Nashville or Bust

The trip that started a longer journey

Mutations, Misspellings, Momentum

I had a co-worker tell me today how amazed he was at my dealing with… everything. I have to be honest. Sentiments such as these are humbling and they make me pause. There’s no way anyone can really deal with … everything well. God only knows I’ve had (and continue to have) my moments. But I’m doing the only thing I know how to do and that’s to keep  going. Negativity and anger really don’t help. They just spew more ick into the world. You have to keep on even when the days aren’t going well because that is the only way you’ll get enough momentum to get out. And that’s not something I’m regurgitating from a Hallmark card. I had to experience it again, the hard way.

On Tuesday of last week  I was scared. After what seemed to be a normal Monday, Dave took a dip (as we were warned may happen) and spiked a fever due to infection. I realized how much the chemo could weaken his immune system and how quickly something he would normally deflect could bring him down. Fast. As the doctor wrote out prescriptions for antibiotics and a new course of pain management, I could tell by his tone that he was concerned and here’s why. The pathology reports were still inconclusive as to what type of Lymphoma Dave was fighting. So, while that would have been nice to know, we were still in a holding pattern — swatting at the general idea quasi blind while waiting for specific direction on how to counter-attack the mutant cells. It is a circumstance that makes you weary.

A few days later on Friday I hit a low, and this time it had little to do with Dave’s situation. Our eldest son, Brandon, was diagnosed with a dilated aorta that is most likely due to a connective tissue disorder. Watching him take the news from a room full of specialists in white coats was heart wrenching. In a matter of moments, what he identified as his life and his way was being completely re-arranged by the suspected misspelling of the FBN1 gene. The medical team knew of Dave’s recent diagnosis and that just made the entire moment feel pitiful. How in the world was all of this happening?  So for all of you out there who think I’ve been doing really well with… everything, here’s the reality: I broke down. There were not enough tissues in that room and I was a complete sap.

But guess who was there for me when we got home… yep, you know it. It was Dave. He got me situated on the couch, brought me a mug of coffee, called all the grandparents with the news and took care of the kids after-school so I could take a nap. I’m sure that wore him out but it was a gift that I’ll hang onto through all this nonsense. No matter what, we take care of each other. And in doing that, we can take on the world.

A few days have passed and we have gotten over last week’s hurdles. Dave is feeling much better and is getting ready for another CT scan this Friday with chemo the following Monday. Brandon is amazing and realizes what a blessing early detection can be. Neither are giving up or giving in. They both are keeping on. When in Rome, right?

* * *

Oh, and speaking of Rome … some of you heard that we cut our hair and have been asking us to post a picture:

So why the change? Dave wanted to have a little bit of control should the chemo decide to temporarily make him reach for hats this fall. I realized that my hair would be better served helping someone else feel whole while going through treatment. So, with the help of my Dad for Dave and my friend Terry and Beautiful Lengths for me, we went short and sassy.

October 26, 2010 - Posted by | Dave


  1. Thanks for sharing. for those of us that know you, you are an incredibly strong person however you are human and you are entitled to as many break down moments as you need. You have tons of people praying for you and I suspect you have felt those prayers carry you and your family through this journey. That’s all I know to offer you at this point. I will continue to pray for your family for strength and healing.

    Comment by Kelly Cooper | October 26, 2010 | Reply

  2. “We take care of each other”. And in so doing you become one. A real journey together, and not alone. Your family is really getting socked right now. Sometimes when it really does pour! But it will stop, count on it!
    Always my best to all of you. Peace. Ron

    Comment by Ron Staggs | October 26, 2010 | Reply

  3. Hi Jacqui –

    My heart goes out to you, Dave, Brandon and your whole family…sorry about all the challenges hitting all at once. It’s overwhelming and you reacted as anyone would.
    The strength, courage, and the way you take care of each other is inspirational. Please know that we continue to send our prayers and positive healing thoughts to all of you.

    Comment by Gloria | October 26, 2010 | Reply

  4. Well now I have another site I must add to my “Must Check” list three or four times a day. I am all caught up now on all of your postings and have a new perspective of you David and feel I know your wife a little now.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

    Comment by DW | October 27, 2010 | Reply

  5. You both look amazing!just know that if you stumble, so many of us are at the ready to pick you up. My love to you both and to the kids.

    Comment by rainie | October 27, 2010 | Reply

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