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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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April 14, 2008


Sherry, Alex and all of the Foster family,
I am so sorry to hear about Mr. Foster, I have nothing but wonderful memories of riding home from Mt. Vintage with him, and him telling me a story about every single street we went down. He was a wonderful man and I feel honored to have known him. His spirit and his stories will always live on. My heart is breaking for all of you, please know that I am praying for y'all during this hard time.
Caroline Scholer

David, you have written so many words that have given me comfort and courage and lifted me up.

I once wrote to you that "kidney cancer may kill me, but it ain't gonna beat me," and you let me know that you appreciated and embraced that sentiment. Through some very difficult times you have remained true to yourself and strong. You took time and energy from your own struggle to help us by sharing your strength. It's something that all of your friends out here will never forget. Thank you so much.

Be satisfied and proud. Kidney cancer did not beat David Foster. David Foster did indeed kick kidney cancer's arse.

My wife gave me this quote during a recent rough patch. I think it sums up Dave's spirit and the gift he passed on to many of us.

Courage doesn't always roar
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice
At the end of the day saying
"I willl try again tomorrow."

Great friends. Great memories. Thank you.

You leave an incredible legacy and will be greatly missed. Until then, my great friend.

Bob Carper

I am so sorry to hear that your dad is not doing well. I lost my dad a little over 3 weeks ago to advanced RCC. He died only three months to the day after he was diagnosed and during the time he was fighting the cancer I read your dad's blog regularly and it was an inspiration to me and my family. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

"When I have to go there, there will be no choice but to go. But just by keeping a close eye on tomorrow helps insure it does not get away. You might be able to keep that last day away for a very long time. A very long time indeed." David Foster, February 17th, 2008

Thank you, David, for allowing us to share in your journey.

May you find the peace that you so graciously deserve.

Dear Foster Family, I am so sorry to hear about this latest turn of events. I so looked forward to reading Dave's wonderful writings. He will be missed by so many fellow warriors. I never knew him personally but I once told him I felt like I has known him forever. I pray that God will give you the peace that passes all understanding during this time of saying good-bye. You all are in my prayers.

Hillary and Sherry, my heart goes out to you in your time of sorrow. Your husband and father has been an inspiration to all out here. I hope you can all find peace and acceptance. David will be missed....Gwen, daughter of Don

Your Dad has been a fighter at all times and he has fought this battle with immeasureable courage and dignity. His talent for writing and creation of his blog, has given his readers inspiration to get through very difficult days, as well as afford us all the opportunity to laugh at your Dad's humor and feel pride in his determination to beat cancer. He would be honored to know you have carried his torch by continuing his column so that we can all still "keep in touch" with him through your words. My thoughts are best compiled through my poetry, and I'm attaching a poem which I sent to David a couple of months ago so that he could know the inspiration he has passed on to each of us. My prayers to all of his family...and please know he has touched all or our hearts in such a special way. God Bless You All!

The Measure of a Man
The measure of a man is not by wealth or fame, nor by age or status
It is not assessed by his academic standing, appearance or the color of his skin.
His style of clothes or mode of transportation will not identify his true character.
All of these are outward presentations only, and will serve no purpose in identifying the man within.
To the young, a lifetime is forever
But as we age, we know the years pass all too quickly.
It does not matter what material possessions you have accumulated in your lifetime.
Those are just trivial things that will not constitute one’s individuality.
The measure of a man is not obtained with yardsticks or meters, scales or years.
It is determined by the affect he has had on another’s life
And it will be easy to measure, if he has ever touched your heart!
I know a man whose measure is beyond compare.
One who has been faced with life’s greatest challenge -
That of “death” and a constant time line for his life.
He has personally learned the true meanings of prayer, faith, hope and love.
He has defined the word “courageous” in a way that none of us can fully comprehend
As he faces each day so gallantly, never complaining or hateful for the affliction he has been given.
Life is sweet, life is precious and one should never take it for granted.
This man holds all of the attributes afforded to heroes.
A hero is defined as a person who is a master, a daredevil and a champion.
He is all of these and so much more,
For he refuses to complain despite how challenging his day has been,
Never holds remorse for others and most of all, yes most of all
Never gives up, even when the going is so very tough.
There is always a smile amid the pain, and always a positive reflection
When asked so very often “How are you doing?”
Yes, he represents all of the accolades afforded any champion, hero or master
He is a Champion and no scholar could ever define the word “courage”
In the way he has lived it.

