Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dad's Obituary

85 Riverside Avenue
Red Bank, New Jersey 07701

Obituary of Dr. Arthur J. Oberle, D.D.S.

Dr. Arthur J. Oberle, D.D.S., of Colts Neck, passed away at home on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 from complications related to pancreatic cancer. He was 70 years old. Dr. Oberle worked as a dentist at his office in Red Bank for 27 years, and also as an associate with Dr. Victor Buccellato, in Freehold.

He is predeceased by his parents; Arthur O. Oberle and Margaret (Polhemus) Oberle, his stepfather; Everett Polhemus, and sister; Peggy Ann Hyland.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years; Lee (Scuderi) Oberle, two sons; Kurt Arthur Oberle and his wife Keri of Charleston, SC and Christian Arthur Oberle and his wife Jane de Bretteville Blair of New York, NY, his daughter; Constance Oberle Geoghan and her husband Daniel F.X. Geoghan of New York, NY, his sister; Rosemary Lamurey of Brick, NJ, and three grandchildren; Anna Lee and Katherine Geoghan and Jacob Oscar Oberle.

Dr. Oberle was born and raised in Tottenville, New York. He graduated from Wagner College and, after a period working as an electrical engineer, attended the New York University College of Dentistry. He graduated in 1969 and practiced on Staten Island before moving to New Jersey in 1972. He was an avid sportsman who had a particular affinity for piloting private aircraft, sailing traditional and ice sailboats, skiing, traveling and most water sports. Dr. Oberle was a member of the New Jersey Dental Society, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, the New Jersey Aero Club (past president), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Lake Morey Protective Association (member, Board of Directors), the North Shrewsbury Ice Boat and Yacht Club and the Monmouth Boat Club. He was a communicant of St. Mary’s RC Church in Colts Neck and of St. James RC Church in Red Bank and he was a Eucharistic minister at St. Anthony’s RC Church in Red Bank. He served our country as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps (Active Duty and Reserve).

Visitation will be held on Friday, October 2, 2009 from 2-4 & 7-9 pm at the John E. Day Funeral Home, 85 Riverside Avenue, Red Bank, NJ. A Mass will be celebrated at 9:00 am on Saturday, October 3, 2009 at St. Mary’s RC Church in Colts Neck. Interment is private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Pancreas Cancer Research and Development Fund, Fund No. 205568, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021. Letters of condolence can be e-mailed to the funeral home’s website

Just the Facts, Ma'am

The wake will be held on Friday, October 2, 2009 at the John E. Day Funeral Home in Red Bank, NJ. There will be an afternoon and an evening viewing. The contact information for the funeral home is:

John E. Day Funeral Home
85 Riverside Ave
Red Bank, NJ 07701-1007
(732) 747-0332

The funeral will be held at 9:00 AM on Saturday, October 3, 2009 at St. Mary's Church in Colts Neck, NJ. St. Mary's Church is located at the corner of Route 34 and Phalanx Road. Directions to St. Mary's Church are set forth below:

Directions to St. Mary’s Church – Colts Neck, New Jersey

Garden State Parkway from the North:

Take the New Jersey Garden State Parkway south to Exit 109. As you pass through the tollbooth, take a right turn onto Newman Springs Road. The sign will indicate Lincroft.

After about a mile you will come to a traffic light. The

Lincroft Inn is on your right and gas stations on your left. Go through that light staying in the left lane.

In about 100 feet you will come to another traffic light. Make a left turn onto Phalanx Road and travel approximately 3.5 miles to entrance. St. Mary’s is on the right just before the traffic light at Route 34.

Garden State Parkway from the South:

Take the Garden State Parkway to Exit 109 and follow the sign for Lincroft which will be on your left. (If you head toward Red Bank you are going in the wrong direction. Follow the directions as above.

New Jersey Turnpike from the North:

Take Exit 11 onto the Garden State Parkway. Proceed to Exit 109 and follow directions as above (G.S.P. from North),

New Jersey Turnpike from the South:

Take Exit 7A to Route 195 East. Proceed approximately 30 minutes to Exit 35B for Highway 34 North. Take Hwy. 34 North 10 miles on divided highway following Matawan and Colts Neck signs until you come to Colts Neck. St. Mary’s will be on your right at corner of Hwy. 34 and Phalanx Road.

Route 18:

Take Exit 19 indicating Route 34 North. At second light make a right. St. Mary’s is on the corner of Hwy. 34 and Phalanx Road.

The Final Flight

It's hard to believe I'm writing this, but it's over. Dad passed away this morning. Today is the anniversary of the day his mother passed away, and somehow it makes sense that he chose to go with her on this day. I will miss him terribly, but I take comfort in the knowledge that he is finally at rest.

I will post information relating to services as soon as I have it. For right now, please let me thank you all once again for your love and your prayers and your support. We could not have made this journey without each and every one of you.



Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Two Weeks Later

Wow - I can't believe it's been two weeks.

