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

13

Comments

  • thxmiker
    thxmiker Member Posts: 1,278
    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?”

    We wish you the best!
    It has

    We wish you the best!

    It has been a battle of a lifetime! I know everyone's battle is different, and at the same time similar to mine. It is the emotional battles that are the hardest. It is the review of life that is the most exposed. My friends tell me that I am more emotional in a positive way. I tell them that for the first time i realize how finite my life is, and how important it is to tell everyone how much I appreciate them in my life.

    Our thoughts are with you, and let us all know when you are published so we can purchase a first print!
    Best Always, mike
  • sharpy102
    sharpy102 Member Posts: 368
    Nana b said:

    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!

    @Nana: I'm not in the book
    @Nana: I'm not in the book either....but you know why? Because I'm in the book of everyone's life book!!! :) I live everyday in the way that I hope I made a footnote at the end of their chapter of life. :) That is enough for me and makes me very very very happy! I try to give advices here, and outside of the forum of what I've done, what I've read and, honestly, what I'm learning. I have my story, I carry it with myself for the rest of my life. I'll grow up. I'll finish high school, then I'll finish college and I will find myself in a laboratory doing research to figure out how to fight off cancer, how to develop better drugs against it, what genetic mutations are essential for cancer development and how could we either detect it on time so to have less treatment but more efficient and with less adverse effects, or how we could utilize that to "pretreat" people before the onset of any cancer development occurring. And when I'll get married, and when I'll have children I'll share them my story so they take it along as they will grow up. And throughout my journey in life I will help people in any way I can...and if it means only a nice warm bowl of soup then that's it...but if it meant the world for someone- I'm happy then. My life currently far from how most average kids are living, but all these bad experiences shape me and form me....I'm happy if I can be a footnote at the end of people's chapter. :)
    @Craig: I am very very proud of you! Your book will make soooooooooooooooooooooooo many people be courageous when they will face the monster. You are great! And you are a true inspiration to me just by thinking how hard you've fought! That's something I envy you and I hope that if it comes down to me that I'll think back at you and will say "I'll hold on". You are a true inspiration!
    Thank you for sharing us your book, and your story as you were coming along! You've became part of my imaginary family! :)
    Please take care,
    - Sophie
  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
    Friend's List - Part II
    Hey, I didn't want to forget you guys:) Thanks so much for commenting and for your encouragement. From time to time, I need a little juice in my tank to keep the wheels spinning. What a dream if this thing could happen! Where will we go? What will become of all of this?

    We're poised on the launch pad - we just need the fuel for this rocket ship and then we're gonna' blast off to the outer limits that none of us can even imagine. That's the way I like to dream about it, anyway?

    Thanks for sharing everyone!

    Karen-Karen
    I'm glad that you saw something in it. Most of the time I have alot of thoughts and I figure if they are on my mind, they are probably on someone else's too. Thank you for the validation:)

    Laurettas
    The ultimate compliment - thank you so much!

    Thxmiker
    Thank you for that vote of confidence! I need to hear that. I imagine alot of what I wrote will ring a bell with you as you have obviously changed for the better in your cancer journey. And I think there is always something good when we can find with cancer, if we walk along the path of grace and dignity. You've found personal growth in yourself - and it's in all of us if we let it blossom. Take care.

    Janine
    I can see the wheels turning in your head as you wrote that reply. The "possibilities" are exciting if I can get this thing off the ground. If it does pop, we're gonna' have to buckle our seatbelts and hang on for this rocket ship ride!

    Judy
    You flatter me, but I love the way it sounds:) Very, very kind of you to say. I want so much for everyone to be able to read this. It's not often in one's life when you get the opportunity to share something like this with everyone.

    Tessa
    I'm glad you liked chapter 1. And I'm really glad that something I can say has helped you - outside of working for a living, that's all I really live for - is to touch someone who's had cancer and try and support them. One thing that remains crystal clear to me - the thoughts and feelings we all have for cancer will never go away. I've been blessed to be able to put those attributes into some kind of prose that folks can connect with.

    TC
    Thank you for your review:) I'm glad you saw something in it. With the things you have been through, I feel that the following chapters will resonate similar feelings for you as you relive with me the journey of cancer. I feel quite sure you will connect with much of it.

    Sara
    Thank you so much! Your enthusiasm and commitment to this project with all that you've got going on, warms my heart like a hot piece of apple pie on a cool, autumn day. Thank you so much for your belief in me and what I'm trying to do. Your enthusiasm for this project is contaigous and I so appreciate you trying to make a difference. "Paying it Forward" is what being a semi;colon is all about:)

    Kathleen
    I've been waiting on you, gal:) You know I've got to hear from my Hawaiian cheerleader, don't you? LOL! I appreciate your response back to me - it's an honor to be with everyone and have an opportunity to represent:) You and **** have always been nice and you've always been one to respond positively to any of my writings. And just so you know - I always look forward to what you have to say and how it hit you. Thank you for always being there.