This son, brother, husband, father and friend
Has given all of us who know him, strength to defy the odds
Courage to face whatever obstacles appear in our lives
And a faith in God, that no one individual should ever doubt exists.
Although this man will never lead a great army, become a ruler of any country
Or appear on paper as having the world’s greatest fortune,
He is extremely rich in the abundance of love that has been shown him
He is strong as this warrior fights the War of Cancer without advanced armor but with
His personal courage and determination to NEVER give up
He is humbled by all those who help him along this journey
And he is a mentor to all who know him and an example to each person he meets
Of just how you should always get back on your feet, no matter how many times you have been knocked down.
These are the attributes that define a man’s integrity and true spirit.
His place in this world is established by him alone,
As he molds, creates and shapes his life’s portrait.
His personality will form the palette with a brighter color depicting his humor
And darker shades portraying his more serious and solemn personality.
Yes, this man’s courage, faith and determination to never give up
But to continue each day with a smile on his face and love in his heart,
Inspires each of us who have been blessed to know him
and strengthens us as we journey with him.
His courage, compassion, integrity and sacrifices empower us all.
It is by knowing such an outstanding individual that we know
Yes, this is truly what defines the measure of a man

©Debbie Andrews

Dear Hillary, Sherry and family,
This news is heartbreaking for all that love David...and you should know that includes all of us. We feel blessed that he used his talent and wit to share his life. If you are able..please whisper in his ear that GOD knows the good he has done..and that it is apparent to all of us that he lived his life with love. I have always believed that would be the one question that GOD would ask upon meeting us..did we live our life with love? Ultimately, that is the best any of us can do. Teri

Sherry and Hillary I am so sorry to hear about Dave. I lost my son Sept. 1,2007 to liver cancer and I know what you are going through. I have read Dave's blog for a long time. He will never know how much he helped people with his witty words. He took the time to write me the nicest email when my son passed away and I will cherish it always. Everything that was posted prior to this one brought back the memories of what my son went through.It sounded so familar. Please don't post this on the site. I just wanted you all to know Dave is in my thoughts and prayers and thank you for sharing him with us. Don't give up or give in, that was my son's motto. God bless you all.

Your dad made us all smile while he was giving us hope. I wish peace to you all.

Dave -
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, wisdom, humor and life with us.

Hillary and Sherry -
Our thoughts are with you. Dave is a happy warrior in the spirit of Wordsworth's poem...

WHO is the happy Warrior? Who is he
That every man in arms should wish to be?...
...Finds comfort in himself and in his cause;
And, while the mortal mist is gathering, draws
His breath in confidence of Heaven's applause:
This is the happy Warrior; this is He
That every Man in arms should wish to be.

My prayers are with all of you!

Dave has been an inspiration to me and my family, because of both his beautiful writing and his spirit. The reality we are all living with has been much more tolerable because of him.

I can only hope he fights back as he has always done before.

Hey Hills I am sorry to read this. Please know I am praying for you and call if you need me to do anything for you during this time please. I am not that far away.

Please know that Dave has touched so many lives through his RCC journey. He has been an inpsiration and will continue to be for a long time. I wish you all strength and love during these coming hours.

Dear Foster Family, Dave has meant a great deal to me in the past year. Not long after being diagnosed, I would read some guy's post named Dave encouraging a fellow warrior and inviting hime to read his blog. After reading just One I was hooked. The eloquent way he articulated what seemed to be my experience was addictive. When Dave would write about him and Sherry, I could visualize the scene. His writing was captivating. I have laughed and cried many times while reading his blog. The last post about the dogwood really gave me insight as to where he was in this battle. My yhoughts and prayers continue to be with you. May the peace that passes understanding be yours now and in the coming days ahead. Much love, Robbie

Dear Sherry and family, I was in the front office today when I heard the news. I am so sorry for how this has turned out. I have known David for about 9 years now. I remember the times I would spend with him listening to his stories with that pipe he had. We would sit in back of the Nationsbank building. You could not help but listen when David spoke. Of all the years I have known David I never seen him in a bad mood, was always cheerful and at times loud. You knew he was in the building :). David will be in heaven with his gun and dog looking for the last Dove that got away or maybe God will pull up a chair and listen to one of his stories he always loved to tell. I know I always enjoyed listening. May God be with you and your family in this time of need.

Hi Hillary
I just found this blog a few weeks ago, but I've been checking it every day and I think about you lots. I also spent a few weeks this year - separated from my children and missing them terribly - watching my wonderful father die from kidney cancer. I'm so sorry. My prayers are with you.

