Savoring the Lemonade that’s Left

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I write this short prologue to what could likely be the last lemonade cancer journey post before the grand finale. I love life; I love you all; and I am truly inspired and honestly believe it is all of you readers and your comments, texts, calls, and social media posts that have kept me thriving for so many months. YOU are the persons that with love, devotion, and prayers have allowed me to enjoy so many of your communications, visits, special milestones with my family, and meeting three new grandchildren. So, it is way past the time I thank all of you for what YOU have done for me. I asked my son Jason (with input from his siblings) to wrap things up with a summary blog. Another may still be coming from “Little” Jeff. I was tempted to edit this, but it’s so sincere and from the heart, I just couldn’t do it. For those anti-opioid zealots out there, just know I am typing this intro after taking hydromorphone and alprazolam, “living” proof that people can be functional on such medications at the right doses for the right reasons.

Jason and family, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done for me throughout your lives, and especially these last few weeks when you all kept your promise to “push me“. I will be watching over you for eternity. Here’s what my dear son had to say following our family week in Florida.


With my dad having joined the ranks of hospice and having entered the end-stage part of his disease, us kids and family are faced with an entirely unfamiliar situation.  By force of nature dad is now the one in need of help and support (even in writing his blog).  We aren’t at the “end”, but it is near.  And in that nearness, there has been a scramble to squeeze the last drops of dad-time out for us kids and almost more importantly, papa-time with the grandkids.  Channeling my best Jeff Fudin, I’d like to share his and the family journey over the last couple weeks so you can live it with us (and potentially gain a deeper understanding of the life of a patient and his family during this time).

The Bad News

For timeline, I’ll pick up where Dr. Gudin left off, the start of hospice on April 4th.  With news of my dad’s decline I flew to Albany to help out and assess the situation.  Things looked bleak, but with a glimmer of hope.  While it appeared that my dad was dying from dehydration and starvation, it didn’t seem to be the cancer directly.  We figured if he could get nutrients and fluid, maybe he still had a few good months left.  On Tuesday, April 5th, we had our standard sibling Zoom call (me, Sarah, Hannah, Shirah) to discuss the current status of things.  We were all hopeful.  That hope was shattered the next day when my parents and I spoke to Dr. Onc.  The issues he was facing were indicative of the end-stage of his disease.  She explained that dying from the secondary effects of the disease (inability to eat or drink) was actually common and a potentially better way to go then to squander the last number of weeks of life by beating yourself up with chemo or ineffective treatments that artificially prop up the body like total parenteral nutrition (TPN).  She told him that the choice for his treatment was his.  We hung up the phone and cried.

 

My dad then turned to me and my mom and said “This is it, I’m really dying…  If it’s the last thing I do and I need to crawl, we are going to Florida with the family. I’m not dead yet”.  After some logistics discussions (what happens if he dies in Florida, how are we going to really get him down there, etc) we all said that barring some unforeseen event we were going to try to get as many of his family to Florida as possible for a week of fun in the sun!

 

The Fun in the Sun

My family (wife and kids) and sister Hannah’s family had already planned to either spend a week in Albany together with my parents or, if he was really able, down in Florida.


With news that Florida was really happening, we made arrangements and got excited for a week of beach and pool time.  My other sisters, Sarah and Shirah, made plans for flights later in the week as well (their kids and spouses had just spent the weekend with my parents so wouldn’t be joining).  News of this once-in-a-lifetime trip started spreading to others.

 

Zach and Shane Gray (the neighborhood kids that count my dad as a sort of pseudo parent) decided to fly in from the West Coast for a few days to join the fun.  They shacked up with their parents, Becky and Barry, who were also there for the scene and are some of my parents closest friends.  People drove up as well, like my dad’s brother Terry, his father Gil, and “savta” Davida.  Also friends Andy and Alexis swung by for some hang out time.  Navigating my dad’s physical state led to a few bumps and a bad day or two here and there, but it was a small price to pay for memories we will cherish forever.

We played on the beach, made cocktails (he just took a sip or two), did days and dinners by the pool, shopped in Amelia’s historic downtown with the necessary break for ice cream, told stories and relived memories from so many good years.  Most of us ate way too much, my dad had to settle for burnt bacon sandwiches which he said he loved (I guess anything is better than not eating at all) and his favorite paella (which he paid the price for later, but was still worth it).

The Difficult Parts

The fun came at a cost.  There were many hard exhausting days for my dad where he felt like he had run a marathon, but still had a hundred miles to go (the exhaustion was painful to watch).  Hours of vomiting in Florida and on airplanes, teary eyed confessions that he sometimes wished he was just dead already because the fight was too much.  I guess all of this was to be expected, this is the bargain he and we signed up for.

