Nashville or Bust

The trip that started a longer journey

Direct from Dave…

Screen shot 2015-09-04 at 10.18.24 AM

From the pain come the dream

From the dream come the vision

From the vision come the people

From the people come the power

From this power come the change

~Peter Gabriel


Day -6

I drifted off to sleep last night listening to a favorite record by one of my favorite artists. “Fourteen Black Paintings” was the last song I remember hearing and it was still gently swirling in my head this morning.

It is impossible for me to write or express the power, the energy, the love I feel when I return over and over to all of the comments, well wishes, words of encouragement and wonderfully funny sarcastic jabs you all have offered. And while Jacqui has and will continue to share this journey I felt compelled today to try to put words to page in an attempt to say thank you.

If you had asked me five months ago, this is the last place I saw myself. My thoughts and energy were focused on anything but cancer. After all, summer break with Jacqui and the kids was about to begin. I was enjoying the hell out my masters degree work, Pike 27 was set to cut a new record, and my summer students were really fired up and ready to have fun. We all know the sensation of putting the breaks on a project or plan. It happens all the time. But to slam the breaks on everything you have going on is jarring, harsh and brutal. And while confusion fear and concern have a way to mask the bruises of this sudden stop, an emptiness remains. Your energy fills that void. The moment you take to give me a push. It provides the motivation and the little distraction needed to direct focus on what is needed instead of what had to be tabled.

The last few weeks have really been a window into just how challenging and unpredictable this path is. After the two rounds of chemo with very little side effect we got the fantastic news that things were working better than expected. But like a sine wave, there is a trough for every peak in a cycle or series of events. A stark reminder that this is no sprint, but a much longer race with dark days, obstacles, traps and scary stuff out there.

But “from the people comes the power and from this power comes the change.” I was completely overwhelmed by the love and support from everyone last Friday at the Pike27 show and the Saturday that followed. I thought back to this early in the week and often. The feeling of so many kind hearts carefully lifting me up and holding me. I’m a lucky man. And then it happened again. A beautiful message from my sister brought that cradle back, lifting me and my family up one more time. I am truly a lucky man.

This power reminds me to live in the now. The bad days are out there, floating….shifting….waiting. They remind me to enjoy the goods days and not put things off. There are dark days ahead for sure, but this is the hand I was dealt. And by proxy, this is the hand my family was dealt and this is the hand my friends were dealt. While there is still a small place in my daydreams for how this summer could have been, you all have given me a beautiful, colorful window to look through allowing my thoughts and daydreams to drift through this change of seasons and onto next summer and what can and will be.

Look for the little things.

Peace and love,


September 4, 2015 - Posted by | Dave


  1. So beautiful. Mom

    Comment by Jane Killen | September 4, 2015 | Reply

  2. No words. Just awe.

    Comment by Joe Fortunato | September 5, 2015 | Reply

  3. Thanks for sharing your heart and your journey. My continued prayers sent your way. You are an amazing woman!

    Comment by Kelly | September 5, 2015 | Reply

  4. […] a different note, here’s the latest post from Dave Killen on his journey back to good health. Dave, Jacqui, and all of us in the band […]

    Pingback by September 19 @ Fifty Fest and more… | Pike 27 | September 5, 2015 | Reply

  5. […] been awhile. Actually it’s been 106 days since I posted here. It was day -6 and I was just settling into my hospital room and the idea of this treatment and transplant when I […]

    Pingback by Day +100: A Post from Dave « Nashville or Bust | December 18, 2015 | Reply

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