Dear Fosters All,
I had the sincere pleasure of working with Dave at the MPA, where we got to collaborate on launching this blog. I remember our debate as to whether "David Foster's Kicking Kidney Cancer's Ass" was too strong, and settling on "Arse" which was somehow even more hilarious. My conversations with your father/husband were among some of the liveliest, funniest and delightful that I've known in my working life. Witty, scathing, warm-hearted, and fully living life in a way I will strive to emulate, his infectious spirit will go on, and he will be sorely missed in many circles. Sending love and a prayer to all of you.

I have known David for about ten years and I count it as a blessing to call him my friend.David would want all his fellow warriors to keep up the fight and finish strong.Sherry,Alex,Hillary we are here for you and will keep you in our prayers in the days to come.

I just want to add my prayers to the many that are coming in. I want you to know how much David's comments and character have helped my husband and I in dealing with his journey. I hope for peace for all of you

I am so sorry to hear this news. As someone who stumbled onto his blog,I can say I enjoyed reading his blog. What a fine writer. To read his words,you could visualize and see as though looking thru his eyes. He will be missed and remembered.

I am at a loss for words! My heart breaks for your family. There are no words that can be of much comfort right now, but I hope you know how many of us are praying for all of you!
Much love and prayers!!!!

Dear Sherry and Hillary,
My heart breaks for you as I read this latest development. Dave will soon be at peace in a wonderful loving place and there will be no difficult times ahead for him....I pray you find peace in knowing you have been there when you were needed so much and that each moment was/is a gift. I am so sorry for the sadness and pain you feel and I only wish I had the words to comfort you......Judee Chatham

Dear Sherry and Hillary and all,

And Dave -- because "it ain't over 'til it's over": deep, everlasting peace, love, comfort, and blessings to you all and for all the inspired and inspiring readers.

Lofty, though heartfelt, thoughts and wishes sandwiched between tears. How we all hoped for the first spring fishing report--soon. Or, at least the spring as seen with Dave's fresh eyes of recovery report.

Well, he's been showing us folks how it's done, life: always with one's best efforts, shared, with humor.

Bless you all,

Hillary and Sherry:

For so many of us who are fighting the war against RCC, David has served as our guide as we walk down a path that is uncharted and not chosen... and as an inspiration that there is great life in spite of the most dire of diagnosis. Even though I never met him, through his blogs I have come to think of him as a friend and a mentor in how to live gracefully and to the fullest. My thoughts are with David, you and your family. Please know that those of us who have followed David's journey will continue to fight hard with you until we win this war.

When I was first diagnosed with rcc I joined the ACOR list and quickly became a fan of reading David's posts. I did not read the blog all the time, but when I did, I was inspired. My prayers go out to David's family. May his life left on earth be comfortable and painless. Keep fighting David!

To the Foster Family,
I can't imagine how you must feel. I pray that you find some peace in knowing that he was an inspiration to all of the "Warriors" out here, including me. Shortly after I was diagnosed stage IV RCC 2/07, I found this blog and discovered a kindred spirit in your husband/father. We became good cyber-friends and exchanged many personal emails. I still have most of them and continue to gain strength re-reading them. He often called me a young pup because I'm only 52 and in his words, "Not part of the Geritol generation". Puts a smile on my face just remembering how he could ease tension with a few well chosen words. We are all blessed to have him enter our lives. You remain in my prayers. Peace and love to you all.


As Dave would say, "sumbitch". I discovered his blog when he wrote of Jeb's sensing something was wrong with his master. I became an avid fan as I enjoyed his God given talent with words, and I felt proud when he told me I am a natural writer. Dave always made me feel good. He has been an incredible inspiration to me in my fight against RCC. He will always be remembered by the many he touched. Please give him what he would call "manly love" from me. Oh, and let him know he is going to miss out on some good Mexican food.
May God bless the Foster Family as you go through this trial.

Dear Sherry and Hillary and family:
Your email has hit my heart like a ton of bricks and it is hard writing through my tears. We all live on this journey with expectation of what will be but we never want to look that far ahead. I feel my life has been truly touched by David and he has made a difference in my life as well as in Joe's. We have laughed together and cried together through email but I feel like we are losing a member of our family. Please know that David and all of you are in our heart and prayers through this. I will honor my position David gave me as the first "Knight" and will miss his emails. When someone can touch the hearts of so many and never get to meet them is a legacy in itself. We are all praying for a peaceful end for David and strength for each of you as you go through this. Mary and Joe in Canada

Dave's blog was the first I found when I was devastated from my brother's recent diagnosis with rcc. Reading his words has brought me considerable knowledge and comfort. I pray that you ALL are surrounded by peace and comfort in the hours, days, and weeks to come. I do wish Dave could fish this Spring on Earth, but I believe he'll REALLY enjoy fishing with Jeb and Gracie!!!

