This Book is Becoming More About "US" Than Me ***** REVISED EXCERPT ****

Sundanceh
Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
edited August 2011 in Colorectal Cancer #1
I just experienced a pretty emotional moment and felt so strongly about it that I had to stop writing and come here for a minute. That's how strong it is. Got me choking up and teary eyes, even as I write here to you trying to tell you about it.

I'm deep into Chapter XI "Recurrence" and it's another in a long saga of chapters that I'm trying so hard to write my way out of. There are several chaptes that have completely engulfed me as I re-trace the steps of my own journey.

But, what am I discovering along the way?

Well, many things I'm going to need another post to talk about it. But, I'm having another epiphany this morning. As I'm writing this chapter and examing the future chapters and the things I'm going to say in them, I'm finding out THIS BOARD has made a huger impact on my life and the story that I want to tell - more than I ever could have envisoned when I started this project.

It's been so hard to go back through some of this - by doing it, though I'm bringing a fresh perspective and a newer realism to anything that I've ever said here on this forum.

I'm finding that my story is your story - and that we are all so intertwined together with this experience. I cannot tell my side without telling your side. There are so many stories of us in the book, I'm quite surprised and delighted.

Because, it's because of you that I have formed my opinions and honed my perspectives on the way that I see things in 2011. Without you, perhaps this book does not deliver the same punch or carry with it the same impact.

What happened this morning, Craig?

In the recurrence chapter, I dialed back to the first six-months of the board, which I've referred to as "The Honeymoon Period." We are hunky dorey, living our lives, sharing our experiences, forming strong bonds and making life-lasting friendships, and oh, BTW, we were fighting cancer and sharing our strategies as well.

It was nirvana and it was heaven for me - people I had longed to meet who felt the same as I did and shared similar feelings. And then I was writing that after that, folks began to pass away....

....and the thoughts and emotions over came by and still are as I type this.

Oh my! I'm pulling out all of the stoppers and am so "emotionally invested" with this project. At times, it just all seems to be so much. It's hard to cram 7-years worth of my experience and put it into chapters that folks will hopefully relate to.

I'm trying to calm down - wow! I just don't know if I can put this into words.

Thinking of our fallen members has taken on additional meaning and I just wanted to talk to you a minute.

I'll leave you now - but I want to talk some more about this - because I'm on another journey, and I want every single one of you by my side - and in my heart, so I can finish out the last 30% of the chapters that remain - if I can make it through the Recurrence chapter, LOL LOL!

See, talking to you has made me feel better? I'm still looking for you and posting where I can. This book has taken on a life of its own.

I like the material - I like the direction its taking - I feel I'm writing at the highest level of my life. When I read through it, I no longer see myself, although you will probably recognize me. Some of the thoughts even sound credible, LOL!

I guess I've just realized how you are all a big part of my life - and a huge influence as well.

We must find a way to get this into print - this one has the potential to knock the literary door right off its hinges, but you know I'm biased:) I want so much to have your feedback - I get that with a post, but as I'm writing, I don't get that same feel.

But I think you will like it, I don't know. I'm talking about the hard stuff - there are some new topics - some new ones that you and I have not discovered on the board, but will in the chapters. There's also a few lines that you've probably heard too, LOL!

Ok, guys! Thank you for letting me get that out and settle down. What a rocket ship ride this is - I can barely keep all hands and feet inside the car while it is moving, you know?

Epiphanies and Catharcisms are what I'm experiencing right now...and I feel that I'm in yet another growth spurt, that has become the essential ingredient to the validation of my writings in this book.

I want to thank you again for your encouragement in getting me over the hump and making me feel like somebody that I never was before I came here.

How do I thank you for that?

Well, read the book and I think you find us spread throughout the chapters.

My best to you as always -

-Craig the "WannaBe Author"

P.S. Here is an excerpt from Chapter XI "Recurrence." Keep in mind it is a still a work in progress - but then again, so am I, LOL:)

[Along this “Path to Enlightenment”, I would find that I would be stumbling to a different tune in the coming future. The first six-months were ‘Nirvana.’ We were all friends with cancer sharing our lives, helping each other, and laughing where we could. It seemed like the greatest place to be in the world. How could anything here ever go wrong? How could anything ever happen to my friends, whom I cherished and treasured?

How, indeed?

After the first six-months, which we can colloquially call “The Honeymoon Period”, a new dawn rose and showed itself to me. One by one, my friends started to pass away.