    Angela
    I've been waiting to hear from you, too. Your opinion is always valued with me and I like to hear what you have to say. You know, I "dont' know how", really. I have a concept and then it comes to me....I can't explain it. I'm glad that I can do something with it and touch your life and that of so many others. Truly, the reason I get up anymore. You thanked me for the gift of insight - but thank you for being on the receiving end, so that what I say, means something to you. That's my gift from all of you. I hope we do get on the NYT best seller list - that will mean that we are kicking major cancer a$$ all over the place:)

    Dearest Peg
    Another of my cheerleading squad! Thank you so much for all of the faith you've had in me during the years we have gotten to know each other. It's great to know you as well. You're a dear friend and mom too. I won't have to practice "signing" too much - we'll probably only sell the one copy - and it will probably be me buying it, LOL! LOL!

    Nana
    LOL! Thank you so much for your kind comments. You know I would not leave you out:) Everyone is there with me. Cancer is going to have a much harder time than he's ever had in his life - he hasn't finished me off yet - he let me get up - and I said that He11 was comin' with me if he did that - and we're going to help educate so many people and bring about more awareness as a result. Cancer will have to work harder, but it will be too late, because we will all have become smarter and better fighters. Can't wait to see the numbers start turning the other way.

    Sophie
    I wish you well in your life endeavors as you continue to grow. You are young but have goals and idealogy in place at a tender age, so I have no doubt that with focus and commitment, that you will succeed at whatever you put your mind too. You have a very strong spirit and much determination - 2 attributes that will carry you far in this life. Thank you for your kind words - that's very nice of you to say:)
  • tootsie1
    tootsie1 Member Posts: 5,044 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?”

    Wonderful!
    I want this book right now!

    *hugs*
    Gail
  • lesvanb
    lesvanb Member Posts: 905
    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?”

    "Hear me roar!"
    First, let me just take your hand and look you in the eye, and say, "Well, done....well, done. You've persevered with focus and a sense of humor, you've achieved one of your dreams, you, and we all here, have co-created community together. You have walked your talk. Heaps of congratulations!"

    Yes, it would be great to be published but your success is not dependent on that.

    Here's what I related to:


    "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."



    I am honored to know you too Craig. I have camped in the African bush, and I have heard lions roar at night. If they are close by, it seems that the ground shakes. Yes, Lion, you can roar, and we benefit by witnessing and feeling that roar.

    Ride on,
    Leslie
  • CanadaSue
    CanadaSue Member Posts: 339
    Sundanceh said:

    Friend's List - Part II
    Hey, I didn't want to forget you guys:) Thanks so much for commenting and for your encouragement. From time to time, I need a little juice in my tank to keep the wheels spinning. What a dream if this thing could happen! Where will we go? What will become of all of this?

    We're poised on the launch pad - we just need the fuel for this rocket ship and then we're gonna' blast off to the outer limits that none of us can even imagine. That's the way I like to dream about it, anyway?

    Thanks for sharing everyone!

    Karen-Karen
    I'm glad that you saw something in it. Most of the time I have alot of thoughts and I figure if they are on my mind, they are probably on someone else's too. Thank you for the validation:)

    Laurettas
    The ultimate compliment - thank you so much!

    Thxmiker
    Thank you for that vote of confidence! I need to hear that. I imagine alot of what I wrote will ring a bell with you as you have obviously changed for the better in your cancer journey. And I think there is always something good when we can find with cancer, if we walk along the path of grace and dignity. You've found personal growth in yourself - and it's in all of us if we let it blossom. Take care.

    Janine
    I can see the wheels turning in your head as you wrote that reply. The "possibilities" are exciting if I can get this thing off the ground. If it does pop, we're gonna' have to buckle our seatbelts and hang on for this rocket ship ride!

    Judy
    You flatter me, but I love the way it sounds:) Very, very kind of you to say. I want so much for everyone to be able to read this. It's not often in one's life when you get the opportunity to share something like this with everyone.

    Tessa
    I'm glad you liked chapter 1. And I'm really glad that something I can say has helped you - outside of working for a living, that's all I really live for - is to touch someone who's had cancer and try and support them. One thing that remains crystal clear to me - the thoughts and feelings we all have for cancer will never go away. I've been blessed to be able to put those attributes into some kind of prose that folks can connect with.

    TC
    Thank you for your review:) I'm glad you saw something in it. With the things you have been through, I feel that the following chapters will resonate similar feelings for you as you relive with me the journey of cancer. I feel quite sure you will connect with much of it.

    Sara
    Thank you so much! Your enthusiasm and commitment to this project with all that you've got going on, warms my heart like a hot piece of apple pie on a cool, autumn day. Thank you so much for your belief in me and what I'm trying to do. Your enthusiasm for this project is contaigous and I so appreciate you trying to make a difference. "Paying it Forward" is what being a semi;colon is all about:)

    Kathleen
    I've been waiting on you, gal:) You know I've got to hear from my Hawaiian cheerleader, don't you? LOL! I appreciate your response back to me - it's an honor to be with everyone and have an opportunity to represent:) You and **** have always been nice and you've always been one to respond positively to any of my writings. And just so you know - I always look forward to what you have to say and how it hit you. Thank you for always being there.

