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"UPDATED "SURGERY Date Set for Oct 16th – Another SUNDANCE Update

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4306
Joined: Jun 2009

Good Evening, Dearest Semi;Colon Family

I met with my new surgical onc this past week to go back over everything.

I needed to find a comfort zone and I wanted his medical opinion and input on what I should do about this surgery. All doubts have now been eliminated – he told me that the tumor has now moved INTO MY LUNG. So, it’s looking like a Thoracotomy with a Wedge Resection.

So, it’s done now finally – Surgery for me is set for Thursday, Oct 15th.

I’m bummed because I will again miss the Texas Longhorns vs Oklahoma Sooners in the annual Red River shootout at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

Want to know something funny? When I did my bowel resect, it was the EXACT same weekend and I missed the game that year! The irony in Life sometimes, huh? Sometimes you just gotta’ laugh about it.

So time to saddle up and take that “long ride down the hall” again. Here’s hoping that everything goes well and as planned.

Donna, hopefully “your lion” will roar again :)

That was so sweet! ((Chicky))

I want to talk with you guys some more this evening– can you take a few more minutes and sit here and talk with me?

I don’t open too many posts, but when I do I like to talk about things and need someone to share it with. I always look forward to hearing your replies – I mentioned in my hospital post that for me, it’s like Christmas morning just waiting to “unwrap” all of the g I f t s under the tree. Hearing replies from you guys MEANS EVERYTHING to me – it’s like food for my soul – it helps me in ways you can only imagine.

I’ve never known this many people in my life and the list keeps growing :)

When I came to the board, I was of course, at a different stage of my journey. I was looking for a connection and open and honest communication between each other - You guys have "delivered" on that!

I’d already traveled some of the roads many of you are going down today, so I thought my role would be to try and help, inspire and support this wonderful group of people who I just wanted to get to know and share with . I want you to know that you have ALL been that to me and so much more! (((SEMIS;))))

Just having you around for the 3rd leg of my journey is so comforting to me now. I honestly still don’t know how I faced down what I did for so long without some good friends such as you :)

My emotions have been boiling under the surface I guess since the re-dx and I just failed to acknowledge how I was really feeling about things and the other day when we set the surgery date, things got a whole lot “more real” very quickly. The countdown is on now. ..24 days to go. I’ve got a lot to wrap up at work and home to get everything ready.

I wanted to tell you this story – and CareGivers this one is for you too, I can never ever forget you guys and the price you pay to take care of us.

I’m guilty sometimes, well many times, of not really acknowledging how Kim feels while I’m going through this. She is one who does not like to talk about things like this – she just really cannot do it is all there is and I know accept her for that and I thank God I found the Board so I can tell you what I feel and experience.

She expects me to be strong and I have to portray that image for her so she does not lose Hope and Faith. When she sees me handling things, then it makes it easier to her.

Now this brings me to my story…I want to talk a minute about ANGER. I believe when we get the cancer diagnosis, whether it’s the 1st time or the 3rd time like me, that the emotions are always the same – and they are.

I skip past Denial and go straight to Anger – after all having been through this more than once, I know exactly how much time and effort it will take before I can get back to TODAY where I am feeling as good as I can given everything. You know the surgery itself, the hopsital stay and all that entails, healing and the resulting infections etc. than can occur. Time off from work, trying to get back to work, trying to recover and the many, many follow-up visits etc.etc.

I mean when you stick your finger in a light socket, it hurts right? We know not to do that more than once. Sadly, with surgery and cancer and fighting for our lives, we must sometimes do the things we know we don’t want to do, so we can get better and keep going.

Ok, so a day or 2 after we met with the onc, me and the honey began bickering and we got to where we could not say Hello without an argument.

But, let’s look at the underlying causes…stress…which can lead to Anger, and the emotions have to come out somewhere, don’t they?

Anyway, we were carpooling in last week and we had a few words that morning and as we drove, she said “Maybe it’s just time we get a divorce.”

I told her to pull the trigger and I would do that for her and set her free. The rest of the ride to work as in silence. We were literally 2 feet away from each other – but miles apart in our minds.

When we got close to her work, she tells me “I’ll buy you some breakfast because we are early.” So she swung by McD’s and I had a sausage biscuit with a hash brown…Buzzard, I like the biscuit and I know you like the McGriddle :)

When we drove up to her work, she acknowledged to me, “I know you are just ANGRY right now.” And that was a tender moment between us…she does not tell me her feelings and she was finally telling me she got it.”

I said "From a Divorce to a biscuit, huh?" Of course, she did not mean it, but my point is the CareGiver has it just as rough if not rougher than we do, and their lives are messed up equally…I know my house runs because of my wife Kim…if it were not for her, the home would not be what it is…and I would not be alive today, because she made me get the colonoscopy…and she saved my life that day.

So, when we are all angry, we are not MAD at each other – it’s just the Pain and the Cancer talking, right Jennie :)

Patteee told me in a post that she appreciated how I “put myself out there” for people to see, so I am just letting everybody know this story – I’m sure you have yours too! But what this lets us know, is that it is OK to have anger and feelings do come up, but we deal with them, hug each other, and get back to the battle.

I spoke about this at the hospital the other day – part of the discussion was Anger and it’s underlying causes.

