The Sundance Book is NOW Finished! – “Let’s Talk About This…”

24

Comments

  • lisa42
    lisa42 Member Posts: 3,625
    Sundanceh said:

    CHAPTER I - "The Diagnosis"
    Three words.

    “You Have Cancer.”

    With these words, your entire world has grinded to a complete halt as you try and sort out what you’ve just been told. You are trying to be calm and process this information that has been given to you by your doctor. You are trying to make some sense out of a situation that has just come out from under your control.

    This is the sentence that none of us want to ever hear uttered in our lifetimes. It’s the type of news that is delivered to someone else, but not to you.

    “This must be a mistake, right?”

    Unfortunately, this is not a mistake, and this news has just become your new reality.

    “What are we feeling and experiencing as all of this begins to wash over us”

    Well, PANIC to start with. Your mind is scrambling and searching fast and furiously to try and find an answer to “Fix This.” When our brains cannot retrieve the information that is needed to put this fire out, then panic and fear are what we are left with.

    The brain is a complex piece of machinery and wonderment. The way that we archive and retrieve data, information, and our own unique experiences are what we draw upon whenever a problem presents itself. We use what we have been through and the things we have learned and experienced in our lives to help us try and cope with the issue at hand.

    I remember reading or hearing about how the brain works with regards to memories or events and how we retrieve them when we call upon them for reference or for a pleasant memory of some kind.

    Obviously, when we learn something or experience a sensation or an event, the brain creates a “File” and archives it into the synapses of the brain that can later be used for recall when it is needed or desired.

    When we come upon that situation again, our brains already have a pathway in which to retrieve that file for that particular experience or information. Therefore, we can replay that data and have a comfort zone or a field of reference that we have already experienced and that we can make some sense out of and take our cues from.

    However, the brain, much like a computer, is only as good as the data that is contained within it. It operates under the principle of “Data In and Data Out.”

    So, when we hear the word CANCER, our brains begin desperately trying to locate the “Cancer File.”

    If this is your first time and you have had no experience with it, then there is no file available for our brains to reference, since the data does not yet exist. Then, that’s when the panic and fear sprout from.

    Very shortly after that, DOUBT settles in and you begin to think about your mortality and the things you never got to do in life.

    Questions begin to flash through your brain. What will happen to your family if you’re not there? Will I live to see my son graduate high school or college? Will I be there to walk my daughter down the aisle for her wedding? Will I still be here for the birth of my grandson or granddaughter?

    I remember when it was my day to hear the news. My gastroenterologist had called me a day after my first colonoscopy and wanted me in his office the very first thing in the morning. I had never been “Sick Sick” before in my life and was very naïve about what had happened to me and what I was about to go through.

    I later learned that doctors are trained to give you good news over the phone, but if the news is bad, then they prefer you to come into the office so they can counsel you in person and to lessen the shock of the news.

    Me, I thought I was going to get an OK, even though I suspected it was probably cancer. You know, it’s a funny thing how the mind works and what we tell ourselves. I heard the ‘Three Words’ and I never blinked an eyelash – I really already knew it deep down inside but just had not come to terms with it for the reasons I explained above.

    After the three words, everything just became sort of surreal. Part of my brain recognized and understood what the GI doc was telling me, but then a part of me was dialed out.

    I could see the doctor’s lips moving, and I understood at a certain level what he had to say, but at the other end, my mind was racing along with all of these random thoughts while he was explaining away what was going to come next.

    You always wonder how you would handle receiving such news as this. And since we’re all unique individuals from all walks of life, we all handle things differently on the outside, but on the inside we’re really all feeling the same thing and scared of what’s coming next – “The Unknown.”

    The Unknown – now, that’s a very dark and lonely road even on the best of days. Mix in a cancer diagnosis and all of a sudden you are facing your own mortality. You begin to look in the mirror and you don’t like what you see.

    That’s because what you are seeing are the “Faces of Yourself” that you’ve never had to look at before. All of a sudden, the things that looked so important and held so much value to you, have now shifted to a new and completely different set of values, along with a new level of understanding and acknowledgement.

    It’s amazing how your values system does a complete “180” as you continually come to grips with your diagnosis. Mind you, none of this happens right away, it is also a process that evolves each day of your journey.

    It cannot be hurried or rushed, but must take root and blossom on its own timeline. It becomes part of the ‘new you’ and is sort of akin to having a new software program downloaded onto your hard drive of your computer.

    What the Cancer Diagnosis does to you is that it changes you from the inside out. The “Transformation of Self” that you are about to embark upon is a by-product of cancer but its role is no less important, because ironically enough some good can come out of cancer if you remain open minded to the possibilities.

    The irony of cancer is this – “What is Trying to Kill You Actually Makes You Stronger.”

    Its biggest benefit, and we’re always looking for the silver lining, is how we view things now through our new ‘awareness.’ All of the material things that we clamored for previously in our lives now have little to no significance.

    “Now, why is that?”

    Simple. It’s because you have just taken your first steps towards enlightenment. That is our destination in our Cancer Journeys - that’s the ‘Nirvana’ that we wish to reach to become the people that we want to be – to become the people we might not have become if it were not for our diagnosis.

    I suppose the simple truth is that we’re reminded that this world is not about the materialistic excesses that pervade and flood our lives. Very quickly, we are reminded that it’s about ‘memories and relationships’ that are important and not things.

    I like to think of it in these terms – “There is No Luggage Rack on the Hearse.”

    We cannot take ‘things’ with us, but our memories and the relationships that we form, and the bonds that we build and share with one another are what are really important. In the end, these are what we really take with us when our time is done here on this Earth.

    I remember when I was first diagnosed and heading for my first major surgery. I truly thought I was going to die. I remember walking about my home making a ‘mental inventory’ of my things.

    As I walked through the house, room by room, it became clearly apparent ‘how much these things meant to me’, but on the other hand, ‘how very little that they really meant to me.’

    “Does that make any sense?”

    I realized the sacrifices we had made to purchase the items, and how much time it took to pay for them. The biggest epiphany dawned on me as I realized how many more experiences I could have bought with that money that would have enriched and colored my life, instead of being a prisoner to debt, paying for things that I would not be able to take with me.

    There are a lot of those types of thoughts that will be floating around your head as you begin to reassess your life and change your priorities. You will find that the quest for “Mo’ Money”, the “Bigger House”, the second “Vacation Home”, the “New Car”, or the latest “I Pad” are, to say the least, very overrated.

    In the end, these are” False Idols” that marketers have convinced us are “Must Have” items in our lives to survive and be somebody in this world. In reality, they are really not and it is our cancer diagnosis that has so profoundly educated us and brought this back to the forefront of our attention.

    Cancer teaches us to reach out beyond ourselves and to acknowledge and reaffirm that we are not the only “Victims.”

    There are cancer wards and hospitals full of sick folks in every city in the world. We are not the only ones suffering here and once you understand that, you are better able to deal with all of the things with cancer that have to be dealt with.

    I’m not sure what it is exactly about cancer, but for whatever reason, I never cried “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me.”

    Oh, I’ve certainly had my days when I felt sorry for myself and sang “Woe is Me” and asked myself the age old eternal question – “Why Me?” Again, this is part of the process and this really is a perfectly normal human condition as long as we don’t stay there for too long.

    You’re going to feel this way some days. And when you feel like that, you just have those moments privately and then you get back to the business at hand. You don’t let it dwell in your soul or dictate your outcome – you acknowledge and experience it when you need to and then you dust yourself back off and get on with it. It just all goes along with ‘being human.’

