"The REPURPOSING of Our Lives In and Out of the Cancer World” - The Concept That Evolved Into an Ide

Sundanceh
Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
edited February 2013 in Colorectal Cancer #1

What is Repurposing?

 

Well, Merriam Webster’s definition is:  “To give a new purpose or use to.”

 

What started out as an abstract concept has now evolved into an ideology that I firmly believe holds a great deal of promise in how we look at our own lives – our lives when we have cancer – and our lives when we don’t have cancer. 

 

It is my hopes that this philosophy will one day take root in cancer patients all over the world as I believe that we have the innate capacity to examine and draw similar parables between those two worlds and then apply them to our own individual situations. 

 

Its biggest benefit lies in the assertion that this newfound ideology is universal in its nature and therefore becomes as symbolic as the string on a musical instrument that we pluck from the Common Chords of Humanity - which are the human feelings that we all unequivocally have and share in common.

 

For me, the roots of this topic actually stem back to the moment in time where I successfully wrapped up my 3rd cancer fight, while reaching a remissive state, also for the third time in what has been a very long and tough fight for life.

 

I thought it was a great story…Craig gets cancer 3x…Craig defeats cancer 3x…Craig lives happily ever after…

 

But, I guess only Aesop wrote fables like that one…

 

All of us have seen, or have been personal witnesses to the fact that is a very hard feat to defeat cancer even one time…much less going three times with an undefeated record. 

 

It’s hard…very hard…the absolute hardest thing there ever is to do…

 

And then to be able to assume your life once more, three different times….holding onto your career, saving your house, trying to salvage your relationship…

 

Not easy…

 

I was expecting all of these magical transformations to be taking place…and that it would be treated as something almost unheard of or unprecedented…

 

I guess at the heart of it, I just wanted everyone to recognize what an achievement it was…but I found that numbers are just that…numbers….and they never really register with anyone until they find themselves at the exact precipice of an event like that. 

 

Anything else is just sheer speculation…because; we can only really know “when we get there.”

 

I could sit here and talk three recurrences…and then you get your second…and it’s bad…and you understand what the second felt like…but you would still be emotionally unavailable to understand what the subsequent recurrence(s) would do to you…until it finds you.

 

Then you know…

 

So, being among a small group of folks here, who had accomplished this monumental achievement, I began searching for the MEANING in “The Meaning of Life…”

 

And to date, if I’m being truthful, I’ve been somewhat disappointed and disillusioned about what I felt my expectations should be after such a long, grueling campaign that I’ve fought  – along with the expectations that I expected from others to have for me…to be able to truly understand and recognize that this kind of stuff just does not happen all the time.    

 

And I’ll tell you why…

 

Perhaps, the biggest enlightenment for me was why I wasn’t feeling as happy as I felt I should be feeling after walking away from the biggest challenge that any of us can ever face – overcoming cancer. 

 

And not just once mind you….three times now…

 

I wrote a big chapter in the book about where I was then and what I was feeling.  That feeling was important then, but I have since drawn some conclusions from my own story and have come up with this hypothesis. 

 

I expected my life to get easier I suppose...

 

Or, maybe the real truth is that I wanted my life to be made easier for me…

 

After all that I have endured and suffered through (and that of my wife) with cancer, I suppose the plain and ugly truth is that I expected this sense of ENTITLEMENT to be bestowed upon us.

 

Somehow, I felt strongly and convinced myself that I was owed this – after all of those years of serving in the Cancer Army and fighting on the Cancer Battlegrounds of my Mind, Soul and physical Body.

 

It would only be right…

 

Sadly, it doesn’t work that way at all…the reality is it never will…no matte

«13

Comments

  • Lovekitties
    Lovekitties Member Posts: 3,364 Member
    Dear Craig

    Thank you for once again sharing your insightful thoughts, and for giving us something to think about in  our own lives.

    I have been "repurposed" many times in my life due to the circumstances that came my way.  I like to think that in each case I brought some good forward with me.  I think one of the most important things I learned, is that I can be "repurposed", no matter what comes my way.  It makes me less afraid to meet the next challenge.

    Sharing from the heart is a great gift to have, and you have it in the millions of words bubbling to get to your fingers on the keyboard.

    Life has dealt you some mighty blows, but each time you have come from the ashes and risen to the challenge of living and to have compassion for others even on the toughest days.

    One of the things I wish for you is that you must reach out to others when you are in need.  If you don't, you deny them the opportunity to feel worthy of your friendship.  Giving comfort and words of caring is a two-way street between friends.

    Keep on writing...keep on giving us things to consider and think about.  It is all important.

    Hugs and love,

    Marie who loves kitties

     

  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member

    Dear Craig

    Thank you for once again sharing your insightful thoughts, and for giving us something to think about in  our own lives.

    I have been "repurposed" many times in my life due to the circumstances that came my way.  I like to think that in each case I brought some good forward with me.  I think one of the most important things I learned, is that I can be "repurposed", no matter what comes my way.  It makes me less afraid to meet the next challenge.

    Sharing from the heart is a great gift to have, and you have it in the millions of words bubbling to get to your fingers on the keyboard.

    Life has dealt you some mighty blows, but each time you have come from the ashes and risen to the challenge of living and to have compassion for others even on the toughest days.

    One of the things I wish for you is that you must reach out to others when you are in need.  If you don't, you deny them the opportunity to feel worthy of your friendship.  Giving comfort and words of caring is a two-way street between friends.

    Keep on writing...keep on giving us things to consider and think about.  It is all important.

    Hugs and love,

    Marie who loves kitties

     

    Hey Virginian:)

    Hi Marie

    I'm still up at work, doing some editing of this post...

    Well, it's hard for me to keep pounding on somebody's door...especially if it's the same story over and over...people get turned off. 