And Kathleen – Aloha! This was what I wanted you to see when I posted to you the other day…you had stated that you and Dick would be getting mad, sad, and the other…and I understand this…and if you’ve read this, well then you get it.

Everybody loves each other, but when stressful times come, we sometimes take it out on our significant others, because who are you going to do this too, right?

You can’t do it at work, or to your neighbors, or family members, they will all just walk away…so this is a normal feeling we all experience with Cancer…I think it’s OK to feel that way and apologize when this happens…if it is routine, then it’s not OK…but occasional slip-ups do happen and that’s what I wanted to point out.

DEPRESSION – another topic we discussed at the hospital.

Bdee (Debbie) opened a post for this and so I wanted to talk about that for a minute here.

Debbie, I think Depression is again another facet of the journey that we all face as well.

It’s also normal to have depressing feelings especially with the cancer situation. I believe more than a few days of depression can start to become not normal…for me 2 or 3 days here not feeling right, but still working, is sometimes the norm and part of the human condition.

As a society, we sometimes “over-medicate” the population – you know, take a pill for this and take a pill for that and it will all go away.

Now, first of all, I’m for depression or anxiety medication if that’s what is called for and if a person needs the help to keep them sane and moving forward. If it’s helping and not hurting, then go for it.

But, we should also acknowledge that depression is a normal human reaction to life’s issues in general and not just cancer. So, sometimes it is OK to feel blue for a day or 2 and move on.

To personally illustrate, a week or so ago I had a 2-3 day spell of depression. The feeling kept getting worse and on a Friday I came home really despondent and just had a heavy heart and just could not pull out of it.

After that, the bickering began, frustration was released, and now we’re getting along just fine. We spent the weekend in the yard cutting branches off trees and I had to secure guttering back to the house, so were again a TEAM.

Why do I mention this?

Well, it’s because I’m just letting everybody know that this is OK and there have been topics of discussion on the board and I wanted to contribute my experience to that.

So, Anger and Sadness are the first stops of the grieving process that we encounter during a diagnosis or a re-diagnosis of Cancer.

Next up, will be the FIGHT stage, where I get my mind right – to FIGHT!

And then, 24 days from now, I’ll hop up on a gurney and wait for them to “turn out the lights.” It is my sincerest wish that I “see” each of you again.

Cancer does not define me, but how I live and fight with Cancer DOES define me.

And in the event that anything happens to me and I don’t make it back here, then I want you all to know what a BLESSING that you are to me…and I’ve discovered the wonderous joys of having FRIENDS.

You are all so real to me and we know enough about each other to develop relationships and feelings for one another - mine get stronger for you every day!

You know it’s funny, I read your posts and see your pictures, and I swear sometimes “I can see your lips moving” while you talk to me :)

Lastly, I wanted to talk about Sundance for just a minute to show you how smart our dogs truly can be :)

Sadly, it has been just over a year since I lost my pal and his mama and papa still miss him so :(

Anyway, Sundance used to come and lay down next to me in bed. He would place his head in my colon area and he would lay there sometimes for quite awhile – we always wondered why he would do that…well I had colorectal cancer, in the spot where Sundance used to lay his head!

Then, when we thought we were ahead of the Cancer and it was behind us for the most part, he began laying his head on my LIVER on the side.

I used to joke to Kim and say, “Sundance, does your papa have cancer again?”

I was joking, but in the back of my mind I wondered…well, I wondered no more, because I had the mets to the Liver and it was big a round as a tennis ball or small orange! Can you believe that? Sundance was trying to tell us something – such a smart boy he was! Still the best thing I’ve ever done…he brought us such joy in our lives.

That’s the reason why I am SUNDANCE on the board – the care and love he gave me, I honor his memory and use his name, so I can reach out to others as he reached out to me.

I’ll open a post right before the surgery date as a reminder – and just to hear from you again – I have not been one to ask for much yet on the Board, but always gladly accept your Love, Friendship, and Support, good wishes, good vibes, or whatever is in your “medicine cabinet” to send my way.

I’m sorry my post was so long, but I do not get the chance to express myself in this manner except when I open a post – I don’t want to squash somebody else’s posts because they need their post for their feelings or questions. I just wait until the opportunity seems right and then I just try and talk with you, because I need to…we all want to feel loved and accepted don’t we?

Thank you for putting up with me and for sending some of the most loveliest words from your replies that I’ve ever read in my life…

I’ve been sad and melancholy too along with little fits of anger and frustration…I found myself going back to a couple of posts I opened and re-reading your responses and immediately I began to feel better.

You never know who you are going to touch when you post – someone posting or someone just reading – or BOTH!

I’ll close this post by adding that I echo the feelings that Buzzard and Phil talked about the other day – that Cancer does change your life for the better in more ways than you can understand right now.

I also feel it is important for the OL’ TIMERS to be here on the board and posting – leaving the light on and showing others that this “Can Be Done.”

I feel it is an honor to me personally and a responsibility to me and I’ve enjoyed sharing my life with you and you sharing your lives with me…Semi;Colons ROCK!

Canada Rob, it’s time to crank up the generator ‘cause I need to Channel the energy of the Semi;Colons again to get me to where I need to go now.

