Nashville or Bust

The trip that started a longer journey

D minus 3: You’ve Been Asking

HELP on speech bubble price labels

I promised people that when I figured out the hows, whens and whats regarding help for our family during the days of treatment, etc., I’d let people know.

I’ve done a horrible job with this.

When I sense the question coming, I try to dodge it as soon as possible. I’m uncomfortable with it and feel that my inability to respond, or perhaps my overt change of subject (“Look! Squirrel!”) has hurt some folks. It isn’t a pride thing. I am humbled by the offers and honestly am rendered speechless.

I did a lot of scrubbing yesterday and a lot of thinking. A LOT OF THINKING. I was trying to figure out why accepting help is so damned hard. Why can’t I answer the simple question of “what do you need?” with any sort of direct answer?

Then it dawned on me… the only thing I need (and want) is the return of Dave home to us. That process is in motion. Dave is where he needs to be, doing what he needs to do. He has incredible professional care and more personal support than can be articulated. It is amazing what that sort of love medicine can do. The process is slow but it is working. There is peace in that.

When I broke it down further (still scrubbing, by the way) what I came to was this: it is hard for me to accept help for that which we don’t ‘need’ when I know so many, many, many others can use a similar helping hand — and have very little or no support system to get them through the crunch.

Despite the one passive aggressive letter from the insurance company that said, “we may or may not pay for the transplant” we have incredible benefits. By the way, the woman who wrote the letter personally called Dave a week later to let him know they were covering everything. It was all very strange but it is covered and that is all we need to know.

Add to this, Dave was able to re-work his schedule at work so that the time he is away from the college is his term off. Translation: we didn’t have an abrupt loss of a complete salary. Again HUGE in the world of diagnosis and cure. It illustrates to me that even with a few months of savings in the bank, a situation like this can devastate an individual and a family in a matter of weeks. Some never recover.

Maybe this is why it is hard. I look at the logistics and we are not in need of anything except for love, support and understanding. And you all have come through with these gifts in droves. Yes, with Dave not here, our schedules are a bit different but I’ve re-arranged things with my employer to be home a bit earlier. This allows me to make dinner with and for the kids. It’s a bit of healing and growing for us, really. We use Skype to bridge the miles between here and Jewish Hospital so we maintain that face-to-face contact. I run up and visit at lunchtime. His parents and sister see him at other hours.

Sure, all of this will start to feel like a drag in a week but it is so very temporary. We can do temporary.

But I know all of you well enough to know that you are sitting there saying, “But Jacqui… we want to… NEED to… do something.” It is a natural response. So I have an answer.

Let’s channel some of the blessings and love that we all have and want to share in ways that will make a bigger impact.

1.) If you can, donate blood. In speaking with some of the folks in the unit, I learned how much blood and platelets they go through in caring for the patients in the blood cancer center. Call Hoxworth and make an appointment. You cannot give directly to Dave but you can give in his honor. This is a big need. It is likely that he will need some sort of transfusion through all of this. It is heartening to know that someone unselfishly gave this precious gift up so he can keep going.

2.) If you can’t do the above, how about diverting the money you would have spent on a meal for us to someone who could use nourishment and other aid? Play It Forward Cincinnati is a local organization established to help local musicians in a time of crisis. Many of those who heal our hearts and souls with their wonderful gifts do not have adequate insurance. This is our chance to help them out.

I did a quick look at the tab accrued to date and almost retched at the total — and all of this didn’t include last week and the current hospital stay. It is worth every penny but it saddens me to know that there are others — possibly some of the folks on the floor with Dave right now — who are worrying about this avalanche of debt when really, they should be focusing on healing — body, mind and spirit.

Together, we can be angels and help others who really need it be comforted and feel loved. It could be just the thing that keeps them here on the journey with us. What do you say? ~Jacqui




September 6, 2015 - Posted by | Dave, Everyday


  1. Well said my friend. I think people offer to to do things are those that are born nurturers or those that are fixers. They just want to do something. I think most human beings are much better givers than receivers. Always feels great to provide something for someone but not so great or comfortable receiving from others. Just my thoughts any way. I am alwasy glad to do something for someone else but always feel weird when it’s paid forward to me. We are strange creatures, aren’t we?

    You make some great suggestions and will do so.

    Continued prayers for strength and navigation through this current life adventure.

    Comment by Kelly Cooper | September 6, 2015 | Reply

  2. So well said J. Just know if there is a need you only need to reach out! Dave, you are in my thoughts-just follow that yellow brick road!! All is going to be well.

    Comment by Ron Staggs | September 6, 2015 | Reply

  3. What do I say? I say you are amazing! Those are two great ways to help. I remember, during Jacob’s transplant, the need to be somewhat normal and keep moving forward. I also remember being confused when I would get a bill from Cincinnati Children’s: “is that 6 digits his balance or account number?!” Praying and hoping for more wonderful things from your beautiful family.

    Comment by Kim | September 7, 2015 | Reply

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