As an “amiga of Dave” I’m taking it upon myself to update from the perspective of an outsider, the thought being that you could get a glimpse of the situation as you might see it if you were here with him. I’m incredibly fortunate to have spent the week with the Montoya brothers, as well as Dave’s girlfriend, Naomi.
When reading the blog updates for the past few months, I found myself wondering more about the day-to-day and the personal stuff. I get confused reading medical terms and still felt in the dark about the reality of things. I wasn’t sure if I was the only one who felt that way, so I talked to Dan about how I might help and this is what we came up with—unbeknownst to me as Dan’s original intent—to have friends of Dave’s updating, posting, encouraging and even expressing concerns or asking questions. Hence, “amigosofdave.”
We’re all concerned, as Dave’s friends and family, and for good reason. Here is this amazing man--funny, positive, kind—struggling through something I personally can’t fathom…nor did I imagine I’d ever have to fathom on such a personal level. I’ll be the first (second, third?) to assure you that Dave hasn’t lost those qualities that make him who he is. Naomi and I think he’s getting funnier every day (which he accredits to the radioactivity from his treatments). As one can expect, there are good days, but among those are bad ones…discouraging days and days where you just don’t want to get out of bed.
Before I made it to LA, I had thought the worst to be honest. I didn’t really have any idea what to expect Dave’s physical state to be. As easy as it is to be pleasantly surprised when you’re expecting the worst, I’ll firmly say that I would have been pleasantly surprised even if I had expected the best I could have imagined a week ago. Except for the struggles with walking, and a really bad-ass scar, you’d never see anything but a healthy and happy Dave.
I’m unfortunately not the most educated person about cancer of any form, or the treatments that one must go through, but the doctors in LA believe that Dave is on the path to a full recovery. It’s so good. The length of time is unknown, but irrelevant. Again, it’s so good.
Dave and Dan currently live in Culver City in an apartment that is sublet-ted to them by the clinic. They share the 3-bedroom place with two other couples who are patients as well. It’s an interesting dynamic, but is good for the time. It’s very close to the clinic and is spacious and welcoming enough for the boys to live their lives comfortably for a while. Of course they are influencing their housemates who watch them prepare their raw vegan meals and get to smell the aromas coming from Dan’s creations. Just the other night, as we sat in the kitchen, a housemate was pleased to announce that he was on his way to the store to buy fresh fruit and goji berries for smoothies…this coming from someone who seems addicted to microwave popcorn. Needless to say, the Montoyas are influencing Americans left and right and are quickly making friends with everyone around. They’re already on a first-name basis with the employees of the local coffee shop, the local vegan restaurant and everyone at the clinic. Their magnetism has not faltered.
Dave’s currently focused on walking and maintaining energy. It’s beautiful to see that he is not bound to his wheelchair and walks and climbs stairs as often as possible. His physical state is improving each day and he’s doing better than the doctors expected. The dreaded nausea from the current treatment seems to have passed Dave by for the most part and the symptoms only pause the day for a moment instead of dragging him down. It goes without saying that both Dave and Dan’s heads are in the right place and they’re determined to fight this together. They’re very lucky to have each other and it is fun to see them working together and supporting each other.
The boys do have some needs and bumps in the road, but with our positive thoughts and words things will be easier for the both of them. Continue to keep them in mind and heart and feel free to ask questions and express concerns you might have. It helps everyone if no one is in the dark about things. Dave’s cancer is a reality we can’t imagine, but a reality nonetheless. I feel so blessed to have spent such quality time with the Montoyas and plan to have as much more of it as I can in the following months. I’ll be in constant contact and close proximity to them, so if I can be of help to anyone I will do whatever I can.
I hope this helps someone at least. Your turn…..