Oh, BTW, welcome home, Mags! I’ve not gotten the chance to get to know you just yet, but hope to :)

Well, I’m going to have a relaxing evening tonight as Arlington, Texas goes NATIONAL with the biggest event in the city’s history – the opening of Cowboys Stadium tonight @ 7pm (CST) on your NBC network – Sunday Night Football in America.

I’m just a few miles across town from the new digs and never would have figured a day like this would happen – going to be hyped like the Super Bowl tonight so even if you don’t like football, check some of the stadium out – we used to party up and down the streets where the new stadium is now – surreal :)

And when you think of the Cowboys – think of Arlington, Texas – and when you think of Arlington, Texas – think about your fellow semi; Craig – he LOVES YOU!

THANK YOU, my friends and family – so glad to be among you :)

OK, I think I’m done now…for now….but stay tuned, same Bat Time, same Bat Channel :)

I’m outta’ here…

Always your friend - Always in your corner!

-Craig

Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2311
Joined: Jan 2009

Wow Craig, what a blessing you are to all of us. Thank you for caring about each of us and for trusting us with your experiences. I appreciate the time you take to compose your thoughts and feelings.

It is good you have the date for your surgery. We will be there with you in thoughts and prayers.

You are right that we cycle through the thoughts and feelings. Things become so real and so raw. Right now we are working on one day at a time. Finding the joy in each day, smile, bit of sunshine. I find that I love to touch Dick when I am close by him, just a hand on his shoulder or scratch his back a bit. Everything is precious.

Take care Craig.

Aloha,
Kathleen

lesvanb's picture
lesvanb
Posts: 908
Joined: May 2008

Those darn saddles can be heavy and they're easier to throw onto a short horse.....

Craig, I appreciate your willingness to bring up what it's like to live with cancer over the long run. We're fortunate to be part of this board, and many people share inspirational stories, but my kudo goes to you tonight. There aren't enough ways nor phrases to say thank you. Much of what you've brought up tonight resonates for me.

Ride on friend,
Leslie

Kathryn_in_MN's picture
Kathryn_in_MN
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Craig,

I'm new here so I haven't followed your full path in this battle. I have enjoyed reading your posts, and want to thank you for taking the time to answer questions.

I'm glad you have a plan of attack and know what it is for this round. For me the hardest thing is not knowing the game plan. Once I know the plan I'm prepared to fight. From everything I've read I would say you sound like a fighter, so I expect you to win this round just like the others.

I do feel like some sort of oddball here. It is nice for you to share your feelings. I know anger and depression are a normal reaction to the dx. I haven't had either one yet. I just keep waiting for the meltdown...

Do you have anyone that can log on to your account and update us after your surgery? I know you won't be able to do it for a while with such major surgery. But we'd sure like to hear how you are doing as soon as we can.

You've got some time to get things set up before surgery so you won't have to worry about them while you recover. Make sure you also take some time to enjoy your favorite things that you won't be able to do for a bit during recovery - to hold you over till you are better again.

I'll be watching and reading - following your story, and wishing you the best.

mommyof2kds's picture
mommyof2kds
Posts: 522
Joined: Mar 2009

Craig, I feel speachless after reading all that, and I am not one to be lost for words. YOu are an inspiration, your outlook on life is amazing and you are an exceptional person. I can relate to alot of things you said. WE ARE ONLY HUMAN.. We have to face the feelings, they will not just go away. I am sure alot of us can relate to your story and anger and depression.
I am so saddened that you have to go through all this. just know that we all respect you and your posts and have learned alot from you, you really have educated us alot, you have done what you wanted to do, but helping the semi's.. You will get this surgery done and you will recover and yes, it will take a while, you will bounce back and be ready again for whatever comes your way. I gain strength by reading your posts. I will think of you that day of surgery and send some positive energy your way. You will be ok., I guess it is just another bump in the road, why we will never know... Petrina

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Sundance......
We all go through 1000 emotions and its when all those run their course is when we get ready for battle. After all the emotion then mad sets in, mad against a disease that is taking part of our life away. Part of our time from love ones. But, in all the emotion is the fact that we will fight it, because the survival instinct in us is so strong that even if some tend to give up the involuntary survival mode kicks in. You are another warrior so it will not defeat you either, you will not allow it. You will never have the slightest tinge that something could go awry, because it won't, you won't allow it. I have my 6 month CEA and checkup Sept 29th and office visit on the 6th of Oct. I don't expect anything but I have also learned that this disease is sneaky. Well, so are we. If it sneaks in on us, we're going to turn right around and sneak it out. We take no prisoners, this isn't a game, its a life issue, and I will be durned if cancer is taking me down. I'll be durned if it will you either. I will be blunt with you if you don't mind and say that I hear a slight negativity in your words, Craig, thats not allowed in here. You will be fine, and get your mad on so that we can get through this journey "again" and start enjoying more of what life is really about....... Living..............Your Friend, Clift

dianetavegia's picture
dianetavegia
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

I love you Craig. Thank you for letting us be a part of your life. I am honored.

