Updating the Kids

Dave is in Chicago with his brother, dad and uncle.  They cheered the Blackhawks on to victory this afternoon and will be sticking around town to see the next game on Wednesday.  Meanwhile, back on the home front, I have taken this weekend to unbury us from the mountains of clutter that have been steadily amassing.  Lots of little things have been put on the back burner as we deal with more pressing issues, or we have simply just blown them off to go and do something more fun.  I am feeling a bit more on top of things – for the moment anyway.

With Dave’s latest medical news, I have been feeling a need to talk to the kids a little bit about where we are.  There is a fine line between telling them enough so that they don’t think we are keeping things from them and telling them too much which could create unnecessary stress.  Life with Cancer apparently has excellent resources for children and at some point we may take advantage of them.  At the end of the day, though, no one knows our kids better than we do.  Most times when Dave and I are out walking the dogs, we are discussing the kids – concerns, what to tell them, their futures.  (We also spend a fair amount of time talking about how amazing they all are.)  I have to trust that what we are saying and doing is what is right.  Briefly, here is where they are in their understanding.

Sam (19 yrs.) – Dad is stepping away from work right now.  He has gone through all the conventional treatments for colon cancer, and they are no longer working.  We are looking at some clinical trials in Baltimore.  The tumors are continuing to grow.

Grant (16 yrs.) – Dad is stepping away from work right now.  The cancer is still growing and he is tired.  We are going to Baltimore to see if they have a treatment that might help.

Parker (10 yrs.) – Dad still has cancer.  He is taking a break from work.  We are trying to find a treatment that will help him.

I don’t want to tell them that we are out of options until we are actually out of options.  And I can’t imagine that there would ever be a day when I would give them a timeline.  They can see that Dave is slowing down a little, but they also see that he is still full of life and ready for the next fun activity.  Actually, I think that is what we all see.



Here’s what they knew in January –https://embracingtherollercoaster.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/the-truth-the-almost-whole-truth-and-nothing-but-the-truth

and here is where they were almost two years ago – https://embracingtherollercoaster.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/the-kids-are-all-right



14 thoughts on “Updating the Kids

  1. Robyn – you are so right. You’ll know when it’s the right time and now is not the time. Do the next steps and who knows things might chance and give Dave better chances. Lots love.

  2. I think your Need-To-Know strategy is spot-on, and I admire how you have both held everything together so well so that your kids feel stable and secure.

    Glad to hear Dave’s team won – and hope the same thing happens Wednesday! xxx

  3. Thinking of my friend dave and his family…. Dave… So many great memories from LJ…. Some funny times…. Live laugh and love friend… And know that your LJ family is all keeping you close in our hearts….
    Karen Hertel

  4. Hi Robyn. I am Cathy Winstead DuPuy. I taught with Dave at Luther Jackson. We both taught science – he was right across the hall from me. Those were some of the best years of my life! We all really enjoyed our jobs, and working with each other, and Dave even saved my life once! Two of my students were about to throw down, and I yelled at one student , “GO get Mr. Tremaine!!!!” He man-handled them quite well! He also made me witness feeding a rat to his classroom snake!! My students were all upset that HE was not their teacher!!
    I live in Nashville, TN now, and was informed about Dave and his diagnosis by our good friend Karen. My heart hurts for all of you. I have met you, and I have met Samantha, and you are an amazing family and are in my prayers. I have read your blog at length and I am amazed at all you have been through, and your honesty and insight into what must be such a painful journey. I just wanted you to know that I think the world of Dave, and of you, and My family and I are praying for you all.
    I also remember when Samantha got her diagnosis of OI. Our cousin, Ellen Painter Dollar, also has OI and has written books, served on panels, and has done countless hours of research on OI. She is about our age, is married, lives in CT and has 3 biological children. She really is amazing, and if you would like to pick her brain about anything I would be happy to get you in touch. If you “friend” me on FB she is on my friend list as well.
    Please give Dave my best, and thank you for sharing your story with all of us.

    • cathy,
      thanks so much for reaching out. i will be sure that dave reads your message as well. (he doesn’t spend too much time reading my blog, to be honest!) i loved reading your memories of teaching with him at LJMS. i think that was his favorite teaching job by far. thanks also for sharing about your cousin. i may take you up on getting in contact with her. now, i am off to look you up on FB. : )


  5. What beautiful children; on the inside and out! You are both amazing parents and will know when the time is right to share the amount of information each child needs and the exact moment they will need it. I’m so glad to hear Dave is in Chicago with the boys. Go Blackhawks!! Hockey is on every night in our house! Praying and Thinking of you all the time, friend.

    Lisa H.

  6. Robyn – what you are doing with this blog is amazing. I have never met you but met Dave when he was appointed to the VHSL Executive Committee. Once we met him we were all drawn to his humor and love of life. The emails he sent to me when my daughter passed away were so uplifting and I still have them. From reading the posts, Dave has made impacts on many people and I hope he realizes this. He is a true fighter on this journey and I feel that has made a big difference. Again, thanks for the blog and I will be a regular visitor. You, Dave and the children are in my thoughts and prayers — Lora Bickley

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