Our guest today is Brian Froneyberger. He battled stage 4 incurable head and neck cancer. Ten days after recording this show, Brian lost the fight and passed away. He was only forty-six years old. He left behind a wife, a son, and a daughter.
What you will hear today are a father’s last words. They are a gift to all of those who listen. No man knows how much time he has left. Brian bravely opens up about facing death, how it puts life in perspective, and what really matters most before the last goodbye.
His family is now coping with the loss. They are also in trouble financially. The Dad Edge Alliance has donated $1000 to their Go Fund Me campaign. You can help too by clicking the link below.
HELP BRIAN’S FAMILY'My gratitude for me is seeing other people smile.'—Brian Froneyberger #lastwords #gratitude #death #dying #parents Click To Tweet
Brian was the typical dad and a healthy guy. He coached, worked out, and ate clean. He didn’t drink or smoke. Then in 2015, Brian noticed a spot on the back of his throat. He thought he might have to have a tonsil removed. Then a few months later, he noticed the lymph nodes in his neck were swollen. When he went for a biopsy, they told him the news that no one, especially a father, wants to hear. He had squamous cell carcinoma.
Brian had tell his wife, his kids, and his parents. The good news was that doctors assured him that it was treatable with a very high success rate of being cured. Brian had a great outlook as he began treatment.
His particular type of cancer was caused by the HPV virus. HPV a very common virus that most humans will have at some point in their lives. Most peoples’ immune systems will fight the virus and eventually clear it, but in some cases the virus can remain, causing cancer.
Unfortunately, the chemotherapy and radiation were not effective. Brian’s lymph nodes swelled even more, and he was forced to undergo a surgery called a radical dissection of the neck where doctors removed 23 lymph nodes, muscle, nerves and a section of Brian’s jugular vein. Recovery was brutal, especially because the radiation therapy made Brian’s skin weak, but all in all, it went well and the family was hopeful.
Tragically, within five months his cancer came back. This time, Brian was told that squamous cell carcinoma that recurred was incurable and that he had a year to two years to live. It was a crushing blow after being under the impression that he could beat the disease. It was a conversation he didn’t know how to have with his family.
With new treatments coming out every day, Brian went back to his normal life as much as he could as he waited for a miracle. Eventually, he couldn’t work anymore and his family fell into financial turmoil from the lack of income and the enormous amount of medical bills. Still, Brian tells us how he spent his last days, not by trying to finish a crazy bucket list, but by appreciating the simple moments in life with his family.
What You’ll Learn
- How Brian and his wife divorced and remarried
- How his perspective on daily life changed after his diagnosis
- How important it is to love each other, get a long, solve problems, and talk through them
- How it is just as important to know when not to talk
- The balance between teaching kids accountability and also teaching them nurturing and love
- What inspired him to make memories with his family
- The amazing t-shirt campaign students and their families organized to help him
- What Brian wanted to be remembered for
HELP BRIAN’S FAMILY
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