I was a single mom and a full-time student at the time I met Randy. He was taking a tax class at the local college I was attending and I also happen to be in the same tax class. I overheard Randy telling the professor one day that he would not be in class for a few days because he needed surgery and would be going through it alone. I talked to him after class and because I was a volunteer at the hospital where his surgery would be, I offered to be there with him the day of his surgery. Later that same night Randy called me and we talked for a long time. This was September 22, 1998. Randy filled me in on his medical condition. Much to my surprise, at the young age of 38, Randy had colon cancer. He was diagnosed two years prior when his appendix ruptured.
After my class the next day, I met Randy at the hospital prior to his surgery an hour later. This was a minor surgery to replace his infusaport and also the first of two surgeries I would go through with him. That was the first day of our short but beautiful 11 month relationship.
Halloween day that same year, I rushed Randy to the hospital in immense pain. He was admitted and the following Monday he was taken in for a colonoscopy much to our dismay to discover that he once again had a tumor in the colon. Surgery was to be the next day, but soon the nurses were rushing around and the surgery was within the next couple hours. What was supposed to be a 2 hour surgery turned into a 5 hour surgery and much worse than I
could ever have imagined. Not only was there a 5cm tumor in the colon, but the doctor also removed about 12 other tumors. Randy had a rough recovery from this surgery, but eventually pulled through. He never really regained his strength and would get upset that he just wasn't physically able to do all the things he so loved to do.
In February 1999, the doctor told us the devastating news that Randy's cancer had spread to his liver and lungs. So, determined to beat this, in March we went to Sloan-Kettering in NYC. The doctor told us that because Randy was so weak, he wasn't qualified for any of the trials that were available at that time. He was determined to regain his strength and tried everything he could, even going on a 24 hour chemo drip. This just drained him and made him very sick. This went on for a couple months and at the time of my graduation from college in May 1999, Randy was so weak, he could barely make it to the ceremony. He did go though. He was so proud of me and my graduation was one of the goals he had set for himself. By the beginning of June his pain level was so high that we engaged the help of Hospice in our home. Finally his pain was under control! On June 29th, much to my disliking, I took Randy to Marineland Canada. ( I was scared to take him the 4 hours we would be from our home, but I am so thankful now that I did this!) Three days after our wonderful trip, Randy slipped into a coma and exactly one week after our trip, Randy died peacefully in my arms at our home at 2:48 in the afternoon.
Randy had everything in order and the funeral and everything was just as he had planned it. He and I had talked about how he wanted to die and he said he wanted to be in my arms. As I sat nearby and realized that the time was close, I lay on the bed beside him and put his head in my arms. He turned his head towards me and took five very slow and peaceful breaths and went to be with the Lord. This was very hard for me to hold him while he passed away, but it was one more wish of Randy's that I could help to make come true. I would not change it for anything. It is something I treasure now as I think back to everything we did together in the short time we had.
On July 5, 1999 at the age of 39, 13 days before his 40th birthday, Randy left behind his many family members and lots of friends. Sadly though, he left behind three very young children ( ages 4, 11, and 13), as well as my two children ( age 10 ). He is missed by all of us, but we know he is in a better place, one in which he is pain free and able to enjoy the beautiful things he enjoyed so much.
Randy, we will always love you, but you are now free.
Love, Kim (Mrs. Brady as he used to call me since there were five children between us)