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“Eight is Great” – A Reflective Commentary + Scan Results Are In

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

As Month Python used to tell us…”And now for something completely different…”

Well, I’ve made the “Eight Mile Marker Club” now…I’m now one of a handful of folks here who can claim to have done so. As always, the road was fraught with many a steep hill to climb and far too many nights walking in the shadows of the dark valleys.

“What does it mean to make it 8-years in a cancer battle?”

I’m not sure that I know anymore. The answers are becoming more vague with each successive pass around the sun. I find myself knowing less and less – about more and more.

Of course, underneath that blanket, there lies much more as I continue my growth and evolution towards a greater understanding of what cancer is – and what it isn’t.

I guess, the first thing we could say is that Eight Years speaks to ‘survivorship’ by the very core of its definition. I’ve had a few naysayers in the medical community who have given me the standing 8-count during my journey…and I’m sure there have been others that I have known, including some of you, who thought at different times since you’ve come to know me that I was through – finished – put a fork in him – he’s done.

A couple of times, I harbored the same thoughts and feelings…

Let’s turn the clock back a year…I was coming off my 3rd recurrence fight (then 7-years). Another major lung surgery – 30 more tx’s of radiation with 24/7 5-fu – followed by six-more months of Folfiri.

I was at the end of my proverbial rope as it were. I had written a post titled “The Chemo Wars” – What’s the Real Story? The basic premise of the post was how much more chemo could I stand to do – and was what we invested in our fights with chemo, really worth what we were getting out of it.

I stated that I had ‘invested’ a very hard year of my life with this latest fight – and for my time, I expected to get back the same amount of time that I had given. Since, I gave a year of my life; the goal was that my life would be extended by that said year.

If it were anything less than that – then I was beginning to slip.

Still to me, it was at best a DRAW. Only I ‘anted’ up 5 more wedge resections and ‘raised’ a couple of ribs that the surgeon sawed off for good measure. We ‘called’ after radiation destroyed another 10% more of that lung, which left me a “noticeable loss of volume” in that lung, according to last year’s CT results along with many other associated health failures from the culmination of all that fighting.

We’ll advance the calendar eight months up…the first flags were raised here during another follow-up scan after last year’s treatment wrapped. There were disturbing new images of two new spots that had now appeared…..one in the other good lung….and one back in the liver.

There was nothing definitive at that point, but it was disheartening just the same. It had made me doubt things again…because, I thought if cancer can survive a battle like the one I just gave it and still thrive – then I was eventually going to be on the losing end of things. That was a brutal campaign and nothing should have survived – I know I barely did.

So, at eight months with ‘spots’, my conclusion was that I might be slipping and that I did not get ‘my year’ that I gave to the fight. It was somewhat deflating to say the least.

And then along came Dad…and his healthcare crisis…and the subsequent Peyton Place melodramas that would unfold over the course of the next six-months through the twists and turns of his journey. This left me with no time to think about my situation at all. My fight and all of my energies had to be directed towards that arena. I would just have to wait.

So, the day for the scan came and I did it….and you know how you have to ‘empty’ that barium contrast, so I was understandably ill there for a few hours afterwards……it turned out that my dad passed away that night after my scans, before I could get back to check in on him. So, after the diarrhea stopped, I went back to his room one more time…he had already passed and so I sat with him and told him a few things.

Of course, with all of the funeral arrangements and all that the preparations required, I got my scan results back where I could go online and review them, as I always do. I’m fairly adept at interpreting the data written on the reports.

I debated on whether or not I wanted to open the report and lay additional burden onto an already overwhelmed mind and spirit…and yet, the lure was too much for me…I just had to know.

I had prepared myself for the worst – just knew that cancer was back and that the spots were firmly entrenched and feasting nicely upon its Host’s accommodations. I was dreading leaving work – having to do surgery/treatments – and still having to settle my dad’s estate on top of it all. I just didn’t see how any of this would be right.

And so, I kept reading…and scrolling through the chest, abdomen and pelvis sections….looking for trouble….looking for the buzzwords….looking for the signpost that said, “Cancer – Straight Ahead.”

And after I read it all the way through….I read it again….and then read it a third time…just to make sure I was not seeing things.

