Wild Willy's Story - Check then Double check!
“It’s a rare form of cancer” those were the words we heard after our dad had his prostate tumor removed. The tumor had grown to be the size of a grapefruit but the doctor felt confident he had removed all traces of the deadly disease. Meanwhile, Dad became a case study and the doctor may have forgotten he was our Dad, our Papa, a great man. Instead, he became a specimen. Many published notes were written about him and in a away dad felt special and unique. In fact to us kids and his grandkids, he was always unique and very special.
Bill Swindells or as we like to refer to him jokingly as “Wild Willy” was a brilliant accountant that grew up in a tiny town outside of Chicago and went on to be a VP for many large banking firms. Dad specialized in Portfolio Management and assessed a company’s return on investment for giving them a loan. Trusting and believing in his client’s and the loans he gave them was exactly what he did with us three kids and his grandkids. He trusted us and he had the intelligence to know when we needed him and the strength to know when we needed to live and make our own mistakes to learn and grow from. Dad taught us all how to drive, how to be successful in business and how to keep your word. You could always rely on him, but as we found out as he battled a cancer so rare, would he be able to rely on his doctors to heal him?
Our mom had suggested that dad get a second opinion, but since he was being treated at one of the nation’s leading teaching hospitals, Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, dad felt confident that he was in good hands. Within weeks though the cancer had not only come back into the prostate, it spread. We won’t go into the details of the 4 year rollercoaster ordeal that took its toll on our family and most importantly our dad, but it’s this moment you are reading this that matters most.
Whether you are a parent, a sibling, a friend – male or female, our dad’s story is a reminder that no matter what care you are receiving and how great you feel about your doctor, it doesn’t cost anything except time to get a second opinion on your situation. Time is something we no longer have with dad as he passed away December 28, 2008 and life has never been the same since. Please, in honor of a great man, a great father, grandfather, brother and friend – someone you could always rely on, GET A 2nd OPINION.
Do it for your family. Do it for yourself. As Nike says – Just DO IT!
Explore one more opinion. You never know what the future can and will hold and maybe just maybe you will find a better option for detecting and treating your cancer or the cancer of your loved one.