I began to ask myself if I would have been better off never having found the cancer board? Did it do me more harm than good? Did the benefits outweigh the risks and heartbreak? Would life without the cancer board, combined with my own naïveté, have given me a better chance at mental survival by not seeing what I had seen happen to my friends? Would I have been better off not knowing as opposed to knowing?

Or was I better off at seeing the pointed realities and reaching a level of understanding at what the true realities of being a stage IV meant?

Certainly, these are very difficult questions to answer.

In the final conclusion, I can honestly say that I am ever so glad that I did find the cancer board and have taken the time to get to know so many wonderful people and their stories, both past and present.

For it is through them, that cemented the idea that as with any competition, some of us are going to win, while some of us do not. We never really do know where that fine line is that separates those two potential paths in our journey. But, by seeing all of the possible realities that could occur] (PENDING....I HAD TO STOP)

All my love - Craig
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Comments

  • biz
    biz Member Posts: 60
    Your book
    You are writing a book?! That is so incredibly awesome! I enjoyed your exerpt. Keep it up!
    -Biz
  • Lovekitties
    Lovekitties Member Posts: 3,364 Member
    Dear Craig
    Very glad to hear that you contiue to write your/our story.

    Yes, the hardest thing about being here is seeing ones we have come to know as friends pass on. But you know what? Every single one of them has given us so much while they were here. How can we be anything but glad to have known them?

    Thanks for sharing a part of the story here. I am anxious for you to finish and get published. Maybe you will get a book tour going and be able to get around the country to give a personal "Howdy" to all of us who will be standing in line for an autographed copy.

    Hugs and love,

    Marie who loves kitties
  • johnnybegood
    johnnybegood Member Posts: 1,117
    biz said:

    Your book
    You are writing a book?! That is so incredibly awesome! I enjoyed your exerpt. Keep it up!
    -Biz

    i commend
    you for doing this.when you started this journey i had a feeling it would be hard to relive the past 7 years.heck i used to have issues dwelling on first being diagnosed and now that i have had a recurrence each day is a blessing.a blessing just to get up ,breathe and live one day at a time.you will make it thru this and just remember your friends on this board will help you just as we always have....Godbless...johnnybegood
  • pepebcn
    pepebcn Member Posts: 6,331

    Dear Craig
    Very glad to hear that you contiue to write your/our story.

    Yes, the hardest thing about being here is seeing ones we have come to know as friends pass on. But you know what? Every single one of them has given us so much while they were here. How can we be anything but glad to have known them?

    Thanks for sharing a part of the story here. I am anxious for you to finish and get published. Maybe you will get a book tour going and be able to get around the country to give a personal "Howdy" to all of us who will be standing in line for an autographed copy.

    Hugs and love,

    Marie who loves kitties

    Im happy to see how advanced. the book is !
    go ahead mate!.
    Hugs!
  • buckeye2
    buckeye2 Member Posts: 428
    I Know What I Want To Be When I Grow Up
    As a newcomer to the Board, it is often times difficult to respond to those of you who have been at this awhile. I have insufficient experience to offer much. When I read posts from those who are not getting good news, I wonder about whether or not the Board is good for my own attitude. I realize that what I hope for is that I need this Board for a long time so that I can do what you do,help those newcomers who are so scared. Thanks.
  • Nana b
    Nana b Member Posts: 3,030
    buckeye2 said:

    I Know What I Want To Be When I Grow Up
    As a newcomer to the Board, it is often times difficult to respond to those of you who have been at this awhile. I have insufficient experience to offer much. When I read posts from those who are not getting good news, I wonder about whether or not the Board is good for my own attitude. I realize that what I hope for is that I need this Board for a long time so that I can do what you do,help those newcomers who are so scared. Thanks.

    I'll buy it!
    It sounds

    I'll buy it!


    It sounds terrific! Thanks for including us in your thoughts, it seems like many days I wake up and think of everyone on this board, even before I plant my foot on the carpet. If now that I have been NED for two years, you are always on my mind! Great job!
  • rogina2336
    rogina2336 Member Posts: 188
    The book sounds like it is
    The book sounds like it is going to be totally amazing!! Can't wait!!!! Hopes and Prayers Kim
  • lisa42
    lisa42 Member Posts: 3,625
    sounds great
    Craig,

    I don't know how you could write such a book and not go through the feelings you're going through! It is definitely a process. You are a good writer and very introspective, and that comes out in all you write and say.

    I can't wait until you finish the book- I'll be in line to buy it and read it.