What I read surprised even me…

The verdict is in…”I’m all clear…”

The lease was up on my two new spots and my body and immune system apparently evicted them and sent them packing:) They are gone without a trace and that’s a huge comfort….even bigger than getting clear from last year’s battle.

I went ahead and waited for my onc visit, so that he could confirm what I had already interpreted and understood for myself. And he confirmed it – Clear.

And he’s graduated me up the food chain now – my scans have increased from every four-months to every six-months now. That has not happened since the start of my fight. It’s a nice fringe benefit and a cost saver – and saves me from some extra toxicity as well.

My blood work has all returned to healthy levels….I’m registering nicely, sitting firmly between the range of numbers up and down the board on every test. The exceptions are my WBC which was 3.2 this round and my platelets this time were at 85K. My CEA level sits at a comfortable 2.5.

“Sundance, what does this mean to you – does it mean anything for us?”

Well, it represents many things to me – and I’m hopeful that it will shed some light on the things that we try or don’t try in relation to our cancer fight.

“One year clear is nice – but does it really mean anything?”

In the ultimate scheme of things still yet to come, it might not have the lasting impact that I would like it too. But, for the present, let’s just talk about what it means for me TODAY – and let’s just take a look at what it could mean to me TOMORROW.

First, going ‘One Year Clear’ ties the longest active streak for me going clear since the very first year of my current eight-year battle. So, these two milestones happened in the First Year – and the Eighth Year. That’s some pretty good stuff right there.

Now, let’s sweeten the pot a little bit more….and look up the road 6-months from now…

In six more months, I will be at the 18-month mark post 3rd recurrence fight. If my scans come back clear at that time – it will be the longest stretch EVER in my entire cancer journey where I stayed clear in a ‘watch and wait’ state.

EVER.

That would mean that instead of slipping in the battle in my eighth year – it would represent the biggest victory of my entire battle campaign.

At a time, when this ol’timer has exhausted many of his resources, medical, physical, mental and psychological, and had figured it was about time to head to the locker room and hang up his cleats and call it a nice career – he strikes back with a nice victory with the most promising news he’s had to deliver in eight years.

And for his next magic trick, “Sundini” will pull a rabbit out of his….well, a good magician can’t give away all of his secrets:)

“To what if anything, can you attribute your success to?”

Well, if I knew that one, a lot of our questions would be answered and we would not be losing folks at an alarming rate. After many years of this, I still don’t know where the line is that separates a good story from a bad one. As far as I can tell, there is not a definitive truth out there for any of us.

But, I can tell you this…

My immune system has repaired itself adequately and the numbers looked good. I did not have to “Boost” or “Supercharge” my immune system to make it fight cancer ‘better.’

I’m on zero ‘mop-up or maintenance’ chemo or any of the other agents at all, like Vectibix , Erbitux, or Avastin. And I’ve tied my record for the longest ‘clear’ streak in 8-years of the battle.

I’m currently not taking any supplements of any kind – not even a baby aspirin - blood work and immune system have recovered and are kicking *** without them. Recently colonoscopy can’t even find a polyp.

I’m currently not juicing.

I have not exercised very much after the first couple of months since I got out of this last lung surgery…the last 6-months, there has been lots of walking around hospitals and running errands for dad, but nothing of any cardio benefit. So, nothing that would make a difference in the cancer fight per say.

And we’ve not been eating too well these past 6-months either. By the time, you put in your 11-12 hour day at work and commuting – the rest of the evenings were spent at the various medical facilities that we were at.

Then, by 10:30 or 11:00, you are finally making your way home across the far side of town….you are so tired at 11:30 or midnight when you get in, that you find that most nights you are just too tired to eat…..maybe you gobble a bowl of Cheerios if you’re lucky…other times the choices were not nearly as good, but as another dawn was merely a few hours away before another repeat performance of this travelling show…well, difficult at best.

I’ve also had record amounts of stress in my life the past six-months being a caregiver to my dying father along with all the drama that has entailed – an all time high. I’ve had Cortisone “White Water Rafting” through my bloodstream 24-hours a day the past six-months, which is not exactly a healthy cocktail.

This is not exactly the way we would draw it up on the map…

And yet, I find myself tied for the longest clear record since my first year with a clear test result and perched at the precipice of my biggest victory, which is just six more months away over the horizon if my luck holds up.