Diane

Fight for my love
Posts: 1308
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi my dear big brother,let me share something with you since you opened this topic.Last Friday morning,me and my husband had a big fight:he said he wants to die because life doesn't make sense anymore with living a smelly bag.You know,his stupid talk made me so extremely angery,then I said,if you want to die,go somewhere else to die;if you want to die,then we divorce;you want to die in my hand,no way,I don't want to be a widow in such a yong age!Don't ruin my reputation!(I was yelling t him because I was so angery,I seldom yell)Then I still helped him get out of the shower,helped him dry his legs and helped him get dressed,then he said thank you to me and also kissed the top of my head.We made it up of course.Then he said he wants to grow old with me together.You know,sometimes the frustration and the depression make us say something we don't mean for sure.Although you always say you don't really know how we caregivers feel or think,actually you know,just because you know,you guys sometimes feel guilty or feel you bring us a bad life.When my husband says sorry to me,I just tell him that you should not worry about it,because you are still here with me,then I am happy; because you are still eating a dinner with me at our home dinner table,then I am happy;I also tell him that we are married,our marriage is a commitment.

You sure are in my prayers and I hope your surgery is going to be well done and everything goes smoothly.I know it's going to be a tough surgery,it may take you for a while to recover,but I know you can do it and you will make it just fine.

Dear Craig,we are all human,so we all live with anxiety,depression,frustration,anger and so on.This cancer makes each of us so emotional,but on the other hand,the cancer also makes our marriages,our will and faith stronger.

Thanks for the post.Best luck and best wishes to you with the surgery.Take care.

lizbiz's picture
lizbiz
Posts: 121
Joined: Aug 2008

I don't post much...I'm having a hard time summoning positive thoughts these days. I just wanted to tell you that I've read many of your posts and you are truly a wonderful person. It's true that it's hard to find a reason for something like this and it takes a huge toll on so many parts of our lives. Thank you so much for having the courage to share your feelings. In doing so, you've made me feel not so alone in all of this.

I will pray for you and good results of your upcoming surgery.

Thanks for being you,
Elizabeth

lizzydavis's picture
lizzydavis
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

Hi Craig. We will be saying special prayers for you in South Carolina on October 15. Keep positive thoughts and know you are so special to us. You have touched me too.

Lizzy

abmb's picture
abmb
Posts: 311
Joined: Sep 2009

I am new here and I don't know your entire story but I feel that...
You are an inspiration to everyone that reads your post. You have thought this through and are going through such a difficult time right now, but you think of your friends on this site to share your feelings and thoughts with to make everyone realize what could be expected. I am a caretaker of my husband who was diagnosed on April 8th of this past year with colon cancer, stage III, three tumors. Complete colonectomy. I am fortunate to have found this site, for support and to understand how my husband might be feeling. He doesn't really express his feelings and it is hard sometime to know exactly what he is going through. I want to make it as easy as I can for him and I try hard not to show my concern over this disease. I want to thank you for sharing your story. God Bless you and keep you safe on your next step.
Margaret

Patteee's picture
Patteee
Posts: 949
Joined: Jul 2009

your writing touches me and others. There is a cut through the crap gentleness about you that is very warm and kind. I think most of us see that and feel it. Thanks Craig, for that. You should write more, maybe you do? Do you journal?

Thanks for being a part of my experiences!

Muzzy's picture
Muzzy
Posts: 177
Joined: Sep 2009

Craig I"am not much for words, but you have been a godsend for me as well as alot of others.
I wish you the best of luck on the 15th and you will be in my prayers. you are always one of the first to reach out and help people. The world needs more people like you.
Thanks for all your support now and in the future because i expect to be taking advice from you 10 to twenty years from now:)

Jeff
Just happy to be here!!!

CanadaSue's picture
CanadaSue
Posts: 339
Joined: Apr 2006

Craig,

I don't answer many posts....Being a caregiver I am on the other side of the coin. I really cannot imagine what it is like to be on the other side, but from where I sit I don't think it is easy on either side!
I so enjoy reading your upbeat posts, you are a comfort, and a blessing to many on this board, you ralley behind everyone. After 3-1/2 years in our battle against this beast I know we have had all the same feelings, the denial, frustration, bargaining, and the anger,
for whatever reason the anger has not stuck with me. My husband once told me he thought "why me" and then he said "Why not me", I think that is when I got over the anger once and for all. There are some days when I did not figure I would ever crawl out of that depression hole, but I only had to turn to this board, and like you it has really helped more than anyone or anything to get me back on an even keel. Thank you for your posts, the encouragement, and the kicks in the butt when needed!

Always know that you are in my thoughts and prayers, and we will be talking for a long time to come!

((((HUGS))))

Sue

KFen725's picture
KFen725
Posts: 108
Joined: Jul 2009

Craig, your upbeat attitude and positiveness are contagious! Praying for a successful upcoming surgery for you & many years still to come of GOOD HEALTH. Thanks for all the encouragement & great help you give to all of us on this board.

ittapp's picture
ittapp
Posts: 385
Joined: Jun 2009

Craig,
This was a big tear jerker for me. I know you will fight this with all of your might. Your wife needs you, and so do we!! You are such an amazing human being, and I think we all can agree that you are the real deal. I will be praying for you non stop and will lift you up especially on the 15th. You get your game face on and get this done, you know how to do it!
God Bless you Craig, Patti

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5006
Joined: Feb 2008

Craig,

You are a very precious person to me and to everyone on this board. I love the way you are so free with sharing your emotions and your experiences. It takes a real man to be able to do that.

