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Posted on December 13 2012
Who is the bravest person you know? My daddy, Robert Truby, bravely served in the Air Force for over 20 years. He led a full life after his Air Force career, marrying his sweetheart, Kay, and raising 3 daughters. He's always led a very active life, as well. His hobbies included golfing, attending Penn State football games, and providing for his daughters and, later, enjoying his grandchildren. Even after retiring from the Air Force and retiring from the workforce, he was always on the go by keeping busy with part time jobs that made him happy. About 5 years ago, he developed peripheral artery disease in his legs, which is a painful blockage condition that affects the circulation in his legs. He found he was unable to enjoy the active lifestyle he once led. After treating with his doctors, he decided to get a second opinion from Penn State Hershey Medical Center in the spring of 2011. During a routine chest xray for pre-op testing, a "shadow" was discovered on the xray. After many tests, scans, and days of agony awaiting the results, the doctors confirmed our worst fears. Daddy has lung cancer. He was diagnosed at stage 3b, as the cancer had started to spread to the opposite lung and into his lymph nodes. Surgery was not an option. At 80 years old, treatment would be no small feat. His oncology team prescribed an aggressive round of daily radiation and weekly chemo treatments. He suffered all the usual side-effects of his treatment: hair loss, nausea, esophageal burns. But what made the treatment especially difficult was that his leg surgery was put on hold. Indefinitely. It's been a year and a half since his diagnosis, and there has been no one who has fought with more determination than daddy. The pain in his legs is much worse now. He still undergoes maintenance chemo and is on oxygen most of the time. The doctors always say how they are pleased with his progress, but we know he battles every day. He is a proud veteran, a devoted husband, a loving father, and doting grandfather. He is no longer active in the hobbies he once so richly enjoyed. But he is brave. He is a warrior. He is a survivor.