    Hugs,
    Lisa
  • plh4gail
    plh4gail Member Posts: 1,238
    You're doing great Craig! I
    You're doing great Craig! I can't believe how you have hit it all how it felt for me also in the beginning and now me only after 1 year. I know it's emotional for you, I have a hard time dusting off my journal I kept while going through treatment. I want to write in it some more thoughts but it feels so intimidating to me, like its someone elses book, not mine to write in.

    peacelove&happiness to you, gail
  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,715 Member
    Awesome
    Your excerpt was awesome. You are such a good writer and knew that this is the path you should have taken with your journey. There are many out there that will gain the knowledge you have and experiences you went through just by reading your book. Can't wait for it to be published and say I got his magazine and now have his book :) Great job.

    Hugs! Kim
  • pete43lost_at_sea
    pete43lost_at_sea Member Posts: 3,900
    i am on the same page
    craig,

    thanks for saying it so well. i just reached 99 kg, the last time was oct 2010 when i got out from my first surgery. before that it was when i was 18 and had just completed the 26 day outward bound survival course in the aussie bush.

    so for 25 years i have been overweight, towards the end just plain obese.

    today i am fitter, stronger, leaner then i have ever been, this board and the support i have received has been overwelming. my walking post helps me mainly and the few who share the passion to exercise. the idea to make it public, is to demonstrate clearly its cool to do extra things your doctors may not advise to survive.

    the DETERMINATION i have is influenced by my fragile awareness of my mortality. which is painfully ever present here especially. For me john, kerry, mary, rodger are friends i walk with everday. there lives interwined with mine. my mortality reflected inescapabily in there passing, and my risks clear before me.

    its not uncommon that we have the similair reflections we are going through similar experiences, each of us is very unique, so different socially, genetically, geographically, financially and yet the same as we are all being challenged by the crc monkey.

    Now I won't roll over and let the Monkey win, every single walk buys 9.12 days for me, i throw the monkey off my back when i hit the gym or the footpath.

    i smile as i have the mental image of the crc monkey hitting its head on the footpath and scurrying up a tree cursing me.

    here's to another day brother, i hope we all use it well.

    hugs,
    pete
  • ron50
    ron50 Member Posts: 1,723
    G'day Craig
    I agree that there is an undefined line between survival and non survival in our fight against cancer. When Iwas dx back in late 97 and operated on in Jan 98,It was very easy to ask the question "why me?". Now some 13+ years later the question remains just as relevant,why am I still alive"why me?". I joined the board in Nov 2001. Prior to that I was involved in my own group of survivors that I had met during my 12 mos of chemo. Why did i come here? Because all my friends were gone,lost their battles.
    The fight against cancer is a very lonely affair,we are enriched by the frienships we make here but we are diminished each time one of our favourite friends loses the battle. We say to each other that at least we have our memories but how soon they fade with the long term effects the chemo has on our brains. I have enough trouble rememberring yesterday and it really upsets me when I struggle to remember the face of a lost friend.
    I guess for me the greatest asset I have is acceptance. I accept that I had cancer and now I don't. I accept that despite my wishes to the contrary,quite a few of my friends will not win the battle. I accept that there are two main groups of survivors those that KNOW how to survive and those that DON'T. I accept that I should treat them with equal respect and not question their belief be it religious ,substance,excercise, foods or what ever. Whatever gets you thru the night. I accept that I am not really the right person to offer advice to anyone regarding survival. Why did I survive,because I KNEW I would. How do you quantify that.
    What is my greatest regret about cancer...I started reading a series of novels by Robert Jourdan. He suffered from amyloidosis,a rare disease in which certain feral proteins can't be expelled by the body and build up in vital organs. He wrote 13 novels in the series,each quite large. My greatest fear was that I would die before I read the last book. That changed,I then feared that he would die before he wrote the last book and he did. Another author is finishing his work. It's just not the same.
    So Craig all speed to your writing,congratulations on what you have accomplihed so far and in anticipation of what is to come, Ron(cancers accidental tourist).
  • LivinginNH
    LivinginNH Member Posts: 1,456
    Craig,as always, your posts

    Craig,as always, your posts are always so insightful and full of personal strength, truly a joy to read. Keep up the good work my friend - it's going to be a great book! - Cyn
  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
    Thank You!
    I appreciate everybody's feedback so far. I was in a hurry this morning scribbling down those thoughts as they were racing through my head so fast, I could not keep up with the typing. Emotions caught me off-guard and that was very difficult - I was trying to hold everything in so people would not see this guy over there, choking up with tears streaming down his face. I had to cover up and then had to walk away from it - when I posted to the board it came again for round #2. Thought I wouldn't even get the post written.

