Edgar’s Battle with Life-Threatening Diseases

Edgar and Judith Brown March 26, 2018

How to deal with life-threatening diseases with incredible fortitude

A Hospital Visit

An annual physical examination was a yearly practice for Edgar after he left the navy. He strongly believed that knowing your body was the key to having a long, healthy life. For him, it was best to know ahead if one was suffering from any life-threatening diseases to be prepared for.

During the summer of 1986, Edgar had an appointment with Dr. Anderson. After doing the necessary age-related exams, Edgar showed his doctor the little brown bump on his left forearm.

After examining the lump for five minutes, Dr. Anderson left the room to fetch Dr. Betz, a surgeon. Shortly after Dr. Betz looked at the bump, he told Edgar that he wanted him back in the hospital emergency room on Friday morning. Friday morning came and Dr. Betz surgically removed the bump from Edgar’s forearm to see if it was some kind of life-threatening disease.

A Health Scare

Putting on a brave front, Edgar and I sat at our snack bar while waiting for some news from Dr. Betz. Then, the phone rang and it was the doctor. He gave Edgar the news that the tumor was malignant. The doctor wanted Edgar to be back at the hospital for further surgery on Tuesday. Stunned with the news, we both just sat there in silence for several minutes.

The news brought back some painful memories for Edgar. Ten years ago, we lost Martha from a life-threatening skin disease called melanoma cancer. It was a hard time for the family, and now Edgar and I faced another health crisis.

After Surgery

Dr. Betz frequently checked on Edgar after his operation. Additional extensive examinations were needed to make sure that all the malignant tumor was gone. The doctor said that if he found signs of malignancy, it will cost Edgar’s arm. Thankfully, the doctor and his colleagues did not find any harmful signs in Edgar.

However, the doctor discovered that Edgar had developed Type 2 diabetes. This news prompted Edgar to take care of his health better. Edgar must be more careful with his diet and be more mindful of his nutrition. Edgar was in danger of going into a diabetic coma, which is a life-threatening condition that results from having extremely high or extremely low blood sugar level.


Living with a life-threatening illness, Edgar had to be more careful with his body. It was not easy as we were not getting any younger. But Edgar and I persevered and I was there every step of the way to assist him in taking care of his health.

Edgar never lost faith and he was a very balanced individual who took life in a stride. Even when he was losing hearing in his left ear, he was still positive and continued to be a pillar of the family. Getting a hearing aid made his life easier while dealing with hearing disability.


There are lessons that we can learn from studying how Edgar dealt with a life-threatening disease and other challenges, not only with his health but also with his family. Edgar hoped that his children can look up to him as a model for dealing with problems.


If Edgar’s struggles with his health inspired you, feel free to share your thoughts. You can also learn more about this incredible man and his adventures in Of Raincrows and Ivy Leaves. Know more about his story on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads for questions, discussions, and updates.

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Judith A. Brown

Edgar Brown is a war veteran who was a navy pilot in the Black Cats Brigade. After the war, he serve... read more

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