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Showing posts from August, 2005

The Unsung Heroes

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 2:31 AM CDT

Let me first say, this entry isn’t for everyone. I’m going to talk about some of the less pretty aspects. I’m going to talk about the hard work of dying. It’s not easy to write, and I imagine it won’t be easy to read.

It finally dawned on me why it’s been so difficult for me to write about Dave’s memorial service. It’s because it’s not finished. We gathered together, we celebrated Dave’s life, we honored his memory, his accomplishments and recognized what a fine man he was and how many, many gifts he brought into this world. It was a beautiful celebration of a life well lived, and a great tribute to a great man, and also to those people who helped him become that man, and supported and loved him throughout his life, his parents, brothers, family, teachers, coaches, students and friends, also me & our kids. All this was mentioned.

I’m going to talk some about what wasn't mentioned much: his death, specifically the process of dying. And recogniz…

Trying

Monday, August 29, 2005 3:10 PM CDT

Update on the service coming soon.
Every time I try to write it, I just cry.
Soon I'll be able to get it.

I plan to keep this site going, and to give you reports about how Dave is still shining. I have so many examples already.

Thank you to everyone for all your support.
Love, Shelley

Matt

Thursday, August 25, 2005 6:35 PM CDT

NOTICE PLEASE:
There was an error in the e-mail sent out to the school district employees. We had planned a reception after Dave's memorial service at the College Church, and just a day ago, found out that the fellowship hall is under construction. We had hoped to find a way to serve refreshments and have a gathering time after the service. Skip visited the church, and it seems that just wouldn't work. We do invite folks to take time to connect after the service, we can gather on the lawn and in the foyer. The e-mail stated that "the family wants privacy." Well, you all know that was so NOT Dave. We welcome a chance to share some time with all of you, you are so important to Dave. We are just unable to offer a formal reception in the fellowship hall as planned.




Here is a letter that Matt Stroe wrote to Dave. Matt has been a real source of support and caring to our family. His presence over the years has influenced us greatly. He is …

Arrangements

Wednesday, August 24, 2005 8:37 PM CDT

To see the article in the paper, visit:

http://www.union-bulletin.com/main.asp?FromHome=1&TypeID=1&ArticleID=28074&SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1


Get on your GO BIG BLUE shirts, your Hawaiian shirts, your Mickey Mouse shirts and come remember a valiant warrior, an inspirational coach, a caring teacher and a loving man. Suits and ties optional. The girls here are wearing bright dresses, mostly purple!

Memorial for Dave Meyer
Saturday, August 27, 2005
3:00 pm at the Walla Walla College Church on 4th and Bade in College Place, Washington


Donations may be made in honor of Dave to:

The Dave Meyer Memorial Scholarship Fund
*a scholarship fund for student athletes at Wa-Hi
*managed by Big Blue Boosters
*contact Herring Groseclose

The Meyer Children Educational Fund
*an educational fund for Dave's children
*managed by Eastgate Banner Bank
*contact Herring Groseclose

All arrangements by:
Herring Groseclose Funeral Home
315 West Alder
Walla Walla, WA 99362
(50…

The Next Place

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 3:12 PM CDT

I thought that the world would be a dimmer, darker place today. I thought I would feel alone, abandoned, bereft. As Kenny, Zach, Kate and I held each other and cried, I looked at their faces, and I knew. Dave's light still shines. It shines brightly in our children. It shines in each person he touched. One candle may not be burning, but that candle lit so many others that the glow is warming every corner of our world. And the world where Dave plays football with Kyle must be unbearably bright today.

I will share some more stories, there are so many precious, tender moments from the past few days. For the moment there are things to do.

Details of the service to follow, it will likely be this weekend.

I can almost hear God say, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Welcome home. Hold your son. I will hold the others. I will hold them."

In His mighty grip,
Shelley

Circles

Monday, August 22, 2005 2:34 AM CDT

A day of circles complete. Updating friends who are close in heart, but far in distance. Laughing and crying together as we share memories of a man who leaves an indelible mark on everyone he meets.

Zach came home a day early. It was hard for him, as he missed the gradual decline, and even though he was updated over the phone, it's something else entirely to see his strong, vibrant Dad this way.

