Get busy livin’

“I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.” Andy Dufresne uttered these words in a pivotal scene from the movie Shawshank Redemption, and it came back to me today as I contemplated the news I just received.  I’ve invested a lot in “gettin’ busy living” over the past 2 years… achieving many new goals in my life.  It rose to a new level when I learned that my brother Jeff was fighting Multiple Myeloma. 

You faithful readers know that I took on my first marathon to raise money for research.  I picked a marathon because I knew it would be hard.  I wanted to push the envelope of what I was capable of… and to show Jeff that I was willing to do anything to help him. (He also enjoys being a running coach and Lord knows I needed one.)  It was an investment of my time, physical effort and emotion that culminated in crossing the finish line with over $4000 raised for MMRF. (Thank you again to all who gave.)

I have eagerly awaited Jeff’s day of triumph too – when the doctors would say “the chemo and stem cell transplant worked and you are in full remission!”  Unfortunately, that was not the news I got today.  His overall blood numbers look good but there are couple of spots on his vertebrae that need a closer look.  He needs further testing and further treatment to beat it completely.

Honestly, I had prepared two different speeches in my mind for the phone call.  The first one was easy.  It was all about “Woohoo, let’s celebrate!”  The second one was much harder.  Basically, I offered, “OK, that’s round 1, and you looked pretty good.  Now let’s get back in there for round 2.  When you look back you’ll see a lot of friends and family still in your corner.”

Is there any other choice than to fight?  Jeff is a fighter, which is good because giving up is not really an option in this challenge.  I have drawn strength from watching him take on the challenge with remarkable composure. 

I have also experienced quiet moments when I thought about my remaining time here on earth and wondered if I was making the best of it.  This experience has awakened me to the truth that every day really does count. 

To paraphrase the words of Rick Warren, “If you’re not pushing forward and striving to give yourself to help others, you’re not really living.  You’re just existing.”  I sincerely believe I have more to give and that I can do more with each day I’ve got.  How about you? 

Let’s get busy livin’.

NOTE: With Jeff’s blessing, I continue to make this story public as a means of creating awareness for MMRF and offering a donation channel for finding a cure.

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7 Comments on “Get busy livin’”

  1. Jeff Bagby Says:

    So sorry to hear all of this. My prayers will continue to be directed toward Jeff and his victory


  2. Well, as someone who spends a lot of time in cancer wards and has watched as my daughter battled cancer, I think I understand exactly how you feel. As always you put it so eloquently.

    I have been quietly watching and praying. The last time I saw Jeff was your wedding. But, of what I remember from back in the Cattle co.days, jeff has the perfect personaity to fight this thing. And, since I have been working as an advocate for people with cancer for a decade, I see miracles every day. I know too that no one would ever will cancer on a loved one. But, when it happens, you see a side of humanity that you may have previously missed. Here you see a side of human compassion and generocity that you would never have experienced without being touched by cancer.

    So keep running those races Dave. And treasure each day. With the love of people like you and your strength to fight along side others,
    I truly.believe we will soon unlock a cure. Thabkyou for all you are doing and god bless Jeff and your family. I hope to see better news soon.
    Robbin.

  3. Shelley Says:

    I hear ya cuz
    I too was thinking the next conversation wa going to be Wow way to go. I sure hope you guys are coming to Family Week-end in St. Augustine this year. LOVE LOVE TO SEE YOU!

  4. Nora Says:

    Robbin put it very well – Jeff is the guy to fight this. And he couldn’t ask for a better partner in this than you.

    You two continue to inspire me!

  5. kellye Says:

    David, I will continue hitting this in prayer agreeing with the Word, Isaiah 53:4 and 1Peter 2:24 “by whose stripes,ye were healed” for Jeff. Much love to you and the family.
    Kellye

  6. Satinder Singh Says:

    David, I was saddened to hear about your brother, Jeff. My prayers and best wishes are with him. You are so right about it reminding us of our remaining time on this planet in this body the way we know it and really living it as fully as we can. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Karen Says:

    David, I’m sorry to hear the news. You have the right attitude… keeping moving and keep helping others. We don’t know why we face the challenges we do, but there lessons to be learned somewhere here. Positive thoughts and prayers are for you and your entire family. Karen


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