What was much less palatable for me, as someone who does not normally interact with the healthcare system, is how much money and policy (“policy” which is really just about money) effect everything.  The hours and days (mind you these are FINAL DAYS) that are spent trying to navigate a system designed to drive people to just stay put and die already is sickening.  There were a number of “hard parts” within the system, but I will focus on one, HOSPICE.

In the Albany area there is only one hospice company (this is driven by government regulation/policy).  While the nurses are some of the kindest people you will ever meet, the administrative side of the business is anything but.  As a true monopoly, they are in the business of exploiting their position for financial gain and reducing any and all “liability” which they can do because customers don’t have the choice to go with any other group.  Short of a patient paying out of pocket, hospice gets to dictate how a patient spends their end of life.  In our case, Albany hospice refused to sign a travel contract with a company in Florida.  They encouraged us to “revoke” NY hospice, then figure out something else when were in Florida, and then re-enroll in NY hospice upon our return.  What?  Apparently travel contracts between hospice companies are common, but a few months ago the Albany hospice company decided that that was less profitable so they no longer did them.  I called them, pleaded, and expressed my exasperation that the spirit of hospice was for comfortable end-of-life care and that their policy had the effect of trapping my dad in a geographic prison or gambling on what healthcare would look like for him while traveling.  After days of threats and a ton of work to find and prepare to sign up with a Florida hospice company for a week, they finally relented.  Meanwhile, the hospice company in Florida, VITAS, was a dream.  The doctor (Director) assigned to my dad personally showed up and chatted with him for a half hour.  They seemed to take the spirit of hospice seriously, constantly asking what they could do for my dad to get the most out of this special (likely) last week ever in Florida with his remaining time he had left in this world. Although it did bring a smile to his face that the family left behind would enjoy this piece of paradise forever with fond memories of building and furnishing it. Upon our return to NY, the nonsense started again.  The Albany group decided on policies that would limit my dad’s ability to get IV fluids regularly on an as needed basis based on assessment (another large battle he recently won). Recall though that my dad still has all his mental faculties and spent years making such assessments for similarly situated patients, so really this decision should have been a no-brainer from the start.

A note to those responsible for governance in hospice, government policy and regulation has a real impact on real people.  I am sure we just got a small taste of what happens when the government creates monopolies who financially benefit from providing the least expensive care relative to how they are paid.  Given a stable of healthcare professionals and friends, we were able to solve things for my dad, but there is no way that is the norm.  And I don’t even fully blame the Albany hospice group, they are likely just responding to a situation created by New York through its policy and enforcement.

New York… do better!  Do better for people like my father who spent a lifetime caring for patients and being an advocate.  Do better for our community of hardworking, caring citizens who at their most vulnerable are really in your hands.  Do better for what it means to be a New Yorker and an American.  Put politics aside and just do the most basic and humanistic things better.

What’s Next

The amount of awake and enjoyable hours in a day for my dad continues to shorten.  He has become very focused on visiting (in many cases) various family, friends, and colleagues for what appears to me a shortened opportunity, and what happens when he is not here, which I guess makes sense.  For all of us that love him so deeply, we will continue to selfishly squeeze every last drop out of this lemon.  We will enjoy whatever time we have left with our papa, dad, brother, son, friend, mentor, neighbor, colleague because he brings us so much joy and we just can’t get enough.  Love you dad 😊

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86 thoughts on “Savoring the Lemonade that’s Left

  1. Thank you for being a strong, loud and persistent advocate for Jeff. We can all learn to advocate better for our patients and make every moment of life the best it can be! You are all an inspiration, such a special trip to FL. Agree that NY can and should do better! I hope that IL never places a monopoly on hospice agencies, something I would have never thought of before along with the implications for patients and families. Thank you for teaching us all once again. Prayers to Jeff and his family.

  2. Jeff- not sure if you are reading these along with your family or not. It’s been a long time, but I was one of your residents at the VA back in 2003. I, like Jen Lutz (Hebner) and others, watched the house while you went away on vacation with the family. I’ve thought of you often recently and just found out you were sick. I work at St. Peter’s now, having left the VA 6 years ago. You made such an impact on my life and I always looked to you for advice and could count on you no matter how difficult the situation. You are an amazing dad, husband and pharmacist. I am honored to have been your resident so long ago. You have touched so many lives. I’ll never forget you. May God take you gently and May your family always feel your presence.

  3. Saxy J Man you remain my teacher, mentor, and friend! I appreciate how you always gave me the push to continue and how you connected so many people in the medical & pain world. We are blessed due to your hard work and love of your work.