    “The Diagnosis” is a very tough day indeed, but when you get on down the road a little bit further and look back at it, you will realize where it all started, so that when you get to the end of the journey, you will know how far you have really come – and how much you have really grown from the experience.

    So, now that we know what we’re up against – “What Are We Gonna’ Do About It?”

    I'm proud of you!
    Hi Craig,

    WOW- I'm really proud of you for following through and finishing the book! Thanks also for giving us a sample peek! I know you've put a huge amount of time, thought, and energy into this. I do hope and pray that it will truly be able to get published. That's be awesome if Sharon Osbourne actually read what you sent her and replied.

    Best wishes to you, Craig-

    Hugs,
    Lisa :)
  • HollyID
    HollyID Member Posts: 946
    Sundanceh said:

    CHAPTER I - "The Diagnosis"
    Three words.

    “You Have Cancer.”

    With these words, your entire world has grinded to a complete halt as you try and sort out what you’ve just been told. You are trying to be calm and process this information that has been given to you by your doctor. You are trying to make some sense out of a situation that has just come out from under your control.

    This is the sentence that none of us want to ever hear uttered in our lifetimes. It’s the type of news that is delivered to someone else, but not to you.

    “This must be a mistake, right?”

    Unfortunately, this is not a mistake, and this news has just become your new reality.

    “What are we feeling and experiencing as all of this begins to wash over us”

    Well, PANIC to start with. Your mind is scrambling and searching fast and furiously to try and find an answer to “Fix This.” When our brains cannot retrieve the information that is needed to put this fire out, then panic and fear are what we are left with.

    The brain is a complex piece of machinery and wonderment. The way that we archive and retrieve data, information, and our own unique experiences are what we draw upon whenever a problem presents itself. We use what we have been through and the things we have learned and experienced in our lives to help us try and cope with the issue at hand.

    I remember reading or hearing about how the brain works with regards to memories or events and how we retrieve them when we call upon them for reference or for a pleasant memory of some kind.

    Obviously, when we learn something or experience a sensation or an event, the brain creates a “File” and archives it into the synapses of the brain that can later be used for recall when it is needed or desired.

    When we come upon that situation again, our brains already have a pathway in which to retrieve that file for that particular experience or information. Therefore, we can replay that data and have a comfort zone or a field of reference that we have already experienced and that we can make some sense out of and take our cues from.

    However, the brain, much like a computer, is only as good as the data that is contained within it. It operates under the principle of “Data In and Data Out.”

    So, when we hear the word CANCER, our brains begin desperately trying to locate the “Cancer File.”

    If this is your first time and you have had no experience with it, then there is no file available for our brains to reference, since the data does not yet exist. Then, that’s when the panic and fear sprout from.

    Very shortly after that, DOUBT settles in and you begin to think about your mortality and the things you never got to do in life.

    Questions begin to flash through your brain. What will happen to your family if you’re not there? Will I live to see my son graduate high school or college? Will I be there to walk my daughter down the aisle for her wedding? Will I still be here for the birth of my grandson or granddaughter?

    I remember when it was my day to hear the news. My gastroenterologist had called me a day after my first colonoscopy and wanted me in his office the very first thing in the morning. I had never been “Sick Sick” before in my life and was very naïve about what had happened to me and what I was about to go through.

    I later learned that doctors are trained to give you good news over the phone, but if the news is bad, then they prefer you to come into the office so they can counsel you in person and to lessen the shock of the news.

    Me, I thought I was going to get an OK, even though I suspected it was probably cancer. You know, it’s a funny thing how the mind works and what we tell ourselves. I heard the ‘Three Words’ and I never blinked an eyelash – I really already knew it deep down inside but just had not come to terms with it for the reasons I explained above.

    After the three words, everything just became sort of surreal. Part of my brain recognized and understood what the GI doc was telling me, but then a part of me was dialed out.

    I could see the doctor’s lips moving, and I understood at a certain level what he had to say, but at the other end, my mind was racing along with all of these random thoughts while he was explaining away what was going to come next.

    You always wonder how you would handle receiving such news as this. And since we’re all unique individuals from all walks of life, we all handle things differently on the outside, but on the inside we’re really all feeling the same thing and scared of what’s coming next – “The Unknown.”

    The Unknown – now, that’s a very dark and lonely road even on the best of days. Mix in a cancer diagnosis and all of a sudden you are facing your own mortality. You begin to look in the mirror and you don’t like what you see.

    That’s because what you are seeing are the “Faces of Yourself” that you’ve never had to look at before. All of a sudden, the things that looked so important and held so much value to you, have now shifted to a new and completely different set of values, along with a new level of understanding and acknowledgement.

    It’s amazing how your values system does a complete “180” as you continually come to grips with your diagnosis. Mind you, none of this happens right away, it is also a process that evolves each day of your journey.

    It cannot be hurried or rushed, but must take root and blossom on its own timeline. It becomes part of the ‘new you’ and is sort of akin to having a new software program downloaded onto your hard drive of your computer.

    What the Cancer Diagnosis does to you is that it changes you from the inside out. The “Transformation of Self” that you are about to embark upon is a by-product of cancer but its role is no less important, because ironically enough some good can come out of cancer if you remain open minded to the possibilities.

    The irony of cancer is this – “What is Trying to Kill You Actually Makes You Stronger.”

    Its biggest benefit, and we’re always looking for the silver lining, is how we view things now through our new ‘awareness.’ All of the material things that we clamored for previously in our lives now have little to no significance.

    “Now, why is that?”

    Simple. It’s because you have just taken your first steps towards enlightenment. That is our destination in our Cancer Journeys - that’s the ‘Nirvana’ that we wish to reach to become the people that we want to be – to become the people we might not have become if it were not for our diagnosis.

    I suppose the simple truth is that we’re reminded that this world is not about the materialistic excesses that pervade and flood our lives. Very quickly, we are reminded that it’s about ‘memories and relationships’ that are important and not things.

    I like to think of it in these terms – “There is No Luggage Rack on the Hearse.”

    We cannot take ‘things’ with us, but our memories and the relationships that we form, and the bonds that we build and share with one another are what are really important. In the end, these are what we really take with us when our time is done here on this Earth.

    I remember when I was first diagnosed and heading for my first major surgery. I truly thought I was going to die. I remember walking about my home making a ‘mental inventory’ of my things.

    As I walked through the house, room by room, it became clearly apparent ‘how much these things meant to me’, but on the other hand, ‘how very little that they really meant to me.’

    “Does that make any sense?”

    I realized the sacrifices we had made to purchase the items, and how much time it took to pay for them. The biggest epiphany dawned on me as I realized how many more experiences I could have bought with that money that would have enriched and colored my life, instead of being a prisoner to debt, paying for things that I would not be able to take with me.

    There are a lot of those types of thoughts that will be floating around your head as you begin to reassess your life and change your priorities. You will find that the quest for “Mo’ Money”, the “Bigger House”, the second “Vacation Home”, the “New Car”, or the latest “I Pad” are, to say the least, very overrated.

    In the end, these are” False Idols” that marketers have convinced us are “Must Have” items in our lives to survive and be somebody in this world. In reality, they are really not and it is our cancer diagnosis that has so profoundly educated us and brought this back to the forefront of our attention.

    Cancer teaches us to reach out beyond ourselves and to acknowledge and reaffirm that we are not the only “Victims.”

    There are cancer wards and hospitals full of sick folks in every city in the world. We are not the only ones suffering here and once you understand that, you are better able to deal with all of the things with cancer that have to be dealt with.