“What does it mean?”

Well, you read it and I’ll have to leave it up to each individual that reads this post to extrapolate the facts – measure their own cases - and then draw their own conclusions.

What I get out of it, is what I’ve been formulating for some time. I attribute a lot of my success to the conventional modalities of western medicine. I’ve been fortunate to have skilled surgical teams around me and have responded favorably enough (so far) to the harsh treatments that are associated with this approach.

I’ve been able to withstand all of the beatings and punishments for all of these 8-years (so far), physically and mentally, as well as emotionally and psychologically. That’s not to be underestimated by any means.

And for whatever reason – instead of losing, I once again appear to be winning. Though, I know the reach for the next six-months will be tremendous. I don’t expect this good fortune to last indefinitely. Unfortunately, that’s the gift that three-recurrences leave with you. It’s a permanent scarring that seemingly will never heal.

And the reason it can’t heal, is because I’ve not experienced the longer periods of clear scans that many folks have. I know that a year is not a lot to get excited about – but for me, this represents a worthy achievement….and one that I really did not expect to see.

I’m humbled by this turn of events and while I have fought hard and admirably to “Adapt and Overcome”, I’ll always live with the fear that the next one is coming…perhaps, I would become more at ease if I could put some more mileage between me and cancer with clean scans for the indefinite future.

I know how crafty cancer is – how it can lure us into a false sense of security – and then strike again without warning. It has happened to me three times – and that was despite me trying several different strategies along the way – and still I recurred each and every time.

The further along I get down this ol’ road, I’m just becoming more convinced that despite all the products out there to ‘neutralize’ cancer and the efficacies that are touted therein, that we see many cases where just the opposite can realize and achieve the same goal.

Living, breathing proof is standing in the same room as you staring back at you right now - breathing the same tainted air and drinking the less than purified waters of life as you are.

As Ripley likes to say – “Believe It Or Not.”

Should I recur in six-months time or further on down the road, I know that it comes from a different source than the food and drink that we demonize every day.

For even if only one person can show there is another side to a successful result, it helps to debunk all of the other myths that permeate this website.

I do intend to exercise more by walking – not for cancer but to try and facilitate my movements to function better in an ambulatory society. We’ve made the switch for some time to as many organic products as we can do…and the list continues to grow.

But, I’m no longer scared about the things I eat or drink and how it relates to cancer anymore. I’m in moderation on just about everything now. I sample on things I like throughout the year and try not to do anything anymore with too much abundance.

And that’s something that I finally feel good about – and I just reached that perch about two months ago, after a long discussion with my oncologist. And just to clarify that conversation, he never said that the immune system is not important in its role with cancer.

He just stated that if your immune system is good and functioning – that you can’t boost it or supercharge it to be anymore than what it is today…and by tweaking it up a small percentage is not what decides the cancer fight.

We talked about this again…he maintains that it is the cell replication process, which has to transfer your entire life’s imprint into each cell of the body, is where the breakdown occurs, when that much volume of information is transferred and replicated time and time again – over time itself.

When it breaks down – the machine breaks down – and when the machine breaks down – we break down – and bad copies are produced and cancer is what we end up with. It made perfect sense to me then and it makes perfect sense to me now.

So, this isn’t about what to do or not to do. Everyone of you will decide your own course. This post may hold some value for those fighters, who are unsure if they want to go an alternative route – or have the stamina and discipline for such an approach.

That’s where I found myself roughly six-months ago…

We operate under a simple principle – there’s a problem – now change something – anything. By making a change towards anything, we feel like we are ‘driving the bus.’ We are ‘taking control.’

But, I’ve always thought of it as the “Illusion of Control.”

In reading the posts on this board, the winds of change are everywhere – it’s evident in a lot of places you read from the membership – and for many people that can be downright frightening – almost threatening even.

That’s where I found myself just a few short months ago. I became scared that in reading other approaches with regards to supplements and whatnot, that I would not have what it took to be able to engage and operate under those guidelines and conditions.

I was not going to have the willpower and discipline to see that through the way that you would need to…it made me temporarily doubt any of the approaches I have ever used to date.

It scared me, because I thought if this is what my life was going to depend on – I was not going to be able to do it…and that sent a shockwave through my system and had me questioning why I was not jumping all over this, like so many others have.

