Excerpt from Chapter Fourteen – “THE DECISION”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Fourteen – “THE DECISION”:

After a few hours, Lance had made his decision. Vicki had
left him no real choice, and Dr. Carbone had not been
encouraging. Some would endure a wheelchair and other disabilities
over death. Lance certainly would not, and it was clear
that Vicki wanted no part of it either. God may intervene and save
her, but it would have to be Him. Lance was not going to tell
Vicki what she should do. Had Vicki given him more of a choice,
he would have opted for the shunt, but her instructions, and the
effort that she had undergone to issue them, left no doubt.

Lance imagined the guilt he would feel if she were shunted
and the results were catastrophic. A woman who loved him
might turn to hate him, and he might hate her. They had had
seven magical days together, and without divine intervention,
no more were coming.

Excerpt from Chapter Thirteen – “THE TEST OF LOVE”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Thirteen – “THE TEST OF LOVE”:

The wait until four was of no significance. Nothing was
going to change for the good. Vicki was not going to
make a remarkable recovery, and there was going to be no
magic out for Lance. Vicki had seen to it that someone who
truly loved her would be given the shunt decision, and she
had seen to it that Lance loved her. They had enjoyed their
seven days of love, but now it was truly over. Lance was faced
with the reality that Vicki had prepared. They had had a wonderful

Lance thought lovingly of the week they had enjoyed. She
had made him feel unlike any other, and there was not going
to be another. Down the hall and near death was Vicki. He
would pay anything to have her back, but miracles are not

Her instructions had been clear and unequivocal. Lance
hoped that there would be minimal permanent impairment.
Vicki with a limp was doable, although forbidden by Vicki’s
instruction, but the degree of permanency projected by Doctor
Carbone gave little choice. To pull the plug on someone he
loved, as he did Vicki, was not easy for Lance. Death is permanent
and unforgiving, but survival always gives chances.

Excerpt from Chapter Twelve – “SURGERY”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Twelve – “SURGERY”:

Lance had been told that the surgery would last about six
hours. Dr. Kantor had indicated that anything less than
two would mean the surgeons hadn’t dare touch the tumor,
guaranteeing Vicki certain death. Of course, six hours would
mean that the surgeons were going into vital places that might
lead to permanent damage. That thought terrorized Lance, as
it had Vicki.

Lance went to the cafeteria for a cup of coffee. It was not
decaf, and the last thing he needed was a stimulant. He read
all the magazines there—exactly two—and they were a year
old. He wondered why medical facilities could never afford
reading material for those in the waiting room.

Excerpt from Chapter Eleven – “TO THE HOSPITAL”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Eleven – “TO THE HOSPITAL”:

Vicki was expectedly somber on the ride over to the hospital.
There was nothing more to say, by either. It was
not unlike the walk to the death chamber made by those on
death row. Lance was shaking, but he did not want Vicki to see
it. Vicki kept her sunglasses on, masking her tears. Their time
was about over.

They went, pursuant to instruction, to surgery admission.
Vicki was taken into a room by a nurse or assistant, and Lance
was shown to a waiting room that would become his hell over
the next few days. Vicki undressed and donned a johnny. An
anesthesiologist came in and gave her a much-needed sedative.
Lance was brought in. He and Vicki held hands, and then
the sedative took hold. Vicki started to babble.

Excerpt from Chapter Ten – “THE LAST SUPPER”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Ten – “THE LAST SUPPER”:

There were no pre-surgery restrictions for Vicki, so they
ordered a bottle of wine for her and scotch for Lance.
They dined on chicken and rice, which room service delivered.
Lance certainly needed the scotch, and Vicki her wine. Finally,
during dinner, Lance got something off his chest. “I am certainly
not thinking you will go there, Vicki, but I had an out-ofbody
experience. I have seen death, and it was very pleasant.”

Vicki did not know that, and wanted to know every detail.

