Nashville or Bust

The trip that started a longer journey

Last Night’s Rx: Music & Love

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Take a minute and let this picture sink in.

This was our Friday night. And it was pretty spectacular.

You’ve heard me mention Dave’s band, Pike 27, from time to time. They are incredible musicians. They are incredible people. They are part of our family.

And last night — the night of the very much anticipated show on Fountain Square as part of Cincinnati’s MidPoin Indie Summer series — they made sure that Dave didn’t miss out.

It was a last minute idea and probably the most hillbilly way to ‘live cam’ — but we did it! Thanks to iPhones, FaceTime, iCloud and Facebook, we patched in from the dining room table.

Dave had no clue that we were doing this. In fact, he was a bit annoyed when he heard me fussing at my computer and told him to, “get over here — you have to see this!” I think he thought I was watching cat videos or something.

I really wished I had a video camera rolling on him when he saw Amy on my computer screen, waving and smiling, and figured out that she was on Fountain Square. Live. Like there at the show.

The plan was really to watch one or two songs. We didn’t want to burden Amy (who was fighting bronchitis) to wear out her arm holding her phone up all night. But others jumped in and kept the feed going. Then there were the message pictures and the selfies and wow… so much love.

We are humbled by and grateful to all the folks that are Pike 27 and for the local music scene who continue to send love and support. It was incredible to see Dave so happy — so alive! And yes, he was singing his ‘girl part’ high harmonies and keeping time with his feet. Would you expect any less? ~Jacqui

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August 29, 2015 Posted by | Dave | 4 Comments

4.3 = Done

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The collection process was grueling. Happy to say it is officially over. Another finish line crossed.

Dave just got the call with today’s total and final tally. He hit 4.3. It isn’t worth it to go through the entire process again tomorrow for another .7 or so. The Hoxworth folks and his med team are pleased with what they have. All stem cells are on ice.

No more shots this week! No more hook ups! Alarms have been reset for 5 a.m.  That, in itself, is a luxury. I’m actually in bed already posting from my phone. Sleep — oh beautiful sleep! We have missed you. ~Jacqui

August 27, 2015 Posted by | Dave | Leave a comment

Spinning

Rounding out hour four… 

August 26, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Boy Needs Boost

oompa_loompaYesterday I mentioned that Dave started the stem cell generation process this past Saturday by receiving daily Neupogen injections. Today he had a blood test to see how effective the Neupogen has been in his system. While he is generating stem cells, he needs some help. Translation: his shots need booster shots. Hello, Mozibil.

In the grand scheme of things and of life, it isn’t a big thing, really. It’s just another series of shots, right? Sure. But when you’re already doing things, having to do one more thing when you don’t feel like doing anything at all is, well, yucky.

Regardless of how we were each feeling with this news for more, back up the road to Kenwood we went for the evening shot of Mozibil. As long as Dave is getting Neupogen in the morning, he’ll now need to receive Mozibil in the evening. The injections continue until all the stem cells are in the freezer. Again — big picture — not so bad. But it would have been nice to avoid this additional part.

Speaking of… tomorrow will be the first go at stem cell harvest. There will be pre-sunrise Neupogen, followed by a hook-up to a machine that was described to us as ‘draconian but effective.’ (nice) Similar to dialysis, this draconian device will cycle all of Dave’s blood and filter the stem cells into little collection bags. Once collected, the bags will be gathered and driven to Hoxworth where the stem cells will be counted. (1…2…3…17…32…) Dave will get a call in the afternoon letting him know the daily take.  A boost of Mozibil in the evening then a bit of sleep and most likely, a repeat of Wednesday on Thursday.

They say it can take two to three collection days to get the target number of stem cells required for the post chemo transplant. The goal for Dave is 5,000,000.

That’s a lot of zeroes representing a lot of things that eyes simply can’t see. Trying to comprehend is hard. All of this… it is part miracle, part riddle, and a lot of faith. I dare say my dreams tonight will be best understood by the music makers themselves.

~ Jacqui

August 25, 2015 Posted by | Dave | 2 Comments

Phase Two, Week One Underway


Early call time this morn. We started at 5:30 in Kenwood. No Craft Services.

Dave is getting his central line put in. This is the magical conduit through which stem cells will be extracted, the wicked BEAM chemo will be administered and said stem cells reintroduced into his system.