So, I used my common sense and opened my eyes and began looking around the room. What did I see?

And then I took a good look at myself and asked myself the same question – what do I see?

While at different times in my cancer battle, I’ve certainly had more time to eat better and exercise more – I found that I recurred.

And now, with diet and exercise thrown out the window because of 100-hour weeks with work and care giving for dad, I expected the worst result – and ended up with the best news I’ve had in eight-years – go figure.

I’m not really sure what it all means…sometimes a win can come from the places where you least expect to find them.

The link between cancer, diet, exercise and supplementation is the area that holds the greatest amount of interest for me right now…I just want to continue observing and seeing if there really is a correlation to any of it.

If it is, then that would make me an anomaly…

From what I’ve seen through myself and those pursuing more rigid measures – I currently don’t see a direct cause and effect with any approach. Cancer seems to have its roots buried in deeper places.

Not that any of the good things like diet, exercise and supplements are not important for health – they just may not be the sole reason we get clear – or stay clear.

I know that at times I’ve had done better with diet, exercise and some supplementation…but I can’t say that any of those by themselves or in combination, would be the lone key to my survival. Another words, if these were my only weapons - I'd be dead.

I haven’t had proper nutrition and exercise for over a year – and far more stress than I’ve been able to handle at times - and my body still has compensated nicely and delivered me from cancer. That tells me something.

A great deal of last year’s success comes from last year’s surgery and treatments…surgery, radiation and chemo. Those are what got me clear.

Since I’ve just made a year clear, it is quite possible that all of that really put a dent in my cancer for awhile – I would like to think I’m done with it, but again, only time…and a lot of time and far too many scan cycles will ultimately tell me that and write that chapter.

And what if I continue to do well?

I don’t know…is it possible that I was caught up in that period of time when the seismic shifts in our metabolism were underway. (I had read somewhere one time that there are 4-6 events in our lifetimes when the body undergoes major metabolic changes and that this opens the door and sets the stage for cancer to occur).

This seemed to me to coincide with the start of each decade that we age where things could go wrong and the cell replicator to go haywire….30-40-50-60-70-80.

And it’s possible that was what was happening to me and that the chemo “leveled the playing field” and reset the clock so to speak. It killed enough of the remaining cancer that my regular immune system went back to work and is currently handling the situation.

I don’t know – maybe that’s just whimsical thinking…it’s certainly a plausible theory though and could hold some merit. Hell, it might even be true.

The only ‘absolute’ I have for myself or anyone reading…is that I’m still alive 8-years into the fight – I still work – I wrote a book nobody will ever read – I learned to be a caregiver – I’m learning how to manage an estate – and cancer has not beaten me yet.

Doris Day once sang, “The future is not ours to see…”

As I stare down the road at my future…I’m beginning to see that it may hold more promise than I originally gave it credit for.

I’ve tied the biggest accomplishment of my cancer battle – in the latest hours of my fight.

I stand to shatter my own record in six-months and stand on the ground that I had given up hope that I would ever see….still clear after 18-months….

And from there?

I don’t know. Cancer will either come back (regardless) or I’ll set another record with my healthcare. If I can string enough of those together, there may be hope for me – and hope for you too.

I’ll remain cautiously optimistic and temper my enthusiasm until I reach the 18-month hurdle…at that time, I might even crack a smile and may even grin…it would be the hugest thing for me if I can hang that one on the wall.

But, I’ve been let down so many times during my cancer walk, so I remain guarded against false hope until I can see it through it these two eyes. Until then, I can’t get too ahead of myself….still, this is good news for me to hear – and to share with you.

For those fighters who see part of themselves through my fight – take comfort in knowing that you don’t have to go “Alt” to have success. As we’re seeing, successes come in all shapes and sizes.

Know and understand that if you can’t go that way, it’s not the end of the world and that you can achieve your own success doing the things that you can do or choose not to do – either way, even if you make no changes, there are many stories like that where people have reached the same Nirvana.

Proving once more, that there are many paths to cancer – any of them can or cannot lead us to the hallowed ground that we all seek. All regimens are hard, but none of them do us any good if we can’t adhere to them. There is no shame in admitting that. I’ve actually found it to be quite liberating and freeing – a big weight lifted off my shoulders and my heart.

