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Howdy Folks:) Sue Relays Asked Me to Post My Results Here

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4312
Joined: Jun 2009

I'm sorry to butt in your territory, folks.

I got to know Sue when she visited the Colorectal Board - she's been a good friend and terrific supporter to me. And since she does not get over to our side very much anymore, she asked me if I would post my results over here so she could see them. I hope you don't mind.

From Sue:

"Will be waiting to see your results. Will you post on the anal board as well??"

This is a long post but covers the past year of my fight, currently at 7-years, Stage IV.

Grab something to drink and you're welcome to read along with Sue. And maybe Joanne will show up here - I miss her to and met her on the other board when she first got here.

Ok, Sue and everybody here we go!

“SUNDANCE vs CANCER” – The Results Post

Faster than a speeding locomotive – Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound – Look! – Up in the air! – It’s a bird! – It’s a plane! – It’s…..it’s……awww $hit, it’s only Sundance:)

LOL:)

The “Betting Windows” are now officially closed, so I hope you got your wagers down – there was sure plenty of time:)

Well, this is finally the post that I have waited for and waited to write. And also the one that many of you have waited for as well. Almost a year in the making and through it all, it has been a “Watershed Moment” in my journey.

I suppose when I reflect back on it, we could say that it’s the most influential battle of my entire campaign. There was much at stake to be won or lost. It carried huge significance as I motored on toward my 7th year of this incredible saga. And all the time, never knowing exactly which way the battle was going to go. Would I win? Or would I begin to slip?

The stakes we were playing for was my very existence, which I believe we can all agree, is worth playing for. The difference is we had to fight like there was never going to be tomorrow – because that’s always in the cards and is the key component that weighs so heavily on all of our minds.

It’s a funny feeling looking back on this past year. In many ways, it still feels like yesterday – and then on the other side, it seems like a lifetime ago.

Cancer played a dirty little trick on me this time. We know he does not play fair and is a dirty fighter. He used the DaVinci tumors the time before, to lull us into a false sense of complacency while he stealthily hid behind my lungs and gathered his forces, before he could again announce his presence in my body for this last year’s fight.

When I was still in the hospital after this lung surgery, I remember a nurse bringing me my pathology report. Even dazed on morphine and with blurred eyesight, I could still make out the words…”Colorectal Mets to Lung.”

And I remember thinking, “Now, you’ve showed yourself, you SOB!” I sat up in bed and thought, “I’ve got you now.” You’ve just kicked the sleeping dog – you just woke up the Gentle Giant. So, once again, it’s “officially back on.”

Strangely though, I felt some sense of comfort in those words, in the fact that I again knew what I was going back up against….there was no guessing anymore, there it was in the report. It was time once more to “get my mind right to fight.”

Once I found out the surgery did not completely remove the malignant tumors, I knew it was going to a really long and hard road, with no shortcuts. I was going to have to go all in and gut this one out for the long haul, if I was to have a chance at any kind of victory.

You all know there were times when it looked like I was beaten. Down and out for the count is what’s ahead for our good old Sundance, folks were probably thinking – put a fork in him, he’s done. But then again, you don’t know Sundance:)

I’ve always said I may “bend or waver” during the fight, but that I would never “break.”

Maybe that’s not an entirely true statement. Perhaps, it depends on what your definition of “break” is. In fact, Cancer had me beaten and on my knees begging for either “Death or Mercy.” It had me beaten at the time, but not broken for the long haul of the fight.

“The CURE” had me beaten as well this time , but I stayed strong enough to complete the entire protocol “by the numbers.” It was really difficult this time to mentally and physically step through all the obstacles that stood in our way. As I’ve said before, it gets a little harder to keep taking the pounding, the longer you stay in the fight.

The mind and heart are still willing – but the body just doesn’t “bounce” like it used to. I think this is the biggest difference in an old veteran fighter vs the newly diagnosed.

While the surgeries and treatments have compromised our bodies, we learn we must adapt and use our experience and smarts to fight on, instead of relying on a new body that is just starting out.

My medical team continuously put the foot on the gas and we were very aggressive in our treatment plan and there was no time to rest. We relentlessly pursued our target and stayed in the attack mode the entire time.
Oh yes, I can be beaten – I can be hurt – I can bleed – I can hurt – I can suffer. I am just a mortal man, composed of blood & flesh..

However, on the other side of the coin, I can also be tenacious – persistent – stubborn – and relentless in my own pursuit. My horoscope is “Cancer, the Crab.” I’m a “July Baby.”

We’re loveable, friendly, and loyal – but when fuc*ed with, we raise our pinschers and will snap you. We’re a very formidable force to reckon with. When we hit back, it hurts too, just like we were hurt. We only fight when provoked though and let’s face it, Cancer does provoke us, doesn’t it?