  4. An additional thought as I walk .. you squeezed that lemon, savored that lemonade and may you now plant the seeds for all of us…

  5. Dear Jeff,
    Way back in 1977 you and your roommates (Mark and Brian) were kind enough to take me in when my roommate left me without a place. I will always have fond memories of being on that PORCH for the spring semester (thank goodness the weather wasn’t too cold). It has been a pleasure to0 follow your experiences throughout the years. May your family be blessed in the future. Thank you from your pharmacy friend.
    Brian Carroll

  6. Dear Jeff,
    I am so glad to have been mentored and worked with you. Your blog post sharing your journey is deeply moving and so honest and refreshing, as you always are so authentic. Having gone thru this type of a journey with my mom, whom I lost to a long fight of her own with cancer, I recognize the challenges you faced navigating the country’s healthcare system. Being on the other side as patients is fraught and frustrating and you and your family verbalized it so well. Nevertheless, the journey you shared and especially making the time count till the end is so beautiful. Enjoy these precious moments where you find them. I wish you peace and light. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Warmly, Kalpana

  7. Jeff – Heaven doesn’t know what’s in store for them my friend. I’ll look for you in the stars. Love you.

  8. Jeff,

    I feel like it was only yesterday when you came to me to ask to start Paindr.com. It is amazing the people you have helped and now seeing so many beautiful and touching comments by all. Your journey and your family’s support and love shines through.

  9. I have followed your journey and I’m so grateful you have managed to spend it with your wonderful family. When I was a nurse, I sat and held the hands of so many who would have died alone if I had not been there. It’s a tribute to your big heart that all these children and grandchildren want to be with you. May God bless you and keep you and may beautiful angels light your path to whatever comes next.
    Laura

  10. Dear Jeff, You have touched so many lives during your lifetime. You were always kind to everyone when we were in school together and had great character. . You raised an amazing family that I have enjoyed seeing and hearing about through your posts. You are loved by so many. Thank you for sharing your story and thanks for all you have done to make this world a better place. Keeping you and your family in my prayers. Peace and love to you all. God bless you.

  11. Dear Jeff and family,
    I enjoyed getting to know you and Robin from gatherings in your lovely neighborhood.
    I have only known about your cancer and Lemonade blog for a short time. You have provided such great information and your family adventures have been a joy to read about. I love the video of you playing the saxophone at Hannah’s in Utah. You are a very talented person.
    Thank you for sharing your journey.
    Kathy Campion

  12. Jeff, as a colleague who works in palliative care and pain management, I have always looked up to you. But, as a fellow human and friend, watching you share your last days with us with grace, honesty and courage….is likely the most important thing you’ve done in your career for me. Thank you for leading the way. You are reminding me and others that “we are all just walking each other home”. God bless you and your family. – Michael Chandler

  13. Jason and family
    Thank you for sharing your raw, painful, loving and beautiful experiences. The love and support of your family, for your dad and each other is incredibly beautiful. My heart breaks for you and the pain you are going through. At the same time I know you all realize how special and incredible you are. Sending love and prayers for all of you.

  14. Jason, thank you for all that you shared in this post. When we knocked at the FL door, it was special to have it opened wide to meet adorable Jethro and then all the others inside. It was a true honor to share in that cherished time to visit with Jeff once again in FL, this time savoring the treat of seeing him embody the Papasaurus name. Your family is absolutely amazing – everyone had a sparkle in their eyes that reflected the lemonade outlook on life.

    There were very real and tearful times, such as our bedside chats with Jeff. There were tender times, such as watching you give your dad a shave to look sharp for photos. There were humorous times, like watching him enjoy that bacon during Passover between small sips of coffee. We loved hearing him laugh as he told the stories from the day before about how his life flashed before his eyes during his wheelchair escapades with Sarah driving. There was the time of the poolside fun, as well. An indelible picture remains in my mind of the kiddos learning to jump into the pool into your arms while your dad looked on, clearly wanting to stay and not miss a minute of the exciting life to come.

    Andy and I love your dad. Andy has a true bromance with him, and I feel so fortunate to have grown to know and love Jeff through that. The world would be a better place if there were more Jeffs in it. Thankfully, there is you and your family. Much love to all of you, and a big hug to Jeff & Robin right now.

    <3 Alexis & Andy

  15. Hi Jeff! It amazes me how many people’s lives you have touched. If you think about how many people you taught to be better clinicians and people, those people will then also touch so many other’s lives. I’ll always remember you for your kindness to me when I needed it, and also for your boundless energy, high spirits, and humor. You are truly one of a kind.

    Much Love, your friend Andreas.

