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Anybody heard from Sundance?

tommycat's picture
tommycat
Posts: 790
Joined: Aug 2011

He's been MIA.....

pepebcn's picture
pepebcn
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi Craig , any good news? what about the book? and health? Hope everything fine , praying for that.

LivinginNH's picture
LivinginNH
Posts: 1458
Joined: Apr 2010

Yes, I got a note from him last week, he's doing ok, he's just really busy with family responsibilities.

Miss you on the board Craig! :-)

thingy45's picture
thingy45
Posts: 633
Joined: Apr 2011

Yes, I received a note also, yesterday. Very busy and also still trying to find a editor for the Book.
Take time for yourself Craig, but we DO miss you :)

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

"10-4, the cover is code 3...we've got him detained and in custody, over."

LOL!

Thank you, TC, for this post. I appreciate your concern…but my big question to you is, “Did you miss me?” Wait a minute – don’t answer that one – the truth might sting a little too much and you know how sensitive I am, right? :)

I want to take a minute and thank my “honey-pies” for reaching out to me, at a time in my life when I really needed someone to talk to. Trust is something we earn along the way if we’re very fortunate…the opening of one’s heart and sharing it with other folks, is perhaps the greatest reward that one can give to another. It’s not always easy to trust.

And so, I trusted…and opened my heart to them…to my surprise, my gals did not run for the hills – instead, they comforted and nurtured – something I’ve been sorely lacking for a long time.

It’s those kinds of experiences that form the bonds of strong feelings that equate to real friendship. I am blessed to have these kinds of ladies in my life. And it doesn’t matter whether we’ve met or not…because when one swaps real heartaches and stories and you get to know one another, then isn’t that about as real as you can get?

Ma’ Bell used to say, “Long distance – it’s the next best thing to being there.”

I was turning back towards the dark side with dark thoughts…the inspiration was gone…the well had suddenly run dry…the voice now eerily silenced…

I could not be what I wanted to be here with all that is going on, so I thought it better to stay clear of here, until I could once again regain my perspective. I wrote my own posts and replied to others, but chose to hit the delete key in each case….I just did not like the way it sounded. I could tell the hurt and pain I’m experiencing right now was bleeding over and I could not let that happen.

It was a combination of things really. The news of my 2 new spots on new lung and liver didn’t have time to really sink in, before my dad’s health began to fail him…the last 6-weeks we have been bouncing back and forth between nursing homes and hospitals. So, it has taken all of my available time tending to that.

It’s much more than a physical task however; there is a raging sea of emotions that are churning inside me…many conflicting emotions as I look at the man, who is my dad and also as the man who I suffered under for 50 years with mental and verbal abuse. A man who expected everything out of me – but put nothing in me.

A man, whose last marriage ended up breaking up our family and sending my sister to another town, where she was subsequently murdered at 18. A man, who told me that this wife “was the most important thing to ever happen to him in his life.”

And then she left him 8-years ago when I got cancer and he had a stroke…just got on her broomstick and got the hell out of Dodge.

I stare back at a fallible man with some degree of bitterness and resentment, as I’m now the “Last of the Mohicans” left now to clean up all of this mess. My dad has not made it easy for me - even in his last days.

You see, mine is a duty out of responsibility, not out of love. For in order to love, one has to receive love…and I never got love….just the sting of the lash, or the even harder stinging of words meant to beat me down and destroy my spirit. If I was lucky, I just got silence.

So, when I look around this room, I see families who 'love' one another - really love one another, hell, you actually 'like' each other. And I long for that which I never had - I long for that, which I will never taste...

If you really knew me, you would ask how your Sundance manages to stay upbeat and mostly positive with all that his life has been. Through abuse, sibling's murder, tornadoes, and three cancers....I keep smilin' and trying to help...hoping that one day, I will finally get mine.

So, when the end does come and my dad passes, there will be no tears. If any tears are accidentally shed, they will be for the memories of "What COULD have been"...and "What SHOULD have been."

I could tell you a couple of stories, but I’ve said too much already…

I will tell you this one. The other day, we went to the hospital. I had to sit downstairs for a few minutes just to get nerve enough to go up there….the day before he pretended like he didn’t know me…would not look at me…would not talk to me…

Found out, it was because I did not say “bye” the night before….he had gone to sleep, so I just went on home...of course on that day, he made sure to embarrass me in front of his friends….an old trick. Made me look like an *** – and after me and Kim had both taken a ½ day off from work to go and clean out his room at the nursing home.

