Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Video #5: I am not alone: Social Support and Cancer


In this video #5 David shares the value of social support and some of the many ways his friends and family have been supportive


  1. Hi,
    I have a question about your blog. Please email me!

  2. A Texas-sized thumbs up to you Dave!!

    Dave Pasley

  3. I believe that God gives us opportunities to share our faith, hope and stuggles as we walk a difficult path...but we can choose to share or not. Thank you for allowing yourself to be "used" to give strength, hope, insight and encouragement to others that are walking a similar path. People tend to listen to those that "talk the walk." Praying for you and yours..... and I LOVE your dog. "Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened." Don't know who to give credit for that statement but I believe it is true.

  4. We really should meet. We're just across the state in St. Louis, and I think we could help each other greatly.

    From a fellow survivor and Mizzou fan,
    Dan Duffy

  5. I just came across your blog through Earthlink news. Sometimes words escape us and we hardly know what to say when speaking to someone with an illness but I could not leave without attempting to offer you some small bit of encouragement.I only wish that people could have half as much joy in their health that you seem to have maintained through this difficult journey. I wish you God's blessings of health and pray for miracles on your behalf. You have inspired me to be more appreciative of the gift of life. I send you my best.

    Sherry Thrasher

  6. Many thanks to you and your family for doing this. I hope you continue for many more years! Lots of luck and bless you for your courage and commitment to help improve the lives of others.

    Best to you,

  7. I appreciate what you are doing to inform others what a cancer journey is like. I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in Feb. 2011. Chemo started in March and ended in Sept. 2011. So far PET scans are clear. I, too, received wonderful support from my husband, family and friends. That aspect is the most important thing next to good medical care. I'll be praying that your treatments continue to give you clear PET scans, too! There is JOY in this journey! Pam Smith

  8. Hi David, my name is Katy Conrad and I work with CBS National News and Charlie Rose. We read your story today in the AP and I just watched your videos. I would love the chance to talk with you today about joining us on our show to talk about what you're doing. Please call me or email when you can -- 212.975.5084 / 646.479.1086 / ConradK@cbsnews.com.

    Thank you,
    Katy Conrad

  9. David, thank you for sharing your difficult journey and for having the gumption to see it thru. Quite educational. I have a question if you don't mind. Were there any telltale signs that you missed that might've helped you catch this disease before it got to Stage IV or was it a stealth enemy that simply surprised you? My email is eslawbiz@earthlink.net Thanks.


  10. You are an inspiration and I feel certain that your videos will help many people. I wish for you that the journey is full of laughter and love and all the best to you, and your family.

  11. Hi David,

    What an amazing story and truly selfless act of sharing. I appreciate the opportunity to share your blog site with my students at OTC (Lifetime Wellness and Medical Terminology) and Drury University (Ethical Issues in Health Care). The lessons that we are all learning from you will never be found in a text book. God Bless you and your family and Thank You for including us in your journey.

  12. David,

    You are so very lucky to have the friends and support you have been given. I have had colon cancer twice. First in the colon and two years later in my liver. I'm stage 4 and they tell me after chemo that my numbers are good. Like you I wonder when it will all start again. I had to laugh at your video about when you get chemo they offer you lunch. One time I was offered crackers, that is it. I could always smell food in the air but never got any. I also got messed up in the head and was afraid to drive. Someone told me to call the American Cancer Society. I did and they told me to call my County and I would have to pay for the ride. I don't get it where all this money goes that they ask for. And I told that to the girl on the phone and they called back and said they had someone who would take me to my next appointment. The poor woman they sent was in need of much help. I never called again. I believe that with you putting on these videos that it will help to improve the care people get when going through something like this. Like I said your a very lucky man...

    God Bless,

  13. David,

    I first struggled watching your latest video, just recently discovering your blog. I was first blinded by something I was seeing. No, it wasn't a reflection from your newly attained noggin, your exuberance and positive spirit or the puppy. Nor was it the over abundant yellow in the scenery. Swallowing my Jayhawk pride, I was proudly blinded only by your allowed picture of our mascot associated with your project. Even though your purpose is quite denegrating...

    Sir, first: I am so glad to know of your endeavor. I want you to know my deepest admiration for the efforts you are performing for others to see...I too was diagnosed with a cancer: stage 4, colon, six years ago, tomorrow. Chemo, radiation, and surgery, with their respective recoveries, wreaked havoc. BUT NO LONGER! The processes, pains, the patience, the persistence and "puking" all pay off. You attain what you sew. Positive attitude was my driving force. I knew I was going to overcome what hit me and my family like a ton of bricks. We have endured and come out on top (for now, and a planned long period of time). Quality of life is what I focused on. My blessings are for you and yours. And, as I would be remiss in not saying.....Rock Chalk, Jayhawk! (good luck to YOU....and Mizzou) Keep up the good work.

    Dan in Kansas

  14. What a joy you are! Am assisting a friend who is on your same journey - I needed this help to share your sunshine. Thanks fellow traveller. MJ

  15. I just read the article and found your blog. I want to say that I also admire you and your positive role. I do not have cancer, that I know of...but I was a nurse up until 8 yrs ago when I had to have a trach. I preferred to work on the dementia unit at a Veterans Home here in Mo. I loved it. I got good evaluations on how I was able to talk the residents into calming instead of just giving them an injection. I treated them the way I would have wanted to be treated. Since getting my trach and losing my job because I was considered a liability with my trach, I had time accepting my trach. I was told it would be for a yr or 2 at most. Since then, I have been told it is for life. Good bye nursing career...I was devastated. I hated the world...I just wish now I would have had the grace with accepting my condition as well as you have. I have learned what it is like being on this side of the health care profession, and to be honest with you, I don't like it. I never treated anyone the way I have been treated. I just hope and pray that you continue to be respected, cared for in the best of ways and continue to keep us updated on your progress. One other thing I would like to share...it has always bothered me when a doctor tells someone they have 4 yrs or 8 months...or whatever...we are each here for only a given amt of time...none of us know when it will be our time...as others have said, thanks so much for enlightening us. You are an excellent teacher! Thoughts and prayers to you.