Dad was released to hospice care a week ago this past Friday. We've all been sticking by the house as much as possible since then, trying to be some help to Mom and to him. The neighbors have been amazing - the food - the cards - the *food*! I don't know what we would have eaten without the generosity and culinary skills of our friends.

Dad isn't able to take visitors. He is very weak, but still trying to rally. It's hard to see him so sick.

We continue praying for our miracle, but hope is coming in shorter and shorter supply as we stare defiantly in the face of what may prove to be a grim reality.

I would like my next post to be about the amazing turn-around he pulled off - about how he cheated this disease of its victim and banished it forever. I believe in the power of positive thinking, so I am going to draft it now. That way when it's time to publish it, I won't have to step away from our celebratory party to write it up.



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Greeting from Sloan-Kettering... Again.

So here we are. The cancer is causing a blockage in his small intestine. He's going to have surgery today to install a drain in his stomach so that food doesn't have to try to pass through the cancer-laden area. We're targeting a release on Friday or Saturday and anxious to get him out of here. No offense to the folks at MSKCC, but we don't want to stay here one minute longer than is absolutely necessary.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Of Course...'s a blockage. He has a partial blockage in his stomach. He also has an elevated white blood cell count, very high potassium and terrible dehydration. He has taken 3 bags of saline this afternoon and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Not sure what, if anything, can be done for the blockage, but at least he's being made comfortable. He, Mom and Kurt have been in the ER since this morning - they're just moving him into a room now. It's nearly 11:00 PM. Mom and Kurt said the ER at Sloan is teeming with people. The rooms are full. The halls are full. The waiting room is full. It's just cancer cancer everywhere.

What a flippin' mess.

Back Where We Started

Dad has developed some sort of an infection or another blockage. He is back in the ER at Sloan and going in for another CAT scan. He's had so many CAT scans, I half expect him to open his mouth and meow.

We're trying to marshall our forces for the next round of chemo, but our forces have yet to heed the call. Our troops are AWOL. Dad has lost a tremendous amount of weight; he's past my pre-pregnancy weight and pushing toward my wedding day weight. Those were the days when I was known as Connie-Please-Have-A-Sandwich or Bride-Of-Skeletor. Yikes.

But he's trying. He's trying to eat. He's trying to drink. He's trying to move around, but it's so damned hard. Everything is getting so damned hard for him. It's frustrating.

It's INFURIATING!!! I want this disease to go away! I saw an article on "60 Minutes" about a guy who invented inhalable chocolate and I wanted to scream at the television, "Clearly you are a bright man! Go use your talent to cure cancer! Stop f^*#ing around with inhalable chocolate!"

But, of course, that doesn't help.

And at least, with inhalable chocolate coming to the market, cancer patients who can't eat can still get a taste of something sweet.

Or so the inventor claims.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Skinny but Upright

He's home. He's skinny, but he's still standing.

All I can say is this - August '09 - what a s*!t show. Let's not do that again.

To those of you who have visited him at home since he returned on Saturday, thank you. He has enjoyed the company. To those of you who have sent flowers and food and cards, thank you again. They are all lovely and so very appreciated. Our visitors have been calling in advance and keeping their time with him short, as he tires quickly right now, but it is so good for him to have people with whom to speak about things other than how he feels, what he ate and how has he slept. A few of his pilot friends have called and I must say, he looks quite vibrant when he hears they are on the telephone.

We will be back at Dr. O'Reilly's office on Friday and the plan is to get Dad back on his chemo as soon as he is strong enough to handle it. I have high hopes, as does he, that he will be strong enough very soon. In the meantime, please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Yesterday was our 11 month anniversary - 11 months since he was diagnosed. He has been so strong and fought with such bravery - so much of his strength comes from the friends and family whose love feeds his will and fires his spirit. Thank you thank you thank you for loving him so much.



Friday, September 4, 2009

One Step Forward...

He's in...

he's out...

he's in again.

This is the Sloan-Kettering version of the Hokey Pokey.

Dad has had 3 surgeries in the past week (apologies for falling behind - things started moving too fast). He was released from the hospital the day before yesterday, but re-admitted last night.

He has an incision in his belly where the doctors looked at his colon.

He has a port for his IV, so they can stop shredding his veins with all his drips and treatments.

He has a drain in his tummy to vent fluid that has been pooling there.

He looks like one of my old rag dollies that has been torn and sewn and torn and sewn again... but only if he lifts up his shirt. The rest of him looks fine. A bit on the thin side (amazing how fast the weight drops off when you don't eat for two weeks), but otherwise fine.

Tentatively, the doctors are talking about releasing him tomorrow, but he's going to have to eat some solid food first. Actually, before he eats the solid food, he needs to take some liquids. I'm going to try to visit him this afternoon, if he's feeling up to visitors. I'll send him best wishes from the Blog.

Happy Labor Day to you all - may it be safe and healthy and lots of fun. I'm hoping Dad will be home and healthy enough to enjoy part, if not all of it.