    I’m not sure what it is exactly about cancer, but for whatever reason, I never cried “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me.”

    Oh, I’ve certainly had my days when I felt sorry for myself and sang “Woe is Me” and asked myself the age old eternal question – “Why Me?” Again, this is part of the process and this really is a perfectly normal human condition as long as we don’t stay there for too long.

    You’re going to feel this way some days. And when you feel like that, you just have those moments privately and then you get back to the business at hand. You don’t let it dwell in your soul or dictate your outcome – you acknowledge and experience it when you need to and then you dust yourself back off and get on with it. It just all goes along with ‘being human.’

    “The Diagnosis” is a very tough day indeed, but when you get on down the road a little bit further and look back at it, you will realize where it all started, so that when you get to the end of the journey, you will know how far you have really come – and how much you have really grown from the experience.

    So, now that we know what we’re up against – “What Are We Gonna’ Do About It?”

    Craig...
    You're just so awesome!!

    I can't wait to read it... In fact, I'd love an autographed copy of this, please?

    I bet I'm not the only semi to ask that one!! LOL

    Love ya, bud!!

    And yeah, I think she heard you roar. :)
  • plh4gail
    plh4gail Member Posts: 1,238
    Thank you Craig. Wow...that
    Thank you Craig. Wow...that brought back some memories. You have a wonderful way with words my dear. I hope things will happen easily for you in the publishing :)

    Hugs,Gail
  • geotina
    geotina Member Posts: 2,111
    Craig:
    WONDERFUL!

    Hugs - Tina
  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
    Lifeisajourney
    Pat, thank you for your story. I appreciate all of your support and kindness. Maybe Sharon will say something…that would be a real highlight:)

    Keystone
    Stephanie, I’m so glad that you’ve been keeping up! I really appreciate you reading and taking an interest. I spent my first 5-years of the cancer battle alone and so when I came here to the board, I so much did not want anyone else to have to go through that and I try and help folks if I can.

    Pete
    I appreciate the kind words. Nice of you to stop by and chat. I’ve had my head down and fervently pursuing this mission. I am glad that it’s finally written. Not sure if I could go through all of that again – not in this lifetime, anyway:)

    FFML
    How’s my biggest cheerleader doin’? LOL! It’s so nice to see you! Hope all is going well on your side of the world. Thank you for being my friend and with me every step of the way.

    Lisa42
    Hi, Sunshine:) It warms my heart to see you on this post with all that you’ve had going on in your life. Thank you so much for stopping in to see me. You’re right, it’s been a lot of time, energy and emotion. Something told me not to rest, but to get this done now while my window of health was open. And wouldn’t it be something if Sharon did get back with me? Only time will tell…we’ll see. She’s an author too and has sold over 2-million books, so that’s some pretty company.

    HollyID
    And I was just saying to myself that Holly would not see this post, LOL! It’s so nice to see you and I hope things are going splendidly. I miss Chicky not calling me her lion. Those were some warm times.

    Marie
    Thank you for the link. I have looked at this but need to study on it some more. I’m hoping that this publisher I sent the sample chapter to, will give me some constructive criticism in their decline letter, so I’ll know where changes might be needed. I appreciate your support and you’ve been with me for awhile too – can’t thank you enough for that.

    Janie1
    Joan, I have such high hopes and think this book could help some folks if I could just get some advertising and distribution for it. I would gladly do my part to help support by going web, tv, radio, or whatever. If we get to that point, we’ll really be getting somewhere. You know I’m all about awareness.

    JBG
    It warms my heart to hear “your review” of the 1st chapter. If I was able to reach a veteran fighter and take you back to that ‘consult’, then that tells me that any of the new folks might be able to gain something from it as well. It’s been great getting to know you this time through and you’ve been very supportive and a friend to me. You know I continue to think of you as you fight on – and Big Billy and I are still here with you:)

    Michelle
    It’s so nice to see you again, too. Thank you as well for your continued support and for coming to see me. I hope all is well.

    Pepe
    If the success of the book relied strictly on your confidence and enthusiasm, we’d already have this thing done:) I hope that your foretelling does come true – we’ll really have something to talk about on that day, won’t we?

    Eibod
    I remember a lady who wrote in a post one day, “Somebody should write a book to tell us what we’re feeling.” LOL! You’re right, everything that I am is in the pages of this book. It has been a labor of love, but it has taken a lot out of me too, but I knew that going in. Still so proud to have finished it. Thank you for your support and kindness. I read the “Caregiver” chapter after reading your post – brought a tear to my eye – probably just allergies though, LOL!

    Christine
    I was just about to come looking for you, LOL! You told me a line when I was in the hospital that has always stuck with me – when I think of it – I think of you. You said, “f’ing cancer doesn’t have a chance!” Do you still feel that way? If this book pops, we’re gonna’ kick cancer around some more, if I have anything to say about it. It’s so nice to see you and thanks for coming to see me.

    Wolfen
    Mama, always makes me feel special when I see the wolf on my screen. You and J have been really good to me and I sure do appreciate that. I appreciate your chapter review as well. If this one doesn’t get your attention and make you think about turning the page – then I failed. But, your encouragement is good for me right now, as I am fragile sometimes in believing in myself. Many times, I need help from you guys to keep me boosted and focused. I hope Sharon can help too. It would be a privilege to work with her. Thanks for coming by to see me.

    $I2
    Lisa, that’s code for Buckeye2, get it? LOL! I’m so glad that you are pleased. Thank you for your support and appreciation of my work. Did you run that “teacher” piece I told you about to the other tearchers? Did it go over like a lead zeppelin? LOL!

    Jaylo
    Pat, it’s good to see you. I’m glad you still come around and stop by to see me when you get to these neck of the woods:) I appreciate your kindness and we’ll keep our fingers crossed that some good might come out of it.

    Sandy
    Like the new pic, huh? It’s got significance as you know I do nothing by chance. It will come to play if the book makes it to publication. It’s good to see you and you’ve been another friend of mine who has always been by my side. Thank you so much for that!

    Kenny
    If I’ve inspired you, then I know I’ve done something:) I wanted to thank you for keeping up with me as well, as you’ve been around for some pretty significant events in my cancer journey. I always appreciate you stopping in.

    GrannyC
    The Diagnosis is a chapter for one and all. It speaks for all of us. Thank you for your continued support and maybe something will happen to help get this book expedited. I’m entertaining all ideas and will chase them down. I’ve had cancer 3x as well, just finished up the latest 6-months ago and jump straight into this book less than a week later. I was dx’d in 2004, so I’m just about at the 7.5 year mark with fighting my cancer. Stay with me.

    Kim
    You were just one of the first ones:) How could I ever forget you and what you have meant? Thank you for your support and belief in me as an individual. It’s growing those friendships and being able to share some news like this that makes cancer all worth it to me. If memory serves me correctly, I believe I wrote your story about the “happy pill” that makes all the bad memories go away. I’m real sure I used that one. That story resonated with me and thought it was a good story to make the point of the topic I was discussing.

    4Gail
    Gail, I’m glad to see your smilin’ face again too – as the old Wolf Brand chili commercial used to say, “It’s been too long.” LOL! Chapter 1 is a good attention getter and a time machine too – it takes you back, way back to the very second where the journey begins. A day that no cancer patient or their caregiver ever forgets.

    GeoTina
    Hiya, Tina. I’m glad you got to see this post. I appreciate you stoppin’ in as well. Hope all is well with George and with you too.


    Well, folks, just wanted the chance to talk with each one of you who posted. It’s nice to be able to share this with you. These kind of projects are not a dime a dozen. I remain hopeful that good things might happen with this.