    1. oh, and I live in Stewartsville. Just got home from shopping in St. Joseph. I also lived near St. Louis for a long time. I am not a basketball fan...I do like football, but I absolutely love hockey and the St. Louis Blues have always held a special place in my heart...lol

      Just had to share that also...hugs to you and yours...

  16. I am not gay, but this is the first time that I say that I love a man. David, we need men like you to make earth a better place to live.
    Debbie, you have a great man to your side.

  17. David, You are a brave, wonderful man. I don't know if you believe in God, but I do. From now on, you will be in my prayers.

  18. When my father travelled through his cancer journey, I constantly wondered if I was doing everything that I could for him. Could I manage his side effects better? Should we take the aggressive route or concentrate on quality of life? Should I ask him probing questions? Should I encourage him to go out for a walk when the slightest illness or even a fall could do serious damage? Your video posts have given me comfort in knowing that cancer patients and their loved ones experience the same doubts, fears, and monumental decisions that my family and I did. You are doing a great thing for laypeople who have been thrust into the world of cancer. Perhaps most importantly, you are helping to teach current and future medical professionals how to treat the person with cancer, not just the cancer. Thank you.

  19. David, I hope you find some comfort knowing that you are not alone in this journey. I went through three years of treatment for nasopharyngeal carcinoma, some of which I've documented here: http://mark-npc.blogspot.com/.


  20. hi David, this is karen (i'm using my husband's email ID). im from houston TX, i was reading news from my original country, Peru, and i read the title: A teacher of medicine is recording his life with cancer
    yes, this is from a Peruvian online news, i think you are reaching people throughout the world. i saw the videos and really, i just think God is with you, he will protect you and will cover you with his holy blood. you are a strong man, very brave. my prayers will go with you. i will pray for you,and your family.

    1. hello I'm from Peru I saw on the news about his illness, David has my prayers for your spiritual and physical health and especially for his family.
      Serve this moment of union and strength to you all.

  21. Hi David and Debra,

    Just wanted to let you know that we've featured your blog on Palliative-SW, the blog of the Social Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network.

    See here: http://palliative-sw.org/2012/davids-cancer-journey-gets-national-attention/

    Keep up the good work, and we look forward to seeing you on TV on Monday! Very exciting!


  22. Dr.David:

    Yo no hablo ingles, pero sí puedo rezar por usted. Y pedirle a toda la comunidad internacional que también lo hagan.
    Gracias por sus servicios en pos del bien común.
    Ruego a Dios que el tratamiento lo mantenga entre nosotros muy largo tiempo, porque es una persona que comprendió la importancia de legar a toda la humanidad, su propia experiencia.
    Aún en este duro trance, usted elije enseñar.
    ¡Muchas gracias!

    Alba M. Fernández - Gral. Pacheco., Bs. As., Argentina.

  23. Estimado profesor, estimó que Ud., debe conocer las propiedades del Bicarbonato de sodio, del jugo de limón, esparragos que son muy curativos contra el cáncer. Quiera Dios que le haga muy buenos efectos y le deseeo una pronta recuperación. mi correo es - novoa.manu@gmail.com

  24. Dear David: Thanks for sharing this beatiful history of a wonderful man as you, dont stop fighting!!, God is with you. I am argentina sorry for the mistakes I devote to you: For in him we live and move and have our being. act 17: 28. God continue blessing you and hug you.

  25. Wow, totally blown away. Just watched the CBS spot and heard you articulate the thoughts that have been consuming me these days from concern for my husband and children now and towards closure, why I have an inner peace and acceptance that my time may not be as long as I would have liked. This truly is a learning experience and each day differs from the next. Thank you for sharing, congrats on your recent round of scans, carpe diem and enjoy !!

  26. Me encantaría entender el idioma, mi madre tiene cáncer, ésto es un ejemplo de valor para enfrentar la vida y de cómo se puede convertir una situación difícil en una de enriquecimiento para uno mismo y para los demás.
    Saludos desde Argentina!!

  27. Thought you might like the poem I wrote last Oct when having friends go through similar circumstances:
    Angel's Promise
    "You'll never walk alone," an angel whispered to me.
    "Don't waste your time with worry, whatever's meant to be will be.
    "Loving thoughts and prayers surround you, to carry you through each day,
    "and help to keep your spirits up, and positive in every way.
    So know just how much you are loved, by your extended family,
    and we will always be there for you - God the Father, your friends and me."

  28. Dear David,

    You have a gift to reach people on a deeper level, to help us empathize, understand, and it's not awkward, instead we can relate on a very natural and inspirational level, and we want to hear more.

    Can I ask for the topic of a future video to be --about the medical team, both Doctors and nurses, from your point of view and personal experience, when they talk to you, explain things, or maybe even just scheduling and waiting in the waiting room, anything, what do you think they're doing right? and what do you think they can do differently?

    I once read a patient describe on the NYT that it's almost as if people walk around in the medical field with neon signs on their foreheads that say "I care" or "I don't care." I'll never forget her words, and I agree. I think it shows.

    So, for those of us who work in the medical field and plan to study medicine, I'd love to hear from your point of view what you think the medical community gets it right, and what should improve.

    We're cheering you on and learning, too =D


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