Thank you for sharing the story of Sundance. I have read before that dogs can smell or sense cancer, but you are the first person that I actually know who has had the experience.

I'm sorry you have to go through surgery. I understand so well the dread that must be in your heart right now about having to go through that. You know we will be praying you through that day and wishing you well, each in our own way.

As I've said before, I'm not ready for you to "go to France." I'm counting on a good recovery and more uplifting words from you in the future.

*hugs*
Gail

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

...you know you'll get through that surgery just fine, I can see you roaring on that gurney, prepared for battle, and you will win! you will come out of there just roaring, and you will see us here again, where we will be waiting to hear from you again to give us the update on how it went.

You are a truly amazing person, and I feel so pleased when I hear from you. Everyone bickers. caregivers do get annoyed; as we get annoyed being fussed over, where you just want to be left alone, but it doesn't mean we don't love each other any less, we understand we need space as well, to gather our thoughts and forget we need a caretaker at times, just like the caretakers need to go hang out and live life as well.

But please don't plan on thinking you won't be coming back, because you will be, and I wish you luck on your surgery, I'm sure you'll come out of it smelling like a rose :)a speedy recovery as well, you are always in my prayers.

I love you Craig, and look forward to seeing many more of your inspiring posts!!

{{{{Chicky Hugssssss her Lion}}}}

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4673
Joined: May 2005

It was so-so... ;-)
Craig, what can I say? You're the man. You have helped so many of us out. The wedge resection is not that bad, you'll be up and out in no time. My thoughts will be with you for sure.
-phil

ittapp's picture
ittapp
Posts: 385
Joined: Jun 2009

Craig,
Wanted to add that my husband and son are watching the game, the open air dome is incredible! They both are playing fantasy football (for a trophy not money) and my son needs Dallas defense to score a touchdown. You must be enjoying the game, I hope you will go see a game in the Dome when your all better, I hear the ticket prices are outragious though. Patti

sfmarie's picture
sfmarie
Posts: 605
Joined: Aug 2009

Craig,

My husband is a HUGE Dallas Cowboys fan. He grew up in Tyler Texas!

You have been a wise, strong and inspirational person to so many people, you have no idea how many lives you have touched.

I will pray for you and a speedy recovery for your surgery.

Marie

idlehunters's picture
idlehunters
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

I had this huge long letter for u and lost it... I don't even have chemo brain.... ok..that's scary. Basically all it said was I was bummed bout my Cowboys..... u will do fine in surgery... i always pray 4 you... u and ur gal will b fine...keep us updated...i luv u

Jennie

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

I'm with you Craig. We're both entering new stages of this journey so we'll walk the way together as pilgrims for a while. You in Arlington, Texas, Me in Vancouver, Canada!

Thank you for sharing so deeply. It shows how much you care for, and trust, all of us in this community. I'm sure we all have places where we connect with your story.

BTW... I was born not to far from you. Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Peace and blessings... Rob; in Vancouver

"Life is short, and we do not have long to gladden
the hearts of those who travel the way with us. So let us be swift
to love, and make haste to show kindness."
Henri Frederic Amiel

nudgie's picture
nudgie
Posts: 1480
Joined: Sep 2006

and family are always there no matter what happens. Knowing someone loves you will and can get you through the hardest times in your life.

You are so right. My hubby and I got married in 1982; I was 17 and he was 20 yrs old. During the first 7 years of our marriage we got separated once each year and at year 7 we had divorce papers done, but when it got close to the "official" date, we realize our love for each other and have been together ever since.

There is a path for each of us in life and sometimes we will never realize what that path is until it's too late.

You are an amazing person and have alot to offer and if your wife does not see that are realizes that, she is missing out on the most important event of her life; love :)

On the 24th as you hop up on that gurney, close your eyes, breath deep and think of your semi-colon family and surprisingly you will smile :)

betina61's picture
betina61
Posts: 642
Joined: Aug 2006

You are such and incredible and sensitive person, I am honor to have you as my friend, I love reading your LOOOONG posts,I am already praying for you, for a sucssesful surgery and fast recovery. The story of your Sundance is remarkable,could you share a picture of him?

Hatshepsut's picture
Hatshepsut
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

Sundance:

First, your candor in discussing your hopes and fears and human foibles was very moving. Too often, we separate ourselves from others in need because of ideologies and theologies (or the absence thereof). Your words in your post recognized that, absent those barriers, we are all so very much alike---linked together by our common fears, frailties and needs for comfort. Reading your words, I also have no doubt that your wife’s courage and gentle care for you gives you strength and a very real reason to fight this disease. While I understand how painful it is to talk about a spouse’s illness, I hope you will consider leaving a printed copy of your post on her desk where she can decide whether she wants to read it--privately and at a time that is right for her.

Secondly, your tribute to your dog Sundance is beautiful. You obviously had a very special and loving bond with your dog. How lucky you two were to have had each other’s company, albeit for far too short a time. In our home, there is a similar bond between our five-pound silky terrier, Misty, and my husband. She can’t sleep unless she is next to him at night. When he walks down the hall in our home, it is understood by all parties that she walks ahead of him—glancing over her shoulder as she goes to be sure he is there and he is ok. As with you and Sundance, it is impossible to put into words how important she is to his life and to his healing.