“Not very much to tell. I got hit in the neck by a hockey
stick while refereeing. It put pressure on my carotid artery,
which stopped my heart. I hit the floor and watched myself
being down. Something of me was drifting up, and I was
watching myself. I was leaving my body, and it was very peaceful.
For no reason, while the ambulance crew was tending to
me, my heart started to turn over and I decided to live—but it
wasn’t very much fun while my heart was beating ten beats per

Excerpt from Chapter Nine – “THE DOCTOR VISIT”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Nine – “THE DOCTOR VISIT”:

Dr. Phillip Kantor was a top-notch neurosurgeon. He
had surgeon’s rights at many hospitals, including
Aspen. He had been treating Vicki for a little over a year, and
her prognosis was not good. Basically, she had a very aggressive
brain tumor that had resisted chemo and radiation. He
had performed exploratory surgery a few months prior, but
left the tumor untouched. The tumor seemed to encroach on
parts of the brain which controlled basic functions of life. To
invade these areas surgically ran the clear risk of death or permanent
life-altering injury. He had had several consultations
with his colleagues, and all agreed.

He had last seen Vicki a month before and had gone over
her options. If nothing was done, she would surely die, and it
was impossible to know how death would arrive. In all likelihood,
death would be preceded by balance loss, extreme
headaches, loss of motor function, and, ultimately, organ failure.
Radical surgery, which was scheduled, was very risky, and
death in surgery was possible. More likely was brain damage,
leaving severe and permanent impairment to the patient. To
have a chance at life, Vicki had to be willing to risk being
gravely impaired and to face endless rehab.

Excerpt from Chapter Eight – “THE TALK”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Eight – “THE TALK”:

The trip out of camp was uneventful, a two-mile walk followed
by a two-hour drive. There was no hand holding,
no love making. Each dreaded where they were going. This
was day seven. Each had, without question, found love, and
each wanted it to last forever—or at least longer. Lance was
convinced there would be a way out. He was more certain
than ever that this was not the end.

Vicki was just as sure that this was the end. Seven days
prior, she had been very much alone. She had planned and
charted each course, and the journey had been a huge success.
By all measures she was not as empty and lonely as she had
been. Through no fault of either, their lives together would
soon end.

By two o’clock, they were home. Vicki looked at Lance and
sighed. It was time. She had checked her messages; there were
none. The governor had not called.

Excerpt from Chapter Seven – “THE POND CAMP”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Seven – “THE POND CAMP”:

Dawn had already cracked when Vicki smelled the coffee.
Lance was cooking bacon and home fries. Soon, he
scrambled some eggs. The camp was cool and pleasant.

“Don’t worry about the fat content of this breakfast. We are
going to burn it off and then some,” Lance assured her.

Vicki didn’t answer, but fat content was the least of her
worries. She looked at the exhausted beagles, who had
crawled into the camp during the predawn darkness. “What
do we do with them?” she asked.

“They’ll walk in with us. They aren’t that dead.”

Excerpt from Chapter Six – “THE SOUP KITCHEN”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Six – “THE SOUP KITCHEN”:

Vicki awoke early. She was dressed and showered by 7:30.
Lance had prepared omelets and home fries from baby
potatoes in the garden. They had to be at the soup kitchen by

“Eat well now. We’ll be in food all morning, and we probably
will eat our own cooking for lunch,” instructed Lance.

“What will that be?” asked Vicki.

“Baked chicken, rice pilaf, string beans, cranberry sauce,
and hot rolls.”

“Sounds great. How many do you expect, Lance?”

“At least 150. Maybe more.”

Excerpt from Chapter Five – “THE RIDE AND THE JUMP”

Seven Days to Love by Robert Daviau

Excerpt from Chapter Five – “THE RIDE AND THE JUMP”:

Lance was up at 5:00. Vicki awakened at 7:00. Room service
appeared with black coffee and Danish. Lance had
showered and was fully dressed, but Vicki still had a few cobwebs
from the champagne. They sipped coffee and nibbled
sweet rolls on Vicki’s deck overlooking a largely subdued
Atlantic. The storm had passed, and the sun was quickly meeting
the ocean fog. Vicki was still remembering the kiss in the
lagoon, the wine by the fire, the tango, and her Grand
Marnier. To her, it would be a hard act to follow. She was also
bothered by how seriously she was falling for Lance. Her life
did not allow for that.

Lance finished his second cup of coffee and looked at
Vicki. “On the way home, we’ll stop at Fun Park. They have a
great roller coaster. Then we have a skydive at Lancaster Airport
at 3:00. Have you ever skydived, Vicki?”