I continue to support everyone’s individual initiatives and wish nothing but success for each of you. I continue to use myself as an example that can be used in comparison to others.

We all learn things through another’s example and by each of us comparing each other and seeing what works and what does not – it gives us insight into the disease that many other folks may not have the opportunity to gander at.

And through those glasses, we can draw our own comparisons from one another and formulate our own conclusions, based on what we have witnessed firsthand.

“Cancer is hard – but the more complicated we try and make it – the less vision we have with which to see.” ~Sundance

********* And in other breaking news…..**********

Kim’s biopsy results for her thyroid were ‘clear.’ Watch and wait is the modality here.

And my legal team has slapped that smug smirk off the evil church sister’s face with a cease and desist order. She never showed at the visitation or the funeral. I hope that his message was clear and that she finally got it – or she’s gonna get it. She finally met the Lion and heard his roar.

And more good news….dad’s friend whom he named co-executor with me, has declined to serve in that capacity – leaving me with the sole role of executor. I have a court date later this month to go and be officially appointed.

Unshackled from all of those ghosts and heavy burdens, I may be clear now to handle the rest of the estate business and then finally try and find a new life for me and Kim. It is certainly long overdue.

Four to five months ago, I was dead on the inside. I was ready to quit on cancer and life itself. Thought I had cancer and had convinced myself to lay down this time and not engage.

This came after inheriting all of my dad’s troubles and responsibilities walking in and assuming his life and handling all of his financial, legal and medical affairs. Plus, combined with all of his weirdo associates and entourage, that had me flustered for awhile – enough to stop caring about all of it. It just had all gotten to be too much…

And then a funny thing happened…

The evil church sister (“adopted daughter”) woke the sleeping Lion – and by doing so, she filled him with a terrible resolve.

It’s been downhill for anyone who stands in my way since then…”Adapt and Overcome” – that’s life’s lesson for all of us.

“Adopted Daughter” held all the cards…she had both of dad’s wallets, socked with money…she has all of his credit cards, driver license, social security numbers etc…she had his car…and even the keys to his house….complete freedom and unprecedented access to all of his affairs.

But, as always, Sundance found a way to turn the tables on her by overcoming and adapting – and ultimately winning!

Seemingly, it appears that Sundance cannot be beaten – beaten on – but never defeated.

I’ll take your punches and then throw mine. By the time that you see my “Haymaker” coming - it will be all over -but the cryin’.

That’s how I fight – and that’s how I continue to win…I’ll take my undefeated record in cancer and in life with me as I now embark on the road towards my 9th year…

The best may still be yet to come….

This message is for all the long-term fighters: Your biggest victories can come late in the battle – far past the time that you expected to see. So, this is the nail that you can hang your hat on with your fight.

It can be done – I know – I’m doing it right here in front of you. It’s a big day – a day that says victories can be won anywhere along the road of cancer – utilizing a variety of tactics and strategies.

Don’t take your eyes off the prize – it may be right around the corner – or right under your feet – or perhaps right in front of your nose.

Always remember..."There's many a slip betwixt the cup and the lip."

Anything can happen - take care and the best of luck with all of your fights!

-Craig “The Lion”

Stay tuned to the Sundance Channel
“Story Matters Here”

son of hal
Posts: 117
Joined: Mar 2011

Congratulations Craig, that is some awesome news. You are one tough sombich... I could not be happier for you. You've acomplished alot this last year and you need (deserve)a vacation. But wait, now that you might be around longer than you thought, this is the perfect reason to start exercising and eating right to get healthy and avoid the typical health pitfalls that (normal) forty and fifty year olds fall into. You would hate to put cancer behind you just to fight diabetes or heart disease.... Believe it or not, there are more health scares out there besides cancer....
Take care, CJ

janie1
Posts: 753
Joined: Apr 2011

Dont freaking mess with Sundanceh.
(Boy, did you do a number on church lady....too good).
Enjoy Craig......you & Kim deserve some quality time.

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

"Dont freaking mess with Sundanceh."

One of my favorite movie lines comes from Al Pacino in Scarface circa 1983...

As Tony Montana, he stated, "When you f with me - you're f'in with the best."

That pretty much sums it up, huh?