  16. I am joyous you got to spend and cherish these days in Florida together. Way to go, jason, for getting the NY hospice care to bend. Way to go, jeff, for staying strong during a difficult time traveling. I am proud of all of you, and the photos fill my heart with love

  17. Great post Jason! Thank you for taking the time to bring us up to speed. Jeff, you’ve given so much to so many of us that we couldn’t ask for more. It is enough, be at peace! Our collective shoulders will just have to expand and be worthy of your legacy!

  18. Dr Fudin, the man the myth, the legend. I so enjoyed learning from you back when I didn’t know the difference from Mu, delta and kappa receptors. No one in my long career in pharmaceuticals has taught me more than you. I fondly recall you quizzing me on the MOA’s of different long and short acting opioids and what types of pain they were best suited for and I loved it. Thank you for all the goodness and caring you brought to the patients you have helped and constantly striving to educate new MD’s, PharmD’s and even reps on the proper management of pain.

  19. Dr. Fudin, you’ve been such an amazing advocate to those in the in the chronic pain community and all the while a commensurate professional. Thank you! Keeping you and your family in my thoughts during this time.

  20. Your Dad has taught me so much … especially during these past couple of years. I now approach each day as a blessing … and I live each day to the fullest. Today I am a better man, Dad, brother, and human because of him. I have shared with your Dad that I believe a life well-lived is about selflessly serving others … and your Dad has done that in spades. Your Dad is a great man loved by so many more than he can possibly imagine. You’ll All remain in my heart and prayers. Love to you All!

  21. Of course you all did what many families would deem impossible! You all are such a special family and family of neighbors. Love you!

    Thanks for sharing your words, Jason!

  22. Dear Jeff and family, your experience resonates as profoundly personal, yet universally moving. To have family & friends rally around you, as they have, is a testament to love for an extraordinary man. Go in peace Jeff and know you’ve made the world a better place.

  23. Dear Jeff – I spoke with Deb Feinberg today on the phone and she mentioned she came to visit with you today. A few hours later, my FAVORITE P2 student – Eric Smith – sent me a link to this blog. I was meant to reach you today. I am so sorry to read this post learning about your suffering and your current condition. You have been – and remain – such an inspiration for so many pharmacists and pharmacy students – including your own family. My most sincere thoughts and prayers go out to you and your entire family.
    Most Sincerely,
    Leon Cosler, R.Ph., Ph.D.

  24. Speechless. Thank you ‘Fude’ and thank you Fudin family for sharing your lives with us over the past several months. I am inspired, touched, awakened and most importantly, so, so grateful for the love that’s out there albeit, sometimes hard to find in this world of ours. Family and friends are what it’s all about! God bless you all. My love to your entire family.

  25. Brother, what can I say other than it’s been a great ride. You can rest easily knowing that you have built a tremendous legacy for your family and colleagues. I’m going to miss our frequent calls laughing at the mistaken calls that were meant for you and came to me and vice versa!
    The other night I watched a Queen documentary: Freddie Mercury- The Final Act, and I was in tears thinking of you. An iconic figure that everyone loved who changed the world- as witnessed by the outpouring of support and performances at his final tribute. One of the final performances that pushed me over the edge was the singing of “The Show Must Go On”. But think about it- all of us will have to go on, but we’ll do it as better people for having known you.
    I hope we get to talk again, but if we don’t, you know that my heart is with you until the very end. And as promised, I’ll be there for your family; Jason and crew please know you can reach out for anything (sorry Jeff B- the two Jeff’s will never be the same as the three Jeff’s)

    Sending strength to you and your family. Love, J

  26. Many thanks for your efforts to help people all these years. As a CPP, I am very grateful. Sending thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

  27. An amazing teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend you are, Jeff. Thanks for being a great example for how to live, love and laugh to the finish line with dignity and grace. You never cease to be a great teacher, mentor, and a friend no matter what the topic is, either pain or life itself.

  28. Amazing post. I am so glad you were able to have a wonderful memory making week in Florida. You have been blessed with an extraordinary family. You and Robin should be very proud of a job well done!
    You are well loved. I think of you often and always will.. May the road rise to meet you my dear friend. I am sure God will hold you, gently, in the palm of his hand. Bless you.
    Love,
    Mary and all the Sheevers clan.

  29. It pains me to read this blog. Having shared an office and worked with Jeff years ago AND having seen him in action over many decades ,with the energy of three people, I know he will finish the job as he started it. That is to say, leaving his mark upon the world; making it a better place by his care and brilliance. Love always Jeff, as that is all there is! JB

  30. Praying for your Dad and the entire family. So disheartening to hear of his terminal illness! I have enjoyed his lectures at Pain Week and always looked forward to his presentations. He always had a great sense of humor and knew how to make you laugh and keep your attention. I pray that the good lord above will keep him comfortable in the days to come and enjoy his final squeeze. Well done to a good and faithful servant! Forever grateful for the wisdom and knowledgeable that he has shared and he will always hold a special place in Vegas knowing that he touched so many lives!