    I'm going to tweak it some more - I liked the idea but I can do better with my wording, just need a few more moments to say it the way I want to say it.

    But, it is strange how I started out with my concepts in mind and a certain way that I was going to write it, but I find that I'm transitioning away from that and doing things in a little bit different way, that I think will be unique for our friends, whom we have yet to meet.

    I just realized how the Board and our community has touched me - has affected me - has changed the way I think from watching others battle on with different methods and protocols etc. etc.

    I probably never really said but my "3rd Dance with Cancer" this past year really blew me up and forever altered the way I think - the way I feel - and how I see things in such a different way than when I was going through the journey alone with none of us to compare notes with.

    I mention in the book about "Having a Sounding Board" in which to bounce off of. Watching my friends pass before me, while I'm still here has made a bigger impact now, than perhaps they did at the time of their passing.

    And the combination of my own recurrence this past year and seeing others go, always get one to thinking. Thus my examination of "why them and not me."

    Once I get the wording done, I'll post that "revised" version of the excerpt from the start to the end of just that thought. We'll see if it sounds better.

    It is really much harder doing this than I originally thought - much different than throwing a few ideas out for a post. To get it where I need to go, I've had to jump back in and get back in tune with and relive it entirely, even though some days it nearly kills me...but it must be done, or it will never happen.

    I'm an idiot - most people would be celebrating a watch and wait moment, but not me....I'm just a big dope, because with cancer...."I like it - I love it - I want some more of it." LOL!

    It's just that these chapters can be so overwhelming and you just thought my posts were bad, LOL! But, I get in them so deep, that I find it hard to write my out of there and close it out. Lots of days, I'm just emotionally spent, but maybe that means I did good?

    We're talking so many things, it's hard to keep track of them all.

    Please stay with me and walk with me on this portion of all of our journeys. We've done the web, the newspaper, the local news, and the magazine. Those were wonderful experiences, and I hope that this project will really take off and get us more exposure and maybe put a face with this disease - I don't mind.

    When I first started, many of you might recall one of my favorite lines:

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

    Been awhile since I used that one.

    But, I don't feel that way anymore. I think as more time goes by and especially if the books does get published, that I will be know for cancer - that cancer will define who I am. And you know what? I'm ok with that too, now. My life is cancer and it's from cancer, that I will be known for in my life - at work, at home, on the board, and maybe the public.

    But, I'm not ashamed of that. It's who I am now and what I've become. And I plan to use cancer to turn the tables on itself by exposing every hidden orifice that I can find. Cancer should have finished me off when it had the chance - and now it's my time to hit back.

    Thank you all so much - we will be talking soon. No scans for 2 months and we'll hopefully still be watching and waiting. But, I'm not resting, I've got the hammer down and will be working on this project as it is my current inspiration.

    I'll just be so proud to share it with you all.

    So, stay tuned to the Sundance Channel - "Story Matters Here."

    -Craig
  • dorookie
    dorookie Member Posts: 1,731
    Sundanceh said:

    Thank You!
    I appreciate everybody's feedback so far. I was in a hurry this morning scribbling down those thoughts as they were racing through my head so fast, I could not keep up with the typing. Emotions caught me off-guard and that was very difficult - I was trying to hold everything in so people would not see this guy over there, choking up with tears streaming down his face. I had to cover up and then had to walk away from it - when I posted to the board it came again for round #2. Thought I wouldn't even get the post written.

    I'm going to tweak it some more - I liked the idea but I can do better with my wording, just need a few more moments to say it the way I want to say it.

    But, it is strange how I started out with my concepts in mind and a certain way that I was going to write it, but I find that I'm transitioning away from that and doing things in a little bit different way, that I think will be unique for our friends, whom we have yet to meet.

    I just realized how the Board and our community has touched me - has affected me - has changed the way I think from watching others battle on with different methods and protocols etc. etc.

    I probably never really said but my "3rd Dance with Cancer" this past year really blew me up and forever altered the way I think - the way I feel - and how I see things in such a different way than when I was going through the journey alone with none of us to compare notes with.

    I mention in the book about "Having a Sounding Board" in which to bounce off of. Watching my friends pass before me, while I'm still here has made a bigger impact now, than perhaps they did at the time of their passing.

    And the combination of my own recurrence this past year and seeing others go, always get one to thinking. Thus my examination of "why them and not me."