It actually gets worse, but I gotta' stop somewhere.

So, my heart was hurting like I was having a stroke or heart attack…very heavy…hard to breathe etc. etc. And then Kim, sensing the tension and the dread, walked up to me and put her around mine:)

WTF!

I about passed out – I haven’t had a touch in such a long time, I had forgotten what it felt like. But, she was actually ‘tender’ to me for those few moments and was really trying to console me…you see, she knows all that has happened….her and my dad don’t get along…and for a lot of obvious reasons.

So, along with my own health concern and now my dad’s failing health, the news of Lisa’s impending passing and I just sorta went numb. I guess I can only take so much of anything. And I’m so tired of watching my friends die right in front of me.

Yesterday, I went down with a big ol’ round of vertigo…that stuff cripples the mind and makes you fearful that the next breath will rock your world…that’s what happened…I responded to a pm here and right after that, Whammo! See you tomorrow.

I hate living like this….I hate living in fear of when my 4th recurrence is coming…I hate living with the fear that my next breath or step is going to leave me dizzy and debilitated. I hate having to fit into the real world when my body is rebelling so. I hate losing all of my friends here that I grew up with to cancer.

I’m tired….so tired….so tired of fighting for every single thing…I had to fight so hard as a child growing up, raising myself….it was the real reality show of Survivor – and that’s why I am a tough nut to crack….believe me, The Best have all taken their shots and lost.

I may not be good – but I am stubborn and ornery – I survive because I’ve always had to.

Big Billy still wants to stop out and visit you…I’ll let him tell you a couple of stories about what’s been happening with the book project.

I’ll tell you that I got my “1st official rejection” email from one of my prospective agents this past Monday. She let me down nicely. I smiled, because at least she herself responded back to me. The others have hit the delete key.

I’ve got a good lead on a new agent though…she is “Passionate” about medical subjects. She likes snail mail, so I put together my book proposal, outline, and the first chapter on good stationary and mailed it out with a wing and a prayer.

I had to enclose a self-addressed envelope so they could mail their reply back to me in 8-9 weeks…what a shame to have to ‘pay’ to receive a rejection, LOL!

In between all of this madness, I’m trying not to forget about ME – my hopes and dreams with this book project Right now, it’s the only thing that is keeping me buoyed in this current stormy chapter of my life.

If things ever pop, I’ve got big plans for Big Billy. Wait till you hear what's on Big Billy’s Bucket List – I’m going to let him tell you all about it. The boy is nothing if not imaginative :)

But knowing him the way that I do – I “know” he can do what he will tell you he wants to do.

Thanks again, TC…I needed someone to talk to.

Welcome to all the new folks and best wishes to those currently in the fight. Thanks for listening.

-Craig

Jaylo969
Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

Dear friend {{{ HUGGS!!!}}}

I have been semi AWOL myself recently. I'll try to do better though, because I really wanna' be here to hear Big Billy's stories.I just feel like I haven't much to offer and I am so weak when it comes to losing friends. When Roger and Kerry passed away it did me in.

You take care and know that you have a wealth of friends.

Love,
Pat

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi, honey:)

Nice to see you...you may have lost Roger and Kerry, but you still got me:)

I guess I'll just have to do, LOL!

You'll like the "Double B" - he's one of us after all.

I remember when you had to take care of your parent's estates and health...and now it's my turn. So good seeing you again, even when we're apart - we're near:)

-Craig

Jaylo969
Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

Smiling at you Craig :-))

Of course I still have you and many others and believe me, I love you all.For awhile I just got so surrounded by loved ones dying ...my best friend, my Mom, my Dad, and even my devoted cat died of cancer. At that time we were losing so many here on the board and then Roger and Kerry passed and I went and just hid my head in the sand for several months.

Well I am back. I don't know much about lots of things you guys talk about, but that is okay because the thing is, I really do care.That is why I was moved to post to your thread....I care about you and I don't like to see anyone hurting.

Spring time in Texas yet? It sure is beautiful here in Bammy.

-Pat

MrsJP
Posts: 157
Joined: Jan 2011

I'm so sorry for all you have been threw, are going threw. Life can be so damn hard.

I've been asking myself: What's the purpose? Why are we here? I have not found that answer. Along my path, no matter how bad I have had it, there has always been someone who has had it harder..

I wish I could give you comfort. You have been so kind and caring. I am sending a simple hug and prayer: May he grant you peace and comfort. amen
jp

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

"Hugs and Prayers" accepted here everyday:)

Your response is all the comfort I need....I just need a little 'now and then' from you guys to keep me moving forward.

