, our dad, Tom Schlueb, was diagnosed with neck cancer. He was having difficulty swallowing and a large tumor was found in the back of his throat. He proceeded to see oncologists at the James Cancer Center at Ohio State University where he was told that surgery was not an option, but seven weeks of radiation and chemo were recommended. Treatment would be particularly brutal with permanent side effects such as losing his voice box and relying fully on a feeding tube, and the odds of eliminating the tumor were not strong. A PET scan of his torso revealed cancer in two lymph nodes in his neck but no detectable cancer in his organs. Dad also has COPD which causes labored breathing and reduced stamina. The tumor prohibits him from eating solid food. Orally, he has been relegated to a liquid diet with some very soft foods. He does have a feeding tube in his stomach, but he has lost weight and has less energy.
Despite the knocks, Dad is a young 85, still living in the house that he and Mom bought when they married, caring for the yard, volunteering at the Griffin Center food pantry and attending Mass. And, as you know Tom, he believes firmly in quality of life having created a heck of a life between work, recreation, retirement travels, volunteerism, card clubs and close friends, a happy marriage of 53 years, four (wonderful!) kids and their four (also wonderful) spouses and nine (more wonderful) grandkids (usually).
This December 19, it will be four years since our mom passed from Alzheimer's. Dad was her primary caregiver, at home, to the end. Two weeks ago, Dad stuck to his value of quality over quantity and made the brave decision to forego radiation and chemotherapy. Not easy when doctors are suggesting otherwise. Dad believes his life to be as rich as one could hope and with his strong faith, he is not afraid to die. We four kids- Laurie, Kathleen, Matt and Terri- love him to pieces and fully support his choice. His oncologists predict that he has four to six months remaining. With his days free from appointments and treatments, he aims to make the best of them.
NOTE: Dad does not text, have email nor have internet access. It is unlikely he will read comments on this site, however he would love to hear your news. Feel free to send him a note via snail mail or call his cell. If you wish to see him in person, we welcome visitors in good health who are vaccinated and masked. We kids would like to care for him at home, to the end.