Cancer (1)

Mar 03, 2019

Cancer (1)

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future

To a known God”

  •                      Corrie ten Bloom

We heard these frightening words a few days ago. My wife was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus, a very aggressive cancer that is too often terminal. We apparently have caught it earlier than usual, so we shall see what can be done. Eileen lost her brother to this disease about 15 years ago, and an uncle over 50 years ago.

We have lined up the next steps at this point, and will know more over the next week. Right now this is all we know – it is cancer. This blog will be giving my thoughts and feelings over the treatment cycle, and it will be a challenge to remain calm and helpful during this time. Even though all we know personally who have had this disease it has proven terminal, we did hear of a case where it was successfully treated some 10 years ago, and the person is still doing fine.

We will be using the Upstate Cancer Center at Upstate Medical in Syracuse, NY as the treatment center, and we will meet with them and develop a plan in a week.

We have lived a long and fulfilling life, having seven children who have given us joy over the years. It seems ironic but it was about 59 years to the day when we first met. I had driven 700 miles from just west of Cleveland, Ohio, a few months previous, and quickly joined a Catholic young singles group, the 18-30 Club, in August 1959, in Port Washington, NY, where I was living in a rooming house. The following February, 1960, Eileen and her best friend walked across the street from their houses and joined the 18-30 Club. I was entranced by this tall striking Irish beauty, but it took a few months of getting to know her before we had our first date. We were engaged in September and married the following June 10, 1961. We have been married for 57 years.

We have talked about our aging selves, and what it means. We understand that our visible partnership will end in the not-too-distant future, (Eileen is 80, and I am 84), but are not in any hurry for that to happen. So we will aggressively attack this problem and see what science and God have to say.

At this moment as I write life is going on as usual, except I am staying home from the office as much as possible. Each day seems just like all of our days, except that the information sits in our head and yells at us when we let it. Life goes on, day by day, and that is how life is, even when difficult news sits there. Over the next week we will find out what we need to do to meet this challenge, but still life goes on each day, and one day follows another relentlessly.

Trust. That is what we have at this point. Trust God to do what is best for all of us. In the meantime, we will do our best to defeat the demon that is in front of us.


Beloved, You have handed us a challenge. We are not at all sure what the outcome will be, but we trust You to do the very best for us at this moment in our lives, no what the outcome is. Our life has been a marvelous thing, one that we are grateful for all that has occurred, even the pain we have had over the years. We ask for the strength to continue the path, in joy and love. Our heads are spinning, finding it difficult to wrap these words into life in our presence. We ask only for You to continue to hold us closely during this difficult time.

26 thoughts on “Cancer (1)”

  1. So very eloquently put; a quiet shouting match between the information sitting in the corner and the present which is strong and clear. I know your faith and love will see you through, but it is still enormously scary. My heart is heavy and prayers go out to you both…. continually. I am very, very grateful to know you.

    1. Thanks John. Your Aunt Eileen is doing well. It is terminal, as these blogs are a couple of week behind the events. She had the first of the palliative radiation treatments today designed to reduce the main tumor, and is doing well.

  2. Dave,
    Thank you for letting us in your lives, thus knowing we are supporting you and Eileen at the same time.

    Much light and prayers are coming your way. Leslie

    1. Thank you Jenn. We are aware of the time with Matt’s Dad, and so we know and understand this are short. Aunt Eileen had her first radiation treatment today designed to reduce the main tumor, and aid in swallowing. She is doing well.

  3. David & Eileen
    My thoughts are with you on this difficulty journey. It pleases me that you know how to approach it with a
    trusting of the Source who knows of how well you
    both can deal with the future. You have, of course, many
    heavenly helpers that you can connect with to ease the
    anxieties. We will all look back on our lives with all its many memories and know that they were for our highest
    Love and blessings to you both,
    Jim Bryden

    1. Thanks Jim. It is difficult, but Eileen has had her first radiation treatment today designed to reduce the tumor, but it is terminal. Trying to extend the time and ease the process.

    1. Thanks Wade. It is quite a challenge, but this time is part of life, and we know that God is gentle and loving, especially in these times.

  4. Dear Dave and Eileen,
    I’m sure that these were difficult words to write. We all know that our time, in this form, has an end date, it is so difficult to have that date be brought closer to home. Each day is such a gift and all we have is the present moment. I know that you’ll work hard to do as much as you can to stay on top of this.
    Sending my love and prayers 😘 Sue McD

    1. Thanks Sue. It is most challenging, just wrapping my head around this is hard. Eileen has accepted this as part of life. She had her first radiation treatment today to reduce the main tumor, and is doing well.

  5. Blessings to you both! I’ll be praying for you.
    I have used to great effect the Jesus Prayer that you taught me in the AAA group on Saturdays almost 30 years ago… it has helped countless folks to freeddom in Christ Jesus.
    Peace and all good,

    1. Thanks Tom. This is a challenge, but God is supporting us as well as many friends during this difficult times.

  6. The love and faith you and Eileen share is a source of strength for you both and for all who know and love you.

    1. Thanks Mary Jo. We are still trying to wrap our heads around all, and not sure of a time frame. Eileen had her first radiation treatment today, and did well. One day at a time.

  7. Dave,
    You and Eileen will be in our prayers. Your words really touched me and are so true. Tell Eileen I will be thinking about her.
    And we know what you are going through – Jack just had his second chemo treatment for multiple myeloma (blood/bone cancer). Like Eileen they say it was caught in the early stage and the chemo should remove the bad proteins and resolve the problem. Time will tell.

  8. David and Eileen, you are in our thoughts and prayers. We had heard of Eileen ‘s diagnosis __we are in California for the winter. the faith you both have should strengthen you through this time of trial. we hope Eileen will find palliative care helpful in terms of comfort and adding whatever hours, days, months you both are given to be together. Mary ware and mary Stuck

  9. Dave, I am sorry to hear that Eileen has cancer. I hope and pray for the best outcome for her and strength for the both of you as you go through this tough part of life. It is a lot to, as you say wrap your head around. From the past I have learned in times like these one has to be ready to keep readjusting the mind almost daily. Take one day at a time and stay in the moment as much as possible, sometimes it is hard but I have found it helpful when facing a daunting life changing experience. Thankfully you have your strong faith as a reservoir to pull from in this time of need, in life we need some anchors to tie to when the seas get rough. I admire you for posting on this personal news, you have a gift for writing and I can see your love for Eileen shining through in your post. You are blessed to have each other. Sending the both of you prayers, Erick

    1. Thanks Eric. It has now been determined it is terminal, so all that we are doing is to extend life and ease difficulties with eating. It is on a day by day process, and God is providing us with strength and love, love flowing through our friends and church.

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My God has led me on an 80 year jaunt to ever more wondrous beauty. I am led to share this journey and gifts of God that have been showered upon me, not just for me but for whoever God brings into my path.

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