Kate was definitely waiting for Zach to come home to allow this process to become real for her. Kenny's been very in tune all along, he's incredibly perceptive, and always, always cuts right to the heart of the matter.

There is lots to share, but I have to get some sleep, so will sum it up by saying, the kids each spent much time with me, crying and hugging and talking it out. They are so Dave's kids! They are in the moment with their feelings, honest and true and deep. They allow the waves of hurt to come, and reach out to me, and I hold them cl…

Tough Days

Saturday, August 20, 2005 2:25 AM CDT

I think this is the third entry today, so check the journal history for more info.

Tonight, we gave Dave a bath, and he woke up fully for the first time today. He was awake and talking a bit, and drank some water. He seemed to feel better after the bath, much more comfortable. He wasn't awake long, but was fully focused and communicating with us when he was. He went back to sleep, but the sleep was different than it had been all day. All day, he was very unresponsive, a few times leaning into my hand, but mostly not responding. He squeezed Cindy's hand once, and opened his eyes for Amy. But after the bath, and being awake, his sleep was different, seeming more like normal sleep. He was sleeping lightly, but still responding more, nodding his head, murmuring "mm-hmm." Yesterday his breathing was from his diaphragm, not wanting to choke on the mucus. The mucus is gone with the patch, and he's breathing easily and normally now. Ye…
Friday, August 19, 2005 4:43 PM CDT

2nd update today. See journal for first.

Dave has been sleeping all day today. He woke up for a minute or two a couple of times, but mostly is sleeping peacefully.

He is no longer squeezing our hands or responding in any way, so it's not clear if he still hears us. I believe he does. So I talk to him, rub his head, and tell him how much we love him, and how proud we are.

Jim and Mark left today. Jim, it was great to reunite with you, your willingness to come and be there is so appreciated. Some bonds are never weakened, even by time or distance, your faith is strong and a great gift to us.

As they left, hugging Mark, seeing his eyes, it was one of the most painful moments of the journey so far for me. Mark, you've been there, every step, for more than 20 years. Whenever we needed you, you came. With quiet, strong hugs, guitar in hand, and your ready laugh, you always found a way to help us through. We love you, more than words can say. You are Da…

Hospice

Friday, August 19, 2005 10:34 AM CDT

Have you ridden a roller coaster lately? Do you remember the anticipation, the flutter in your stomach as the coaster climbs the hill? Did you feel that slight stall, that quiet moment at the top? Then the bottom drops and you fall. Then there's a time of relative quiet, and it starts all over again?

That was yesterday for me.

I made the decision to call hospice. It was a hard decision for many reasons. Number 1, I'm a control freak, and calling in someone made me feel less in control. The hospice nurse came in and said, "You're still in charge, we won't try to boss you around." Bob smiled a little at that one. I told her, "I'm a pretty hard person to boss around." Number 2, in some ways, it feels like giving up. I know in my head that it's not, that we're working toward different things, but in my heart, it's difficult to accept. Dave has fought so valiantly for so long, it's hard to consider an…

Tears

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 5:44 PM CDT

Tears. Lots of tears. We have made the most of these last few weeks and I am so glad. Dave is surrounded by people who love him, who stroke his head, who tell him what a fine man he is, a wonderful father, a nearly :-) perfect husband--a life partner beyond what I could ever have imagined or come close to deserving, an inspirational coach and a teacher beyond measure. Before Zach left for Idaho, after spending some special time with Dad, Dave looked at our children's faces, then at me and said, "We done good, Shell. We done good." And so we have.

I fear our journey is nearing the end. Dave has been confined to bed for the past week or so, unable to use his left side. Swallowing is becoming increasingly difficult. His breathing has changed over the last 12 hours, he has a lot of mucus in his throat, which makes it hard to breathe, and chokes him sometimes. The vomiting has pretty well abated, thank God. He is unable to eat or drink muc…

Music and Laughter

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 1:32 AM CDT

If you can't hear the music, check back in an hour. I uploaded the music to my geocities free site, and it can't handle all the traffic, so it disables itself for an hour.

