Tuesday, July 7, 2009

7/07/09 Persistence !!

This has been a really enjoyable week. I was able to do the performances with the Susquehanna String Band and the Symphony of Northern NY. The music was wonderful and lifted our spirits and certainly brightened our day. Not to mention how great it was to see and hang out with Rick and John for a few days. But I am finding that doing the gigs this summer will take a lot forethought, energy and persistence! My energy level is still considerably lower than what is normal for me, and one of the biggest challenges right now is eating on the road. I take some soft food with me and everything that is needed for the peg tube. Getting enough calories to sustain things is really a challenge and going out to eat can be an adventure!! I do really well at the 24 hour breakfast places! Eggs, pancakes, and omelets all manna from heaven right now. I am also trying to be smart about having enough time to rest up before and after jobs. Last night I called the dance for the intergenerational camp here at Great Camp Sagamore in northern NY. With the help of the remote headset microphone things went pretty well. I am finding that my voice has become a bit deeper, (the speech therapist mentioned that this is really common from radiation anywhere near the vocal chords) and when I sing I will need to lower the keys of the songs so singing will be more comfortable !

As I look at our summer performance schedule, I know that I will have to take one day at a time and be as persistent as I can until things start to level out a little more.And as challenging as things may seem, I am truly thrilled to be able to be making music this summer. Positive attitude and persistence are two things that my Dad passed down to me and now I am finding the great virtue of these during this challenge of recovering from cancer treatments! I will continue to see the ENT every month and the oncologists every three months. In the meantime, I’ll keep the blog going every week with any updates that do occur! I hope to see you at a performance sometime this summer. And remember the power of persistence, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Thanks so much again for all the support and thoughts that are coming our way, it is appreciated more than you will ever know . I’ll look for you at 7:00.


  1. Dan, I am glad to see you are doing well. My family is planning on coming to the 2009 Cranberry Gathering and I hope that you will up to the Workshops and concert. I am looking forward to seeing you play on Saturday night. I bought my Hammered Dulcimer from you over a year or two ago and have yet to really use it. Time management is becoming so frustrating. Still I am glad to see you doing well. We keep you in our prayers and look forward to a complete recovery for you. Have a good summer, rest up and hope to see you July 25th.


  2. What a great beginning sentence that is for all of us who travel with you in spirit! And I imagine the nourishment you get from making music, as well as from soft foods, strengthens you. Hooray for persistance!

  3. HI Dan:

    So glad to hear you had a wonderful experience with John and Rick. I'm sure they, as well as the audience, appreciated your efforts and music all the more. With what you've been through recently, it has underscored what a wonderful gift of music that you have inside you that everyone around you is blessed with the opportunity to hear. We are all so fortunate to continue to share in that gift.

    As a famous Vulcan once said "Live well and prosper, my friend".

    - Eric

  4. Dan,

    You sound great, and it seems like things are slowly but definitely getting better. I know it can be hard to gauge ahead of time what your energy levels will be; taking things one day at a time is the best approach. Eventually, you will find that you have more energy and stamina, but it will take a while.

    I have read, and found to be true, that taking long walks helps to build stamina. 30 minutes or more a day; I don't know about you, but it is not always easy for me to make that a priority. I did find that some days, especially during early recovery, I would have fatigue just from sitting around the house. Those are the days that I found long walks to be most beneficial. I would feel less fatigued, although I would feel physically tired. But I always feel better when I'm tired for a reason.

    We recently hired a trainer at the gym, because I have found that I am not pushing myself as hard as I want or getting the results that I want in terms of strengthening the areas affected by surgery or increasing my stamina. But I'm a year out from chemo, and a year and a half out from my mastectomy - recovering from treatment takes a while!

    I hope to be able to catch a performance of yours some time this summer.


  5. Of course we have the room ready for you here at the Red House along with some soft muffins by Kelley and some smoothies and omelettes by Helen. How could it be otherwise at Folk Festival time?

  6. Danny,

    You were in great form last night here at Great Camp Sagamore. It was no small feat to direct an evening of contradancing for a gathering of grandparents and (very young) grandkids, using a headset to shout out the calls while at the same time playing your hammered dulcimer with your customary wizardry. You didn't miss a beat in either activity, and you remain the one of the best I've seen in keeping the such a diverse crowd moving and laughing in remarkable synchrony.

    Knowing what you've been through these past months, it was a blessing to see you out there making folks happier than you with a piece of pie.

    Tom Hodgson

  7. My husband has just been diagnosed with neck cancer. We start radiation(5 days a week) and chemo (1 day a week) on July 30th. any suggestions you can make that will help us get ready - or hellp get us through this would be great. I feel like we should be doing something now to prepare his body for this onslaught, but I don't know what! He is drinking Boost with protein. We are hoping that he does not lose weight. We do not want a feeding tube.