I am sending out this message to people who have had contact with Ray Cassick over the years. This is Joanne his wife. This is just a newsletter to let you know why he has not responded. He wanted me to send something out to all of his contacts.
I am not sure if you know this, but Raymond has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. The technical name for his cancer is Glioblastoma Multiforme.
Raymond was diagnosed in November 2009, and went for more than a year without debilitating symptoms. The chemo and radiation managed to keep the tumor from progressing. In late March 2011, the tumor began to progress. He is left unable to write e-mails and talk well. He is home on permanent disability, and we expect that we will need hospice in the upcoming months. We are working with the doctors to try to slow it down, but the outcome is not positive.
A little about him. He was diagnosed in November 2009. At the time he was completing his Master's degree. He had a week break from school, underwent a brain biopsy, then completed his degree in December of 2009. Not one missed class day! The push for his Master's degree was that he wanted to teach in a college setting. The teaching bug struck over the years when he did corporate technical training. He then taught the summer of 2010 at Bryant & Stratton. Teaching was such a wonderful gift for him to pass knowledge to his students. In the interim while undergoing radiation and chemotherapy, he continued to work full time. He worked tirelessly at his work, as well as being very supportive at home. He really did sleep little, and worked hard. He also loved working as a software architect, because it fit into his project management skills.
He has made arrangements to donate his body to the University at Buffalo so that medical student can continue to learn from him. His only request of people is that they continue to learn, no matter what their age.
He has taken care of his family so well, that we do not need anything. Although he is still alive, he is not what he used be. He is constantly tired, and has trouble communicating. He often tries to log into his computer and read e-mail, but usually asks for someone to read it to him. He also answers the phone, but then has to hand it to someone else, or tell the caller to call me.
His only concern is that he is doing enough for those that he knew, and help others any way he can. He has two sayings posted on his wall. "Life is not always what you make of it, but more about what you make WITH it." The other one is: "You are fully capable of deciding your own destiny; the question you face is which path will you choose? Ambassador Sarek".
Our son, Alex is going to follow in his Dad's computer loving footsteps. Expect that you may see him in the next few years after he completes his college degree(s).
I cannot thank enough the people who have touched Raymond's life. (1) I guess I should start with the wonderful people at both Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Dent Neurology. Lori you are wonderful, along with Dr. Kang, Dr. Fenstermaker, and Dr. Prasad. (2) I cannot thank Aflac Cancer Insurance, including Terri and Marie enough for the support. The insurance was really there when we needed it the most. (3) Then we should thank the great people at Independent Health, which are so numerous that it is hard to mention anyone in particular. You are all a great group of crazy people. (4) The people from VTG/Dialogic/Intel have enriched Raymond over the years that he will never forget any of you. He counts you all as close friends. The numerous corporate training and seminars are some of his favorite things he is proud of. (5) Bryant & Stratton, especially Guy and Bill, thanks for the chance to teach. (6) He also wants to thank the people I work with at Hale Northeastern. They have been very patient and flexible, so that I have been able to attend so many medical appointments with him. (7) All of the online people, also too numberous to mention. (8) Please do not be offended if I did not mention you, the list of people this is being sent to is long, but he really wants to say THANKS. Raymond has brought so many stories home over the years of very smart and motivated people. He is glad to know every one of you.
Please feel free to e-mail him. I promise to read every one to him. Please do not cry or be upset, instead hug the ones you love. He is still here, and has some fight left in him. He has moments of clarity and still tries to do what he can.
Take care & be safe, Joanne
Joanne M. Cassick
Director of Finance
"The important thing is not to stop questioning."