Thanks so much for being here.

-Craig

eibod
Posts: 160
Joined: Mar 2011

Craig, it breaks my heart to hear all that you have been going through. You are truly a magical man, having a way with words and caring that not too many people have. I know
sometimes (many times) the spirit just gets plain tired of fighting. Than it is natural to lay low and try to just recover for a while, before the fight continues again. But it sounds like you are a survivor for real. I truly hope that life gets better for you, you have certainly made it better for others. Take care, Brenda

pepebcn's picture
pepebcn
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

Here you got a college for anything you may need just let me know even if you need a call just say it and will be pleased to call you.
Good luck great man!

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

You know that 'International' charges are right off the charts BUT just the offer of such is very kind of you. As always, I appreciate your support and for taking the time to read my posts. You're a good guy.

Thanks a bunch!

-Craig

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

May I just say how wonderful it is to see you? Ok, it's just wonderful to see you back again. Here I was a few months ago trying to help you - and now, it's you trying to comfort me. It doesn't get much better than that, does it?

What strikes me the most is that with all that you've been through and you still have the kindness and compassion to reach out to me in a time of real need - a time when I really need to have my friends rally around me.

To me, this speaks volumes about your character - but then again, that was never in doubt as myself and the others watched your struggle and how you handled your situation with aplomb.

Oh, how my heart ached for you! Such a helplessness on my part and all I could do was try and toss a few words your way and hoped that would placate you for the evening. You exemplify what a caregiver really is all about.

I appreciate your kind words and want to thank you again for opening your heart and reaching out to me today. It's funny that as much as we hurt, there is some comfort in reaching across the room and tapping one of us on the shoulder, isn't it?

Keeping you in thought...

-Craig

Minnesotagirl
Posts: 141
Joined: Sep 2011

Hi Craig~

I loved your post. In fact, it was so real and moving that it made me want to come back this morning and followup on your thread.

In this new journey that I have been on ~ I try to say the right things, do the right things, be the right things, eat the right things, drink the right things, read the right things and so on and on and it does get tiring and overwhelming. You know...how are you doing, feeling, what's up? I appreciate it but sometimes I want to close the door and shut the world out. My mother is in her final stages of COPD and has made it to 85 years...she is in a nursing home as well. I see her as a little girl now rather than my mom...maybe the vulnerability in our parents and the mistakes of our parents make us realize what an impact they have had on our lives...good, bad or indifferent. For me, it makes me question my placement here on earth. I am a very religious person and believe God has a plan in this journey for me ~ but I don't know what it is yet...I must be patient and wait~

I believe your journey is writing to people...honestly and from your heart... writing to people and saying what some of us would not dare to say out loud because it may be "socially wrong". I applaude your conviction to be who you are, say what you say, believe what you believe and most of I all I applaude your willingness to help others (like myself) who are in the beginning of this journey. Keep the fight going if not for yourself but for all of us who are following in your footsteps!

Best of luck on the book and God's blessings to you from Minnesota:)

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

First off, nice to meet you. I must tell you that is some pretty insightful stuff that you've written. I just may be out of a job if you keep this up:) LOL!

You've made some excellent points!

This type of post could be construed as "socially wrong." I risked much from writing it, especially for those folks that don't know me. Your response validates that the risk was worth taking. In the past, I've been known for writing on some tough topics - ones that might not be popular, per say.

Many was the time when I had my finger poised on the Delete key, but decided to post it. Of course, it is a tremendous risk. Alot of the board is centered around "Total Positivity." But, that's not real life, is it?

And it's not real here either.

Without fail, when I've posted those type of topics, the PMs and open posting has been overwhelming to say the least - overwhelmingly positive. Because, I think people are looking for someone to step forward and take the hit....I've never shyed away from this responsibility.

And I usually find that after I've opened the door and let everyone know "it's cool" to talk about this, the GENUINE responses that come forth are the reason I get up and come here as often as I can. I like REAL. I like TRUTH.

I believe we all benefit from the discussion.

So, thank you so much for "recognizing" what my journey is all about - writing to folks. And writing in open, honest, and heartfelt terms. I don't know any other way...and I don't want to know another way....this is who I am...and if I change this, then I lose myself.

The other point I found very worthwhile was the part above about "saying and doing all the right things." And you're absolutely right! It does get tiring!

I think we get hung up here on the board about that alot. We feel that the sun must always be shining. Any post other than that comes across negatively. It's understandable, because we don't want to kill another person's hope.

