On Feb 21, 2005, at 8:25 AM, Edward J. Renehan Jr. wrote:
> I've gotten a lot of individual, offline questions
> from various members of the listserv, and thought I'd
> answer everyone at once.
> re: details of John's sickness
> John was diagnosed with inoperable cancer of the
> lungs, liver and lumbar just after Christmas. He
> underwent a round of radiation therapy at Glen Cove
> Hospital (appropriately enough, founded by Dr. Dick
> Derby, TR's son-inlaw). The radiation bucked him up
> quite a bit and concluded
> on January 18th. I visited him for lunch that day and
> he seemed in good spirits, though very thin and very
> weak. Intellectually, he was 167% there. A week or so
> later he began outpatient
> chemotherpay at Glen Cove Hospital. He was
> hospitalized for a week in there
> somewhere for various complications which deleayed
> further chemo, and then was home.
> He telephoned me one
> week ago today, Monday the 14th, on some TRA busness
> and we spoke for
> about five minutes; he sounded very weak and had just
> concluded his second chemo treatment.
> Later in the
> week, he began developing symptoms of pneumonia, which
> sometimes can be a side-effect of the chemo. He was at
> his house having trouble breathing on the morning of
> Friday, the 18th, went into the hospital, and expired
> that evening.
> He was informed several days before his
> death that he'd been voted to receive the TR
> Distinguished Service Medal. Also, when I saw him on
> the 18th of January, I delivered a hastily compiled
> book of tributes from more than two dozen leading
> historians, writers, and Roosevelt family members -
> John's colleagues - including Arthur
> Schlesinger Jr., Edmund & Sylvia Morris, James
> MacGregor Burns, etc., etc.
> These tributes will form the core of a special
> commemorative issue of the TRA JOURNAL dedicated to
> John that we are assembling right now. I am quite
> certain that the TRA will be looking at some other
> more substantial, abiding tribute and memorial John
> once the dust settles and we can all think clearly.
> God bless,
> Ed Renehan
> EDWARD J. RENEHAN JR.
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