Here’s the last topic I wanted to discuss. Let’s talk about our roommate – HOPE.

What an interesting fella’ this guy is, am I right?

He’s very elusive and if we’re not real careful, he can just slip out of our fingertips and just be gone. And when he goes, he’s sometimes hard to find again. And when Hope moves out, Depression can move in – then he invites Despair, Hopelessness and Loneliness to the party, and from there our lives can disappear and become nothing but existence.

And that’s a very bad place to be – especially for too long. I know, because I spent 9-months with all of these guys this year. They are not nice “house guests.” They try to rob you of that thing that we call “Our Lives.”

And then it becomes up to us to take back back what was so wrongly taken from us. Each of us must do that and find a way to get Hope moved back in with us, so we can flourish and feel optimism.

What is my definition of Hope?

I’ve come to think of Hope as that “Intangible element of humanity that we cannot see, but one that we feel.”

It’s the single common denominator that every single one of us has inside. It’s the driving force behind our individualism and more importantly, the one thing that we “Cling To” and “Reach For” in times of dire circumstances that beset each of us, somewhere in our lifetime.

As the old saying goes, “Let’s Keep Hope Alive!”

Hey, let’s go down to ringside right now, looks like Michael Buffer is about to announce “The Decision.” Who came out on top? Sundance or Cancer?

“Ladies and Gentlemen! The Winner by KO and still the Undefeated Cancer Champion of the World, with a 3-0 title defense, is……….your very own…….SUNDANCE! “

LOL:)

And the crowd goes WILD……….:) !!!

For any of you that bet against me…….”Suckerzzzz!” LOL:)

That’s right folks – 3 recurrences Up and 3 recurrences Down – just like in baseball, huh?

We did it again. We knocked Cancer “Back into the Shadows” once more. He’s gone back into hiding, licking his wounds, while I lick mine. But, we got Him down right now. You read the BAD in my other post…….and now for something completely different, here is the GOOD:

1. Colon and Rectum = Clear
2. Liver = Clear
3. Lungs = All Clear:)

Many of you might recall in my Thanksgiving Message to my Cancer, that I said, “I am down right now – but when I get up, I’m coming – and He11 was coming with me.

Well, with Big Billy by my side, we “Huffed and we Puffed”…and we “Blew the Doors to the Gates of He11 Wide Open!”

What looked like a highly improbable, if not impossible mission at the beginning of this fight, has come to a successful conclusion. I know how fortunate I am to be on the “positive side of the ledger” right now. It sure could have gone either way, but somehow we are on top right now.

We’re officially back to “Watching and Waiting.” I’ll talk to NED, if I make it “clean” for 5-years, with no further recurrences….. (June 2016).

So, it does not get much better than this….am I right?

I thought the balloons were supposed to fall out of the ceiling about now? Why isn’t the band playing? Where’s the cake and ice cream? Where is Jennie with my margaritas?
LOL:)

Since I can’t get to any of you right now…we’ll just have to have a “Cyber Celebration!” I need some folks to share in this joy with me. It will mean more if I have all of you around me in the “same room.”

So, what’s next for Sundance?

I’m going to Disneyworld!...................................Not!

I’ll be lucky to get to Chicago for CP9 – with this very meaningful victory, it is my sincerest hope that I can make it there and get some lovin’ from my honeys:)

What’s next is instead of escaping Cancer, I’m going to jump back into the deep end of the pool and go back to the beginning of the journey – first chapter titled “The Diagnosis.”

I want to jump on getting this written now, while the wounds are fresh and the feelings raw. I’m excited about making this a reality – now publishing will be another story – coming to an Amazon Kindle near you?

I’ll close this post with these final thoughts…..

On the day that Donna (Shayenne) aka “My Chicky” passed away, I posted on that thread that Her Lion had roared for the final time.

A beautiful chapter in my life and on this board and a real life story of friendship had come to a tragic and painful end. On this day a part of me died with her –Her Lion was dead and gone, and yet the memories still remained, but were now forever buried deep within the archives of the CSN posts.

This is a day where I wished Chicky were still here with us – certainly a story she would have loved to hear about and rejoice in. I will miss not seeing her post in this thread.

In honor of her memory and to bookmark this momentous occasion, Donna’s Lion “ROARZZZZ” one more time:) Miss you, Chicky.

This one was for myself, but also for the Semi;Colon Nation. I stand before you as a living testimony to what Cancer “Can and Cannot” do to us. It will never be easy, but you too can do this. I’ll stand proudly beside each one of you and be with you for each stop in your journey. Don’t be afraid – get mad – get even – and get out there and fight!

I understand less and less as time goes by – have no idea of why I’m still here after 7 years of battling this stuff. Don’t understand why my friends did not make it, but I am still here. I suppose I’ll never know.

And Cancer may indeed catch me one day – but guess what? It won’t be TODAY!!!