I like many other readers came to know David as a fellow warrior gifted with the ability to observe and capture the ups and downs of our battles in words that help console and coach us. I was wondering what would be an appropriate way to convey a message of sympathy to his family and friends when it hit me "What would Dave do?" I looked around and saw that it's a sunny day with blue skies all around and noticed Molly (choc lab) was all set for a stroll in the woods to check on some rabbits that have been teasing her and I knew in an instant that a hike was just what the doctor (Dave) would order. So pardon Molly and I for a long overdue walk. We'll be thinking of the Fosters and the army of warriors while taking this day to enjoy the same simple joys our Dave cherished and knew to be most important.

I have been reading Dave's blog since last summer when we found out that my own father's kidney cancer had returned. I feel that I have come to know you all personally. I am so sad and will be praying for you and Dave. His fighting attitude and his humor have been a true inspiration.

I have been reading Dave's blog since last summer when we found out that my own father's kidney cancer had returned. I feel that I have come to know you all personally. I am so sad and will be praying for you and Dave. His fighting attitude and his humor have been a true inspiration.

"Best of all he loved the fall

the leaves yellow on cottonwoods

leaves floating on trout streams

and above the hills

the high blue windless skies

…(Soon)he will be a part of them forever"

-- Ernest Hemingway

I am so very sad at this last reading. I believed this weekend that he was going to go back home and be there to enjoy the spring on his porch and he would write to us and tell us how he had fought the battle and won once again. But reading today's update, I will have to face that isn't true. Having been fortunate enough to have known Dave when I was a bratty teenager and to have been his sister-in-law was a blessing to me in many ways. He was my friend through everything and I will miss him more than I knew I would. I am so sorry for the rest of the family and am sending my prayers to all of you. Dave was a rare man and had a sense of humor like none other. I love you Dave, Hillary please whisper the words to him for me. Marsha

I was diagnosed with rcc just a year ago. I discovered David's blog soon after that and for the past year he has given me so much insight, advise, good humor and hope. I am saddened to hear of his condition and wish there was some way I could thank him for all he has given me. Godspeed David; my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Richard Catlett

My heart is breaking for all of you and us follwers. He has fought long and hard and brought laughter & encouragement to us fighting the RCC battle. It amazes me even though we've never met any of are all like close family!!
May God hold all of you in His loving care and help you through this. As someone already said, no more pain......... and peace. Heaven will rejoice having Dave, but us left on earth he will be so missed!!! Praying for a miracle............Yet we all know that sometime our life on earth ends and our eternal life in heaven begins! The glorious thing one day we will all be together again!!

Those of us who are fortunate to be his friend know of him as a very wise, talented and loving Husband, Father and outdoorsman who expressed himself in the truest manner to everyone. If you spent time with David, you felt the love he had for everyone and everything he touched from his dear wife, Sherry, to Daughter, Hillary, his friends and colleagues, and even his constant Brittany, Gracie. Unfortunately there are too few, if any, like David Foster.

Robert L. Fancher

I so vividly recall Dave writing about looking forward to fly fishing in April with his doctor. Now every time I fish I think of him, just like every time I see a dogwood I do the same. He is a unique man, and his strength and determination have touched my life in so many ways. I wish I had met him, yet his writings make me feel as if I've known him all my life. God bless Dave and his loving family.

Hillary, Sherry, and the rest of the Foster clan,
We are asking God to send peace to you all, and to David for a peaceful passing. He'll be happy there, and healthy again, no more pain, sore feet, lost appetite, everything will be gone--all better! He and Gracie and Jeb will run and hunt in the fields of God's heaven--I pray that we ALL get through his loss with a sense of peace.
God wrap you and your family in His big, loving embrace during this time,
Bev and Chuck

I am so sorry to hear the news this morning. As an avid "David Fan", I have felt I got to the know him as so many have through this blog. I am going to mention something that happened during the last day of Harry's life and maybe it can become a positive thing for you, as it has been for me. I'm not sure if Harry was considered semi-comatose or not but probably - Anyway, I asked Harry if he would send me a sign that he was okay and I asked that he would send me this sign in a star (for Harry and I, a star had significance). I continue to get signs and they are so comforting. I mention it, as I know during these days and hours, anxiety sets in and thinking isn't sometimes clear and thought maybe this is somehow and something I could suggest to help you and your family later. Bless you all. Sandi Weisenberger

Hillary and Sherry - Having been where you are nine short months ago with my mother, I am sending you my most peaceful and loving thoughts right now. Our battle touched many as we had a blog, too. But David's touched many many more as his gift for humor and objective writing made his experience so much more powerful and inspirational. Please contact me if I can be of any comfort to you both. All my very very best...debbi

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