    I’ll have some more to add to this post shortly. A couple of things I wanted to discuss with you further. Just thanks everybody for being there!

    -Craig
  • SisterSledge
    SisterSledge Member Posts: 332
    Sundanceh said:

    Lifeisajourney
    Pat, thank you for your story. I appreciate all of your support and kindness. Maybe Sharon will say something…that would be a real highlight:)

    Keystone
    Stephanie, I’m so glad that you’ve been keeping up! I really appreciate you reading and taking an interest. I spent my first 5-years of the cancer battle alone and so when I came here to the board, I so much did not want anyone else to have to go through that and I try and help folks if I can.

    Pete
    I appreciate the kind words. Nice of you to stop by and chat. I’ve had my head down and fervently pursuing this mission. I am glad that it’s finally written. Not sure if I could go through all of that again – not in this lifetime, anyway:)

    FFML
    How’s my biggest cheerleader doin’? LOL! It’s so nice to see you! Hope all is going well on your side of the world. Thank you for being my friend and with me every step of the way.

    Lisa42
    Hi, Sunshine:) It warms my heart to see you on this post with all that you’ve had going on in your life. Thank you so much for stopping in to see me. You’re right, it’s been a lot of time, energy and emotion. Something told me not to rest, but to get this done now while my window of health was open. And wouldn’t it be something if Sharon did get back with me? Only time will tell…we’ll see. She’s an author too and has sold over 2-million books, so that’s some pretty company.

    HollyID
    And I was just saying to myself that Holly would not see this post, LOL! It’s so nice to see you and I hope things are going splendidly. I miss Chicky not calling me her lion. Those were some warm times.

    Marie
    Thank you for the link. I have looked at this but need to study on it some more. I’m hoping that this publisher I sent the sample chapter to, will give me some constructive criticism in their decline letter, so I’ll know where changes might be needed. I appreciate your support and you’ve been with me for awhile too – can’t thank you enough for that.

    Janie1
    Joan, I have such high hopes and think this book could help some folks if I could just get some advertising and distribution for it. I would gladly do my part to help support by going web, tv, radio, or whatever. If we get to that point, we’ll really be getting somewhere. You know I’m all about awareness.

    JBG
    It warms my heart to hear “your review” of the 1st chapter. If I was able to reach a veteran fighter and take you back to that ‘consult’, then that tells me that any of the new folks might be able to gain something from it as well. It’s been great getting to know you this time through and you’ve been very supportive and a friend to me. You know I continue to think of you as you fight on – and Big Billy and I are still here with you:)

    Michelle
    It’s so nice to see you again, too. Thank you as well for your continued support and for coming to see me. I hope all is well.

    Pepe
    If the success of the book relied strictly on your confidence and enthusiasm, we’d already have this thing done:) I hope that your foretelling does come true – we’ll really have something to talk about on that day, won’t we?

    Eibod
    I remember a lady who wrote in a post one day, “Somebody should write a book to tell us what we’re feeling.” LOL! You’re right, everything that I am is in the pages of this book. It has been a labor of love, but it has taken a lot out of me too, but I knew that going in. Still so proud to have finished it. Thank you for your support and kindness. I read the “Caregiver” chapter after reading your post – brought a tear to my eye – probably just allergies though, LOL!

    Christine
    I was just about to come looking for you, LOL! You told me a line when I was in the hospital that has always stuck with me – when I think of it – I think of you. You said, “f’ing cancer doesn’t have a chance!” Do you still feel that way? If this book pops, we’re gonna’ kick cancer around some more, if I have anything to say about it. It’s so nice to see you and thanks for coming to see me.

    Wolfen
    Mama, always makes me feel special when I see the wolf on my screen. You and J have been really good to me and I sure do appreciate that. I appreciate your chapter review as well. If this one doesn’t get your attention and make you think about turning the page – then I failed. But, your encouragement is good for me right now, as I am fragile sometimes in believing in myself. Many times, I need help from you guys to keep me boosted and focused. I hope Sharon can help too. It would be a privilege to work with her. Thanks for coming by to see me.

    $I2
    Lisa, that’s code for Buckeye2, get it? LOL! I’m so glad that you are pleased. Thank you for your support and appreciation of my work. Did you run that “teacher” piece I told you about to the other tearchers? Did it go over like a lead zeppelin? LOL!

    Jaylo
    Pat, it’s good to see you. I’m glad you still come around and stop by to see me when you get to these neck of the woods:) I appreciate your kindness and we’ll keep our fingers crossed that some good might come out of it.

    Sandy
    Like the new pic, huh? It’s got significance as you know I do nothing by chance. It will come to play if the book makes it to publication. It’s good to see you and you’ve been another friend of mine who has always been by my side. Thank you so much for that!

    Kenny
    If I’ve inspired you, then I know I’ve done something:) I wanted to thank you for keeping up with me as well, as you’ve been around for some pretty significant events in my cancer journey. I always appreciate you stopping in.

    GrannyC
    The Diagnosis is a chapter for one and all. It speaks for all of us. Thank you for your continued support and maybe something will happen to help get this book expedited. I’m entertaining all ideas and will chase them down. I’ve had cancer 3x as well, just finished up the latest 6-months ago and jump straight into this book less than a week later. I was dx’d in 2004, so I’m just about at the 7.5 year mark with fighting my cancer. Stay with me.

    Kim
    You were just one of the first ones:) How could I ever forget you and what you have meant? Thank you for your support and belief in me as an individual. It’s growing those friendships and being able to share some news like this that makes cancer all worth it to me. If memory serves me correctly, I believe I wrote your story about the “happy pill” that makes all the bad memories go away. I’m real sure I used that one. That story resonated with me and thought it was a good story to make the point of the topic I was discussing.

    4Gail
    Gail, I’m glad to see your smilin’ face again too – as the old Wolf Brand chili commercial used to say, “It’s been too long.” LOL! Chapter 1 is a good attention getter and a time machine too – it takes you back, way back to the very second where the journey begins. A day that no cancer patient or their caregiver ever forgets.

    GeoTina
    Hiya, Tina. I’m glad you got to see this post. I appreciate you stoppin’ in as well. Hope all is well with George and with you too.


    Well, folks, just wanted the chance to talk with each one of you who posted. It’s nice to be able to share this with you. These kind of projects are not a dime a dozen. I remain hopeful that good things might happen with this.

    I’ll have some more to add to this post shortly. A couple of things I wanted to discuss with you further. Just thanks everybody for being there!

    -Craig

    thanks for sharing
    Hey Craig, Really enjoyed reading the first chapter, and I'm very excited thinking about the possibilities ahead for you...the potential to help so many people through your book is huge! Thanks for writing it <3
    Janine
  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
    eibod said:

    So excited that you have
    So excited that you have accomplished your goal. Can't imagine the time and thought that you must have put into the book. I am thinking that the therapy of writing has been good as well? Enjoyed reading the first chapter, but selfishly, am looking forward to when the book is published so that I may read the "caregivers" chapter. You are a gifted writer and I hope and pray this will work out well for you. Take care, Brenda

    Hi Brenda:)
    Your post made me go back and read the "Caregiver" chapter. I got all choked up again. I also tried to talk to the caregiver on what we, as the patients are feeling as well being in a sudden role reversal. It's some pretty good stuff and I can't wait to hear what you and another good caregiver friend of mine, Cynthia, think about it.

    As hard as I try, I can never really speak for the caregivers - but I do try and give you a "Voice" in this book. I respect and admire all of you greatly and I've done my best to try and represent you all.

