|B. Davis Campbell |
(photo from author's blog site)
B. Davis Campbell (aka "Davy") is a good friend who has written a book about his battle with cancer, A Place I Didn't Want to Go. We both have a career in nursing at a large hospital. Davy is much more conservative than I, and I doubt that we ever vote the same way at the polls on election day, but that has never mattered because he’s a nice guy, a supportive colleague, and a great person to work with.
A Cancer Survivor
A few years ago when was diagnosed with cancer. We were all concerned, and we watched as he underwent surgery and treatment. There were days he had to miss work, and some days he had to go back into the hospital to treat an infection. Things seemed to resolve for Davy following his treatment except that he had to make some adjustments due to his surgery, but he never stopped working and never shirked any of his duties.
While he had was going through his cancer ordeal, Davy had other stressors on the home front which would have been devastating to me, yet he kept on going. Once life seemed to stabilize, cancer was discovered in his lymph nodes. He found himself battling cancer again, this time going through a grueling series of chemotherapy treatments. He lost weight, lost all of his hair, battled extreme nausea and, of course, there were more hospital admissions. Even so, he continued right on with his duties at work. On good days, he was right there with his thin, bald self, carrying on with his work day. On bad days, he just kept on keeping on.
An Everyday Hero
Fortunately, he now has his weight and his hair back, and he is carrying on with his normal life. Something occurred to me one day back when he was in the middle of his cancer treatment. He was thin, pale and bald from chemotherapy and as he went past the nurses’ station to talk with a patient’s family I realized that Davy had become one of heroes, and I knew exactly why. He had encountered some of the biggest calamities I could imagine within the course of a couple of years. That day I realized that if I ever found myself facing unbelievable trials and wondering if I could even make it, I would have Davy’s example to assure me that I can indeed carry on.
One day at work, as we found ourselves in a conversation about life and illness – one of those three-minute interludes in the course of a busy day – I said it out loud right there at the nurse’s station, “Davy, you are my hero.” And I told him exactly why – because of his example. Having seen what he had endured would give me hope in anything I may have to face down the road. I’ll know I can do it because I saw him do it.
Davy just took that comment in stride and we both then proceeded with the business at hand. I am glad to have had many days since then carrying on our business at hand – caring for patients on a busy hospital floor.
Telling his Own Story
I have given you my recollection and my connection with Davy Campbell. Fortunately, Davy has written his own account, detailing his battle with cancer in A Place I Didn't Want to Go: My Victory Over Cancer. He offers an inside look at cancer treatment, and also shares how he was able to draw upon his faith while facing the trials and uncertainties of his illness. He states that in 2006 “My chances of living five years per my oncologist were 15-20%. I have now been declared cured of cancer and relish the life that God has given me.” Davy also has a blog, Overcoming Cancer at http://cancerovercomer.blogspot.com/.