But, there is a big difference between HOPE and FALSE HOPE.

Sometimes, maybe we're not doing so much of a kindness to one another by pretending the issue will just go away and it's "doable." Sometimes, there needs to be tough love. And it's hard but necessary at times. I didn't get nearly 8-years into this fight and not have my attitudes and perspectives changed somewhat.

That's personal growth.

While I'm at the extreme end of the journey, I feel it is important to talk to folks from the "road miles" I've accumulated....just might help someone. How I wish I'd had a mentor during the first 5-years of my journey where I went through all of this alone - with nobody as a sounding board.

In my life, I've always found that it's never the message itself - but the tone with which it was delivered.

Minnie, I wanted to add this from you:

"maybe the vulnerability in our parents and the mistakes of our parents make us realize what an impact they have had on our lives...good, bad or indifferent"

From Craig: That was simply brilliant!

I can tell it's going to be great fun getting to know you:)

Thank you for a wonderful post and thank you for sharing your heart with me today. Wasn't it great?

-Craig

buckeye2
Posts: 428
Joined: Jul 2011

It's good to have you back even if it means your posts may not be so positive for awhile. There is nothing worse than insincere positivity which most of us are faced with on a daily basis as those who care about us are constantly bombarding us with positive message that do more for them saying it than us hearing it. Lisa

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

.....you never know whatcha' gonna' get:)

LOL!

And isn't that the beauty of this relationship, Lisa? For you see, what you see is what you got...I can BS and "Huck and Shuck" with the best of 'em, but truthfully, just ask anyone on the board who has met me...they will tell you the same...I'm actually a little bit crazier and a little bit funnier:)

But underneath it all, I am REAL. And as such, I'm subject to all of the maladies that confront us on a daily basis. I might be high - I might be low. I might be Craig - or it could be Big Billy - or The Lion - or Santa Craig - or Melissa's Rock.

Just go ahead and pick one - you can't go wrong either way! LOL!

I'm whatever I need to be to you - at a time that you need me to be that. But through it all, you've got a friend if you're talking with me...remember not too long ago, I read you talking to a person about "spilling our hearts out to total strangers?"....

...Oh, but I do remember.....I told you that we 'weren't strangers anymore.' And we're not. I'm rubbing off on you too - and I can see subtle changes in you...your sentences are getting longer and you're being more open about yourself....how absolutely delightful:)

If I can convert you, I've done something, LOL! TC is my next project, LOL!

My posts are varied, so don't think they will all be negative...when I can swing in Big Billy will be "In the House" with a couple of good stories....you don't want to miss that....knowing you the way that I have come to, I can assure you that Big Billy is just you're kind of guy....he wants to get a new picture taken to show you....and if you look very close, when you see Big Billy - you'll see me:)

I agree completely about "insincere positivity" - better to say nothing at all. These people come across so transparent you can see right through them.

Here on the board, you may have noticed that I like to "Keep it Real." There's a time for shining sunshine up somebody's tailpipe, but there's a time to be real and talk truth. This board can't always be "The Happy Slappy Hour."

We must drag the tough topics out of the shadows and into the light - that's how we all grow - and that's how we all learn. As long as I have breath in this body, I'll continue to shine the light into the darkness as I try and make sense out of what I am seeing and what I want to talk to you about.

One thing is for sure - it will never be boring with me:)

I may not be the easiest thing to love, BUT none of my honey-pies has ever "Asked Me for a Refund."

LOL! LOL! LOL!

-Craig

lauragb
Posts: 370
Joined: Aug 2011

You are one resilient dude. Your post saddened me but I'm glad you felt you could put it out here. One never knows what others have gone through and are going through. I am sending you a cyber hug although I know it's not the same as feeling a real touch.

Keep your hopes and dreams.

Laura

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Cyber Hug rec'd!!!

Ma' Bell did have it right - "It is the next best thing to being there."

Thank you so much for your post.

-Craig

janderson1964
Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

My heart goes out to you. I have had a loving family and wife so I can't begin to imagine what you have experienced. It seams like cancer is the least of it. Your words always mean a lot to me and I was missing your posts for the past couple of weeks. Your continued survival is an inspiration to me.

Jeff

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I am touched and honored that you feel such a way, buddy - really.

I've survived the abuses, my sister's murder, my uncle's suicide, an F-3 tornado, and 3 cancers...and that's the highlight reel. You'd think I'd get the hint by now, wouldn't you?

