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  • 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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October 28, 2007



I'm sorry to hear about Gracie, my heart goes out to you.


I was struggling for something profound to say. Everyone had such beautiful messages and then it hit me. What a profound loss for you and your whole family. Because truth be told, you have indeed experienced a loss. And perhaps for a few minutes or hours, a few days and for some time to come you will in fact know that you have lost something. You are at a loss. But having been through this several times in my life, the loss will be filled with memories of life, love and devotion. They are truly man and woman's best friend and like a best friend, you really don't need more than one or two in your life to be complete. And Gracie completed you. She has given it all to you. Go on and live the life she will not. Run through the pines and meadows, across the streams scampering after the retrieval and keep the smile on your face forever. After all, she put it there. And what a gift to your entire family. That includes us warriors and knights a like. Peace to all.

David and Sherry,
I read your post about Gracie with such a sad heart. I simply wanted to say how sorry I am that this happened..there isn't anything I can say that will ease your grief..but please know that many, many people have you in their hearts.

David, I just got on your blog today to see how you are doing and my heart just fell with the news of Gracie. I'm so sorry for what happened. It's not easy losing such a trusted friend as you have. My thoughts are with you.


David: I'm so sorry to read about Gracie. I think we heard the accident, but had no idea that it was Gracie. I remember the day you brought her home and I know how much joy and comfort she brought both you and Sherry during these last few years. My heartfelt condolences to you, Sherry and Alex, Jan

So very sorry David to hear about Gracie's passing. You have given her such a wonderful tribute. I know personally how a dog becomes your very best friend and a definite member of a family. The next few weeks will be difficult for you as you deal with her loss, but time does heal and although she will never be erased from your memories, your new puppy will bring comfort to you in many ways knowing that it is akin to Gracie. Take care my friend. This is yet another hill to climb along your journey, but you can and will do it. You have shown such great courage and determination and may Gracie's spirit only encourgage you to continue keeping your strong will in the battle against cancer.

Dave, I am so sorry about Gracie. I had to cry when I read your blog today. She was so beautiful and seemed like such a sweet dog. With much sympathy, Eleanor.


I am so sorry that you and Sherry have lost Gracie. I am also sorry this is one other bad thing that you have to endure, just as you seemed to be doing much better. Stay well.

Dave, You have my heartfelt sorrow for the loss of your Gracie, whom we have all come to know as your wonderful friend. She was taken too soon but she was a lucky dog to have shared all those great times in her life with you doing what she loved the most. -Karin

Dave, I sit here stunned. I'd like to say I understand your pain because our last dog died unexpectedly too, but I can't. I wasn't a Warrior at that time, so I only had to with our family's grief and not her death's impact on my health. Muna was like our 4th child. We got her when she was 8- weeks old. A blue eyed Husky that was just the smartest - sweetest dog we ever had. One Father's Day evening my wife and I took her for our usual nightly walk. I mentioned that Muna finally seemed to get the idea of walking on a leash without trying to pull my arm off. She was always excited to get to the woods where she could run free. But that night ...she was just walking. A quarter mile into the walk, she simply laid down and refused to move. I ran home, got the car and we loaded her 80 lbs into the back seat. Called the vet who said to give her antacid. He thought she might have eaten some grass and had a belly ache. The next day Mary brought her in for an exam. I got the call at work. They scanned her and she was loaded with cancer, bleeding internally and would probably not last more than a day. She was probably in pain too. We faced a tough decision in a short time. The kids went down to say their goodbyes individually. Then Mary and I went and sat on the floor talking to her, trying to pretend everything was normal for about 30 minutes. She had that look in her eyes ... like we all probably did when we got our news. She was smart and knew what was happening. The vet came in and gave her something to calm her down so that we could hold her and love her during her last moments. We cried like babies. This was our child. When we were ready he returned and gave her the injection to end her life. She had just turned 10.

That was 4 years ago and I still have very happy dreams about her and sometimes think I see her places. For a long time I was haunted by the thought that maybe we should have done something different, got a second opinion, whatever. I hope that Gracie and Muna are out there somewhere sharing their love of running, playing and swapping stories about us.

Please accept my sincere condolences for your loss and my prayers that this not have a negative impact on your health.


David, please know that all your friends mourn your loss. As bad as your loss is I hope you find comfort in the knowledge that Gracie can now chase all the animals she wants. Clouds can't hurt you.

David: Your columns have given me so much comfort, humor and hope. My wife and I have been blessed with seven dogs during our 28 years of marriage and held each as they passed on. I know Gracie was a part of your family and to have her ripped away long before her time is such a tragedy. I understand how special she was to you and grieve for her. My heart goes out to you and your family.

Richard Catlett

David the expression of sympathy we express to you today is from the bottom of our hearts. We are so sorry to hear about Gracie's passing. Like you said hopefully she has gone on to new fields, birds and friends to love. I cry my tears for Gracie, your friend, who we have come to know and love (even if we never met). We are here for you and Sherry and share your pain. What a tribute you wrote for her. She was so lucky to have had you. You gave her a wonderful life. Not to mention what she gave you and others. Sleep well Gracie - till you meet again.

Dear Dave, I was so saddened when I first started reading the blog that I closed my laptop in hope that maybe when I reopenned it the type would somehow have have changed. What an unnecessary, tragic loss. I am so sorry for Gracie, and deeply saddened for you and Sherry. There is no good time to lose a family member, but the timing of this one stinks. With true sympathy, Robbie

Dave, I am so sorry about your friend, Gracie. No words can comfort you today, her passing is a loss that only those who have had doggie family can feel. The gaping hole in your heart will heal, but today you have to be wondering how much healing one person can endure. You have given comfort to so many, I hope you draw a bit of that comfort back from us. With great sympathy, Linda

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