Nashville or Bust

The trip that started a longer journey

Time to Float

Sometimes you need to check out for a bit in order to check back in.

Have you ever looked outside a window or run an errand at mid-day and seen people sitting on a bench? Have you ever wondered why they were there and more importantly, why they weren’t someplace else? Like say, their job?

Yesterday, Dave and I were those people… sitting on a bench by the river… in the middle of the day. By 1:00 each of us had texted the other saying similar: we couldn’t focus on any work in front of us. The minutes leading to the oncology consult were long. Scary long. Our minds were each going into dangerous places. So we made a call. We met in a parking lot and went someplace we’d never been together before down by the river. We sat and watched the barges. We wasted some precious paid time off but that was okay. It is what we both needed to do. When we did speak, it was in terms of odds and probability. We both knew that, statistically speaking, this is the time when the majority of people with Dave’s form of cancer (the classification he was given) have a relapse. Getting through this gate was important. Our senses were heightened because of Dave’s continual level of pain in the area where the tumor had originally been. The pain was the trigger that got him to the doctor almost two years ago.

Finally, it was time to go.

Walking into the oncologists office six months after the last visit was not as unnerving as some may suspect. It was good to see the staff — they greeted us with big smiles and sweet chit-chat. We took that as a good sign. It softened the edge.

Of course, our doc is the master of the poker face. Any time he walks into the exam room it is with the same level of measured calm. We get it. But still when he quietly says, “So, how are you?” and is holding an envelope, Dave can’t reply any other way than, “Well, perhaps you can tell me how I am?”

In doc’s words, the scans looked good. The cancer remains in control and there are no new instances of anything sinister showing up on the radar. The scar tissue seems to have shrunk even more within the past six months. He’s feeling good regarding how things are progressing. Remission status stays intact. And as with every discussion, more assurances come the closer Dave gets to late September 2013, the year three mark.

Of course, the puzzling thing is still the pain. Our oncologist said that generally at this point and with this type of cancer, the pain caused by the tumor’s residence is gone. So, more discussion about new ways to deal with it. The big assurance for Dave was that the pain didn’t mean it was back. The body is just taking it’s time to heal.

So what was learned and gained through all of this? Definitely some new perspective and hope that as the every six month scans and consults continue, the anxiety lessens. I don’t want to lose precious minutes, hours and days worrying about the what ifs. It is time to walk away from that and time to float. To enjoy. To not live life (or be afraid to live life) because of a date on the calendar that “could change things.”

Beating the odds at this level is a wonderful boost. Dave felt great with the news (as anyone in his shoes would) but even better about his overall prognosis. While we agreed that as silly as it was, sitting on a bench by the river was a good thing to do yesterday, but we will not repeat that sort of behavior come December. We’re going to work to release the monsters of our imaginations and take life as it is. Besides, it would be too cold. ~ Jacqui

June 8, 2012 - Posted by | Dave, Everyday


  1. Whew! You’ve just made my otherwise crappy, riddled with early morning back to back meetings, Friday the BEST day of the week again!

    God Bless you guys!

    Comment by Joe Fortunato | June 8, 2012 | Reply

  2. Thank you so much Jacqui, for allowing us into your heart and mind. Thanks you for being such an amazing wife and best friend to an amazing man. And thanks for being a fantastic writer. And I will make sure I say my “thank you” prayers for this good news tonight.

    Comment by Denise Wendt Carey | June 8, 2012 | Reply

  3. Great News! Only people who go thru this “check back” period can fully understand what Dave… and you are experiencing. Thank you for this very well expressed. Forward March!!

    Comment by Ron Staggs | June 8, 2012 | Reply

  4. Fantastic news!! Great to hear good news and to hear how you guys handled it. Reminds me again about what’s important and what is just plain not.

    Thanks for the update JK.

    Comment by Jeff Jones | June 8, 2012 | Reply

  5. […] was a tough month. It started with Dave getting a great report of continued remission but it blended into the last phase of pain management and full-blown withdrawal. While he still had […]

    Pingback by Good-bye. Hello. « Nashville or Bust | August 18, 2012 | Reply

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