    Angela
    I've been waiting to hear from you, too. Your opinion is always valued with me and I like to hear what you have to say. You know, I "dont' know how", really. I have a concept and then it comes to me....I can't explain it. I'm glad that I can do something with it and touch your life and that of so many others. Truly, the reason I get up anymore. You thanked me for the gift of insight - but thank you for being on the receiving end, so that what I say, means something to you. That's my gift from all of you. I hope we do get on the NYT best seller list - that will mean that we are kicking major cancer a$$ all over the place:)

    Dearest Peg
    Another of my cheerleading squad! Thank you so much for all of the faith you've had in me during the years we have gotten to know each other. It's great to know you as well. You're a dear friend and mom too. I won't have to practice "signing" too much - we'll probably only sell the one copy - and it will probably be me buying it, LOL! LOL!

    Nana
    LOL! Thank you so much for your kind comments. You know I would not leave you out:) Everyone is there with me. Cancer is going to have a much harder time than he's ever had in his life - he hasn't finished me off yet - he let me get up - and I said that He11 was comin' with me if he did that - and we're going to help educate so many people and bring about more awareness as a result. Cancer will have to work harder, but it will be too late, because we will all have become smarter and better fighters. Can't wait to see the numbers start turning the other way.

    Sophie
    I wish you well in your life endeavors as you continue to grow. You are young but have goals and idealogy in place at a tender age, so I have no doubt that with focus and commitment, that you will succeed at whatever you put your mind too. You have a very strong spirit and much determination - 2 attributes that will carry you far in this life. Thank you for your kind words - that's very nice of you to say:)

    WOW
    Craig,

    I don't check in very often, in fact this is the first time in a few months.

    I am so glad that your book is completed, and you are looking to have it published.

    I am looking forward to sitting down to read it!

    I think of you all often, but I am sure you understand why I stay away.

    Hugs,

    Sue
  • CanadaSue
    CanadaSue Member Posts: 339
    Sundanceh said:

    Friend's List - Part II
    Hey, I didn't want to forget you guys:) Thanks so much for commenting and for your encouragement. From time to time, I need a little juice in my tank to keep the wheels spinning. What a dream if this thing could happen! Where will we go? What will become of all of this?

    We're poised on the launch pad - we just need the fuel for this rocket ship and then we're gonna' blast off to the outer limits that none of us can even imagine. That's the way I like to dream about it, anyway?

    Thanks for sharing everyone!

    Karen-Karen
    I'm glad that you saw something in it. Most of the time I have alot of thoughts and I figure if they are on my mind, they are probably on someone else's too. Thank you for the validation:)

    Laurettas
    The ultimate compliment - thank you so much!

    Thxmiker
    Thank you for that vote of confidence! I need to hear that. I imagine alot of what I wrote will ring a bell with you as you have obviously changed for the better in your cancer journey. And I think there is always something good when we can find with cancer, if we walk along the path of grace and dignity. You've found personal growth in yourself - and it's in all of us if we let it blossom. Take care.

    Janine
    I can see the wheels turning in your head as you wrote that reply. The "possibilities" are exciting if I can get this thing off the ground. If it does pop, we're gonna' have to buckle our seatbelts and hang on for this rocket ship ride!

    Judy
    You flatter me, but I love the way it sounds:) Very, very kind of you to say. I want so much for everyone to be able to read this. It's not often in one's life when you get the opportunity to share something like this with everyone.

    Tessa
    I'm glad you liked chapter 1. And I'm really glad that something I can say has helped you - outside of working for a living, that's all I really live for - is to touch someone who's had cancer and try and support them. One thing that remains crystal clear to me - the thoughts and feelings we all have for cancer will never go away. I've been blessed to be able to put those attributes into some kind of prose that folks can connect with.

    TC
    Thank you for your review:) I'm glad you saw something in it. With the things you have been through, I feel that the following chapters will resonate similar feelings for you as you relive with me the journey of cancer. I feel quite sure you will connect with much of it.

    Sara
    Thank you so much! Your enthusiasm and commitment to this project with all that you've got going on, warms my heart like a hot piece of apple pie on a cool, autumn day. Thank you so much for your belief in me and what I'm trying to do. Your enthusiasm for this project is contaigous and I so appreciate you trying to make a difference. "Paying it Forward" is what being a semi;colon is all about:)

    Kathleen
    I've been waiting on you, gal:) You know I've got to hear from my Hawaiian cheerleader, don't you? LOL! I appreciate your response back to me - it's an honor to be with everyone and have an opportunity to represent:) You and **** have always been nice and you've always been one to respond positively to any of my writings. And just so you know - I always look forward to what you have to say and how it hit you. Thank you for always being there.