Finally, I will keep you in my thoughts until your surgery is successfully completed. We live in amazing times insofar as surgical interventions are concerned. Your surgeon’s hands will be guided by the huge body of knowledge and experience that he (or she) personally has and that the medical community collectively possesses.

With friendship,

Hatshepsut

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4306
Joined: Jun 2009

I sure can Betina.

Just click on my name Sundanceh on the avatar - click on my Expressions - you will see 4 or 5 pictures that I posted out there of Sundance - you will see them.

I forgot to mention in my post that he was a Golden Retriever - we had him 13 glorious years!
From a pup to an ol' man - he passed away in my lap and a little part of me went with him that day.

And call me CRAIG - C and no G :)

Thanks Betina - always look forward to seeing a reply from you!

-Craig

cowman
Posts: 61
Joined: Jun 2009

Thank you so much for sharing your personal thoughts and experiences. It shows me that as caregiver and my husband as patient - we are "normal" as we have had many of the same frustrations. However, it seems as we get through each one we are stronger. Prayers are with you for your surgery.

GOOFYLADIE's picture
GOOFYLADIE
Posts: 235
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi Craig,
I am an 11 year stage iv colon cancer survivor. I had a year of chemo, a right hemi-colectomy with a large mass size of a grapefruit removed. All positive I have been posting that it was 19 of the 36 lymphnode but I ran across some paperwork over the weekend it was actually 16 of the 32 ; so I apologize for giving mis information. To me, more than one is too many but I want to be as accurate as I can. Any way, a year after chemo I finished my degree and received my Bachelors of Science in Business Management. Some how, I managed to turn every paper into a cancer paper. People would freak when my accounting class became cancer papers?? It became a place for me to vent and throw the numbers the doctors and stats had been given me and for whatever reason it worked. You have manage to sum up alot of things I went thru and I took it farther with want doctors to show more empathy and compassion to their patients.
I have read posts from many, that they too had to coincide with some real doozies. I appreciate the fact that you really open up and share. I was the youngest one in the chemo room at the time and I felt I had no one that understood. Because they were all older, they had already done the things that I was just starting in life, and they were already enjoying retirement and grand babies. I am sorry for the english in here, but I try to get everything out. Most the time it comes as verbal vomit and I go back and disect it to see where the adjusting need to go with dealing with cancer and survivorship and wondering how and when or if it's going to come back. I really don't think of it coming back so much, as much as when I get sick my oldest son always freaks thinking mom's got it again. My life I am always holding everyone together and I am constantly proving to family I am fine. I have lots of side affects. Osteoporosis, ulcerative colitis, I currently have 4 discs in my neck, that are causing alot of upset. 4,5,6, and 7 5 and 6 are gone 4 and seven are barely there with the bone digeration on top of that they are worried about me getting paralyzed. I have nerve damage in my right arm and they something funky is going on with the muscles now. I was never sick, before I got cancer. I was basically a vegetarian with a good steak every now and then. I also like dessert but, have never had a real sweet tooth. So all the info about how you eat does not fit the picture for me. So I choose to still eat healthy, indulge on special occasions and live life and be happy. But I just wanted you to know you have lifted so many people on this site. I don't write I think, near as much as I should because the cancer verbal vomit just comes out. Thanks for sayings things I couldnt say 11 years ago when this was not available. You are "Making it a Great day" as I always say. Holler if you need to jabber.
Goofyladie (Cass)

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 4304
Joined: Feb 2009

Craig reading your post was so emotional to me. I know when you first joined here you had wished that you had done it so much sooner as you had no one to talk to and then found all of us. This struggle that you are going through along with the upcoming surgery is going to be felt by all as we are all a family. You never ever have to feel like you are traveling this path alone or that no one understands where you are coming from or your feelings.

I know about the anger with the spouse. Sometimes, I just get so angry because I think "he just doesn't get it," or he says "you are doing so well" (yeah right and how DO I FEEL - like crap), how he can go and do things because he has the energy and sit home because I just can't expend all that energy that his outing will take out of me, and how you always have to put on a front for everyone. Your wife stopping to get breakfast was her way of saying "I'm sorry for what I said." We sometimes say things just because we are so frustrated that sometimes we just lash out. I'm not always very kind to my husband either and he has been there for me for every thing. Some people just can't deal with a lot of emotions or stress so we feel more emotional. You sound like a wonderful couple, and I know that this is just because of this roller coaster that you are on.

Thank you for being such an inspiration to me and this board. You have contributed so much of your struggles, life and emotions with us, along with all the knowledge that you have and for that you deserve a big hug. You are a very valuable member of this family and yes, you will be posting after your surgery wonderful news of how successful it was. I am honored that I can call you my friend. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Hugs! Kim

idlehunters's picture
idlehunters
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

Your words are heard and appreciated so so much. What a pleasure it is to meet you.

Jennie

luv3jay's picture
luv3jay
Posts: 534
Joined: May 2009

WOW! That's all I can say, Craig! Keep doing what you do, my friend!