Thanks, J...in the time that you have known me, I've risen from the dark days of sitting in the Walmart parking lot by myself - to everything that you have seen since.

Never kick the sleeping Lion:)

LOL!

-Craig

janie1
Posts: 753
Joined: Apr 2011

Dont freaking mess with Sundanceh.
(Boy, did you do a number on church lady....too good).
Enjoy Craig......you & Kim deserve some quality time.

smokeyjoe
Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

Craig....:) :) :) I HAVE THE BIGGEST SMILE ON MY FACE RIGHT NOW :) :) :) Crack that grin now buddy and may it keep getting bigger for you!!!!

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

That brings hope to this board! Thank you Craig !
Hugs Mate!

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

I agree, Pepe - I think it does for all of us, as well.

Continued good luck with your fight.

-Craig

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

I not only see that smile - it's so big I can feel it - and that's all the way down here in Texas - and you know everything is bigger in Texas...

With a smile like that...you'd fit in here:)

Thank you!

-Craig

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

Hey CJ...forgot to mention....no diabetes, glucose is good....blood pressure, SPO2 level, and heartbeats all good:)

But, I do get what you are saying...last six-months have not been ours...

Take care, man!

-Craig
"Sombich"

jjaj133's picture
jjaj133
Posts: 869
Joined: Mar 2011

OMG I AM SO HAPPY for YOU!!!!
I have to write more later, I must go do a happy dance!!!
Love you my friend,
Judy

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

"I feel you."

:)

Love/Craig

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

That is GREAT news. Thanks for sharing!!!!

johnnybegood's picture
johnnybegood
Posts: 1122
Joined: Oct 2008

lion i love to hear you roar.just keep the faith and you will be fine (((((HUGS))))....Godbless....johnnybegood

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

Just so very nice of you to take the time to respond...with all you've been going through, I really appreciate hearing from you. I'm just hoping so much for you and mom:) Wish you guys could get together for a visit.

Hugs returned...(((JBG)))

-The Lion

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

It's been the wildest thing ever...

Since, I've never gone past the one-year mark clear, the next six-month test should really be something if all goes well...

I've got a full summer cleaning up my dad's house and closing out his estate...so this reprieve could not have come at a better time...

Take care!

-Craig

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

Fantastic news! You give hope to all here on this forum. What a great post for the newcomers to read! Hugs-Ann

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

Thank you!

Hugs/Craig

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6222
Joined: Feb 2009

So glad for the news. Time for you to sit back and enjoy life for awhile. You both deserve it.

Kim

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

Thank you, Kim!

-Craig

janderson1964
Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

That is awesome news about you and Kim. I couldnt be happier. I was a little nervous reading your post. What a relief. Your good news came at the perfect time for me.

What does your onc think killed those 2 spots without any treatment. Is it possible that they werent cancer.

Enjoy the moment. You and Kim both.

The lion has roared back. Cancer and the rest of the world better watch thier backs.

Your friend Jeff

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

I knew you would appreciate this news - I hope it was worth the wait.

The doc doesn't really know why...we just can't see the spots on the scans anymore. They were very tiny, just detectable on the scan itself...too small to biopsy though I would have declined. That was one of the reasons why I wasn't trying too upset.

Easier to wait and check for growth on the next scan cycle...but they are gone and for now, I'm not worrying about the "X's and O's" of why...just to be is enough right now. I've got so much cookin' with all my dad's stuff and trying to hold onto our lives...

I'll take this one...fought hard for it...and as far as the Chemo Wars post...I'm still dead even...it's still a draw...but somehow, right now, it feels like I'm just slightly ahead.

I guess last year was worth playing for after all...

Yeah, the Lion roars - and if Chicky were with us today...we'd be hearing from her about this one:)

Take care, Jeff....I told you we would stand atop the podium...now, I'm just waiting on you...and I know you're coming...in fact, you are already there.

-Craig

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1721
Joined: Nov 2001

You would flunk. Glad to hear it Craig,bring on nine,Ron.

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

Hey, there's the title to next year's post, Ron:)

I expected to get a failing grade alright - no doubt about it.

I'm just like one of those Weebles - "I wobble but I don't fall down."

LOL!