    Angela
    I've been waiting to hear from you, too. Your opinion is always valued with me and I like to hear what you have to say. You know, I "dont' know how", really. I have a concept and then it comes to me....I can't explain it. I'm glad that I can do something with it and touch your life and that of so many others. Truly, the reason I get up anymore. You thanked me for the gift of insight - but thank you for being on the receiving end, so that what I say, means something to you. That's my gift from all of you. I hope we do get on the NYT best seller list - that will mean that we are kicking major cancer a$$ all over the place:)

    Dearest Peg
    Another of my cheerleading squad! Thank you so much for all of the faith you've had in me during the years we have gotten to know each other. It's great to know you as well. You're a dear friend and mom too. I won't have to practice "signing" too much - we'll probably only sell the one copy - and it will probably be me buying it, LOL! LOL!

    Nana
    LOL! Thank you so much for your kind comments. You know I would not leave you out:) Everyone is there with me. Cancer is going to have a much harder time than he's ever had in his life - he hasn't finished me off yet - he let me get up - and I said that He11 was comin' with me if he did that - and we're going to help educate so many people and bring about more awareness as a result. Cancer will have to work harder, but it will be too late, because we will all have become smarter and better fighters. Can't wait to see the numbers start turning the other way.

    Sophie
    I wish you well in your life endeavors as you continue to grow. You are young but have goals and idealogy in place at a tender age, so I have no doubt that with focus and commitment, that you will succeed at whatever you put your mind too. You have a very strong spirit and much determination - 2 attributes that will carry you far in this life. Thank you for your kind words - that's very nice of you to say:)

    WOW
    double post
  • mommyof2kds
    mommyof2kds Member Posts: 519
    CanadaSue said:

    WOW
    double post

    wow so exciting, I may not
    wow so exciting, I may not post much, but I still look for updates and think of everyone. I knew you could do it. I can't wait to get it.. You are amazing.... Petrina
  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
    Early Detection and Regular Screening Message is in There...
    There always comes a time to "pay for the soup."

    So, in the closing chapter, I take the time to talk about the message of early detection and regular screenings with regards to getting colonoscopies, especially if certain symptoms occur.

    I describe the process involved and how it's not as big a deal as folks have made it in their minds. That getting through the prep can be the worst part and then for the most part, it's all over.

    I also advocated for other type of cancer patients to get the screenings they need for their particular cancers as well.

    The message sounds inviting and welcoming...I hope folks will get the chance to see it.

    -Craig
  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
    I Wanted to Tell You About This Too......
    This book was not only about the cancer journey, but also about me searching for answers to the tough cancer questions that I might not post about here on the board, because I did not want to hurt anyone’s feelings or step on their hopes.

    As I approach the 7.5 year mark of my own journey, I have many more questions than I have answers.

    To that end, I decided to write a chapter that I wanted to talk about here on the board, but just could not pull the trigger to do so. The book allowed me the freedom to pursue my own quest in trying to find out the answer of Why?

    “The Cure?” chapter was the end result. You will notice the question mark at the end of the word - cure. I’ve heard so many desperate cries on this board of “the cure is right around the corner” or “when will the cure be here?”

    The pain and agony in those voices have haunted me as time has gone by. It has had me thinking more than once about this topic and so I finally figured I had my opportunity to explore this topic and try and seek answers.

    Although, all I really found was that I had even more questions than answers – and said so in the chapter.

    In the chapter, I raise some good points on why I feel that ‘The Cure’ is not going to come for us – at least, not in the way that we are expecting it too. I believe the future for cancer treatment lies in targeted therapies and improved surgical techniques..

    When we think ‘cure’, we are thinking the “blanket effect.” Meaning, that the cure will cure all – all of a certain cancer – and all for ALL cancers.

    The term ‘cure’ carries with it the connotation that one size will fit all. But, how can that be? I’m not even talking the financial implications for the cure – I’m just talking about the scientific approach to the cure.

    Without giving it all away, I will say that if for no other reason than the same phrase that we bandy around here all day & night – “We All React Differently.”

    I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I think I raise some other good points along with this one, on why we will be waiting a long time.

    But, if we stumble onto a good therapy that can help some of us in each cancer category, then that would be a good thing that could come of out of the research and testing and why we must continue to try.

    Enough about that.

    I actually did some research for this chapter, because the other thing that has been bothering me was how it is decided WHICH CANCERS get the majority of the federal booty each year?

    Why is one cancer allocated more money than another one? And why is that decision made?

    The answer I found made me mad.

    Let me preface the next paragraphs with this caveat.

    I am for all people with any kind of cancer. I don’t discriminate – if you or your loved one has got any kind of cancer, I’m for you. Plain and simple – end of story.

    In no way, is this intended to hurt you or anyone that you know that has any type of cancer. My question was just to know Why?

