Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Jan 20th, 2009

Peggy and I arrived home to cold and snowy Red Creek on Sunday night and although the sun and warmth of Florida seem like a distant dream, it is good to be home and to sleep in our own bed. It was a wonderful trip and allowed us some time to put all of this in perspective before jumping back in.

On Monday we went to see an ear, nose and throat specialist in Canandaiqua. Dr. Simmons was really pleasant and scoped my nose and nasal passages and the upper part of my throat. He also did a through exam of my tonsils,{yes I still have them!} and the back part of my throat and tongue. He could not find any irregularities that jumped out at him, and unfortunately this type of cancer {squammous cell}, can be hard to find and the main site can be really small. Our next step will be a pet scan of my head, neck and chest. These are similar to CT scans but also work with a glucose base that can detect even small groups of cancer cells quite easily. The pet scan will be scheduled for later this week or next Monday. The ENT feels that if the pet scan is clear than we most likely will be able to start treatment without additional surgeries. Our oncologist may want to explore some more at that point. If cancer cells are found on my tonsils or the back of my throat, there is a good chance that more lymph nodes could be seeded and another operation of my neck to remove more nodes could be necessary. So there are still are a lot of questions but it’s good to be in motion and in the hunt for the main source of the cancer cells. Slowly the picture will become a little clearer.

On this inauguration day, as we celebrate hope and a wonderful new beginning, I take that feeling of hope with me and will let it become the theme for this year. If there is one thing I am learning from all of this it is to live in the moment, live for this day and this day, Jan 20,2009 is filled with hope! I thank you all so much for your warm and thoughtful comments and notes, they are a constant source of comfort and strength. Here’s to new beginnings.


  1. Hi Dan and Peg,
    Great picture of you! Thanks for the update on your search for answers. I keep you in my heart always. Hope is the feeling today. Keep believing in the spirit of hope.

  2. Hi Dan and Peggy - I was in Miami this weekend, when MG sent me a text message about your diagnosis. I don't know what to say, except that you are in our prayers. This time of new diagnosis and trying to figure out your treatment plan and course of action can be so confusing and frightening. For me, I moved through this time in a state of shock, and it took time to take it in and accept it as my current reality. Sometimes I still catch myself not believing that it happened to me.

    I hope that you and Peggy will call on me for support as you need it. Peggy's retreat this summer was a great turning point for me, and I would be honored to offer you even a fraction of what I got out of my time at Sagamore. You are in my and MaryGail's thoughts and prayers.

  3. Dan;
    Remember that "you have cancer, it doesn't have you." Your positive efforts and attitude will be a source of strength for both you and Peggy.
    Our prayers and positive energy are with you. Come to First UU when you can and FEEL the LOVE. ;^)
    We were all beside ourselves when we heard your news.
    The above quote is the headline of our son's blog. [bertscholl@blogspot.com] His story might interest you. We need to hear your music, so keep it coming! It may well be part of your healing.
    Love to you and to Peggy.
    Pam and Jim Anderegg

  4. Dan and Peggy,
    I echo Deb's words above--your thoughtful insights and positive, proactive approach are inspiring. Our thoughts, prayers, and healing energy are with you both.
    Love, Fred and Rebecca

  5. Dan and Peggy:

    Glad to hear you're back from Florida and enthusiastically engaged with your doctors and the treatment plan. It sounds like you and they are doing all the right things. Stay optimistic!

    Ken K and all the CNY Dulcimer gang send their best wishes as well.

    As Always,

  6. Dan, What a beautiful picture of you - hold onto that image as an inspirational source of healing energy! Mike and I are keeping you in our thoughts, and send our love to you and Peggy.
    Elaine and Mike

  7. Dan and Peggy,
    Missed you in Saranac Lake this past First Night. As always, your music makes sweeter harmonies in the North Country. Glad you've had some warmth and sunshine in Florida.
    May that warmth, and the love of these friends and ever so many more in the frigid north carry you through these new challenges.
    I'm thinking of you and wish more than ever that I could wrap my arms around both of you right now.
    Heaven knows the warmth of your hugs, and your sweet, sassy, and un-holy music have carried me through many a rough patch.
    Love, Susan

  8. Hi Dan & Peg,
    You in the sun is beautiful. We're soooo glad that Florida was good. And share your excitment about the new political era that is beginning. I has reading quotes today, and came across one from Mary Wollstonecraft.
    "The beginning is always today"
    Peace & Love Woody & Elise

  9. The picture is great, and at last I can see the blog...thanks for keeping us in the loop.
    I trust that all our positive thinking is working, and that you feel this network of love. You are intrumental (no pun intended) in reminding us of the gifts of music and positive light...and we all are shining it back on you now.
    Take care, rememeber to breathe, and feel the love coming to you.

    We're with you.

    It would be nice if SU won a few more games, eh?

  10. Dear Dan and Peggy
    We heard about your newest adventure thru the Gilmans. So glad that you are attacking it the way you are. Positive thinking is so important and knowing you as we do we wouldn't expect anything else. Having worked all these many years as a RN I have come to realize that with positive thinking and a strong faith people can and do face and conquer unbelievable challanges.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with both of you and we will be sending powerfull loving thoughts to you at 7pm.
    Peg and Craig

  11. Faith and Bob were here

  12. Hey Dan and Mamma,

    I just talked to you a few minutes ago on the phone in the hospital. Dan, It was so nice to hear your voice. It sounds like you are doing well and mom says your really with it, considering the drugs they have you taking! Just remember all the cool things you are going to make in that juicer, Ill get you some cool recipes. Love you up the gumpstump! Can't wait to see you tomorrow. mmmwahhh.


  13. I just spoke with Cathy Marczyk. What a wonderful friend you have in her.
    We are all thinking of you daily and praying as well.
    Your music continues to inspire us.
    Let it be an inspiration to you and Peggy as well.

    Pam and Jim

  14. Hi Dan,

    It was so good to see you at the Music Hall gathering yesterday. I had kept up with your progress through mutual friends yet was still heartened at how well and strong you look! It is clear that music, faith and the love of family and friends nurtures your spirit and body! You are in my heart. I will see you at the 7:00 vibe!

    Love and Light,

  15. Lieb,J.Defeating cancer with antidepressants."ecancermedicalscience DOI.10.3332/eCMS 2008.88