After this fun, he’ll go upstairs to receive his daily Neupogen shot. These started on Saturday. Neupogen is the super elixir that revs up the stem cells in the bone marrow, causing them to reproduce and venture out into the bloodstream. I guess you could say Dave’s system is being turned into quite the club scene.

Drink up you crazy stem cell kids and party like rock stars. The paddy wagon will pick you up on Wednesday… ~Jacqui

August 24, 2015 Posted by | Dave | 4 Comments

Stand 

Driving into work today, I believe I was sent a little musical gift from the Universe.

Timed perfectly to round out my commute and end as I pulled into a space, R.E.M.’s “Stand” filtered through the speakers via the radio. A commercial station, even. Fancy that.

Stand in the place where you live. Think about direction, wonder why you haven’t before. I’ve heard this song a zillion times and for the first time, I attempted to decode it. What was Stipe trying to say? Who was on his mind as he penned this 3:10 nugget? Was he directing this at someone or something?

Stand in the place where you work. Think about the place you live, wonder why you haven’t before. What a strange song, but infectious. I did something I haven’t done in a long time. I started to sing along.

Modulate once. What the hell. Modulate again because it is fun.

Stand in the place where you are. 

STAND IN THE PLACE WHERE YOU ARE.

Your feet are going to be on the ground. Your head is there to move you around. 

I smiled. Dear lord. I got it. He wrote this one for me. And as I pulled the key out of the ignition, I laughed.

So stand. ~Jacqui

August 19, 2015 Posted by | Everyday | Leave a comment

We’ll Burn You Down Like Warren Zevon

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Photo courtesy of Michael Kearns, fft media

Picking up from the last post, Dave endured a smattering of prerequisites for hospital admission at Jewish Hospital/Mercy Health and rounded out the week with a full PET scan. This scan, as any cancer patient or survivor will tell you, is always met with anxiety. It’s the magic window that lets you know what is working and what is lurking.

Contrary to past experience, the PET results came back in record time and to quote the report: “There has been dramatic interval improvement with complete resolution of the hyper metabolic activity in the multiple lymph nodes in the neck, chest and abdomen. There are no significant residual areas of activity.” 

That’s the fancy way of saying Cycles 1 & 2 of RICE chemo did more than everyone was hoping they would do. The docs needed to see a 50% reduction of the tumor sites, proving that “Roger” is chemo sensitive. Not only did they see sensitivity but they also saw signs of evaporation. *Poof*

It is a relief knowing that Dave is ahead of the game going into the next phase. Green lit, he is set to start the stem cell generation/harvesting process next Saturday. This will kick off his month-long gig at Jewish/Mercy and fingers crossed, should be the slugfest that knocks Roger out for good.

“Singing Hallelujah at 3 a.m. / Fueled by the third wind of the night / We’ll burn you down like Warren Zevon / We’ll burn ’til everything’s alright…”

Touché.

~Jacqui

And oh — if you are liking that little bit of Pike 27 goodness I snuck in here, make sure you are at Fountain Square on Friday, August 28 for the Midpoint Indie Summer Series. Chris Mueller of Alone at 3 a.m. is graciously sitting in for Dave, allowing DaveP, Sean and Mike to play this very much-anticipated show. It will be a fun night and most certainly packed with all sorts of awesome folk. Please go and support local music! Hang with the happy people! And, if you are there, Skype us in.  @stormydk1

August 13, 2015 Posted by | Dave | 5 Comments

Testing Week

I’ve been lazy. Several times last week I attempted to post but being lazy was a sweet indulgence. The kids went on vacation with Dave’s folks so we spent the week relaxing and indulging in some *choice* options on Netflix. I think one night we were asleep by 7:30pm. It was good medicine.

Things continue to progress. Cycle 2 of RICE went well. Dave had his typical side effects but nothing strange or difficult to handle. He’s a champ.

This week is all testing… and waiting.

Speaking of waiting… Waiting rooms in hospitals (and in particular this hospital) are not places I like to be. Between other people’s cell phone convos and the endless daytime TV that is always too loud, this truly is a test of patience. And patients.

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Now that Dave is back with the pros and doing his thing, I may wander and try to find some coffee and peace. Otherwise I will intercept the phone next to me and help explain to poor Gladys that George really doesn’t want to talk with her right now. ~Jacqui

August 10, 2015 Posted by | Dave | Leave a comment