    I found some statistics from the federal government (For 2010), so this is very recent data. It was the source of spending data from the NCI Office of Budget and Finance.

    And what I discovered was, there is a huge disparity between the money that is allocated between all of the cancers. And as I said, I was a little upset about it – and I’ll tell you why.

    For 2010, the breast cancer group received 631.2 million dollars in federally allocated money – which does not count the private contributions.

    For 2010, the colorectal cancer group received 270.4 million dollars in federally allocated money – which does not count the private contributions.

    Now, I may be from the old-school, but back when they taught mathematics, if I can still remember how to add and subtract, I see that the difference between the two, amounts to the astronomical sum of 361 million EXTRA allocated in favor of breast cancer.

    That’s about 60% more funding for breast cancer versus colorectal cancer – Why?

    Lung cancer, which is the #1 killer in the U.S. and the world, received 281.9 million.

    However, you slice it up, that’s way over double the amount. And these are just what the federal govt and its associated agencies have designated for distribution.

    So, I’m back to my question of Why?

    The ‘Why’ that I’m looking for is why is the #1 cancer (Lung) and the #2 cancer (Colorectal) is so disproportionately funded than the #3 cancer (Breast)?

    Why?

    Breast cancer is comparable to Colorectal cancer in the number of diagnosis and the number of mortalities. Some men do get breast cancer, but the percentage is very low.

    However, Colorectal cancer affects an equal number of men and women in both the number of cases diagnosed and the mortality rate. It is an equal-opportunity destroyer and is why it ranks as the # 2 killer cancer in the U.S. and the world – behind only lung cancer.

    So, why is Colorectal cancer receiving 361 million LESS for our cause?

    Why?

    I just want to know Why – and What I can do to find a way to get a more even dispersement and awareness for our team.

    If we’re talking about the #1 or #2 cancers in the U.S. and the world, the budget for breast cancer #3 should not be double that of the #1 and #2 killing cancers in the U.S. and the world.

    Am I missing something?

    Now, we all know that colorectal cancer is “not sexy” for all of the obvious reasons. But, why is our cancer out of the limelight and breast cancer is always in the spotlight?

    I don’t see any professional sport teams sporting “blue” accessories for 1 game, much less a whole month of games in the National Football League. And not just 1 sports team, but all 32 of them. Instead, they are adorned in pink.

    And Major League Baseball was also sporting the pink colors during the playoffs and World Series.

    I don’t see any national races for the “blue team”, like we see for the pink squad.

    I don’t see any corporate sponsorship lined up behind us promoting awareness for the #2 killing cancer in the world.

    Why?

    In the chapter, I credit the “Pink Army” for their cause, because they’ve got their act wired tight over there. They are a marketing machine over there. They have the largest federal allocation by a landslide and a half. They lead the way with private funding as well.

    They’ve got the Susan G. Kohmen race every year in cities all over the U.S. I believe I saw where there were 262 national races for breast cancer awareness for 2011.

    They’ve got the National Football League wearing pink accessories for 4-games every October to bring awareness to their cause. And they are backed by the heaviest corporate sponsorship hitters in the country.

    I’m good with all of that. Again, I’m not speaking against ANY cancer, that’s not my point. I just want to know why the #3 cancer is so disproportionately funded than our cancer, which weighs in as the #2 cancer?

    Why?

    And what can I do about it?

    How can I help us get our name out in the national spotlight and bring awareness to colorectal cancer, so that we can receive an equal amount of funding from the govt. each year, for a cancer that equally affects both men and women alike?

    What can we do as a collective group to bring about a change in perception of our disease and help promote awareness on more of a national stage?

    What and How?

    I think this is one of my favorite chapters, because I got to wear a different hat with this writing. It actually sounds sort of intelligent – almost like I didn’t write it, LOL!

    I don’t have answers in this chapter, but I do raise several interesting points on the ‘cure’ in general and the other issue I was pursuing on govt allocation of research funds for the various cancers.

    You can hate me now, rather than later, but part of this book was the ‘journey of cancer’ and I’ve got a lot of questions and concerns as I approach the midpoint of my 7th year of this stuff.

    In the chapter, I offered to help Sharon Osborne’s organization or any other organization where I can bring our cancer out of the shadows – and into light.

    I’m hoping that the book will get us a platform where I can use my southern charm to bring this fight to national attention if I can get in a position to be face-to-face with someone who can help our cause.

    I’m feeling a transformation taking place inside me as I want to devote the rest of my days to fighting our cancer and giving it the sort of recognition it deserves.

    I got to play the role of investigator reporter in this chapter and it was rewarding and comes across in a good way – because that’s the way I meant it. I’m only trying to stand up for all of us here.

    I know colon and rectal cancer is not sexy, but I didn’t design us. It’s merely a part of who we are and I can’t change that fact.

    A lot of times, I have hesitated to write on the tough themes of cancer. But, I’ve found that by doing so, I drag the hard topic out of the shadows – and into the light, so that we can see it clearly and be less apprehensive about what we are looking at.