-Craig

z's picture
z
Posts: 1413
Joined: May 2009

Great News! This is very inspiring, and I wish you continued great news. Lori

idlehunters's picture
idlehunters
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

What really great news....what a friggin relief! Ahhhh breathe!! Damn don't that feel good. Just that ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.......... Oh HELL yes!!!!!

Jen

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Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hey gal:)

With everything going on the past six-months, it was a relief this time actually...I felt better with this one than I did post treatment last year...this one means more to me.

Last year, with all that I did - I expected good response.

This year, I expected progression and growth...it was nice to know I won't be dealing with that right away...and it allows me some breathing room to handle my dad's stuff and get the house on the market, while I'm still in good position to do so.

I've known you 3-years...and we've shared our cancer together for three years...it's really hard for me to comprehend that I am still standing at the 8-year mark.

Alot of times, numbers sometimes don't register with us...we see it, but can't see what it means. I think that's where I am. I don't know how I keep my head above water after all of this time.

If all is well in the next six-months, I really will be excited.

-Craig

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

Hi Lori

Thanks for stopping over and checking in. Thank you for the well wishes. For once, I'm just gonna' accept this news and go with it...unexpected to say the least, but a big relief...and I think that the post does show something - I hope everyone got something out of it.

Take care!

-Craig

lauragb
Posts: 370
Joined: Aug 2011

Craig, thanks for the good news of the day and musings. It is a beautiful day here and the light has been shining with perfection all day in your honor!

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barbebarb
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Craig-your post was one of the fist I read being new to the board. I was amazed at what you've endured, having some similarity in surgeries for my path. I don't have family support and don't understand my family most of the time and have to shut out those thoughts...
I am so happy for you and your wife with your recent family matters resolved and good health news.
I am sorry for your father's recent passing.

You deserve peace, happiness and continued good health!
You inspire many people and have helped me w/courage to survive surgeries!

Sincerely-Barb

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

I guess it's fair to say that I haven't been "cheated." I bought all they were selling...and more:)

I understand the lack of family support...it makes an already difficult road more different...but after 8-years, they expect for me to pull a rabbit out of my hat and ta-da.

Would have been nice to have someone run an errand or help Kim some...she had it rough all by herself with me last year when I was so ill.

I'm glad I have been useful to you...those kind of stories help make it all worth it...if I have to pay upfront...then I like to pay it forward after that.

Thank you for your thoughts and condolences for my dad. I appreciate your time to post.

-Craig

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

Thank you, Laura...it was nice to share some good news with everyone...you continue to leave the light on for me...you know how I like to 'see.'

That's hard to do when things all around you are dark...

Continued hopes for your fight as well...and so nice to see you.

-Craig

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

Way to go Craig! :-) I hope that you and Kim are doing the naked happy dance around the house tonight - oh heck, go out and dance around neighborhood and don't worry about the neighbors! LOL!! :-D So very very happy for you both.

Luv ya, our dear Lion. :-)

Cyn

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

I think the last time we danced naked - I hurt my back!

LOL!

Thank you and give my best to Rick.

-Craig

danker
Posts: 1188
Joined: Apr 2012

You are indeed "THE LION" Thank you for giving us all More Hope for the future.

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

Thank you for saying so. I think my story does lend some hope to anyone fighting on for years on end...I understand how quickly things can change. With all that has happened to me, it's hard to think that I won't be dealing with this again.

I thought it would be right about NOW. But, I got a hall pass and so I'm gonna roam the halls around here for awhile - much to the chagrain of the community:)

Take care!

-Craig

relaxoutdoors08
Posts: 520
Joined: May 2011

Craig,
Happy for the good results for both you and your wife. Also happy to hear you "bested" the adopted daughter and regained who really deserves to be "in charge"". Prayers for both you and your wife 's continued good health. "Life is good".
NB

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

First, I wanted to thank you so much for signing the guestbook and supporting me and Kim...that was very thoughtful and sweet:)

And yeah, The Lion could never let that old gal win...she had me thanks to the way that my dad set it all up....but in the end, I knew what to do.

Life does have the potential to be good now...I'm almost afraid to embrace that notion...I've forgotten how to experience that...well, hopefully I will still remember:)

Thank you for your post!

-Craig

omrhill
Posts: 125
Joined: May 2012

Congratulations on all fronts! Thanks for this terrific post. You inspire me.