I know how hard it can be for a man to truly express himself, so I can truly appreciate your kind words to me...it's nice to know that you mean something to someone...and I'm glad to know you. We're kindred you and I...I was born in 1961....us ol' guys gotta' support each other.

And we like John Force, too. Hope you read that story - if you missed it, it is in back of the archives...titled "The Day I Met the Legend." It's also a chapter in my book.

Thanks again, man...thanks for posting.

-Craig

janderson1964
Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

It looks like the legend is off to a good start this year. Your book sounds real interesting. I would love to read it when it gegs published. I should have known you were a writer with all of your great posts.postal

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Just a wannabee, Jeff...

When I first came here, I was already 5-years into the battle...I only had myself and no sounding board to know how I was faring. At that time, many folks were just starting out so I thought I could help them.

Over time, I began writing subject matter on cancer topics I had interest in. The community saw something in me and constantly told me to write a book....I finally listened and gave it a go through their support and encouragement after a couple of years of their urging. People like you, who have helped validate my thoughts and feelings on cancer and gave me the inspiration and conviction to follow through on a life-long dream to write a book and try and get it published.

It's 17-chapters long, roughly 235 pages with 105,097 words of my cornball ramblings:) It takes us from the very moment of our diagnosis all the way to the end of life scenario, with many interesting stops in between.

We walk along the cancer path together in the chapters, discovering what it is like to be a human being with cancer and facing our own mortality, but not seeing ourselves as victims, but as people, who are fighting so hard for the 'chance to be.'

I would welcome your comments if we can ever get there...and I appreciate all of your support and kind comments to me.

-Craig
"The Man, the Myth, the Legend?
LOL! LOL! LOL!

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I forgot to mention...

If you type in Sundance in the 'search' field of our directory and go toward the last few pages...you'll see a post about the book....it had Chapter I in there as a preview...and there may be some other posts, where I was putting some excerpts out there to share with the group.

You might like some of that, if you get a chance and want to check it out.

-c

Fight for my love
Posts: 1530
Joined: Jun 2009

Oh,this lion has had enough,although you are a lion.I feel the same as you do-each member's passing hit me very hard.I am having a very hard time on coping with it.Your dad's issue is just like my husband's mother's.My goodness,the sad stories are always so similar.Before all these happened,I couldn't belive there are people in this world have a very different "explanation" about family.
I worry about the new spots you found.I hope they will be either nothing or something minor,doctors can take care of it.I know it's os easy to say,but I really don't know what else to say.:-(

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

And I think that's the beauty about talking about stuff...because when we reveal, we do more than expose our inner souls, we touch another person who may be going through that, and more importantly, we find out that the problem is much bigger than we could have imagined.

But, if we keep things "closeted" then how do we learn from one another?

Most people see this as some type of failure or that it should be kept under wraps...the truth there, is that these same folks probably having things they don't want to reveal, because it thinks it makes them look fallible or weak.

But what do we really see?

We see the "Common Chords of Humanity" that run through our veins and we all are subject to the pains and hurts in this life.

I think that by coming forth, we do more good than internalizing it....I stuffed it down for 50 years with everything under the sun - but you never really bury it, do you?

No.

It will surface as everything must rise to the top - these events have brought all of the harsh reality, thoughts and feelings back into full focus. I can no longer run and hide and pretend all is well - now, I must turn and face it and do the best I can and keep my dignity about me - and be able to go home and put my head down on the pillow each night with no regrets.

In this way, I will be able to live with myself.

Very sweet of you to write me - I miss you, of course. You've always been so kind and supportive - and you were a tremendous cheerleader for the board when you're hubby was sick.

You take care and don't worry about me - my feet will always be tappin'.

-Craig the Lion

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

the challengers of life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
your story is real and tragic but positive to me.

you are caring for your dad and dealing with your recurrence at the same time.
you are caring which is undeserved by the sounds of it, but that makes the care that much more special. doing the honourable thing, which to me you are, shows when of our best traits as humans. thanks for sharing.

its hard, but in all the stress of your dad and recurrence i hope you can find some piece and release. and i know our lisa's passing has effect us in different ways.

just breathe and grieve mate.

hugs,
pete

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I am always hopeful that a story of mine will help somebody else...that it will either make them see something in themselves - or to show them the other side of the coin.

Perspectives are priceless - and you know "I gotta' millon of 'em."