Better day today, meds stayed in. We changed bedding and did a bath and all that rocking around brought up some breakfast, but overall, okay.

Jeffrey and Shane came to sing, play guitar and keyboards with Dave. Dave was singing along, and tapping his foot and hand to the music. It was a beautiful, healing, loving time for him. Thanks, guys.

Dave's got his days and nights turned around, wants to have some deep conversations between, oh, say 2:00 and 3:00 am. Sheesh. I'm looking like I'm 85 these days.

Where do tadpoles change?
In a croak room.

What kind of hair do oceans have?
Wavy.

Why was the broom late?
It over-swept.

Bumper Stickers:

Give me ambiguity or give me something else.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of SMART?
Chaos. Panic. Disorder. My work here is…

Aftermath

Monday, August 15, 2005 11:19 PM CDT

Thanks for all the prayers. The seizure was a very small one, and my mom and dad were here. Thank the Lord my dad is a trained EMT. Dave was in the best hands. I was at work. My mom called, and she was handling it well and really calm. Later I told Dave that if he wanted me to stay home, he should just ask, he didn't have to cause such a commotion! By the time I got to him, he was alert and responsive, without any meds on board at all.

My mom and dad have been the absolute best, they have given up their own lives in totality to be here for us. They have taken care of everything, and have let me have my wild, crazy bursts of painting, etc. I couldn't ask for more. And they've been so understanding and supportive, whatever my mood or state of mind. They never scold or lecture or tell me what I "ought" to be doing. They are so amazing to trust that I have a sense of what needs to happen, even if it seems whacko to them. They know h…

Seizure

Monday, August 15, 2005 4:43 PM CDT

Please pray.

Dave had a seizure about an hour ago. We are at the hospital now, he's stable, and responding and talking to me. We think that his tegretol levels dropped because of all the nausea and inability to get the meds into him reliably.

He's on IV fluids, they're checking his tegretol level and checking for infection. He has no fever, so they think there probably isn't an infection.

Please pray for God to place His healing hand upon Dave. Dave's already charming the nurses. More later.

In His mighty grip,
Shell

More Jokes

Monday, August 15, 2005 1:20 AM CDT

Three-legged dog walks into a bar, says, "I'm looking for the man who shot my paw." That's the other Jake joke I forgot to post yesterday. I'm sure I'll remember more.

Denise and kids drove all the way to Seattle to deliver the PET to gamma knife. Thank you, thank you. Nurse Neese brought lots more nursey kinds of things to make life easier. Mom and Dad are still here. Dad and I have transferring Dave down to an art form. It's an odd synchronicity, but one I appreciate so much.

Dave was tired this morning, but perked up a lot again in the evening. Talking a lot more than he was. Keeping meds in. Keeping our spirits up. Shouldn't that be the other way around?

We wait. We pray. We laugh. And mostly, we love. And appreciate those of you joining us in the wait, the prayer, the laughter and the love.
Shell

Laughter - it sounds good

Saturday, August 13, 2005 10:57 PM CDT

"What do you get when you cross an elephant with ex-lax?"
"OUT OF THE WAY!"

Two peanuts went into a bar. One was assaulted.


Little, tiny voice answers the phone, "Hello?"
"Is your mommy there?"
Tiny voice whispers, "Yes."
"Can I talk with her?"
Tiny voice whispers, "No, she's busy."
"Well, is your daddy there?"
Whisper: "Yes."
"Can I speak with him?"
"No, he's busy, too."
"Well is there anyone else there?"
"Yes, the firepeople are here."
"Can I talk to one of them?"
"No, they're busy."
"Is there anyone else there?"
"Yes, the police."
"Can I talk to the police?"
"No, they're busy."
"OK, so your mommy and daddy and the police and the firepeople are all there, but they're busy?"
"That's right."
"What are they all so busy doing?"
Tiny…

PET Scan

Wednesday, August 10, 2005 0:49 AM CDT

***CHECK OUT THE BLUE DEVIL FOOTBALL LINK BELOW*** It includes pics of Z at football camp. When you get to the site, click the Players of the Week link.