    Many people have told me in the past that they were glad that I took a stand and had the initiative to stand up and talk about it. All of you that know me, know that I’m not afraid to draw the hard line and take a stand.

    …and I never will be.
  • Goldie1
    Goldie1 Member Posts: 264 Member
    Sundanceh said:

    I Wanted to Tell You About This Too......
    This book was not only about the cancer journey, but also about me searching for answers to the tough cancer questions that I might not post about here on the board, because I did not want to hurt anyone’s feelings or step on their hopes.

    As I approach the 7.5 year mark of my own journey, I have many more questions than I have answers.

    To that end, I decided to write a chapter that I wanted to talk about here on the board, but just could not pull the trigger to do so. The book allowed me the freedom to pursue my own quest in trying to find out the answer of Why?

    “The Cure?” chapter was the end result. You will notice the question mark at the end of the word - cure. I’ve heard so many desperate cries on this board of “the cure is right around the corner” or “when will the cure be here?”

    The pain and agony in those voices have haunted me as time has gone by. It has had me thinking more than once about this topic and so I finally figured I had my opportunity to explore this topic and try and seek answers.

    Although, all I really found was that I had even more questions than answers – and said so in the chapter.

    In the chapter, I raise some good points on why I feel that ‘The Cure’ is not going to come for us – at least, not in the way that we are expecting it too. I believe the future for cancer treatment lies in targeted therapies and improved surgical techniques..

    When we think ‘cure’, we are thinking the “blanket effect.” Meaning, that the cure will cure all – all of a certain cancer – and all for ALL cancers.

    The term ‘cure’ carries with it the connotation that one size will fit all. But, how can that be? I’m not even talking the financial implications for the cure – I’m just talking about the scientific approach to the cure.

    Without giving it all away, I will say that if for no other reason than the same phrase that we bandy around here all day & night – “We All React Differently.”

    I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I think I raise some other good points along with this one, on why we will be waiting a long time.

    But, if we stumble onto a good therapy that can help some of us in each cancer category, then that would be a good thing that could come of out of the research and testing and why we must continue to try.

    Enough about that.

    I actually did some research for this chapter, because the other thing that has been bothering me was how it is decided WHICH CANCERS get the majority of the federal booty each year?

    Why is one cancer allocated more money than another one? And why is that decision made?

    The answer I found made me mad.

    Let me preface the next paragraphs with this caveat.

    I am for all people with any kind of cancer. I don’t discriminate – if you or your loved one has got any kind of cancer, I’m for you. Plain and simple – end of story.

    In no way, is this intended to hurt you or anyone that you know that has any type of cancer. My question was just to know Why?

    I found some statistics from the federal government (For 2010), so this is very recent data. It was the source of spending data from the NCI Office of Budget and Finance.

    And what I discovered was, there is a huge disparity between the money that is allocated between all of the cancers. And as I said, I was a little upset about it – and I’ll tell you why.

    For 2010, the breast cancer group received 631.2 million dollars in federally allocated money – which does not count the private contributions.

    For 2010, the colorectal cancer group received 270.4 million dollars in federally allocated money – which does not count the private contributions.

    Now, I may be from the old-school, but back when they taught mathematics, if I can still remember how to add and subtract, I see that the difference between the two, amounts to the astronomical sum of 361 million EXTRA allocated in favor of breast cancer.

    That’s about 60% more funding for breast cancer versus colorectal cancer – Why?

    Lung cancer, which is the #1 killer in the U.S. and the world, received 281.9 million.

    However, you slice it up, that’s way over double the amount. And these are just what the federal govt and its associated agencies have designated for distribution.

    So, I’m back to my question of Why?

    The ‘Why’ that I’m looking for is why is the #1 cancer (Lung) and the #2 cancer (Colorectal) is so disproportionately funded than the #3 cancer (Breast)?

    Why?

    Breast cancer is comparable to Colorectal cancer in the number of diagnosis and the number of mortalities. Some men do get breast cancer, but the percentage is very low.

    However, Colorectal cancer affects an equal number of men and women in both the number of cases diagnosed and the mortality rate. It is an equal-opportunity destroyer and is why it ranks as the # 2 killer cancer in the U.S. and the world – behind only lung cancer.

    So, why is Colorectal cancer receiving 361 million LESS for our cause?

    Why?

    I just want to know Why – and What I can do to find a way to get a more even dispersement and awareness for our team.

    If we’re talking about the #1 or #2 cancers in the U.S. and the world, the budget for breast cancer #3 should not be double that of the #1 and #2 killing cancers in the U.S. and the world.

    Am I missing something?

    Now, we all know that colorectal cancer is “not sexy” for all of the obvious reasons. But, why is our cancer out of the limelight and breast cancer is always in the spotlight?

    I don’t see any professional sport teams sporting “blue” accessories for 1 game, much less a whole month of games in the National Football League. And not just 1 sports team, but all 32 of them. Instead, they are adorned in pink.