-Craig

Patteee's picture
Patteee
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

Hiya Craig,
Just wanted to let you know I am still out here pulling for you. Wishing I knew someone in the publishing business.... and one word about your Dad- ICK. You did not deserve the life and misery he gave you and he certainly did not deserve you.
But so we travel on, the bags of our past thick and heavy, trying our damnest to carve out the path, find the meaning and feel the life from within. Some never make it, dying bitter old people and some, like you, rise above the heartache, the physical, escalating drama of your body and find life through touch and reaching out to those that truly care.

We are here Craig. Some of us only temporary, but this board will always be here and its people who love and appreciate you.

Love always from Minnesota.
P.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

It's been awhile...thought you forgot about me:) LOL!

Great seeing you around again - thank you for this post...I appreciate what you had to say.

I'm often reminded of the Pattee's Craig, who had a "cut through the crap gentleness..."

He's a little more raw and edgy since he first joined...but it comes from the things he's seen and witnessed - things that he could no longer turn a blind eye too:)

And this continues to shape and form who he is.

Thank you so much for posting and I'm so glad all is well with you.

-Craig

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

Sounds like your dad is one. As a son, the hardest, but healthiest thing to do is forgive. Our parents are human beings, complicated and messy. As children we worship or fear them, and as adults we often feel betrayed or let down. And then we become parents, and whatever unforgiven damage we suffered we pass to our offspring, often in new and interesting ways (mom stifled me and gave me no love, I am going to be my child's best friend).

When I am dealing with a bully I've found that you can neutralize them by pointing out they are bullying, sort of how Joe McCarthy was brought down (have you no shame).

My family visits here, so I avoid putting down anything that might cause them pain (if you are reading this, know I love you) but like any family we have stories, and I can feel yours.

Last bit: eight years. Yeah it cost you, but it's eight years! Beats the heck out of the alternative. And you wrote a book! Published or not, that is a lifetime achievement in itself. (Have you thought about asking ACS to publish?)

Rambled enough, peace out

Blake

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

My dad had such a profoundly negative impact on my life that I decided I did not want to have any children - I did not want to be to them what my dad and my mom were to me - emotionally vacant and mentally cruel.

I decided I had to stop this madness once and for all - and break the bloodline. After my sister was murdered, I knew that if I stopped it that our family name's bloodline would come grinding to a halt.

I like your reaction to wanting to be a better parent for your children, based on what you received growing up. Upon reflection, I wish I had the courage and conviction that you had...I don't know if I would have been a good parent or not...it's water under the bridge now...but it wasn't fair to my wife.

That's the kind of impact that my dad had. Another one of his great motivating tools was to tell me that I "was not worthy enough to carry his last name."

Now, go get 'em, right?

Do you know that it was "23 years" before I could say my last name clearly when people asked me what my name was? I could get the Craig part out just fine...but the last name I mumbled and often had to repeat.

That's the type of impact that my dad had on me.

Now, I'm proud of my name - because through cancer, I've become proud of who I am - what I stand for and represent - and the knowledge that I'm not my dad or my mom's son...and that my name is all that I'm ever going to have - and through all of this, I find that I've finally accepted me - and more importantly, that I like myself okay now.

It was his and her loss - I don't know a parent can have a child and then not have 'any interest' in their lives whatsoever - brow beat them for their mistakes - never encourage or support any of their interests and then expect them to be anything more than what they received.

"8 is Great." It's been something alright...as I near that 8th anniversary in June, it's really surreal and hard for me to believe that it has been this long, Blake. I'm a "dinosaur" in the cancer world and I don't know how I've made it...I should have been gone once or twice by now...but then the sun rises and I do it all again:)

I don't know for how much longer...and that's always the rub...but I've outlived many's expectations, including my own. I carry with me a sense of accomplishment for making it this so far - but also the guilt of surviving when so many of our friends have not.

From where I was sitting, their lives seemed to have more purpose and meaning than mine and they seemed far more deserving than I. Their passings have left an indelible mark on my soul that I will always carry. It is through their memories that I honor them with every breath that I take.

No, I haven't thought about ACS to help me publish. I'll look into that. They probably get enough of me everday through my posts, LOL!

Thanks for reaching out, buddy...and mend up fast!

-Craig

plh4gail's picture
plh4gail
Posts: 1238
Joined: Oct 2010

Aww Craig...here is another arm around yours! That is one of the things I seem to do best. Help others carry through. What an emotionally eventful couple of months. But looks like more chapters in your book to me.

huggin you, gail

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hey, there's another one of my California gals:) LOL!

I probably could write another book, lol!

Take care, Craig

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

I'm sorry for all you've gone through, Craig. You're such a wonderful person, and you don't deserve all the meanness in your life.

