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Introduction

  • David Foster (shown here with his friend Gracie) is National Strategic Advisor for Morris Communications, and has been a leader within the independent magazine community for years. In April 2005, Dave was diagnosed with Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma, Stage 4, the sixth deadliest cancer, behind lung, liver, and breast. In emails to his ‘wellness group’ of friends and colleagues, Dave began chronicling his battle with the disease. In this blog, Dave Foster continues to “kick cancer’s arse”, sharing his story with a wider audience.

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July 29, 2007

Comments

Dave,

I'm very close to speechless; you definately touched me again, as did the amazing poem sent to you and all of us caregivers. You really do have an amazing gift David and you are such an inspiration to me and I'm sure to many others as well. Please keep writing and I only pray that I can live up to the wonderful name you gave to caregivers. My husband, myself and my beautiful little girl will be going to live with my Mom shortly once our house sells. She is a very strong "warrior", but I realize it is a tough battle and I pray I will be able to help her and make life a little easier for her, as I know Sherry does for you.

Please take care and God Bless you and your knight!

Shelley

You've have definitely captured the caregiver role so very accurately David, as we do "whatever" needs doing in order to protect our loved ones and bring them the inspiration and will to keep going. My husband was diagnosed last year with terminal RCC and given a 3 mo. term of longevity. Since that time he still continues, like yourself, to defy the medical diagnosis. I admire you for your exceptional courage and strength and, through your gift of writing I know you will offer to other patients and caregivers great support and encouragement. I am attaching a poem which I wrote last summer so that you may know my emotional journey after hearing of my husband's dianosis. I will definitely continue to read your postings. Thank you!


Voice for Caregivers

I am a voice, though only small for all who hold the reins

As they watch their loved one's battle with the stresses and the strains

Of a plague that lends no favors to gender or to race

That silently invades the sacred body without grace.

"Cancer" is that dreaded curse that changes lives forever

For not only the affected, but also their caregiver.

I am a voice, who through my words will bless you with some hope

For caregivers putting lives on hold and thinking they can't cope

Please take a moment now as I relay what I've been through

And at the end you'll soon find out that it's not only you

Who feels your life is overwhelmed, altered and distressed

As emotions overtake you through a phase of utmost tests.

I am a voice, to tell you, I know exactly how you feel

The constant aching in your heart is oh, so very real.

Sure, you've heard of others out there, maybe friends who've walked this path

But now it's you and this time you directly feel it's wrath.

Every person has suggestions, and you're burdened from the bulk

Heck, at times you even hate them, but you know it's not their fault!

I am a voice, who's traveled through the stages cancer brings

Although I'm not the patient, the diagnosis gave me things

Like emotions that I'd never think were possible

To have in my entire life, but continue on and see

That cancer changes everyone, right from the very start

It affects your disposition, your temperament and heart.

I am a voice, who knows that "disbelief" is the first wave

Of emotions that sweep over you when diagnosis has been made.

How could this be? What did we do? There must be some mistake

For surely it cannot be us, who now are tempting fate.

Then follows "fear" for us as well, as we feel we've lost control

The panic, sleepless nights ahead, no one will ever know.

I am a voice, I know first hand when "anger" takes it's toll

It's a devastating feeling of 'why me,' emotions roll

I'm enraged, bitter, exhausted, at the situation that I'm in

I can strike out at a stranger as my temper's wearing thin.

I trust that those around me will forgive me for my acts

I pray that they will never carry what I'm faced with on their backs!

I am a voice, though sometimes haunted by the things I've felt inside

When that telephone starts ringing, I just want to run and hide.

Or maybe someone's come to visit, ooohhhhhh, why don't they stay away

Can't they understand I'm busy, I don't have time for tea or play.

Their suggestions drive me crazy, constant questions and advice

You'll just have to take the lead dear, tell them "back off," but be nice.

I am a voice, who knows our friends and families always there

They really only mean well, they intrude because they care.

But they need to take a step back if they venture on our sod

For only we can understand, they need to walk where we have trod.

We are the ones who anxiously await each doctor's visit, scans and tests

While our loved ones look for courage, we still must smile and do our best.

I am a voice, "frustration" haunts me more and more each day

I slash out at my loved ones and I know that's not the way.

I took my freedom once for granted, now life's different for I feel

Constant waves of guilt, resentment, my life's not mine, it's all too real.

You need time for YOU, so make it, ask someone to take your place

Don't feel like you've abandoned those you love, that's not the case!

I am a voice, as mother, father, sister, brother, kin or friend

As caregiver I am challenged to do my best right to the end.

Even though I've never learned this, the way to care under such stress

And I'm sure to have misgivings, but I know I'll do my best.

For in life we all are challenged, faced with unknowns as we grow

My position as caregiver, is a treasure this I know.

For I've been given talents that I never would have guessed

That will serve to do God's bidding and I know I'm truly blessed.

For He's given me the honor to help my loved ones in their need

And to bring them hope and courage and for me to plant a seed

That will grow a field of memories, I could have run, I had the choice

We're all revered to be CAREGIVERs, now pass the torch and be a voice!









Hi David
Once again you found a way to get to the very heart of the matter. For a warrior to acknowledge me as a “Knight” has touched my heart. You said, "God Bless You, Knights. On your shoulders stands the Warrior. And from your strength we take so much from you of what we need kill the invader. Without you so many Warriors would lose". This is so profound and reduced me to tears. I was my husband's "Lady in Waiting" until he had to become a Warrior. How honored I am to fight this battle by his side as his "Knight". You have validated my role with a word more fitting. Thank you from myself and I am sure my fellow Knights.


Ok, today you made me cry. I don't think it could have been said any better!!! Thank you!

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