PET scan will be Thursday afternoon at 1:15 pm. Dave has been very weak today, didn't get out of bed at all, except to go to the bathroom. No nausea and no headache, though, praise the Lord for that. He's been awake all day, but not talking very much, just nodding/shaking his head. And gesturing with his hand, but I can never figure out what he means.

He's such a sweet man, he kept waving to me tonight, and then tapping his chest. Finally I understood he wanted me to lay my head on his chest. So I did. And HE gave ME a backrub. I am most certainly the luckiest woman on the planet.

He's been talking more this evening, feeling good overall, just tired. Only one more day of the new chemo, then rest for a few weeks. Hopefully, not taking those HUGE pills will help.

He has a doc appt on Fri…

No Seattle

Tuesday, August 9, 2005 1:12 AM CDT


New medical news: Dr. Rockhill (better known as Dr. Rock-n-Roll) said that a PET scan would give the same information, and we can have that done locally. Although it would have been nice to see our coastie friends, it's a good thing. Travel would be very hard on Dave at this point.

The sign thing isn't working. Kenny keeps turning it over to "Not a good time for visitors." In Kenny's world, it's never a good time for visitors. When I bought his name plaque, there was Kenneth, which meant "handsome" and Kenny which meant "gracious" Guess which one I got??? HA!

Hope you're enjoying the Peach Basket pictures. Gotta get some sleep.

Love, Shelley

Seattle, again?

Sunday, August 7, 2005 5:01 PM CDT

Medical news: Looks like we have to go to Seattle to get an MRI spectroscopy. Put in a call to our angelic nurse, Jodie, at the Gamma Knife Center at Harborview to help us get that set up. Meantime, we'll stay on the VP-16/Tarceva. We can always rotate back to the CPT-11/Avastin after a round of VP-16. Duke has several protocols running now that rotate chemo agents, thinking this may be a good way to delay the tumor developing resistance to any particular chemo. It's all speculation, but with good logic behind it.

Peach Basket News: We had a lot of fun. Dave was able to go to Zach's first game and Kate's first game. The kids both played really well and had a blast. Neither team made it too far in the tournament, but they had a great time. Kate looked awesome and scored several baskets. Zach had a buzzer-beater 2 point shot to tie one game. Very cool.

Erik, Evy, Canute and Sonja and Andrew, Adrienne, Jeremy and Brent all came for the week…

Wait....Just Wait a Minute

Friday, August 5, 2005 1:38 AM CDT

Deb's right. Shampooing carpets, got the entryway and hallway painted. Grout still waiting for Denny, I guess!

Dave was feeling pretty weak today, but is awake more and quite alert and with it.

We heard from UW. They are questioning whether what shows on the scan is actually tumor growth or necrosis from the gamma knife. I was quite surprised by this, but they were the ones that did the gk, and know better than I, besides, that would actually be good news. So..... they say, get an MRI spectroscopy (a scan that can help determine if the tissue in question is growing/alive or dead, and stay on the CPT-11/Avastin. We meet with Dr. Sacks tomorrow to decide.

Peach Basket is this weekend. Zach and Kate are both very excited. The kids have had a good week. They went swimming with Deb & kids, Kenny has been doing BDAD every day and went to the pool again today, Zach has been riding bikes with friends, today he and a bud rode all the way to Bennington Lak…

Pills and Grout

Tuesday, August 2, 2005 4:56 PM CDT

Well, getting to the doctor appointment was an ordeal. Got Dave in the shower, after a near spill in the bathroom. Got him dressed, he had some yogurt and about a million pills. Then the puke came. He threw up once in the bedroom. Thought we had it under control, but when he stood up to come downstairs, puke again. Poor guy. We upped his dex, that should help, if he can keep it down! Zofran isn't really helping much, which tells us the nausea is due to swelling. Thanks for coming to help, Bob.

The visit with the doc was good. He said, "Big guy, I'm not giving up on you!" He prescribed the tarceva and VP-16, and we'll check next week on blood counts and how Dave's feeling, if all is good, we'll add temodar at that point. The pharmacy had to order the meds, so we won't start until tomorrow. Both are pills, so that will be easier than IV. I'm actually glad that the pharmacy didn't have them in stock, because I ex…