    Once I get the wording done, I'll post that "revised" version of the excerpt from the start to the end of just that thought. We'll see if it sounds better.

    It is really much harder doing this than I originally thought - much different than throwing a few ideas out for a post. To get it where I need to go, I've had to jump back in and get back in tune with and relive it entirely, even though some days it nearly kills me...but it must be done, or it will never happen.

    I'm an idiot - most people would be celebrating a watch and wait moment, but not me....I'm just a big dope, because with cancer...."I like it - I love it - I want some more of it." LOL!

    It's just that these chapters can be so overwhelming and you just thought my posts were bad, LOL! But, I get in them so deep, that I find it hard to write my out of there and close it out. Lots of days, I'm just emotionally spent, but maybe that means I did good?

    We're talking so many things, it's hard to keep track of them all.

    Please stay with me and walk with me on this portion of all of our journeys. We've done the web, the newspaper, the local news, and the magazine. Those were wonderful experiences, and I hope that this project will really take off and get us more exposure and maybe put a face with this disease - I don't mind.

    When I first started, many of you might recall one of my favorite lines:

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

    Been awhile since I used that one.

    But, I don't feel that way anymore. I think as more time goes by and especially if the books does get published, that I will be know for cancer - that cancer will define who I am. And you know what? I'm ok with that too, now. My life is cancer and it's from cancer, that I will be known for in my life - at work, at home, on the board, and maybe the public.

    But, I'm not ashamed of that. It's who I am now and what I've become. And I plan to use cancer to turn the tables on itself by exposing every hidden orifice that I can find. Cancer should have finished me off when it had the chance - and now it's my time to hit back.

    Thank you all so much - we will be talking soon. No scans for 2 months and we'll hopefully still be watching and waiting. But, I'm not resting, I've got the hammer down and will be working on this project as it is my current inspiration.

    I'll just be so proud to share it with you all.

    So, stay tuned to the Sundance Channel - "Story Matters Here."

    -Craig

    What can I say
    other than you are just Awesome. I remember reading your post from years ago, and then and still today I always said you should write a book, and well here you are writing that book, and not just for you, but for all of us here and for the FIGHT that others will have to endure as well, so Thank you Craig!

    Cant wait to see you in Oct!!

    HUGS
    Beth
  • Fight for my love
    Fight for my love Member Posts: 1,522
    Your words made me sobbing
    Your words made me sobbing and laugh.You spoke out what I feel,you are my spokesman.Hope your book go smoothly and publish soon.Take care.
  • angelsbaby
    angelsbaby Member Posts: 1,165

    Your words made me sobbing
    Your words made me sobbing and laugh.You spoke out what I feel,you are my spokesman.Hope your book go smoothly and publish soon.Take care.

    Graig
    ALL I CAN SAY IS RIGHT ON THAT IS AWSOME

    MICHELLE
  • pluckey
    pluckey Member Posts: 484
    Hello Sweet Craig
    I'm

    Hello Sweet Craig
    I'm sneaking a peak at the message board at work but wanted to at least tell you I am so looking forward to meeting you in person at ColonPalooza!

    You can hold a Book Reading! or we can be your editors and help edit chapters too!

    You are amazing and we will all help figure out how to get this story told, published and have you being interviewed on the Today Show!

    ((hugs))

    Peggy
  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
    pluckey said:

    Hello Sweet Craig
    I'm

    Hello Sweet Craig
    I'm sneaking a peak at the message board at work but wanted to at least tell you I am so looking forward to meeting you in person at ColonPalooza!

    You can hold a Book Reading! or we can be your editors and help edit chapters too!

    You are amazing and we will all help figure out how to get this story told, published and have you being interviewed on the Today Show!

    ((hugs))

    Peggy

    My Peg:)
    Just wait till Matt Lauer and Ann Curry get a load of me:)

    LOL LOL LOL !!!

    I've waited a year to live again - I've waited a year to be with my friends again - I've waited a year...and I can't wait.

    "Big Hugs"
    -Craig
  • pete43lost_at_sea
    pete43lost_at_sea Member Posts: 3,900
    Sundanceh said:

    My Peg:)
    Just wait till Matt Lauer and Ann Curry get a load of me:)

    LOL LOL LOL !!!

    I've waited a year to live again - I've waited a year to be with my friends again - I've waited a year...and I can't wait.

    "Big Hugs"
    -Craig

    ann currie is really nice
    We chatted by satellite a week after my big surgery.
    Hugs,
    Pete
    Ps the book is a great idea