  31. These posts are truly heartwarming and demonstrate the deep love and commitment to giving everything you have in your cells to your family. Thank you for sharing your journey, and may the time left be full of smiles, memories and love <3

  32. Thank you for sharing your family’s story. I am inspired by your optimism and spirit at such a difficult time. You are all in my thoughts and I wish you all peace and comfort.

  33. Jeff,

    Thank you for answering my question on the SPPCP listserve, even as you were spending quality time with your family and should have been ignoring emails like mine! I’m not sure how we will soldier on without you in the pain community, because the light to guide us will be much dimmer in your absence. I wish you and your family peace and comfort during this time.
    Best,
    Michelle

  34. Another wonderful guest post that your dad should be proud of! It’s truly a shame that our NY hospice program does not allow patients to travel without such grief and stress. No one should have to endure that, when family time should be the priority. I’m so happy to hear that you are squeezing your lemon tightly Jeff and showing us how to live life and treasure each moment with our loved ones. The lessons you have shared on your journey will it be forgotten by me, and for that I am forever grateful. As well as all your guidance and friendship throughout the years at our VA. I prayer for your peaceful passing as you transition with your loved ones by your side. Blessings to you Jeff and my sincere thanks ❤️

  35. Beautiful. I cared for my mom when she was on hospice. I told her she was a prices and could have anything she wanted, and then exhausted myself trying to make it happen. You’re curvy about the healthcare nightmare being unnecessary. I’m so glad you got that Florida trip!

  36. Dr. Fudin — You’ve built and raised an incredible family and have made a memorable mark on ours, too, that we’ll always carry forward.

  37. To the Fudin family and to Jeff: I am not sure you know the impact you have in your career, but I live in RI and teach based on your article on methadone. A former student interviewed in Albany for the PGY2 residency in Pain, and Jeff took the time, during his rather failed interview, to teach him, and influenced the next interviews. You inspire, care and teach so many. I hope you benefit from all of what you personally contributed. And I sincerely hope you find some comfort in the legacy you have left to the pharmacy and medical community. I am truly sorry to read that hospice in NY is letting you down, and I hope they read this, and use it as the next lesson you teach us. Sending love, hugs and prayers to your family. May we carry your lessons with us, and bring comfort to our patients.

  38. Jason,what a beautiful post and tribute to your dad. My heart is filled with sadness at some of the treatment he has had to endure with the medical and insurance system. Especially knowing all he has done thru his work at the VA and advocating for others in need.
    Jeff and Robin ,you have raised such a beautiful and supportive family and you should be so proud of all.
    I am so glad you were all able to get together in FL. And have enjoyed seeing the family pictures.
    Love,thoughts and prayers to the entire Fudin family. Marge

  39. Such an inspiring journey and outlook on life. What a beautiful legacy you have created, Mr. Fudin. I am in awe of your strength and bravery. I am constantly thinking of you and your amazing family.

  40. Very well said. Thank you for letting me enjoy some of the lemonade with you via the interweb to all the way down here in TX. I love reading that Jeff has gotten to go on the Florida trip with family and friends. My advice to the family from personal experience. Don’t focus on the “skinny Jeff” part especially when you look back at these memories & pictures, Focus on the love in Jeff’s eyes, in his smile, and in his heart. Jeff I’m sorry you won’t get to spend more time with the grandkids as they grow up that’s what I hated most about my dad passing away from cancer before I had kids, But it’s all according to Gods plan and you my brother have accomplished in your lifetime much more than….. well most everyone.. ever (minus Leonardo da Vinci and maybe Benjamin Franklin) Thank you for being you and Godspeed – PDC “OD”

  41. Jeff,

    I only had the opportunity to meet you twice but in that short time I recognized what an exceptional person you are. I truly enjoyed meeting your beautiful family and I know that even before you got sick you knew what a lucky man you are and never took anything for granted. I thank you so much for so bravely sharing your story with us.

  42. Jeff, on your journey home, you have continued to teach, assist, coach, and inspire by sharing both your strengths and weaknesses. May your next steps bring you to the light, accompanied by the love of your family.

    For Jeff’s family, my parents left on a warm sunny late September day, only 6 hours apart, and after 4 months of each day being more of a challenge. I would not trade those days for anything and as exhausting as they were, they were also filled with humor and poignancy that lives with me each day since. The only way to lessen the pain of their departure would have been to lessen the time with them, a greater loss than their passing. Bless those who looked after all of us in the days that followed. And bless my parents who gave us all the strength and love they could. Perhaps it is indicative of who they were that their graveside service for family brought out 200+ people from all phases of their lives ( including the Colonie Police as we created a traffic jam on Sand Creek Road). It still makes us laugh and sometimes cry.

