Cremating A Friend

Posted on July 3, 2018 by Martin Oaks under Community, Cremation, Memorial
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Urns for sale at Martin Oaks Cemetery & Crematory

As owners of Martin Oaks Cemetery and Crematory, we are frequently asked how difficult it is to cremate and/or bury a friend.

The answer is that it is very difficult to provide final disposition for someone you know and care about.  No matter how often it happens, it never gets easier.

Of course, the deceased has paid the ultimate price, so our pain is relative, but it is still there.

Martin Oaks has been around for a long time: we are located a few miles north of Dallas/Fort Worth, 12 miles south of Denton, Texas — in short, fairly centrally located in the DFW Metroplex. Given this location and the length of time Martin Oaks has been in existence, we are bound to develop many personal relationships.

And, as we inevitably age, death becomes more common.

Just last week, we lost a real friend to prostate cancer. He will be cremated by us this week.

Similarly, it was not long ago, another friend perished because of pancreatic cancer, a particularly cruel way to pass.  Quick and painful, almost always fatal.

Aside from the personal issues which were significant, these two deaths emphasize the pernicious nature of both of the illnesses — including the fact that at least one of them, prostate cancer, can really be stealthy.

Additionally, prostate problems can be willfully ignored until it is too late.

The facts about prostate cancer:

*it is the second leading cancer related killer of American men;

*every 18 minutes, an American man dies of prostate cancer;

*that means this country averages 80 such deaths a day — almost 30.000 per year;

*in 2018, almost 170,000 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer;

*currently, nearly three million American men are living with the disease — that would be the size of a major U.S. city;

*risk factors include aging, family history and race;

*the majority of men who develop prostate cancer are over the age of 50 — a significant number of those are beyond 65;

*men in their 20’s and 30’s can develop prostate cancer, but that number is not particularly high;

*it is recommended that men begin screening for prostate cancer in their 40’s;

*if a member of your family has or had prostate disease, your risk may be higher than the norm — all the more reason to be screened;

*at least one study indicates that the family relationship may go farther than immediate relatives — prostate cancer several degrees away in family members should prompt a screening;

*for reasons that science has yet to deduce, African American males develop prostate cancer and die from prostate cancer at a higher rate than other races — again, reason to screen;

*being overweight and consuming a “bad” diet (high fat content) also increase the chances of prostate problems;

*maintaining a healthy lifestyle which includes regular exercise, not surprisingly, reduces risk;

*it is a myth to believe that if you have no symptoms, you have no prostate cancer.  Unfortunately, prostate cancer is one of the most asymptomatic cancers out there;

*a leading specialist points out the ultimate irony of the disease — a gland, no bigger than a cherry tomato, has so much influence on the creation of life, yet it remains one of deadliest killers we have.

Treatment for prostate cancer can involve surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and other interventions prescribed by a specialist.  It can also include, depending on the cancer itself, just watching, regular checkups to see how the disease is progressing.

The key, obviously, is to not put off a screening — that precious time cannot be recaptured and can make a huge difference in outcome.

The American Cancer Society, a wonderful resource, offers support for those with the disease, as well as support for those considering treatment options.  They may be reached at 1-800-227-2345.

We will have more to say about pancreatic cancer in future writings in this space.


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