-Sheri

serrana
Posts: 163
Joined: Apr 2009

Dear Craig
I think your words say what we all have felt or are feeling now.....
You are not alone, we are there with you.

It is good you give yourself permission to feel that salad of feelings. We know that on this rollercoaster it will be like this, which is why we need to "talk" to each other like you just did. Rollercoasters rarely crash, they are just a heck of a ride.

The disappointment of having another procedure or treatment is heavy for sure.
Been there, done that this month.

Hang in there, you have lots of good living left to do.
Serrana

eric38's picture
eric38
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2009

Your post seems to indicate that you think you are close to the end of your journey but you are a texan and you know we are too stubborn or too dumb to know when to quit. You still have plenty of fight left in you. You are tough and you are one of the timex old timers. It will take more than a few beatings to take you down. I have no doubt that your surgery will be successful and you will come out of it on top. It will just be another ko for the undefeated champ. I`m not discounting your pain , anger , and discouragement. Those are normal feelings, but the south will rise again! I agree with the others that you are a blessing to this board and you are a blessing to me personally. You cannot leave us anytime soon and you will not because there is so much more fight left in you. If you forget that i`ll have to give you the big old texas boot to the posterior region.
Thank you so much for opening your heart to us. As I have said before - You are the man.

p.s.
I`ll make it a point to get together before your surgery and when you come out on top I will come and see you in the hospital, if it is not too much of an intrusion.

Eric

dmdwins
Posts: 451
Joined: Aug 2008

Craig,

Remember that we are here for you just as you have been for so many. I am so glad that you are here this time...Having those who truly understand the physical and emotional battle somehow makes the days a little easier to handle.
You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

Smiles,
Dawn

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4306
Joined: Jun 2009

As soon as the Cowboys dumped the opener in their new Taj Mahal...

I came back and saw all of the responses that were waiting to be read.

I must tell you, in all honestly, that I sobbed reading all of those beautiful posts that you left for me that night and into the next day.

Such emotion came rushing out and tears literally running down my face and I had to dry my eyes just to be able to try and see the screen - more than a few times actually.

How can I say that I appreciate each one of you? ((((SEMIS;))))

I want to thank each and everyone of you for taking your time to say something on my post - it's been said that I write from the heart - but I have to say that YOU do too :)

Anyway, your posts inspired me and touched me deeply - the connection that I feel for you all runs as deep as the ocean blue!

For now - THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

-Craig

tbeagle
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2009

I'm new in this community and to this fight. I lived in Arlington 18 years. We moved to the the northern part of the county when the crowding down there got out of hand. But I'm local to you and if you don't mind I have so many questions for you. My first is, you said in your post that you 'spoke at the hospital'. Was that at a cancer support group? Do you mind if I ask where?
I looked for a way to contact you directly but I didn't see it. I'll be thinking of you on Oct 15. I've added you to my prayer list.

Thanks Craig. Love your posts! Thanks for sharing.
PS-Don't you know Jerry's mad about that game?
Susan

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4673
Joined: May 2005

who lives in NY, all I can say is

What's BIG and BLUE?
:-)

I think if I lived nearby I'd be black & blue...
Just as long as we beat cancer, right???

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4306
Joined: Jun 2009

I went back through the post and saw you had some questions, sorry for getting back to you late.

On your 1st question, Yes it was a cancer support group. It was down at UTSW Medical Center off of I-35 @ Inwood.

You can contact me by going to the main screen - clicking on New Mail - click on Write a Message - in the To field, type Sundanceh - then add a subject line - and then use the body to ask me your questions - when done press send.

Take care - Craig

Janet3
Posts: 61
Joined: Aug 2009

Well, I started reading your post last night as the game was starting. I immediately started crying. It was an emotional day with my mom's 4th chemo and all. So I quit reading and tried to enjoy the game. Well, Tony screwed that up. I went back to your post - arghhhh - crying again. Got to work this morning, feeling blessed - my mom having no side effects with this 4th round of chemo - odd but Halleluah! Anyway, I was feeling so good, I went in to the clinic and my first patient cancelled so I went back to your post. Oh my goodness - I finished it but I was crying - the ugly cry - and a Dr down the hall heard me and came over, let me cry on his shoulder. Well, I had to leave the post, too emotional to respond. So here I am again. Enough about me. You, you, you....are the most inspirational person I know. Haha I don't know you but I feel like I do. When I first came to this board, a post of yours was the first I read. Since that day I think of you often, pray for you daily. You are a tough guy. Your story is so much more than inspirational. I have learned much more than I ever expected to on this board and I attribute that to the very first post I read which was yours and it kept me coming back. I don't post much because I am a caregiver and I know you brave ones fighting the battle don't need to hear from me. Blah blah blah, enough about me. You must stay positive. After all of the battles you've fought and won, why would you give up now? I understand you feel angry, depressed, and all of those crazy emotions but attitude is so important in this fight you are in. Focus on the positive. Darn it, I'm depending on you like so many other people are. This is maybe the most stressful situation a couple can be in. You know it's just so much fear, for your partner and for yourself. I know my situation is different as it's my mom but I have the fear and anger also. I mean, I don't want to her to have to suffer through all of this treatment when it all seems so uncertain. It just so emotional on both sides I guess, whether the fighter or the caregiver or family. I loved that comment about you 'cut through the crap gentleness'. Seems like a perfect description to me. Oh my this is ramblng. You know I'm a dog girl (no you don't - I have 9 dogs and I love everyone of them like my child - an unimaginably important part of my family) so I feel your connection with Sundance. Just know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers daily. An extra prayer for you on the 15th. Remember to stay positive, focus on all the good things, enjoy each moment of every day. You'll have many many more days ahead.
Janet

