"He was somewhat different in the fact that he had a different perspective on life," Jefferson said. "He appreciated people more, he appreciated life more. He talked about his family a lot."

Close friends say the devoted father had seemed more tired and preoccupied in his final days, but because of his strong front and no-nonsene attitude, they didn't push for an explanation.

Now with a wife, two sons, a daughter and a mountain of loved ones and colleagues left behind, all can only wonder what could have driven a man who fought so hard for his life to suddenly decide to take it.

Doctor: Cancer can take physical, emotional toll

Doctors say head and neck cancers are very different than cancers in other parts of the body because the effects can be so obvious. While they are quick to point out treatment is different for every patient, they say it typically lasts between six and eight weeks.

"Suicide is very rare among cancer patients, so we're always sad to hear when tragic events like this occur," said Dr. Jessica Bahari-Kashani, of Memorial Hospital.

Bahari-Kashani never treated Krawcyzk but said the physical and emotional toll cancer can take on a patient can be overwhelming.

"It's very tough emotionally, physically and financially," she said. "All aspects of your life can be affected."

Bahari-Kashani said Krawcyzk's rare form of cancer, along with chemo therapy and radiation treatment, can present side effects including weight loss, lack of energy, difficulty swallowing and depression.

"During the course of the treatments, they're monitored very closely by their doctors and are encouraged to got to support groups," she said. "And we check for any signs of depression and we try to screen people very well."

Funeral arrangements are still pending, for Krawcyzk, but friends say it could be as early as next Tuesday.