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Doug Robinson: Dick Nourse hopes to get life back on track

Published: Monday, March 11 2013 10:40 p.m. MDT

So he began yet another regimen of cancer treatments — six weeks of radiation treatment, Monday through Friday, plus chemo treatments on Friday. The radiation was presented on the outside of his jaw, which ravaged his throat inside and out. His beard was destroyed. Skin hung from his jaw. He lost 40 pounds on a liquid diet. He still can't taste food. His throat is raw and burnt.

"Recovery is a long, slow process," he says. "One day I'm up and one day I'm down. But I'm coming around."

Debi and Dick are sitting on a couch in their family room, which has a large window that commands a vista of Salt Lake Valley. They are holding hands and sitting close to one another. Dayne, who is home-schooled for medical reasons, is in a back room playing video games with friends he has made via the Internet.

This is where they recover and plot their next medical move because the medical community tends to leave patients to search for their own answers when certain options turn into dead ends. They had hoped to travel in a motorhome with Dayne to show him the country. They had hoped to live in St. George, but moved here to be closer to Dayne's doctors.

"We had a lot of plans for retirement," Debi says, "but we haven't done any of them yet. All we've done is meet all the medical needs. I feel bad 'cause Dick worked really hard and did well and provided for his family."

Nourse thinks about this a moment and then offers this: "I want to get my strength back," he says in his raspy voice. "I want to get back to helping Dayne. That's where I left off. That's the frustrating part — not being to help him. Dayne is a beautiful-spirited young man, and I love him."

Email: drob@desnews.com

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