DennisR
Posts: 148
Joined: Sep 2009

Hey, Craig,
I officially designate you to be my official post writer. (I should probably make you be my official wife-talker too! :))I couldn't possibly have written a more accurate post that described my current situation more clearly or more poignantly.
I chuckled through the part regarding your difficulties with communicating with Kim since they so closely parallel my own experiences. Like you, I tend to shield my wife of 44 years, Gerry, from the way I really feel, the Fear, Anger, resentment, and I suspect, self pity, that we all experience. I also don't give her near enough credit for being a strong person, well capable of handling the truth, preferring instead to play the role of the fearless, confident, positive, male patriarch, when inside I'm in dire turmoil, angry, and fearful, and acting stupidly and saying stupid things while trying to play the Big, strong male.
My thoughts and prayers are with you, Craig. Somehow I feel confident that you will overcome this too and I look forward to hearing from you. Hang tough!
DennisR

Paula G.'s picture
Paula G.
Posts: 596
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi Craig, I just read your post. Good luck on the surgery. You are a true friend to all of us. You have been through so much and have helped so many of us. I will always be in your corner. Best to you Paula

bdee
Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

For reminding me I don't thank my husband enough for his love and support during this time. I've got it on my calendar to be thinking good thoughts for you on October 15.
By the way, we are really big Razorback fans and went to the last two Cotton Bowls in 2000 when the Razorbacks stomped the Longhorns and then again in 2001 when we were "jipped" out of the win LOL.
Thanks for the post and your thoughts.

Debbie

pokismom's picture
pokismom
Posts: 153
Joined: Jul 2009

Oh boy you hit everything right on the buttons Craig. As I was reading your post tears were flowing down my cheeks, you are a true inspiration to us all. Thank you for that. I just returned from the hospital on Friday, I was in for about 5 days, I had a biopsy of my lung. Yep my cancer has returned. I'll be praying for you Craig, you have such a honest kindness and wonderful fight I hope that i can be like you!
Donna

grammadebbie's picture
grammadebbie
Posts: 424
Joined: Jun 2009

Dear One,

I must apologize for not responding sooner. To be honest I didn't know how to express my appreciation and understanding of your post. You (as I've told you before) are very eloquent in your writing. So many of the feelings, thoughts, emotions that you spoke of are experiences we all have yet havn't the vagest (sp) idea how to express them. I still don't know what to say so thank you again. I will be praying for you and your upcoming surgery. You are a blessing to all.

God Bless You,

Your friend Debbie (gramma)

chiefskid
Posts: 9
Joined: Jul 2009

Craig,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. For those of us caring for someone with cancer, it is sometimes hard to know what to say or do to help. From what I have read in previous posts, you have been through a lot. I know it takes it toll. Your description of what it takes to get back to feeling better touched me. Keep fighting the good fight. I will add you to my prayer list. God Bless you and grant you Peace.

serrana
Posts: 163
Joined: Apr 2009

Hey Craig
Is your surgery on the 15th? Is it a thoracotomy or is it a different procedure........can't remember. Re post the details if you would please.
BTW, when I had my thoracotomy in August I surprised my surgeon before I passed out by grabbing his hands and asking him if I could pray for his hands........he was great with that.
Best prayers for a perfect procedure and outcome...
Serrana

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4306
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Serrana

I called the surgeon's office (luckily) to check on my pre-surgery appointment and found that my surgery now is acutally FRIDAY, OCT 16th @ 7am (CST).

It is a Thoracotomy with a wedge resection - and as a bonus, my surgeon and I are going to be the first team at this hopsital to do the Da Vinci surgical system. The robot surgery with 5 arms that can all move at once. He will get his "certification" and then be able to use the Da Vinci machine on future lung patients - so I'm going to hold the door open for everyone behind me to walk through :)

This post had died sometime ago, but with all the spamming activity, guess it floated back to the top. So, that's good, 'cause I got to hear from you.

You will be fast asleep that morning - 5am in CA, but you can say a prayer when you wake up.

Thanks for posting!
-Craig

shrevebud's picture
shrevebud
Posts: 106
Joined: Aug 2009

Good Afternoon Craig:

Your posting is just incredible! Very moving and full of thought. I've been thinking about it while I'm moving around the house doing things today to get ready for the work week/day tomorrow. I’ll be sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers your way as you approach surgery this Friday. I have lots of faith that you are going to come through this smoothly. Thank you also for taking the time to respond to the questions that I have posted from time-to-time. I appreciate that a lot. You talk about your dog and thinking that your dog knew that you were sick. I have a similar story about my dog. Maybe we can talk about it later. I hope that the next few days go smoothly for you as you get ready to go to the hospital. I'm in your corner too. I'm going to close for now. Take care. Roy in Louisiana.

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