    Not too long ago, you asked me if there were any more caregiver sections. And yes, there is.....it's at the end of the journey though...and I'm living out what the patient feels when they decide "that enough is enough."

    And then I try and relate to what the caregiver must feel when a decision like that is made.

    I appreciate your kinds words and your support. I'm glad you came onboard when you did - I really did write this for folks just like you and Buckeye2. You're the reason and my motivation for trying to figure a way to get this book printed, so it can be of use.

    I will find a way. I'm so glad you liked the 1st chapter. I think it gets better - there's so much more as you turn the pages.

    Say hello to your husband and I hope things will settle in for you for awhile. You could use some calm.

    -Craig
  • laurettas
    laurettas Member Posts: 372
    Sundanceh said:

    CHAPTER I - "The Diagnosis"
    Three words.

    “You Have Cancer.”

    With these words, your entire world has grinded to a complete halt as you try and sort out what you’ve just been told. You are trying to be calm and process this information that has been given to you by your doctor. You are trying to make some sense out of a situation that has just come out from under your control.

    This is the sentence that none of us want to ever hear uttered in our lifetimes. It’s the type of news that is delivered to someone else, but not to you.

    “This must be a mistake, right?”

    Unfortunately, this is not a mistake, and this news has just become your new reality.

    “What are we feeling and experiencing as all of this begins to wash over us”

    Well, PANIC to start with. Your mind is scrambling and searching fast and furiously to try and find an answer to “Fix This.” When our brains cannot retrieve the information that is needed to put this fire out, then panic and fear are what we are left with.

    The brain is a complex piece of machinery and wonderment. The way that we archive and retrieve data, information, and our own unique experiences are what we draw upon whenever a problem presents itself. We use what we have been through and the things we have learned and experienced in our lives to help us try and cope with the issue at hand.

    I remember reading or hearing about how the brain works with regards to memories or events and how we retrieve them when we call upon them for reference or for a pleasant memory of some kind.

    Obviously, when we learn something or experience a sensation or an event, the brain creates a “File” and archives it into the synapses of the brain that can later be used for recall when it is needed or desired.

    When we come upon that situation again, our brains already have a pathway in which to retrieve that file for that particular experience or information. Therefore, we can replay that data and have a comfort zone or a field of reference that we have already experienced and that we can make some sense out of and take our cues from.

    However, the brain, much like a computer, is only as good as the data that is contained within it. It operates under the principle of “Data In and Data Out.”

    So, when we hear the word CANCER, our brains begin desperately trying to locate the “Cancer File.”

    If this is your first time and you have had no experience with it, then there is no file available for our brains to reference, since the data does not yet exist. Then, that’s when the panic and fear sprout from.

    Very shortly after that, DOUBT settles in and you begin to think about your mortality and the things you never got to do in life.

    Questions begin to flash through your brain. What will happen to your family if you’re not there? Will I live to see my son graduate high school or college? Will I be there to walk my daughter down the aisle for her wedding? Will I still be here for the birth of my grandson or granddaughter?

    I remember when it was my day to hear the news. My gastroenterologist had called me a day after my first colonoscopy and wanted me in his office the very first thing in the morning. I had never been “Sick Sick” before in my life and was very naïve about what had happened to me and what I was about to go through.

    I later learned that doctors are trained to give you good news over the phone, but if the news is bad, then they prefer you to come into the office so they can counsel you in person and to lessen the shock of the news.

    Me, I thought I was going to get an OK, even though I suspected it was probably cancer. You know, it’s a funny thing how the mind works and what we tell ourselves. I heard the ‘Three Words’ and I never blinked an eyelash – I really already knew it deep down inside but just had not come to terms with it for the reasons I explained above.

    After the three words, everything just became sort of surreal. Part of my brain recognized and understood what the GI doc was telling me, but then a part of me was dialed out.

    I could see the doctor’s lips moving, and I understood at a certain level what he had to say, but at the other end, my mind was racing along with all of these random thoughts while he was explaining away what was going to come next.

    You always wonder how you would handle receiving such news as this. And since we’re all unique individuals from all walks of life, we all handle things differently on the outside, but on the inside we’re really all feeling the same thing and scared of what’s coming next – “The Unknown.”

    The Unknown – now, that’s a very dark and lonely road even on the best of days. Mix in a cancer diagnosis and all of a sudden you are facing your own mortality. You begin to look in the mirror and you don’t like what you see.

    That’s because what you are seeing are the “Faces of Yourself” that you’ve never had to look at before. All of a sudden, the things that looked so important and held so much value to you, have now shifted to a new and completely different set of values, along with a new level of understanding and acknowledgement.

    It’s amazing how your values system does a complete “180” as you continually come to grips with your diagnosis. Mind you, none of this happens right away, it is also a process that evolves each day of your journey.

    It cannot be hurried or rushed, but must take root and blossom on its own timeline. It becomes part of the ‘new you’ and is sort of akin to having a new software program downloaded onto your hard drive of your computer.

    What the Cancer Diagnosis does to you is that it changes you from the inside out. The “Transformation of Self” that you are about to embark upon is a by-product of cancer but its role is no less important, because ironically enough some good can come out of cancer if you remain open minded to the possibilities.

    The irony of cancer is this – “What is Trying to Kill You Actually Makes You Stronger.”

    Its biggest benefit, and we’re always looking for the silver lining, is how we view things now through our new ‘awareness.’ All of the material things that we clamored for previously in our lives now have little to no significance.

    “Now, why is that?”

    Simple. It’s because you have just taken your first steps towards enlightenment. That is our destination in our Cancer Journeys - that’s the ‘Nirvana’ that we wish to reach to become the people that we want to be – to become the people we might not have become if it were not for our diagnosis.

    I suppose the simple truth is that we’re reminded that this world is not about the materialistic excesses that pervade and flood our lives. Very quickly, we are reminded that it’s about ‘memories and relationships’ that are important and not things.

    I like to think of it in these terms – “There is No Luggage Rack on the Hearse.”

    We cannot take ‘things’ with us, but our memories and the relationships that we form, and the bonds that we build and share with one another are what are really important. In the end, these are what we really take with us when our time is done here on this Earth.

    I remember when I was first diagnosed and heading for my first major surgery. I truly thought I was going to die. I remember walking about my home making a ‘mental inventory’ of my things.

    As I walked through the house, room by room, it became clearly apparent ‘how much these things meant to me’, but on the other hand, ‘how very little that they really meant to me.’

    “Does that make any sense?”

    I realized the sacrifices we had made to purchase the items, and how much time it took to pay for them. The biggest epiphany dawned on me as I realized how many more experiences I could have bought with that money that would have enriched and colored my life, instead of being a prisoner to debt, paying for things that I would not be able to take with me.

    There are a lot of those types of thoughts that will be floating around your head as you begin to reassess your life and change your priorities. You will find that the quest for “Mo’ Money”, the “Bigger House”, the second “Vacation Home”, the “New Car”, or the latest “I Pad” are, to say the least, very overrated.

    In the end, these are” False Idols” that marketers have convinced us are “Must Have” items in our lives to survive and be somebody in this world. In reality, they are really not and it is our cancer diagnosis that has so profoundly educated us and brought this back to the forefront of our attention.

    Cancer teaches us to reach out beyond ourselves and to acknowledge and reaffirm that we are not the only “Victims.”

    There are cancer wards and hospitals full of sick folks in every city in the world. We are not the only ones suffering here and once you understand that, you are better able to deal with all of the things with cancer that have to be dealt with.

