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Ramsay "Strap" McDonald

07/14/1958 — 08/31/2012

 

My beloved husband passed away from melanoma.  The disease started under his nail on his great right toe.  He was treated for an infection with various antibiotics before being sent to dermatology, where they gave Ramsay a biopsy after weeks of soaking his feet in stuff and various ointments, which failed to heal his toe.  Anyway, he was diagnosed with melanoma Stage IV.  They removed his toe and took the lymph nodes from his groin on the right side. That was in 2008.  He then went for two checkups 3 months apart.  Then we never heard anymore so we assumed everything was okay. I later asked the doctors why Ramsay had never had any more checkups after the first two.  They told me he had gotten lost in the system.

 

Then in March/April of this year he started to feel unwell with constipation and dizzy spells and having virtually no appetite. I eventually persuaded Ramsay to go to the doctor.  The doctor examined him and proceeded to go straight to the phone and call up the hospital to admit Ramsay.  She then proceeded to tell the hospital that she had a patient who was symptomatic with having a tumour in his stomach and his liver. I remember looking at Ramsay to see if I was hearing right, but he was just looking down at his hands.  It felt like a bad dream.  Anyway, Ramsay got admitted to hospital that day.  He had to get a transfusion of 3 units of blood and a scan.  The doctors told him the next day he had tumours in his stomach and liver.  We were devastated.  We never knew it was melanoma.  It was a bolt from the blue. He had to stay in a few days. The next day we were told there was a tumour in his lungs also.  Then the next day we were told he also had a tumour in his bowels.  The doctor who didn't specialise in this field told Ramsay there was no cure and to go home and spend time with his family.  I remember Ramsay saying I am not giving up. 

 

We were in a terrible state by now.  We came home and waited on a call from a specialist. Two weeks later we met him.  They offered Ramsay chemo, and Ramsay literally grabbed at the chance.  They told us it wasn't a cure but would buy him some time.  He had two treatments 3 weeks apart, and the next one he was due he couldn't go for because he was too unwell.

 

 He was admitted to the hospice for pain relief 1 week later on Thursday.  He was to get his pain fixed out with various medicine, etc.  On Friday morning I got a call saying could I go and see Ramsay as he was asking for me. I got there at 10:30; Ramsay passed away at 12:40.  I got to tell him how much he meant to me, and he told me also. 

 

My heart broke that day.  I will always always love and miss my big brave man.  He was my world.

 

Liz McDonald, wife