  43. Beautifully written and I’m glad to see the Fudin family able to be together to do your best for your dad, as hard as that is at times. ‘Jefreyyyyy!’ as I called him back in the Bethlehem days is a gem of a man whose kindness, energy and dedication to his family and community I’ve always remembered with respect and positivity. He was kind and enthusiastic to share his beautiful Florida space with me Memorial Day last year and we loved it! Glad to see you all made magic to get him there again.

    Love to you!

    Claire Luke

  44. I share the sadness of an end to Jeff’s physical journey and truly believe his energy will live on. One thing he pointed out that has been so beneficial to me since it caused a schism in my family over my mother’s care, specifically giving my mother morphine is that he is living” proof that people can be functional on such medications at the right doses for the right reasons”. It’s a comfort for me that she was comfortable and contrary to my siblings’ belief, it didn’t hasten her death. I am thankful for your blogs and your wisdom. Love, prayers, empathy to you and your entire family. I loved your energy the minute I met you drive up in your van at the Lehigh Lacrosse games!

  45. You sir are now and have always been my hero. You taught me how to fight with grace and dignity. The war is different this time but it is war just the same. I love you now and you will live on in my heart forever. one last thing…….remember those yellow pants that Robin loved you in???
    Rest in peace my friend. Cathy

  46. God bless you, Dr. Fudin, for all you’ve done for the chronic pain community.

    I am very saddened to hear that you are in your final days. But, I am heartened to read about your family trip to Florida.

    Take care, and peace be with you and your family.

  47. Jeff – the legacy you leave behind is an amazing family who you love and who love you dearly. You have always been a warrior for others and how heartening to read Jason’s words — some of that warrior now resides in him as well. Know that we are thinking of you often and send love and hugs to all Fudins.

  48. May your transition be peaceful Dr. Fudin. As someone who has sat in hospice with my mother, my best friend, and others, our last leg of this life’s journey is as unique as we all are throught life.

    We’ve had our disagreements online, but I wish only love and peace to you and your family through this time. I’m glad to hear you are receiving medicines that ease any pain or anxiety you might be facing, so many are not now due to current, deadly policies regarding prescribing opiates and benzodiazepines.

    May you watch over those you love for a time and be reunited in LOVE, throughout time.

    From my heart to yours and your family’s.

    Arianne
    Ravensspirit

  49. What a beautiful lemonade post. Jeff: the medical community is losing a stalwart provider who advocated for those in need his whole life. I am honored to have known you as a fellow student and a colleague. You have made so many people’s lives better.

  50. Robin, Jeff, Jason – thank you for this blog. I want all of you, and the girls, to know that those of us who had the opportunity to hold Jeff as a dear friend will never be the same. He has changed each of us, has given us council, has instructed us on the finer points of caring for those in need, and has remained a trusted and loyal friend through the years. Each of us has struggled with the knowledge he would eventually not be here to bring a sparkle to our lives and have been able to support him through prayer and love from around the US and I would bet from around the World. Thank you, Jeff, for being a dedicated friend to all of us. I, for one, wish you joy as you transition and I know I will hear that wonderful laugh when we finally see each other again in the Pain Clinic in the sky. My sincere love and prayers for comfort my friend.
    Jason and Robin – someone needs to make a real “stink” in NY for the frustration you have endured with Jeff’s medical care – the emergency room encounter and hospice issues should be enough to make changes! Find a legislator that really cares and begin to make the changes in the name of Jeff Fudin – a legacy that would be a welcome and necessary tribute to our valued friend.

    .

  51. I am sorry you are going through this, Jeff. I truly am. I wish we can all take it away from you, but reading and seeing how much you trying to enjoy every second is just inspiring. You were always inspiring in many ways and you continue to do so. Lots of prayers your way for comfort and peace. Can’t wait to see you Friday! My mentor, friend, colleague and just an awesome human being.

  52. Jeff, for whatever time I have left to travel around the Sun on this rock, I will remember to live my best days because of the immense strength, kindness, and love you have shown me – have shown all of us – and the vast love of your family and friends that so clearly surrounds you. Those like me, the thousands if not millions, who have learned from you, will carry on your work, the good fight, the righteous cause – caring for each other. I pray for your comfort, my mentor, my friend.
    With sincerest appreciation and love,
    Your grateful colleague,
    Pat

  53. What an amazing family. We are saddened to hear of the tribulations with hospice, health policies and regulations; but we’re heartened to hear of the loving days the family has gotten together. Beautifully written, Jason. Giant hugs from our family to all of yours.