    I’m not sure what it is exactly about cancer, but for whatever reason, I never cried “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me.”

    Oh, I’ve certainly had my days when I felt sorry for myself and sang “Woe is Me” and asked myself the age old eternal question – “Why Me?” Again, this is part of the process and this really is a perfectly normal human condition as long as we don’t stay there for too long.

    You’re going to feel this way some days. And when you feel like that, you just have those moments privately and then you get back to the business at hand. You don’t let it dwell in your soul or dictate your outcome – you acknowledge and experience it when you need to and then you dust yourself back off and get on with it. It just all goes along with ‘being human.’

    “The Diagnosis” is a very tough day indeed, but when you get on down the road a little bit further and look back at it, you will realize where it all started, so that when you get to the end of the journey, you will know how far you have really come – and how much you have really grown from the experience.

    So, now that we know what we’re up against – “What Are We Gonna’ Do About It?”

    Words of wisdom
    from a wise man. Thank you!
  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member

    Dear Craig
    It sounds like you are moving on with the efforts to get published.

    I am including a link to Amazon Publishing where you can self publish and set your own price. If nothing more main stream pans out, you might want to check out the details.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/seller-account/mm-summary-page.html?topic=200260520

    Bestest hugs!

    Marie who loves kitties

    LoveKitties....
    Hi Marie

    Thank you so much for this link. I have been studying this and need to look at this quite a bit more. I've got ideas for the cover, but graphics are not my specialty, so it looks like there would be some associated charges for a service like this.

    And I saw if you had some graphs (I've got one of those in one of the chapters), they charge to have that kind of thing added etc.

    There is alot of info on there and I will be studying this option some more. Thank you for thinking about me and trying to help.

    Once I can figure it all out and tally up what it would take, I'll know what I would need to save for to make this available. There sure is alot to consider and look at.

    Thank you once again. I'll be working on this...

    -Craig:)
  • jjaj133
    jjaj133 Member Posts: 867
    Craig, you are a piece of
    Craig, you are a piece of work/ a wonderful, strong, articulate, caring, compassionate, brave, piece of work. Thank you for sharing the first chapter I can't wait to read the book.
    Did i mention, determined, ?
    Congratulations and may many blessings come come your way,
    Hugs, Judy
  • northernlites
    northernlites Member Posts: 96
    love it!
    Craig,
    WOW, I love the first chapter. I can't wait to read the entire book. Even though I am a "newbie" on the board since June, I always look for your posts first. You inspire me with your words. On my bad days i look for your posts... always makes me feel better. I would have loved to have invited you to my home when you were in NH at the races. I live 5 minutes from the NH speedway. Next time you are here let me know. And I would love a signed copy of your book!

    Tessa
  • Nana2
    Nana2 Member Posts: 255
    Sundanceh said:

    CHAPTER I - "The Diagnosis"
    Three words.

    “You Have Cancer.”

    With these words, your entire world has grinded to a complete halt as you try and sort out what you’ve just been told. You are trying to be calm and process this information that has been given to you by your doctor. You are trying to make some sense out of a situation that has just come out from under your control.

    This is the sentence that none of us want to ever hear uttered in our lifetimes. It’s the type of news that is delivered to someone else, but not to you.

    “This must be a mistake, right?”

    Unfortunately, this is not a mistake, and this news has just become your new reality.

    “What are we feeling and experiencing as all of this begins to wash over us”

    Well, PANIC to start with. Your mind is scrambling and searching fast and furiously to try and find an answer to “Fix This.” When our brains cannot retrieve the information that is needed to put this fire out, then panic and fear are what we are left with.

    The brain is a complex piece of machinery and wonderment. The way that we archive and retrieve data, information, and our own unique experiences are what we draw upon whenever a problem presents itself. We use what we have been through and the things we have learned and experienced in our lives to help us try and cope with the issue at hand.

    I remember reading or hearing about how the brain works with regards to memories or events and how we retrieve them when we call upon them for reference or for a pleasant memory of some kind.

    Obviously, when we learn something or experience a sensation or an event, the brain creates a “File” and archives it into the synapses of the brain that can later be used for recall when it is needed or desired.

    When we come upon that situation again, our brains already have a pathway in which to retrieve that file for that particular experience or information. Therefore, we can replay that data and have a comfort zone or a field of reference that we have already experienced and that we can make some sense out of and take our cues from.

    However, the brain, much like a computer, is only as good as the data that is contained within it. It operates under the principle of “Data In and Data Out.”

    So, when we hear the word CANCER, our brains begin desperately trying to locate the “Cancer File.”

    If this is your first time and you have had no experience with it, then there is no file available for our brains to reference, since the data does not yet exist. Then, that’s when the panic and fear sprout from.

    Very shortly after that, DOUBT settles in and you begin to think about your mortality and the things you never got to do in life.

    Questions begin to flash through your brain. What will happen to your family if you’re not there? Will I live to see my son graduate high school or college? Will I be there to walk my daughter down the aisle for her wedding? Will I still be here for the birth of my grandson or granddaughter?

    I remember when it was my day to hear the news. My gastroenterologist had called me a day after my first colonoscopy and wanted me in his office the very first thing in the morning. I had never been “Sick Sick” before in my life and was very naïve about what had happened to me and what I was about to go through.

    I later learned that doctors are trained to give you good news over the phone, but if the news is bad, then they prefer you to come into the office so they can counsel you in person and to lessen the shock of the news.

    Me, I thought I was going to get an OK, even though I suspected it was probably cancer. You know, it’s a funny thing how the mind works and what we tell ourselves. I heard the ‘Three Words’ and I never blinked an eyelash – I really already knew it deep down inside but just had not come to terms with it for the reasons I explained above.

    After the three words, everything just became sort of surreal. Part of my brain recognized and understood what the GI doc was telling me, but then a part of me was dialed out.

    I could see the doctor’s lips moving, and I understood at a certain level what he had to say, but at the other end, my mind was racing along with all of these random thoughts while he was explaining away what was going to come next.

    You always wonder how you would handle receiving such news as this. And since we’re all unique individuals from all walks of life, we all handle things differently on the outside, but on the inside we’re really all feeling the same thing and scared of what’s coming next – “The Unknown.”

    The Unknown – now, that’s a very dark and lonely road even on the best of days. Mix in a cancer diagnosis and all of a sudden you are facing your own mortality. You begin to look in the mirror and you don’t like what you see.

    That’s because what you are seeing are the “Faces of Yourself” that you’ve never had to look at before. All of a sudden, the things that looked so important and held so much value to you, have now shifted to a new and completely different set of values, along with a new level of understanding and acknowledgement.

    It’s amazing how your values system does a complete “180” as you continually come to grips with your diagnosis. Mind you, none of this happens right away, it is also a process that evolves each day of your journey.

    It cannot be hurried or rushed, but must take root and blossom on its own timeline. It becomes part of the ‘new you’ and is sort of akin to having a new software program downloaded onto your hard drive of your computer.

    What the Cancer Diagnosis does to you is that it changes you from the inside out. The “Transformation of Self” that you are about to embark upon is a by-product of cancer but its role is no less important, because ironically enough some good can come out of cancer if you remain open minded to the possibilities.

    The irony of cancer is this – “What is Trying to Kill You Actually Makes You Stronger.”

    Its biggest benefit, and we’re always looking for the silver lining, is how we view things now through our new ‘awareness.’ All of the material things that we clamored for previously in our lives now have little to no significance.

    “Now, why is that?”

