On April 13, 2005, Richard Lischer’s 33-year-old son, Adam, phoned his dad with the results of his latest medical checkup. His cancer, first diagnosed 16 months previously, was back. It had spread throughout his body.
When Lischer received the call he was in the ER with his father-in-law, who had just had a heart attack. Lischer’s wife, Tracy, was in another part of the hospital with her mother, who was being treated for uterine cancer. From their separate stations they ran to their son’s side, arriving in time to hear the oncologist say: “Metastatic melanoma typically does not respond well to radiation or chemotherapy.”
In just 95 days, Adam Lischer was dead.
“A father has no business writing a book about his son’s death,” Lischer writes in the first chapter of Stations of the Heart.