  54. Despite the hardships encountered by the hurdles of the Albany Hospice, this post most resonates with me about Family, Advocacy, Teamwork, and Love.
    I credit Robin and Jeff with setting the stage for all of it.
    I certainly share the grief and love that all of you do as things move in the direction they are headed, but am in awe of how much you all of done to make the most of your time together as all of this has transpired.
    I remember when I first spoke with Jeff about his diagnosis. It was over the phone and I called him. He thanked me for calling at the end of the call and remarked that it must have been a hard call to make for me. And it was. Sometimes we pull back from difficult discussions and situations to avoid the uncomfortableness. I was so glad I did not.
    Fortunately, Jeff, we have gotten to see each other once, and speak often as this all has transpired, and for that I am grateful beyond words, and you have related to me how much it meant to you as well.
    I don’t know if I have it right, but I truly believe that the point of life is at its end to have as few regrets as possible. There can never be none. But this Family Fudin has done something amazing alone those lines, as Jeff as shared with us in these posts-they have minimized regrets by doing there best to not have as many as possible. Even evidenced by what Jason has related.
    It’s the story of a life, and the story of the lives that live on, that truly reveal the legacy.
    What an amazing batch of lemonade.

  55. Hello! I attended Lehigh with Sarah and have followed the blog since it began. Thank you for being so willing to share your experiences and your tenacity to advocate for yourself and others. Your shared story is a realistic guide to what it is like to fully engage with cancer and the system. It’s quite clear that your legacy needs no enhancement, but your words will surely continue filling cups for the times to come.

  56. Jeff you have been such an inspiration to others and a great friend and colleague. I wish you and your family the best in these difficult times and will always cherish that fantastic smile and sharp-witted mind!

  57. You are spot on about healthcare being about profit and Litigation. A sad state of affairs. I love this post and commend you for the emotion that it must have taken to write it. Jeff, Glenn’s and my prayers are with you. Hugs. Michelle Brown

  58. I spent my entire medical career taking care of patients like your dad. I fought the bureaucracy for 4 decades. I never met your Dad. But please accept my admiration and respect. I can see he is a Great man please tell him Thank You from me.

    Sincerely

    Dr Arnold Feldman

  59. Jeff and family…that you share with us…as you do is priceless…a beautiful insight into the things that are most important and poignant…the love of family…supporting one another…selflessness…the beauties that surround us…feelinh fortunate to have a vivid recollection of a fellow AVP 81′ classmate…gregarious and always a huge smile…welcoming,with a positive outlook always and never met a stranger…always fun and nice and kind…i will continue to keep you all in thoughts and prayer…Jeff…you have passed the ability to touch others lives in with meaning on to your family…what an incredible legacy…thinking of you…and caring about you…blessings and love sent…

  60. We love you, Jeff! The legacy you will leave for your beautiful children and littles is very evident in Jason’s guest blog! So much love, Barb and Johnny

  61. Beautiful Jason❤️ You don’t need me to tell you your dad is one of a kind! Love to you and yours.

  62. Jeff and I were in pharmacy school together. We somewhat recently connected on FB.

    I am so impressed with his strength and courage during this fight. He has been an inspiration, and a model for all of us to emulate.

  63. I am an acquaintance of Terry’s in The Villages. I appreciated reading this and looking at the pictures of such a loving family. Jeff׳s smile is beautiful and life-affirming. Although I don’t know you, I thank you for sharing so personal a journey with us. My prayers are with you.

    – Mindi

  64. Jason, you’re the consummate professional and favorite son of your pop Jeff. Of course it’s not hard because you’re his only son, but I used to joke about these things with my father.

    That said I want to briefly comment on hospice (from which I have observed several) the “for profit” is no-good for the human soul, enough said right now.

    It has been amazing seeing the great photographs that were posted, the stories We read on Facebook, Jeff is by far one of my favorite people on the planet. He has been an advocate for everybody.

    Jeff, I’m ecstatic you got to spend a week in Florida (again) both an entertaining and socializing with your family and besties. You are a rock. I know your hours a week have become fewer, I love you and think of you and Robin and all the kids.

    Love always

    Nina and Rami

  65. Dr. Fudin, you are truly an inspiration and the most incredible person. I am so grateful for you mentorship and advice. Your insight has made me a better person and a better pharmacist. I am so thankful to have had the chance to work with you and follow your lemonade posts over these past years. Sending wishes for comfort and peace for you and your beautiful family!