Robin

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

Thank you, Robin!

I know you are just getting under way - and we'll help you get through things....as you read, I'm not only hanging on after 8-years...I'm kicking major *** all the place...and not just in the cancer arena:)

Thank you for such kind words...I'm so glad you enjoyed the post.

-Craig

Jaylo969
Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

Thumbs up my friend....Yay, Yay, happy, happy. Cheers Craig to you & Kim. And now...Onward & Upward.

Congratulations!

-Pat

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

Thank you, Pat....nice to see you.

With the way this year has gone for me, it was nice to be on the receiving end of something positive...I hope it will last for awhile...at least long enough to get my dad's affairs settled.

This is a nice reprieve and I'm thankful for it, so I can continue to hammer away on dad's business...and in my spare time, try and work on me and Kim's:)

-Craig

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Lorikat
Posts: 682
Joined: Jul 2011

Oh, you sound so good! We ALL need to take everyday and really live.... I have been afraid of so much for so long. THAT is why I am doing so many things i've never tried before... And lovin' them! God Bless you and your Kim. Lorie

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

I've read your exploits:)

I'm convinced I could never catch up to you now...hope all continues to go well for you...loved your white water experience...must have been a real ride!

-Craig

steveandnat's picture
steveandnat
Posts: 887
Joined: Sep 2011

So happy everything is clear...take advantage of every minute which I'm sure you will get every second of life you can. I am just finishing three years but never been clear. I cant imagine how you must feel. Why some of us survive longer than others is really a mystery. Its a fight but so hard. Pray you stay clear forever. Jeff

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

Getting clear vs Not Getting Clear

That's a tough one right there...it's never as easy as one thinks...I'm talking more of the mental than the physical right now.

Getting clear and recurring - and then getting clear and recurring - and then getting clear and recurring...

That can do some psychological damage to you right there...the more you recur, the more you understand how really hard it is...you begin to see what your life will really be.....recur-fight-recur-repeat.

I have tasted it - but never bathed in it...it's like this big tease that says "you can have it"....and then with the other hand it can take away so quickly.

I hope that you receive your time in a clear state...your fight points how hard it is to reach out and fight and not be able to attain (yet).

I remain hopeful that something will turn for you to allow you to get there...the road is long no matter which path that we end up on.

It is hard...I would never dreamed making it 8-years when I first got started. You're in a tough spot right now, but keep it going...will be pulling for your success.

-Craig

steved
Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

I hit 8 years back in February and have a very different story with many similarities!? I too have journeied this with moderation as my marker for all things and it too seems to work for me. In truth though I have also learnt not to count time passed too much as it has become less relevant than focusing on the here and now. It also makes me angry that before long a quarter of my life will have been spent under the shadow of cancer.

This disease can teach us a lot and you lay the lessons out in your usual eloquent style- thank you for the message.

steve

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

Good to hear from you, bud.

Speaking of lessons...you taught me a very valuable one about a year ago, I believe. You had just recurred after 7-years of being clear.

That post spoke to me in volumes that day - because what it told me, and the message it should have told everyone is...even when you go clear for many years and it looks cancer is a thing of the past for you...it can come back.....long after the supposed 5-year marker where the medical community proclaims us as cured.

That post made my blood run cold...because through you, I could see myself...if I were fortunate enough to make it that far out clear...

You can't put a price on that kind of lesson...it's the one that nobody wants to hear about...it's the one that we don't want to acknowledge...but it's the one that we all need to recognize and understand.

So, thank you for that lesson my friend.

It is strange to still be standing when so many of us have passed on...cancer has taken a great deal of our lives...and the longer that we stay in its shadows, I fear it will be harder to break those ties that bind.

But, we'll see...

I'm suddenly reminded of Godfather III, where Al Pacino says..."

"Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in."

Your cancer story reminds me of that quote...I'll never forget this lesson.

Thanks, Steve

-Craig

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

hi craig,

enjoy the high from the great results.
i hope you are clear forever mate.

hugs,
pete

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

As I like to say....

"Time Will Tell..."

I hope so too and in six-more months, we'll take another look at it...

-Craig

dasspears
Posts: 233
Joined: Feb 2009

Hooray for you and big hugs from another Dallasite!

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