Thursday, July 21, 2016

Chapter 1: The Lived Moment of Cancer

Welcome to the multi media support blog for Chalkboard Legacies!! We hope you enjoy these videos and photos and get to know our family even better. We invite you to share your comments and experiences and join us as we seek to deprive death of its strangeness and help others find hope in the face of terminal illness! 

David Breaks Bad News about the cancer to his faculty and friends using YouTube. His first chalkboard lesson! 

Chapter 2: Chalkboards: No Better Time to Teach

In Chapter 2 we try to share our favorite videos with you and describe why they were so valuable to each of us. We hope that you can find your favorite as well. 

David's Haircut. We invite you into the salon with us as he looses his beautiful locks--remember to watch for the the mohawk just for Matt and his football team!

Cancer, Chemo and Medications explains the choices one must make as they are taking so many medications. Again, watch the reference to Matt's state-championship football game! 

The 21-Day Cycle of Chemotherapy explains how David feels on various days between treatments. This is the video the man in the hospital was talking about in the beginning of the chapter.

A funny side note here: Notice that David is using his iPad to prop up the chart he made by hand- he couldn't figure out how to get it on his iPad! LOL 

A bonus look at the fun at the famous state championship football game mentioned by Matt in this chapter! Matt's team won and the General was awaiting in the tunnel! 

Tina, Andrew, Jessica prepare to cheer!

Happy General's greet in the tunnel after the victory

Matt on the field

Part of the squad cheering: David, Debbie, Andrew, Jessica, Tina

Chapter 3: Decisions: Risks vs Benefits

David prepares for radiation therapy to help with his vomiting.

We share three videos in this chapter, all that have to do with decisions. 

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions talks about the burden of having to constantly reevaluate choices and make difficult decisions. 

Questions to Ask Your Doctor is a video that explains the list provided in this chapter's Chalkbook Strategy

Palliative Radiation discusses David's decision to accept radiation and what it involves.

Chapter 4: Bucket List Memories

A very special Thanksgiving family photo

Moving Down The Bucket List allows David to discuss the importance of making memories with the family and some of the ways he had done it.

Time Has New Meaning shares how it feels when you have so little. David explains how you do not wish time away but cherish it when you are dying.

Fun family photos

Tina graduates from college

A trip to the Arctic Circle

A namesake is born

Celebrating Jessica's graduation in Canada

An unforgettable trip to Europe; Mike, Michelle, Megan, Debbie, Matt, David

A special day with the grandchildren in Mexico

A special dinner with Brad

Chapter 5: Living with Hope

To survive we must practice what has been working for us since this devastating disease changed our lives: focus on living, not dying. --David

My Exit Strategy shares David's HOPE for the end of his life. To die at Home surrounded by Others, Pain free and Excited until the end.

Finding Hope After Chemotherapy describes how David felt lost and alone after all the attention during treatment. David talks about how he found hope once we finished his chemotherapy.

Its Back describes how the cancer was invisible on PET scans for a year, but grew back  once again. David shares the realization once again that he is going to die.

Chapter 6: Navigating the Labyrinth of Cancer

The complications of cancer treatment, both physical and emotional, are not to be underestimated. Caregivers are patients also; however, they are not recognized as such by the health care team. I remember the first time I gave David shots in his stomach. I cried every time, knowing I was hurting him. You just do what you have to do! 

There are Two Patients Not One. In this video, Davids final, he discusses the challenges of caregiving. He died 6 weeks after making this video for one of Debbie's medical-student lectures.

 Preparing for Caregiving. In this video Debbie shares the ways caregivers need to be prepared as they begin this journey. 

Mans Best Friend Talks About Cancer. This video was our most fun to make. Meet our dog, Chewy, who has a very important role even today in my life. He takes care of me--David told him to.

Just a few of the many medical photos showing challenges. 

Chapter 7: A Final Lived Moment

I hope to be pain free and excited about the end. Knowing that these things don't always work out, at a minimum I hope Debbie is holding my hand and lying by my side. It would be great if I were aware of her presence and of others who may be surrounding me, but again, this may not be likely either. At least it feels good to think that it may happen this way.--David

Hospice It's Time. In this video David discusses his decision to go on hospice early. He was on hospice exactly 180 days. We cherished each one as finally we had someone to call when things went wild. We had someone to check on things without bothering our physicians. 

A last picture with Tina, Becky, Jessica, Debbie and Ollie, three days before he died

A foot bath every night- the highlight of the day

Sunshine for the soul

An afternoon lunch with Brad

A final goodbye to Ollie

Chapter 8: Love and Grief: An Equation

The hurt, the grief, is directly proportional to the love we felt and experienced with the person we lost.--David

The Love/Grief Equation. Hear David discuss his love and grief equation in person.

One Last Time. Rocky Mountain National Park is the setting for this video as David describes how he wants his ashes taken up to his favorite spot.

Chapter 9: Legacies of Love

The Celebration of Life for David B. Oliver

Becky, Debbie, Brad and David celebrate a beautiful day

Enjoy David's Memorial Celebration. Caution: It totals 2 hours! It was a party to behold. Laugh and cry with us as we remember this amazing man and give thanks for his legacy.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Photos from our hike up the mountain to grant his final wish.

Loch Vale Lake

Ready to go--Jessica, Becky, Debbie, Tina, Brad

Brad, Becky and Justin stop on the trail

We made it!

Ashes carried by all with a memorial water bottle

We gather to begin the hike

Ollie and Jessica put Grandpa in the water

Chapter 10: Messages of Hope and New Lived Moments

"I pray that Debbie, and our children and grandchildren will draw on their memories of the wonderful moments of love and affection that we have shared. they will miss me because of the memories, yet without these special times our lives would not be what they have been. I hope they dwell on that thought, and celebrate it." David B. Oliver

On June 21, 2016 Becky married Justin on the island of Santorini, Greece. When she was ten years old and went to Santorini the first time, she told David that she was going to get married there-- and on this day she did. Surrounded by 30 friends and family we celebrated a new start. This our first family photo since David died represents a new start, represented by this family photo, our first since David died. From left to right Michelle, Mike, Megan, Matt, Justin, Becky, Tina, Debbie, Ollie, Jessica and Andrew--missing Brad and family the entire time!

Here comes the bride!

Escorted by Uncle Brian

The look of love

Let's Dance!

And she rides the donkeys again!

Let's make it to the boat on time!

Bride Becky, Justin, Megan

Heading up in a cable car

Ready or not here she comes

I do I do

Greek music abounds

Andrew, Ollie, and Jessica

Mike and Becky dance-- and David smiles

Matt, Megan and Debbie

2016 Matt and Megan
2011 Matt and Megan with Grandpa David there

Mike and Michelle

Mike and David 2011
And the idea was born as Becky and Tina share!