Nashville or Bust

The trip that started a longer journey

Photo Op

We finally got the picture. It only took three attempts at the milestone moment, but we got it.

When Brandon was learning to ride a bike, it seemed like he had his training wheels on forever. One day he unexpectedly asked Dave if he could remove the training wheels. Excited to capture the moment, Dave hollered for me to get the camera. Little did we know that Brandon had already learned to ride a two-wheeler at his friend’s house. As Dave began to tell Brandon how we’d all go outside and he’d hold the back of the bike while I got in position for the picture, Brandon looked perplexed. He didn’t need a mess of parental production. He simply needed Dave to take the training wheels off so he could join the other boys on the street in new-found freedom. Wow. Dave grabbed the wrench, loosened the bolts and watched Brandon ride off into the sunset before I could join them with the camera. We felt like we had failed as parents. I mean, we didn’t get the moment on film.

Flash forward five years. Now Jameson was learning to ride a bike and we were certain we’d get the moment documented. It was August and vacation time. All the way down to Hilton Head we assured James that it would be easy to learn to ride a two-wheeler on the packed sand. On our first island morning, we brought our bike rentals down to the beach. It was low tide, wide open and perfect. Little did we know that James had been studying his friends as they mastered two-wheeled freedom and had a good idea of what to do. So, while Dave and I were setting up the beach umbrella, making sure baby T didn’t get too close to the shore and talking about who would take James riding, Jameson quietly picked up the two-wheeler and started riding circles around us. It took a minute for it all to sink in as his movements were natural and his grin so big. Damn, if we didn’t miss the moment again.

Push the calendar another five plus years and we realized that this summer we didn’t get a chance to teach Tessa to ride her bike sans wheels three and four. As a matter of fact, we really didn’t get the bike out for her that much. Pain and then pre-occupation with, well, you know, caused us to not do many things that parents typically do. But today, with temperatures close to 60F we found ourselves with free time on our hands along with a whim and a wrench. So, we popped Tessa into the van with her bike and headed to the park where there was a lot of flat space. It felt so great to watch Dave talk her through and follow behind with one or two fingers on the seat to steady her ride. And yeah, I almost forgot to capture the moment because I was enjoying the moment. But at the last second, I grabbed my phone and got the shot. Within minutes she was on her way … free and happy and that made us smile.  Critical moments are going to happen, camera or not.

 

 

 

 

 

And speaking of pictures, Dave is in the middle of his third round of scans to measure tumor changes. He had a CT the other day and will have his PET tomorrow. We’ll meet with the doctors on Wednesday to find out what effect chemo rounds #4, 5 &6 have had on Roger and if it’s time to radiate. Until then, we’re not going to worry about things so much. We’ve got other trails to blaze. ~Jacqui

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February 28, 2011 Posted by | Dave, Everyday | 1 Comment

Help Request

Via my friend Jennifer, wife of a cancer survivor and awesome person in our community, I caught wind of this story of a local family. Please read it and you’ll understand why I’m feeling so passionate about what I am set to ask of you.

Over the past few months, so many of you have reached out to us, asking how you could help with meals, errands, etc. or the open “if there’s anything you guys need, call” invitation. It was beautiful and overwhelming to know we had all of this love and willingness to help. You also know that we graciously acknowledged your offers but honestly — because of our insurance and our immediate family being right here — we had very little material need to accept anything beyond prayers and warm thoughts. It wasn’t a pride thing. We just didn’t need to take and in our minds, we knew that once we got around the bend, we’d want to find a way to collectively “help.” Seems like that way found me via Jennifer.

Reading this, I’m reminded again of how incredibly blessed we are and continue to be. And, I also have one of those overwhelming, instantaneous urges to do something to help this family and pay things forward. Yeah, I heard a voice inside my head the moment I read the article, and well, here I am.

So I’m asking (which isn’t easy) will you join me in helping Jacob, Abigail and their family as they get set to go through something that luckily, we were able to avoid? They are in the vortex and I can only imagine their fear. They are willing to do whatever it takes to save Jacob but the reality is, that type of hope and desire comes at a big price and brings with it unimaginable duress. It doesn’t bode well in the healing process.

I’m not asking for a lot — just consider what you would have spent on ingredients to make a meal or gas to run errands and let’s throw it into a hat. I bet that if we all give a little, we can do a lot. And I’m also asking that regardless of what you might be able to do financially, please keep this family in your prayers.

Feel free to message me back directly. And thanks for letting me follow the voice and pen this one. ~Jacqui jacqui.killen@gmail.com

February 21, 2011 Posted by | Dave | 1 Comment

Twisted Valentine

Keeping to our every third Monday schedule, today is chemo day. Yeah, I know. It’s really Valentine’s Day but once again, cancer has little consideration for those it invades. If Roger the Tumor was looking for love, then he is going to get a big dose of it in a few hours. The Doxorubicin (also known as Hydoxydaunorubicin the ‘H’ in our CHOP) is a delightful red color. Happy poison. With each drip today I think Roger will realize that what he calls love couldn’t be further from the truth.

As we’ve been reporting, we are really hoping that this will be Dave’s last dance in the Chemo Lounge. In around three weeks, he’ll go through some scans again so we can measure changes in Roger post treatments #4, 5 & 6 (today’s). If he’s shrunk enough, then it is bye-bye CHOP and off to new adventures with the radiology department. That’s as far as I can dream right now. We here in cancer land have our own version of one day at a time.

Ah, I’m sure you can tell that I’m in one peach of a mood. Fact is, I’m tired. Dave’s tired. This is really gotten old. But we’re not giving in. Despite being the most twisted Valentine’s ever, there still are things to celebrate. We wanted to make sure the staff at OHC knew how much we appreciate them doing what they can to make this whole thing go away. Because Hallmark didn’t have an appropriate card for us to give to our wicked angel nurses, cookies seemed to fit the bill. ~ Jacqui

Oatmeal Blueberry Goodness

February 14, 2011 Posted by | Dave | 1 Comment

Happy Trails

My co-worker gave me this sticker today.

I put it on my desk to remind me that some day — some day real soon — we are going to meet back up on the happier trail. Needless to say, the trail that we’re on right now isn’t the scenic route. It also isn’t our forever.

Last week it was hiccups. This week it is superficial blood clots in the right arm from the last round of chemo. (Note the word superficial … no need to panic.) Next week who knows? We’ve got hopefully one more round of the wicked stuff in front of us. Then, we can re-adjust for a different stretch of road that will most certainly take us to that happier, sunnier trail. Ah, Spring.

But when we do meet up again realize that we’ll be a little different from this experience. It’s inevitable. We’ve got some road dust on our boots and pebbles in our satchel. While we’ll gladly trade old path for new, a little bit of the previous stretch will always cling to us. How we let that history define us and guide us will be ours to determine. As the song goes, it’s the way you ride the trail that counts.

Keep smiling until then.

February 4, 2011 Posted by | Dave | 2 Comments