Nashville or Bust

The trip that started a longer journey

A Post from Dave — Recalling the Past Two Weeks

Back in the Game

So…have you ever had something to do, a challenge task that you readied yourself for.  You are in the “shoot,” 100% percent ready to go and then (cue the crickets) STOP!!!  Do not pass GO, do not collect $200, just wait. This must be how those folks in the Space Shuttle feel when they are attempting a launch. Now normally, I have the capacity to pause and understand the reason for the delay.  Notice that I did sneak in the word “normally.” But that said, the last two weeks have been one of the most challenging and un-enjoyable rollercoaster rides (mentally) that I have ever been on. Even as I write this and see the words “two weeks” I shake my head a bit.

The quick summary:


Learn that my diagnosis is still unclear, cancel round 2 of Chemo, plan for a 2nd Biopsy (chest surgery), meet with surgical team, navigate through all pre-surgery testing, schedule surgery, cancel surgery, reschedule surgery…



Up bright and early (4:30am) for surgery, out of surgery and into recovery, up for PT the next morning, recovery went well and I was out of the hospital and on my way home in just 4 days, have a few home care visits from the surgery team and finally get set to meet with oncologist to review the information from the biopsy.

Now, this is just a snapshot of my schedule and needs. Add to this all of Jacqui’s needs and responsibilities along with the kids schedules. Factor in my driving restrictions and on-going fatigue.  Toss in a bunch of new “Lifting” restrictions for the next 3 weeks and I really “Hit the Wall.”

Some advice I got early on from friends who have battled cancer or other major medical issues is “don’t become the disease.” I said early on that I would not let cancer define me, however, I see that I am very close to doing just that. Lately, it enters into every conversation and factors into every thing I do. The news about the biopsy came at just the right time.  It put me back in the game.

It also got me up off my ass a bit more.  It was great to hang out on Friday with a colleague from campus putting together student entries for the Cincinnati Advertising Club ADDY Awards.  I got back to my editing duties on a number of independent projects, picked up where I left off nearly two months ago with the Cincinnati State transition to semesters, and started some early brainstorming & thinking for the 6th Annual College Movie Festival.

The Learning Continues

As I emerge from this fog, hopefully a bit less self-absorbed, my friends, family, colleagues…this Army of supporters are patiently standing by.  Wise beyond your collective years, you understand.  You allow me to rant, theorize, speculate, scream and pout without question or condition.  For this I say, thanks. This is my well, the place I draw much of my strength.

More than ever, I gain strength from my kids and from Jacqui. Every day Tessa asks “is this a feel good day, or a feel bad day?” James and Brandon help with all the “heavy lifting” and never really complain about it. The hugs are the best and Tessa is so sweet to always ask if my back is sore so “the hugs won’t hurt.” Now Jacqui, I have no idea how she does it?!?  She has been by my side on this every step. I know that all of this is frustrating, maddening and downright scary for her as well but she finds a way to sift through all of the crap (insurance and medical billing info along the huge and ever changing prescription list) to lift me up every day. Again, it is the small things like bringing me a hot cup of coffee before I even get out of bed, or a random kiss on my bald head that mean the most.

Just Keep Turning Left…….really?

A quiet and beautiful Sunday morning brings pancakes and a second small cup of coffee.

Jacqui and I had an afternoon date planned.  We really enjoy and need these brief bits of time together and this past Sunday presented itself as the perfect opportunity to share a few hours before we jump back into the Chemo treatments.

Destination 1: The Victory of Light Psychic Festival.

We enjoyed strolling around, looking, observing and learning a thing or two. Our long conversations with Gene Jackson, “The Crystal Guy” and Alisha Wisler, Shaman and Spiritual Healer, two beautiful and caring people, gave us some comfort, great advice and ideas for my remaining chemo treatments but also some things to help Jacqui navigate through this maze as well. We continued our stroll and made sure to check out all the booths in a quest to find big batch of sage for Jacqui.

Destination 2:  Sam’s Club.

Yeah, this is what we do on a “date afternoon”.

Really, it is what we do and it could be Sam’s Club, The Psychic Festival or just a quiet spot to sit and sip coffee, as long as we share it. I pushed the cart and J loaded it up. I did find it very sweet that towards the end of the trip with the cart piled up, she would no longer let me push since it was against the “heavy lifting rules” after last weeks surgery.

Destination 3: Home to unload and relax.

I still get tired more easily so I found a comfy spot and turned on the TV. Since the Bengals were leading by 17 points in the first half, and the game was blacked out anyway, I settled in for some NASCAR. Yep, you heard that right and I will admit it to all, I like NASCAR.  Round and round they went and just as I began counting laps in an effort to doze off a bit I look up over my shoulder to find a big ol’ bunch of friends in my living room. We later named it “Flash Mob Poker” and it was terrific fun and a great way to get my mind off the Chemo restart.

I, like NASCAR, found myself in a “left turn only” mode. Follow the prescribed path, listen to the docs and get my treatments done. The surprise visit was the right turn in the middle of all of this left turn only routine I needed. I may have lost 10 bucks but I got much more. Those of you who know me well know that I DON’T like surprises, not even on my birthday, BUT this was a big exception.  I enjoyed every minute and thank the poker mob for finding time on a busy weekend to crash my house.

I keep going back to the “little things” over and over again in my mind and in this blog. I will look for them everyday, and when they are given to me I will hold them dear, like the gifts they that are. They give me the energy to get back in the game and fight hard.

Thanks everyone!



November 23, 2010 - Posted by | Dave


  1. Alisha is still working on her website. We’ll link to it when she’s ready. If anyone is interested in contacting her (because she is a dynamic person and a wonderful help) let me know — we have her contact info. ~Jacqui

    Comment by daveandjacqui | November 23, 2010 | Reply

  2. Thanks Dave for a wonderful read. You are handling this in an upbeat mode and that is very good for you and those close to you. You mention the little true. Thats also gratitude, and so often its those little things that are so meaningful and really what is important. Always my best. Peace. Ron

    Comment by Ron Staggs | November 23, 2010 | Reply

  3. Thanks for the update, Stay awesome!

    Comment by Mark Ryan | November 23, 2010 | Reply

  4. This is such a great post. You are so inspiring, and I look forward to reading more of your updates.

    Comment by Allison Lewis | November 24, 2010 | Reply

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