Brother-in-law died Thursday afternoon. He was 51 and the cause was lung cancer. He shared custody of his 16 year old daughter. His 80 year old mother lived with him.
The plant where he worked for 26 years closed a while ago (three of my wife’s five brothers lost long held jobs through plant closings) and he finally found a job as a laborer at a defense contractor installation near here. He collapsed at work in March, refused to go home and finished the day. On the weekend he went to the ER (he did not have a regular doctor) and X-rays revealed the cancers. He opted for treatment, deteriorated over the next months but was lucid to the final hours, until great pain led to large amounts of morphine.
He may have noticed symptoms early enough to be more effectively treated, but he repressed the awareness. As time passed he likely thought he had waited too long and did not want to face the consequences. Maybe he secretly hoped that if he didn’t look at the problem it would go away. Whisky helped him avoid the issue. He smoked to the end.