    And Major League Baseball was also sporting the pink colors during the playoffs and World Series.

    I don’t see any national races for the “blue team”, like we see for the pink squad.

    I don’t see any corporate sponsorship lined up behind us promoting awareness for the #2 killing cancer in the world.

    Why?

    In the chapter, I credit the “Pink Army” for their cause, because they’ve got their act wired tight over there. They are a marketing machine over there. They have the largest federal allocation by a landslide and a half. They lead the way with private funding as well.

    They’ve got the Susan G. Kohmen race every year in cities all over the U.S. I believe I saw where there were 262 national races for breast cancer awareness for 2011.

    They’ve got the National Football League wearing pink accessories for 4-games every October to bring awareness to their cause. And they are backed by the heaviest corporate sponsorship hitters in the country.

    I’m good with all of that. Again, I’m not speaking against ANY cancer, that’s not my point. I just want to know why the #3 cancer is so disproportionately funded than our cancer, which weighs in as the #2 cancer?

    Why?

    And what can I do about it?

    How can I help us get our name out in the national spotlight and bring awareness to colorectal cancer, so that we can receive an equal amount of funding from the govt. each year, for a cancer that equally affects both men and women alike?

    What can we do as a collective group to bring about a change in perception of our disease and help promote awareness on more of a national stage?

    What and How?

    I think this is one of my favorite chapters, because I got to wear a different hat with this writing. It actually sounds sort of intelligent – almost like I didn’t write it, LOL!

    I don’t have answers in this chapter, but I do raise several interesting points on the ‘cure’ in general and the other issue I was pursuing on govt allocation of research funds for the various cancers.

    You can hate me now, rather than later, but part of this book was the ‘journey of cancer’ and I’ve got a lot of questions and concerns as I approach the midpoint of my 7th year of this stuff.

    In the chapter, I offered to help Sharon Osborne’s organization or any other organization where I can bring our cancer out of the shadows – and into light.

    I’m hoping that the book will get us a platform where I can use my southern charm to bring this fight to national attention if I can get in a position to be face-to-face with someone who can help our cause.

    I’m feeling a transformation taking place inside me as I want to devote the rest of my days to fighting our cancer and giving it the sort of recognition it deserves.

    I got to play the role of investigator reporter in this chapter and it was rewarding and comes across in a good way – because that’s the way I meant it. I’m only trying to stand up for all of us here.

    I know colon and rectal cancer is not sexy, but I didn’t design us. It’s merely a part of who we are and I can’t change that fact.

    A lot of times, I have hesitated to write on the tough themes of cancer. But, I’ve found that by doing so, I drag the hard topic out of the shadows – and into the light, so that we can see it clearly and be less apprehensive about what we are looking at.

    Many people have told me in the past that they were glad that I took a stand and had the initiative to stand up and talk about it. All of you that know me, know that I’m not afraid to draw the hard line and take a stand.

    …and I never will be.

    Chapter One....
    sent a shiver through my body and really hit home. It left me wanting to read more, more, more! It has been 6 months since my husband's dx and our journey is just getting started. Thank you for leading the way down the road!
  • eightpawz
    eightpawz Member Posts: 28
    Publishing
    Hi, I actually work for one of the biggest book distributors in the world. If you're thinking of self-publishing you may want to consider someone like SmashWords or BookBaby. They do take a piece of the pie, but they will push your books to all the big players -- Amazon, B&N, etc. Just some food for thought.

    -Dawn
  • tanstaafl
    tanstaafl Member Posts: 1,300 Member
    "cancer research is largely..."
    misoriented. Rather than bark at the inequities of "glamor" funding, I rather look at the actual needs and prospective treatments. Do we really need another $20-50,000 per month drug?

    Not as much as we need some of $4 per month drugs that we all ready have, like cimetidine, perhaps dipyridamole. Or UFT and leucovorin, that should be a $25 per month drug combo instead of $xxxx for 5FU-LV or Xeloda. We need routine tests like serum CA19-9 and vitamin D at diagnosis, $30 - $80 please (that's what I paid, could be $2-10 tests en masse). At surgery, we need CA19-9, COX2 and E-selectin tissue stains for a small percentage extra cost. These would dramatically change live lengths for small costs.

    Our system appears too corrupt to use the cheaper, better answers that we already have and usually opposes them viscerally.
  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
    eightpawz said:

    Publishing
    Hi, I actually work for one of the biggest book distributors in the world. If you're thinking of self-publishing you may want to consider someone like SmashWords or BookBaby. They do take a piece of the pie, but they will push your books to all the big players -- Amazon, B&N, etc. Just some food for thought.

    -Dawn

    8-Pawz
    Thank you for your reply, Dawn. I will definitely take a look at these and study on them. I'm at the "overwhelming" stage right now. The mountain looks almost too high for me to climb, there is just so much to understand.

