Next came his need for a pacemaker a few years later. “I’m proud to have survived that,” he said. But the worst came in 2015-16, when he was diagnosed with lung cancer and had robotic surgery to remove part of a lung.
“Audrey went to every appointment and treatment with me,” he said.
In 2018, Audrey had her own cancer scare. “There was a growth in my uterus about the size of a softball,” she said. “They thought it was cancer and so it was oncology surgery, but it turned out to be just a large mass.”
Nevertheless, the major surgery required six weeks of rest. “I’ve always been the housekeeper and homemaker, but couldn’t do anything during that time,” she said.
Bing surprised her during her recuperation. “He cooked three meals a day for me and brought them upstairs where I was; he even did the laundry.”
Then, about three years ago, Bing had yet another bout with lung cancer, a different kind than the first. “This time, I had to have chemo, and Audrey helped me through all of it. I’m still working on it, making adjustments — I learned to rest a little more, and know when I have to sit.”
“Bing is amazing, and thinks he can do anything,” says Audrey. “He never really stopped, just slowed down. When they took out half of a lung, the surgeon thought he’d be in the hospital for three days, but they let him come home the next day. I was panicking. He was glad to get home, but I was the one stressing.
“Nurses came in to dress the wounds, but the hardest job fell on me — my job now, after his second bout, is trying to encourage him to do five things a day instead of 10. We really depend on each other, and to just be there. He gets checkups every three to six months now, and I’m there, supportive of everything the doctor says. I’m his second ear, and sometimes his mouth, since, on occasion, I’ve had to speak up about something he won’t mention.”
The Davises have been married 46 years, and Audrey considers them “a rare couple. We depend on each other, do things together, and are supportive of each other. I love making jewelry, stones and nature, and still have my group of women artists to work with and plan showings, while Bing is making art, and sharing the love and magic of art with others.” She can often be found at her “station” in the gallery’s studio, making and displaying her jewelry.
“Bing’s very high energy and, at 86, moves around with the energy of someone in their 40s.”
Although the couple can be seen out and about at local events and performances in African attire, they were even more elegant as they walked down the runway in the Arcade at the Premier fundraiser.
“Every one of the pieces was hand made by an Indian fashion designer,” said Bing. “Mine took 45 days just to make, including accessories. It was a year-long process. The ones we picked had an African flavor, and we get to keep them. Everyone who modeled got to keep the outfits made for them, and all the outfits were just stunning.
“The experience was phenomenal, and we were very happy to do the modeling show — even before we knew about the outfits. When you go through so much and have such wonderful care, you’re glad to help.”
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