    Simple. It’s because you have just taken your first steps towards enlightenment. That is our destination in our Cancer Journeys - that’s the ‘Nirvana’ that we wish to reach to become the people that we want to be – to become the people we might not have become if it were not for our diagnosis.

    I suppose the simple truth is that we’re reminded that this world is not about the materialistic excesses that pervade and flood our lives. Very quickly, we are reminded that it’s about ‘memories and relationships’ that are important and not things.

    I like to think of it in these terms – “There is No Luggage Rack on the Hearse.”

    We cannot take ‘things’ with us, but our memories and the relationships that we form, and the bonds that we build and share with one another are what are really important. In the end, these are what we really take with us when our time is done here on this Earth.

    I remember when I was first diagnosed and heading for my first major surgery. I truly thought I was going to die. I remember walking about my home making a ‘mental inventory’ of my things.

    As I walked through the house, room by room, it became clearly apparent ‘how much these things meant to me’, but on the other hand, ‘how very little that they really meant to me.’

    “Does that make any sense?”

    I realized the sacrifices we had made to purchase the items, and how much time it took to pay for them. The biggest epiphany dawned on me as I realized how many more experiences I could have bought with that money that would have enriched and colored my life, instead of being a prisoner to debt, paying for things that I would not be able to take with me.

    There are a lot of those types of thoughts that will be floating around your head as you begin to reassess your life and change your priorities. You will find that the quest for “Mo’ Money”, the “Bigger House”, the second “Vacation Home”, the “New Car”, or the latest “I Pad” are, to say the least, very overrated.

    In the end, these are” False Idols” that marketers have convinced us are “Must Have” items in our lives to survive and be somebody in this world. In reality, they are really not and it is our cancer diagnosis that has so profoundly educated us and brought this back to the forefront of our attention.

    Cancer teaches us to reach out beyond ourselves and to acknowledge and reaffirm that we are not the only “Victims.”

    There are cancer wards and hospitals full of sick folks in every city in the world. We are not the only ones suffering here and once you understand that, you are better able to deal with all of the things with cancer that have to be dealt with.

    I’m not sure what it is exactly about cancer, but for whatever reason, I never cried “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me.”

    Oh, I’ve certainly had my days when I felt sorry for myself and sang “Woe is Me” and asked myself the age old eternal question – “Why Me?” Again, this is part of the process and this really is a perfectly normal human condition as long as we don’t stay there for too long.

    You’re going to feel this way some days. And when you feel like that, you just have those moments privately and then you get back to the business at hand. You don’t let it dwell in your soul or dictate your outcome – you acknowledge and experience it when you need to and then you dust yourself back off and get on with it. It just all goes along with ‘being human.’

    “The Diagnosis” is a very tough day indeed, but when you get on down the road a little bit further and look back at it, you will realize where it all started, so that when you get to the end of the journey, you will know how far you have really come – and how much you have really grown from the experience.

    So, now that we know what we’re up against – “What Are We Gonna’ Do About It?”

    Wonderful Craig! I will be
    Wonderful Craig! I will be looking forward to getting a copy of your book. You have remained a steady inspiration to me for my Jim. I can relate even as a caregiver to your words in the first chapter. Especially about the Doctor's lips moving, but your brain is sort of dialed out and everything is surreal. Jim's Doctor brought me in alone to a little waiting room right after his colonoscopy and told me Jim had cancer. Jim wasn't even awake yet. It's strange what your mind does, but your description is very accurate. I wish you all the best with getting it published. Let me know if there is anything I can help with for your cover. If you need artwork...I might be able to help.
    Keep us posted,
    April
  • karen40
    karen40 Member Posts: 211 Member
    Sundanceh said:

    CHAPTER I - "The Diagnosis"
    Three words.

    “You Have Cancer.”

    With these words, your entire world has grinded to a complete halt as you try and sort out what you’ve just been told. You are trying to be calm and process this information that has been given to you by your doctor. You are trying to make some sense out of a situation that has just come out from under your control.

    This is the sentence that none of us want to ever hear uttered in our lifetimes. It’s the type of news that is delivered to someone else, but not to you.

    “This must be a mistake, right?”

    Unfortunately, this is not a mistake, and this news has just become your new reality.

    “What are we feeling and experiencing as all of this begins to wash over us”

    Well, PANIC to start with. Your mind is scrambling and searching fast and furiously to try and find an answer to “Fix This.” When our brains cannot retrieve the information that is needed to put this fire out, then panic and fear are what we are left with.

    The brain is a complex piece of machinery and wonderment. The way that we archive and retrieve data, information, and our own unique experiences are what we draw upon whenever a problem presents itself. We use what we have been through and the things we have learned and experienced in our lives to help us try and cope with the issue at hand.

    I remember reading or hearing about how the brain works with regards to memories or events and how we retrieve them when we call upon them for reference or for a pleasant memory of some kind.

    Obviously, when we learn something or experience a sensation or an event, the brain creates a “File” and archives it into the synapses of the brain that can later be used for recall when it is needed or desired.

    When we come upon that situation again, our brains already have a pathway in which to retrieve that file for that particular experience or information. Therefore, we can replay that data and have a comfort zone or a field of reference that we have already experienced and that we can make some sense out of and take our cues from.

    However, the brain, much like a computer, is only as good as the data that is contained within it. It operates under the principle of “Data In and Data Out.”

    So, when we hear the word CANCER, our brains begin desperately trying to locate the “Cancer File.”

    If this is your first time and you have had no experience with it, then there is no file available for our brains to reference, since the data does not yet exist. Then, that’s when the panic and fear sprout from.

    Very shortly after that, DOUBT settles in and you begin to think about your mortality and the things you never got to do in life.

    Questions begin to flash through your brain. What will happen to your family if you’re not there? Will I live to see my son graduate high school or college? Will I be there to walk my daughter down the aisle for her wedding? Will I still be here for the birth of my grandson or granddaughter?

    I remember when it was my day to hear the news. My gastroenterologist had called me a day after my first colonoscopy and wanted me in his office the very first thing in the morning. I had never been “Sick Sick” before in my life and was very naïve about what had happened to me and what I was about to go through.

    I later learned that doctors are trained to give you good news over the phone, but if the news is bad, then they prefer you to come into the office so they can counsel you in person and to lessen the shock of the news.

    Me, I thought I was going to get an OK, even though I suspected it was probably cancer. You know, it’s a funny thing how the mind works and what we tell ourselves. I heard the ‘Three Words’ and I never blinked an eyelash – I really already knew it deep down inside but just had not come to terms with it for the reasons I explained above.

    After the three words, everything just became sort of surreal. Part of my brain recognized and understood what the GI doc was telling me, but then a part of me was dialed out.

    I could see the doctor’s lips moving, and I understood at a certain level what he had to say, but at the other end, my mind was racing along with all of these random thoughts while he was explaining away what was going to come next.

    You always wonder how you would handle receiving such news as this. And since we’re all unique individuals from all walks of life, we all handle things differently on the outside, but on the inside we’re really all feeling the same thing and scared of what’s coming next – “The Unknown.”

    The Unknown – now, that’s a very dark and lonely road even on the best of days. Mix in a cancer diagnosis and all of a sudden you are facing your own mortality. You begin to look in the mirror and you don’t like what you see.

    That’s because what you are seeing are the “Faces of Yourself” that you’ve never had to look at before. All of a sudden, the things that looked so important and held so much value to you, have now shifted to a new and completely different set of values, along with a new level of understanding and acknowledgement.

    It’s amazing how your values system does a complete “180” as you continually come to grips with your diagnosis. Mind you, none of this happens right away, it is also a process that evolves each day of your journey.