    From what I can see there is some sort of associated cost no matter which road you take, which is not really surprising.

    I will look at the sites you suggested and see if they are easier to understand than some of the others. I appreciate you taking the time to give me some info. I knew it wouldn't be easy, and I just have much to understand about how the processess work.

    Thank you again for these leads. I'm sure I will learn something:)

    -Craig
  • Kathryn_in_MN
    Kathryn_in_MN Member Posts: 1,252
    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?”

    Congrats!
    Congrats on finishing your book! What an accomplishment!
  • cwork
    cwork Member Posts: 37
    Sundanceh said:

    8-Pawz
    Thank you for your reply, Dawn. I will definitely take a look at these and study on them. I'm at the "overwhelming" stage right now. The mountain looks almost too high for me to climb, there is just so much to understand.

    From what I can see there is some sort of associated cost no matter which road you take, which is not really surprising.

    I will look at the sites you suggested and see if they are easier to understand than some of the others. I appreciate you taking the time to give me some info. I knew it wouldn't be easy, and I just have much to understand about how the processess work.

    Thank you again for these leads. I'm sure I will learn something:)

    -Craig

    Craig, just want you to know
    Craig, just want you to know I am very interested in your book and will definitely buy it if it gets published. I was just this week looking for books to help me be a more supportive and informed loved one to my sister with CC. I wish you the best of luck and God's blessing on your body of work. Thank you for putting your body and soul into this project. Keep us posted!
  • Buzzard
    Buzzard Member Posts: 3,043 Member
    tanstaafl said:

    "cancer research is largely..."
    misoriented. Rather than bark at the inequities of "glamor" funding, I rather look at the actual needs and prospective treatments. Do we really need another $20-50,000 per month drug?

    Not as much as we need some of $4 per month drugs that we all ready have, like cimetidine, perhaps dipyridamole. Or UFT and leucovorin, that should be a $25 per month drug combo instead of $xxxx for 5FU-LV or Xeloda. We need routine tests like serum CA19-9 and vitamin D at diagnosis, $30 - $80 please (that's what I paid, could be $2-10 tests en masse). At surgery, we need CA19-9, COX2 and E-selectin tissue stains for a small percentage extra cost. These would dramatically change live lengths for small costs.

    Our system appears too corrupt to use the cheaper, better answers that we already have and usually opposes them viscerally.

    To a Lion from a Buzzard....................
    Well done young man....How would a $250 gift for a signed copy to give to my children as a keepsake after I pass and maybe help defer a little of the cost to getting it published ( and I know it will be) from a friend to a friend...the book will make it, its on my prayer list to become a reality....Love ya buddy.........buzz
  • pete43lost_at_sea
    pete43lost_at_sea Member Posts: 3,900
    well done mate
    Its an achievement to be proud of, surviving, the book itself.
    your gift with words always brings peace and enlightenment.

    hugs,
    Pete

    Ps I will read more carefully when i am not running between the onc, the surgeon, the integrative gps and the kids.
  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
    Buzzard said:

    To a Lion from a Buzzard....................
    Well done young man....How would a $250 gift for a signed copy to give to my children as a keepsake after I pass and maybe help defer a little of the cost to getting it published ( and I know it will be) from a friend to a friend...the book will make it, its on my prayer list to become a reality....Love ya buddy.........buzz

    Hey buddy

    I'm glad you finally got a chance to read this post...I had sure wanted you to know about it:)

    I'm working so hard to get this done...Big Billy is going to come on here and fill everyone in on the latest with this odyssey...I've been a newbie in the strange world of publishing...but I'm getting 'edumacated' and taking my shots:)

    As always, learning the hard way - getting knocked around - but standing back up and trying to "land a haymaker."

    That's a very generous offer, buddy, but you know I can't take from my friends. The fact that you offered though has really touched me in some deep places. I will never forget your words to me, "Dammit, Craig, write the book...!"

    Your support and that of so many others here finally convinced me to get it together and strike while the iron was hot...I've been burnin' up ever since....

    I very much appreciate your confidence in me...and if you're feeling up to it, look for the Big Billy post next week...I'm going to let him spill the beans on where we're at and what's been going on...

    I know you are struggling right now...I understand...wish I could have met you in Chi, but sometimes "Life Gets in the Way..."

    BTW: Thanks for a very touching post...having gotten to know each other over nearly the past 3 years, you are one of the folks who can really appreciate what is happening as you've had a front row seat and watched all of this come out of nowhere...please keep praying...and if it pops..."Consider It Signed."

    Love ya' too, bud!

    -The Lion
  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member

    well done mate
    Its an achievement to be proud of, surviving, the book itself.
    your gift with words always brings peace and enlightenment.

    hugs,
    Pete

    Ps I will read more carefully when i am not running between the onc, the surgeon, the integrative gps and the kids.

    Thanks, Pete
    "your gift with words always brings peace and enlightenment. ~Pete

    I am honored that you feel this way...truly I am.

    -Craig