I pray that you and Kim will find your way back to a place where that tender touch is not so unexpected.

I have been going through some tough times with work lately and haven't been around much. When I am, though, your posts are ones that I look for right away.

*hugs*
Gail

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Three years ago when I barged into this room, there was a kindly, dear woman named Gail. I asked if "I could unpack my bags and stay awhile?"

The rest, as they say, is history...:)

-Craig

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

In retrospect, I shouldn't have written it.

I should just have said "all's well" and hit send. But, that's not the truth...and I'm all about the truth. And I'm never afraid to talk about tough subjects, because I feel as a people, that is how we learn - we learn from one another.

Somtimes, a body has to step out and take a huge risk and expose themselves...those feelings have been shuttered for five decades, only rising now to the surface with all that has been going on.

We always say that the board is our place to vent - our place that is a safe haven. I just needed to talk and hear from some of my friends. Although I know that I left many not knowing what to say or how to respond...if you just listened, that's good enough for me.

I sincerely apologize for this post and hope that you can forgive me...and hopefully a couple of you will understand where I'm coming from.

-c

dasspears
Posts: 233
Joined: Feb 2009

Your friends are always here for you. Vent away!

My husband went through a similar scenario with his father 2 years ago. It took a huge toll on him emotionally and physically to deal with a father who was ill and needed assistance yet was an alcoholic and abusive to his children when they were growing up. There were tears when he died but not sure if they were for sadness or relief.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Nice to hear from you...even more important is your message to me, which confirms that there are many hurtful stories out there....as children, we don't have much control...as adults, we begin to look back at a certain point and see the travesty that was done...and try to make the best out of our lives.

I've heard the word 'forgiveness' used...I'll have to work on that one:)

Thanks for your reaffirming message and my best to you. Thank you for being a friend to me.

-Craig

LivinginNH's picture
LivinginNH
Posts: 1458
Joined: Apr 2010

Oh Craig...there's absolutely no reason to apologize for writing such a heartfelt post. Speaking for myself, and I'm sure many others, we love you, and want to share in your life's experiences - those good and bad. Our life is not entirely about cancer, but rather the many different parts that make us who we are. Your prior post saddened me, but I thank you for sharing your feelings, it makes me feel closer to you. And I think that expressing your feelings and emotions on this board will make it easier for many of us to open up as well - and that's not a bad thing. So as you know, I have a hard time opening up to people - any people - but I'll start off today by saying that I'm completely terrified about Rick's upcoming SECOND HIPEC surgery. I don't look forward to weekends anymore since it they seem to make the clock tick even faster for me. His surgery is in about four weeks, and I'm rather scared about the whole thing happening again, although it's needed.

HUGS ((()))!!

Luv,

Cyn

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Dearest Cynthia:)

Look at you! I told you that "I was going to start rubbin' off on you." :)

You better be careful, or you'll get some all over you:)

Since I've started talking to you, I've seen you begin to change in the way you post and the lengths of those posts. When we first met, you were the "Consummate One Liner."

Over time now, I see you beginning to express the real you - the Cynthia that is underneath the daily facade that we project to society. I must tell you that it has been a wonderful, rich experience to witness your personal growth. Watching you grow and step forth has warmed my heart. It’s a blessing for all to see.

I love the opening of our hearts that 'extra crack' so that the real emotions and thoughts can flow. I've always been one to "throw it on the wall and see if it sticks..."

To me, that's where the magic lies...taking that extra step to go beyond what seems the norm. By the time, I'm done with you, there won't be much "Puritan" left, LOL!

It’s great to feel loved and I’ve taken some big chances with sharing my life with other folks here on the board. I love so many of you that have taken a chance with me and I feel a closeness that is so hard to explain – but maybe we shouldn’t analyze and just go with it….”For everything there is a time…”

And all of our times are NOW…this is who we have NOW – and who will help us get to the next day. I just can’t imagine my life anymore without people like you and everyone else in it.

My goal has always been to knock on the door to your heart – it’s always up to you, whether you let me in or not…I can’t promise to be anymore than you see already, but we’ll walk through the good and bad – together. There is such comfort in those thoughts.

Thinking of you and Rick as you come to the next fork in your life journey. The waiting room will be full and I wish I could ease your apprehension, but know that is hard to do. I’ll stand right here with you – unless I got vertigo and can’t stand up, LOL!

Love and Hugs!

-Craig

wolfen's picture
wolfen
Posts: 1318
Joined: Apr 2009

You certainly have no reason to apologize. A person would have to have a "screw loose" not to see that you are truly hurting and cannot remain upbeat 24/7 as you have always been for each and every person here. You are a guiding light for everyone.

