Dave Thacker Cancer Fight

Dave joined the Marine Corp in 1968 and was immediately sent to fight for his country during the Vietnam war.  He came home with the Bronze Star and Silver star.  He also brought home a unseen enemy called Agent Orange that would lead him down a dark road of 4 different cancers.

In 1970 he joined The Norfolk Police Department. Dave retired as a Norfolk Police Office after 37  years when in 2005 he had his first cancer, Esophagus cancer. Removal of esophagus 7 weeks in ICU then chemo and radiation.  In 2007 the 2nd cancer turned up as a Sarcoma cancer of pelvis.
Surgery then chemo and radiation. Fast forward to December 2015,  3rd cancer,  throat cancer.  Radical surgery to remove vocal chords, larynx, etc. also a  tracheostomy with  permanent stoma , and a permanent feeding tube inserted into abdomen.
He no longer speak or swallow so he is hooked up to a feeding pump 12 hours a day to get liquid nutrition.  He never has complained about the situation he is in, because in true Dave fashion he says  “Hey, I’m still alive.   In June this year we found out he has a rare gastric stomach cancer that has already grown  very big and Stage IV.  There are no options for his cancer except a drug called Keytruda that may buy him more time.

Agent Orange was sprayed on foliage to kill it to make it easier for the troops to find the enemy.  Our  Government said “oh it’s harmless”.

Several months ago the talking device he uses to communicate with broke and he now communicates using a erasable small white board. He loves to tell jokes and talk with old friends.

We want to get him another speaking device , but they are very expensive.  Only God knows when he will be called home, and we want to surround this hero of a man with the people, and things that he enjoys.  Even here in the ICU , he is still making others laugh.
When asked by hospital staff if he would like Hospice care at home, he in no certain terms said “No I don’t and why is everyone acting like I’m going to die”. Spoken like the fighter he is!
Having some nursing care for him at home would be a blessing
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Linda Thacker 
Chesapeake, VA
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