    It cannot be hurried or rushed, but must take root and blossom on its own timeline. It becomes part of the ‘new you’ and is sort of akin to having a new software program downloaded onto your hard drive of your computer.

    What the Cancer Diagnosis does to you is that it changes you from the inside out. The “Transformation of Self” that you are about to embark upon is a by-product of cancer but its role is no less important, because ironically enough some good can come out of cancer if you remain open minded to the possibilities.

    The irony of cancer is this – “What is Trying to Kill You Actually Makes You Stronger.”

    Its biggest benefit, and we’re always looking for the silver lining, is how we view things now through our new ‘awareness.’ All of the material things that we clamored for previously in our lives now have little to no significance.

    “Now, why is that?”

    Simple. It’s because you have just taken your first steps towards enlightenment. That is our destination in our Cancer Journeys - that’s the ‘Nirvana’ that we wish to reach to become the people that we want to be – to become the people we might not have become if it were not for our diagnosis.

    I suppose the simple truth is that we’re reminded that this world is not about the materialistic excesses that pervade and flood our lives. Very quickly, we are reminded that it’s about ‘memories and relationships’ that are important and not things.

    I like to think of it in these terms – “There is No Luggage Rack on the Hearse.”

    We cannot take ‘things’ with us, but our memories and the relationships that we form, and the bonds that we build and share with one another are what are really important. In the end, these are what we really take with us when our time is done here on this Earth.

    I remember when I was first diagnosed and heading for my first major surgery. I truly thought I was going to die. I remember walking about my home making a ‘mental inventory’ of my things.

    As I walked through the house, room by room, it became clearly apparent ‘how much these things meant to me’, but on the other hand, ‘how very little that they really meant to me.’

    “Does that make any sense?”

    I realized the sacrifices we had made to purchase the items, and how much time it took to pay for them. The biggest epiphany dawned on me as I realized how many more experiences I could have bought with that money that would have enriched and colored my life, instead of being a prisoner to debt, paying for things that I would not be able to take with me.

    There are a lot of those types of thoughts that will be floating around your head as you begin to reassess your life and change your priorities. You will find that the quest for “Mo’ Money”, the “Bigger House”, the second “Vacation Home”, the “New Car”, or the latest “I Pad” are, to say the least, very overrated.

    In the end, these are” False Idols” that marketers have convinced us are “Must Have” items in our lives to survive and be somebody in this world. In reality, they are really not and it is our cancer diagnosis that has so profoundly educated us and brought this back to the forefront of our attention.

    Cancer teaches us to reach out beyond ourselves and to acknowledge and reaffirm that we are not the only “Victims.”

    There are cancer wards and hospitals full of sick folks in every city in the world. We are not the only ones suffering here and once you understand that, you are better able to deal with all of the things with cancer that have to be dealt with.

    I’m not sure what it is exactly about cancer, but for whatever reason, I never cried “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me.”

    Oh, I’ve certainly had my days when I felt sorry for myself and sang “Woe is Me” and asked myself the age old eternal question – “Why Me?” Again, this is part of the process and this really is a perfectly normal human condition as long as we don’t stay there for too long.

    You’re going to feel this way some days. And when you feel like that, you just have those moments privately and then you get back to the business at hand. You don’t let it dwell in your soul or dictate your outcome – you acknowledge and experience it when you need to and then you dust yourself back off and get on with it. It just all goes along with ‘being human.’

    “The Diagnosis” is a very tough day indeed, but when you get on down the road a little bit further and look back at it, you will realize where it all started, so that when you get to the end of the journey, you will know how far you have really come – and how much you have really grown from the experience.

    So, now that we know what we’re up against – “What Are We Gonna’ Do About It?”

    Wow!
    Hi Craig,
    It's amazing how much I relate to your first chapter. I also remember going into my first surgery thinking I was going to die. I literally started cleaning house,one room at a time, evaluating everything. I threw out so many things. It was liberating. It wasn't so much the materialistic things I threw out that had liberated me but the throwing out of the negative energy attached to them. It just didn't matter anymore.
    Karen

    P.S. Good Luck!!! I'm sending positive energy your way.
  • tommycat
    tommycat Member Posts: 790
    Congratulation on achieving
    Congratulation on achieving your goal! This first chapter is a winner!
  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
    Nana2 said:

    Wonderful Craig! I will be
    Wonderful Craig! I will be looking forward to getting a copy of your book. You have remained a steady inspiration to me for my Jim. I can relate even as a caregiver to your words in the first chapter. Especially about the Doctor's lips moving, but your brain is sort of dialed out and everything is surreal. Jim's Doctor brought me in alone to a little waiting room right after his colonoscopy and told me Jim had cancer. Jim wasn't even awake yet. It's strange what your mind does, but your description is very accurate. I wish you all the best with getting it published. Let me know if there is anything I can help with for your cover. If you need artwork...I might be able to help.
    Keep us posted,
    April

    April:)
    Hi April

    You know, I certainly appreciate you thinking about me and the book project with all that you've got on your plate these days. I'm truly touched, but would feel so guilty taking time away from you and Jim's fight.

    I've got a good pic for the cover of the book. And ideas on the font to be used. I'm sure I would need an author picture and a bio for the inside cover etc. etc.

    I'm not good at putting all of that together though. I've got the idea but not the skill to make it to work. The 2nd half of this project is going to kill me for sure:)

    Maybe we can take a look at this if you have a few moments. I'm going to need some help along the way to bring this project to the finish line. All of my projects turn out to be community projects, which I always enjoy working with you all that I have. Everything we've done together has been great.

    Thanks so much for your offer. Let's look at this when you can - if you still want to.

    Please be sure to give Jim my best - you know I'm pulling for him:)......and you too:)

    If it is any consolation, the book gets even better...chapter 1 is just a warm-up, LOL!

    -Craig
  • sasjourney
    sasjourney Member Posts: 395
    Great Job!
    Hi Craig,

    Thanks for sharing the first chapter--it is wonderful. I can't wait to read the whole book!! I will speak to John as soon as he returns from Pittsburgh. Gotta get the book published and out there as soon as possible. What an accomplishment!!! I am so proud of you.

    Hugs,
    Sara
  • Kathleen808
    Kathleen808 Member Posts: 2,342 Member
    Awesome Craig
    You my friend are amazing. Incredible first chapter. You do honor to everyone on this board.

    Aloha,
    Kathleen
  • mukamom
    mukamom Member Posts: 402

    Awesome Craig
    You my friend are amazing. Incredible first chapter. You do honor to everyone on this board.

    Aloha,
    Kathleen

    Mr Lion
    How in the world do you put emotions and feelings into words so well?? Thank you for sharing your gift of insight. I see a NYT best seller.


    Angela
  • pluckey
    pluckey Member Posts: 484
    Sweet Craig:
    I am beyond

    Sweet Craig:

    I am beyond happy and proud and humbled to say I "know" you.

    Start practicing your Auotograph baby, you are a Colon-Cancer Kicking rock Star!!!!

    ((hugs))

    Peggy
  • Nana b
    Nana b Member Posts: 3,030
    pluckey said:

    Sweet Craig:
    I am beyond

    Sweet Craig:

    I am beyond happy and proud and humbled to say I "know" you.

    Start practicing your Auotograph baby, you are a Colon-Cancer Kicking rock Star!!!!

    ((hugs))

    Peggy

    What, I'm not in the Book! :)
    We are very proud of you, but most of all, proud that you are getting the last word in this journey of shock, anger, tears, hope and peace!

    Nana B!