  66. Jeff you are so blessed to have such a strong and loving family. I think everyone who has been reading your posts has been enriched ( I know I have ) by your willingness to share your experiences. The description of your ER visits, horsing around with hospice care are all too familiar to me at this point in my career and once I retire from my current job in palliative care ( which I hope will be in a few months) should I feel the need to work a couple days a week I can assure you it won’t be in health “care”. So sick of corporate greed and insurance malarkey! I’ll go work at Wegmans instead. You’re a blessing and a gift to all who know you!

  67. Oh my! It’s sadly surprising to hear about hospice care “greed” dictating actions rather than what’s best to those most in need of help. To Jeffrey- your family and friends have all learned and shared valuable lessons. Your strength and determination is inspiring. Wishing you and all around you a few surprisingly juicy results as you squeeze the lemon thinking there’s nothing left Love, Doug

  68. Please let Jeff Fudin know that even those of us who know him only at a distance are affected for the better by his strength of character, direct arguments on behalf of patients with pain, and his bow ties! Jeff has been willing to debate people and engaged everyone during a time of real difficulty for patients with pain, and he does it with warmth and that is so much what we all need.

  69. Beautiful post, Jason. Thank you for the update. You guys are surely making your dad proud by your advocacy.

    Jeff, you’ve raised such a beautiful family. May your legacy live on for many, many generations to come. Wishing you peace and comfort, and sending love to you and your family.

  70. Jeff always a fighter , teacher you are blessed with four wonderful children and Robin. Thank you for the life lessons I am a better human by having spent years as a colleague and friend

  71. Dear Jason, and Dr. Jeff,

    Since the preceding Lemonade post written by Dr. Gudin, I have continued to check Paindr.com daily for any news, and continued to pray each day when no new postings appeared. Prayers for the entire family, and all of the experiences you are currently weathering as a family.

    Thank you for your openness and honesty in all the Lemonade posts; but particularly this one. Jason, you are obviously a son any parent would be grateful and proud to call their own. You, your wonderful sisters, and your mother are showing such courage and love… I have no more words —

    I send to you all my constant prayers, and
    my ❤, for fullness and completeness during each and every moment you all have together.
    Love,
    Jane

  72. Jeff –

    You are an inspiration on how to live life to the fullest. You are also a hero in fighting the health care norms and teaching those in charge that people are not just a cog in an administrative wheel, but they themselves should be making decisions on how to live their lives until the end.

    Please know you are an example of how to raise a loving family, be a great friend and how to squeeze every drop of living out of life.
    You will be missed by an enormous amount of people. I’m sure JF stories will be told for generations to come. Love to you, Robin and your entire family.
    XOXO
    Tony and Bonnie Mariano

  73. Much love to you. You raised an amazing group of kids who are now parents themselves taking to heart the lessons you taught them. I also want to thank you for all your work bringing attention to the plight of the chronic pain community. May these last days be filled with much love and peace.

  74. That was a beautiful way to spend some of your last time with your dad. I’m sorry your time with him is so limited. I recently found out my father’s cancer treatment is not working. They told him to get his affairs in order. My dad is still working and has no immediate plans to stop. He is 89 years old next month and just celebrated his 69th wedding anniversary with my 88 year old mother. My mother won’t last long after my father passed. They are connected at the hip. I will miss them both terribly when they are gone. But I plan to enjoy as much time with them while they are still here. They only live an hour away, but I am a Chronic Pain Patient. Traveling an hour has a 50% chance of leaving me in no shape to enjoy anything. I am doing my best but I still feel like I am not doing enough.

  75. Thank you. Thank you for being a voice for patients. Thank you for being a kind & committed doctor.

    Thank you for sharing your story so openly. I am so glad you were able to go to Florida where it sounds as if you were surrounded by so many that love you. As a care partner who has navigated the system for the last 23 years the hospice scenario angered me, I am sorry. Time is precious and it should never be squandered on the pure lunacy that has become our healthcare system,

    Again, thank you. I lost my husband to pancreatic cancer, I miss him, we miss him BUT he is with us everyday, We feel him & his legacy lives on in us.

    While I don’t know you well, it’s so clear that you have impacted so many people positively. You have been a voice for the voiceless. And, what a beautiful legacy that you have in your family,

  76. Love. You. Bro-bro. Thank you for so warmly inviting me into your home this weekend. And I’ll be back. And, yes, while we still can talk. I love you!❤️

  77. These heart wrenching posts are so filled with love, it’s wonderful to receive these updates and to know yours all making the most of it all. It’s also difficult to hear how the hospice system hurt your Dad, and how much he endured. I know it was worth it all just to spend time with his loved ones. Please know we are all sending love and prayers to Jeff and all of you.

    1. Jeff,
      I am reading all these comments filled with such love and gratitude. I am humbled and grateful to call you my friend. Blessings, brother.

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