I'm sure we all live in our private hells here for whatever reason. Some of us are just not brave enough or trust enough(as you do) to express them. As we've all said a million times, "This is a family." This is also our cyber home. Here's a quote from a plaque in my kitchen.

Home is....
A place where you are loved and can return love.
A place where people tell you not to do certain things cause they care.
A place where you feel free to express a feeling without feeling you're out of place.
A place where you're always welcome.
A place where you can take off your shoes.
A place where you can get sympathy when you need it.
A place where you can get advice.
A place where you are always forgiven.
A place where you learn all about sharing.
Home is love.

This is home to all of us and we love you.

"mama" Wolfen

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

You've gotten to know me so well...can't fool you, can I?

It has been really great this time around getting to know you. I just love the sharing and swapping stories...I think that for whatever reason, I can talk about things in a certain way - and then that encourages the other person to open up and share. Nothing gives me as much of a buzz as that.

I loved this poem...had to wipe a few tears (damm allergies) LOL!

I do feel the love - and I know that is SINCERE and not canned. And for me, that's what I live for. Because, aren't we all better when we talk openly? Doesn't it do something to you that transforms you back to where you want to be?

It's that "unburdening" that makes it so therapeutical. That shouting or crying out - that says I'm here, I'm hurt...but with your help, I can be okay once again.

I've never put myself up there as invincibile....it's too far of a fall.

I love it here, despite all of the things I know we face...and I just want you all to know that I love you too.

Tell 'Sis' hi for me....I'm so glad to see closeness between families...I used to be so jealous and to a point, I am envious, but in a good way. I know all too well what a life unloved can do to a person.

I'm fortunate that I've been able to overcome my past and not be swallowed up with bitterness and hatred. I could have folded my tent many times along the way....but I've got a lot of love to give - and just need somebody to give it to.

-Craig

toyfox's picture
toyfox
Posts: 158
Joined: Apr 2011

I'm glad you told your story even though it did sadden us. We need to hear from each other
weather good or bad. It helps so much to hear words of caring and support from others.
I'm not gifted or long on words just letting you know I care
Linda

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

And I just happen to be on the 'receiving' end this time. I did need to hear from all of you - and more than you might could imagine...

I appreciate your concern and I'll take this opportunity to say nice to meetcha:)

-Craig

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1720
Joined: Nov 2001

Perhaps the next book should be "the art of surviving survival". It sure isn't easy. Any advice we give is a bit like advertising,,,,who knows if it works or not? There is no way to alter the past so on we go each moment gathering more baggage. There should be a way to emotionally spring clean,wouldn't that be grand. Just sweep away those unwanted memories and emotions and never have to open a door in our minds and have to confront them again. Hugs Craig and the strenghtto keep on going,Ron.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

The next book? We don't want to clutter up the shelves with any more of my rubbish than we have to, right? LOL!

That would just be 2 books that would never get published:)

I must say that I'm glad you are still here with us. I want you to promise me that you will stay. I think it's important that you're here, but even more than that I want you here. I want to be able to talk to you - I want to be able to hear what you have to say.

I want to hear Ron's perspective about how he's kicked *** and is 14-years of cancer. I want my kindred brother here, so that as my body deteriorates and I suffer from the after effects of treatment or more treatment, that I will have a guy like you that GETS IT!

As I'm sure I have with you, YOU have grown me over the years. I always saw something in you in the beginning....your story does sadden me at times, because I hate to see the body failing us, when we need it so badly.

But then there you are helping to show me the way - and to be able to understand what I might be facing from hearing your stories.

That's priceless stuff, buddy.

I'm a Life Survivor - an F3 Tornado Survivor - and a 3x Cancer Survivor.

Hey, and I'm only "getting warmed up."

Take care, Ron...always great to hear from you...you stay with us now, you hear?

-Craig

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6150
Joined: Feb 2009

So sorry you are going through all that you are. You are such a great contributor on the board and consider you a true friend even though we have never met. Your heart is as big as the sun and it shows through your writings. I've not been on much so I'm not keeping up with what is going on in the daily posts for awhile, but just wanted to let you know that you are being thought of always.

Hugs! Kim

janie1
Posts: 753
Joined: Apr 2011

Craig, I hope you'll be able to say every day, "all really is well"....soon.
-J

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Look for me in the Walmart parking lot:)

We'll get caught up!

LOL!

Thank you so much!

-Craig

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