All of you know that Sundance is not the kind of guy that “Goes Quietly into the Night.”

I carry all of your hopes and dreams with me in my heart. I have the deepest respect and admiration for each one of you here – both past and present. You are the finest group of people I know and I’m proud to know you all.

All of you are Winners – and Cancer will never, ever take that away from you! With all of the love I can muster, I thank you for staying with me and you are all in my thoughts, in my heart, and in my dreams. Semi;Colons Rock!

I SALUTE YOU!!!

Craig and Big Billy
“Team Sundance”

z's picture
z
Posts: 1267
Joined: May 2009

Thank you for sharing your absolutely wonderful news. Your results are what everyone hopes for. The fight you have put on the cancer and won, is so inspirational. All I can say is thank you so much. I wish you well. Lori

duckyann
Posts: 162
Joined: Jun 2009

I also want to thank you for sharing your wonderful news. I don't know you but your post brought tears of joy to my eyes. I wish you NED forever and I admire you lots. Thank you again!

Nancy

lizdeli's picture
lizdeli
Posts: 522
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Craig,
I don't post much on the oclorectal boards but I visit there a lot and I've kept up with your journey. I just got back from vacation and I honestly logged into the colorectal forum to get your update. I'm so happy and relieved for you! I pray that this is the last round in the battle and that you've knocked out cancer on it's ""s once and for all!
all the best,
Liz

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3075
Joined: Jan 2010

I just have to say you are awesome and such an inspiration! You are showing us all how to live in spite of cancer. I wish you good news always. Stay strong!

JDuke's picture
JDuke
Posts: 443
Joined: Nov 2009

Congratulations Craig on this fantastic news! You have been in my thoughts so much lately. I cannot tell you how happy I am to hear that your response to treatment was so positive! I know how strong you have had to be to get through this, both mentally and physically. You ARE truly an inspiration to so many.
Smiles and hugs coming your way.
Joanne

patacz
Posts: 64
Joined: Sep 2010

Craig, all I can say is, WOW! I love your writting and creativity. Congratulations, you are a winner, great fighter, and an inspiration. I am so glad you posted this here, otherwise, I might have never seen it, thank you!

ejn58
Posts: 7
Joined: Sep 2010

Thanks for posting. I'll use this in my fight against the evil one. Locking Hope up right now so he doesn't slip away. Live on brother! Eric

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

HAHAHA....I just posted a reply on YOUR board, because Kathy Pattenden told me you had an update. She is frustrated with some of the goings on on that site, but said you posted, and THAT was always worth popping on for! So I made it a point to check it out...and I will say it again.....I SALUTE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You are one of the best things I have gained from this site, so THANK YOU Craig for keeping up with so many of us, and never forgetting who cares about you and for sharing your journey and inspiring and motivating so many of us!!!!

Back to the breast cancer boards LOL!

AND another HUGE WOOHOO for you my friend!!!!

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

Oh and you can BUTT IN anytime :)!!!

Captain11
Posts: 88
Joined: Apr 2011

Congratulations and God bless you!!! What a truly inspirational posting. I don't know you, but reading your post has given me hope, of which I seem to have less and less. I get my results tomorrow to see if I am still clear, which will be 14 months since my scan and 17 since completing treatments. I am so very happy for your great news!!!. I don't know what is worse, though...having the cancer or being the caregiver to a spouse with cancer...I have done both. I was diagnosed with anal cancer a year after my husband was diagnosed with esophogeal cancer. His was taken out by surgery, but he was in severe trouble with infections, many weeks in ICU, and 6 more in isolation and recovery. He comes home and tries to regain his strength, voice, speech, eating, stamina, endurance, and patience. it was a struggle. But in 4 months, the tables are turned and I get diagnosed with stage 3B anal cancer. Now he steps up to the plate for me. After I go through my initial radiation and 2 rounds of chemo, about a 10 week process, my scans show that the cancer spread into the lymph nodes in the pelvic area and up in the right lung. Actually, the docs realized that the cancer was hiding all along, just too small to be detected before the radiation. Then I was scheduled for another 6 months of chemo. I feel good, but then I never had any signs or symptoms of the first cancer, nor any pain. I am scared each time I go for the results, because of those "hidden" tumor cells. I don't think I can be as strong or as positive as you, if I were to get a negative report. What I hate most about this cancer, is that it has taken everything away from me. I am almost ready to retire...this is not how I wanted to spend my "golden years". Anyway, I am so very very glad for your great report. I wish for the strength that you have. Take care. Hope you continue to get great news... God bless.

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 543
Joined: Apr 2009

I read your post over and over because it is a wonderfully stated trip along our paths of Hell. thankyou for being so truthful. congrats on your victory. I am 23 months post tx anal cancer and needed your post for hope. love and hugs to you sephie

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