    You know when I came here my role was to help - not be helped.  Along the way, I found that you all helped me by talking to me and validating my thoughts and feelings.

    On a cancer board, it is very hard for me to reach over to someone who is sick...especially, if I am well.  Even when I'm sick and the other one is healthy, I just can't do it.  It's one of many characters flaws that you have come to know all too well. LOL!

    But, you know that I have "reached out" on a few occasions to talk...before CSN lost our PMs, you and I had many long wonderful conversations...so you know that I can do it. 

    But, you're right, I do have a hard time asking...if you and I met in the regular world, I'd have a hard time with it.  I am just flawed from the way I grew up...and perhaps, with your help and that of others, I will get better.

    But, I feel my role is to be here to help...and I get my help through the responses on my post.  It's still 2-way street and people got so much going on with their lives in and out of the cancer world...that's really been of help me to understand that too....as I go through all of those things.

    I don't know if I can write anymore....this one might be the Swan Song after all...that's why I wanted folks to come...I've read the post front to back three times now...and you can see what I put into this post.

    I put so much in that I'm sure about 75% of it will be lost....but that was what has been inside me for six-months....and all week trying to get it back down.

    It nearly killed me...over 32 hours of work into that...if I never write again, hopefully there will enough meat on this bone to feed everyone for a lifetime.   A little part of me dies each time I write like this...so that another person might live from it. 

    I've said it all on this post...not sure I have any more to offer anyone...

    You can see why I can't get published now, don't you?

    I've just got nothing relevant to say, LOL!

    Big hugs!  Guess, I'll head home...have a good w/end! 

  • jen2012
    jen2012 Member Posts: 1,607 Member
    Sundanceh said:

    Hey Virginian:)

    Hi Marie

    I'm still up at work, doing some editing of this post...

    Well, it's hard for me to keep pounding on somebody's door...especially if it's the same story over and over...people get turned off. 

    You know when I came here my role was to help - not be helped.  Along the way, I found that you all helped me by talking to me and validating my thoughts and feelings.

    On a cancer board, it is very hard for me to reach over to someone who is sick...especially, if I am well.  Even when I'm sick and the other one is healthy, I just can't do it.  It's one of many characters flaws that you have come to know all too well. LOL!

    But, you know that I have "reached out" on a few occasions to talk...before CSN lost our PMs, you and I had many long wonderful conversations...so you know that I can do it. 

    But, you're right, I do have a hard time asking...if you and I met in the regular world, I'd have a hard time with it.  I am just flawed from the way I grew up...and perhaps, with your help and that of others, I will get better.

    But, I feel my role is to be here to help...and I get my help through the responses on my post.  It's still 2-way street and people got so much going on with their lives in and out of the cancer world...that's really been of help me to understand that too....as I go through all of those things.

    I don't know if I can write anymore....this one might be the Swan Song after all...that's why I wanted folks to come...I've read the post front to back three times now...and you can see what I put into this post.

    I put so much in that I'm sure about 75% of it will be lost....but that was what has been inside me for six-months....and all week trying to get it back down.

    It nearly killed me...over 32 hours of work into that...if I never write again, hopefully there will enough meat on this bone to feed everyone for a lifetime.   A little part of me dies each time I write like this...so that another person might live from it. 

    I've said it all on this post...not sure I have any more to offer anyone...

    You can see why I can't get published now, don't you?

    I've just got nothing relevant to say, LOL!

    Big hugs!  Guess, I'll head home...have a good w/end! 

    I'll write more later...but
    I'll write more later...but I'd love to see you submit this to some magazines. You deserve a larger audience...will google some magazines later.
  • wolfen
    wolfen Member Posts: 1,324

    Dear Craig

    Thank you for once again sharing your insightful thoughts, and for giving us something to think about in  our own lives.

    I have been "repurposed" many times in my life due to the circumstances that came my way.  I like to think that in each case I brought some good forward with me.  I think one of the most important things I learned, is that I can be "repurposed", no matter what comes my way.  It makes me less afraid to meet the next challenge.

    Sharing from the heart is a great gift to have, and you have it in the millions of words bubbling to get to your fingers on the keyboard.

    Life has dealt you some mighty blows, but each time you have come from the ashes and risen to the challenge of living and to have compassion for others even on the toughest days.

    One of the things I wish for you is that you must reach out to others when you are in need.  If you don't, you deny them the opportunity to feel worthy of your friendship.  Giving comfort and words of caring is a two-way street between friends.

    Keep on writing...keep on giving us things to consider and think about.  It is all important.

    Hugs and love,

    Marie who loves kitties

     

    Craig

    You have left me speechless(a feat in itself) and in tears of friendship and gratitude. Never once, during your own trials, did you ever fail to respond to my cry for help or leave me standing outside in the cold rain, and for that I am eternally grateful.

    In the earlier part of your post, you alluded to the fact that you felt after all you have been through, that by now you should have "earned" the right to some new found happiness, or a better life. Maybe not in those exact words, but I knew where you were coming from. I often wondered if feeling that you have "earned" something was something that I alone felt, whether it was earned by conquering a serious illness with all it's treatments, side effects, and discomfort or merely by working hard all your life and then somehow expecting a life less stressful and instantly rewarding. I have learned, as you have, through that "school of hard knocks" that the rewards you expect are usually not the ones you get. In real life, it doesn't matter how sick you were or how hard you worked, you have "earned" nothing. That is a hard reality and you have accepted it with grace. In your life, you have taken a sow's ear and turned it into a silk purse.

    It is so special that you have LMS in your life now. Children are a blessing. I've no doubt that you are a great "Great Uncle".

    Not being at a point in my life where I can successfully "repurpose" anything for the moment, I would hope to be able to do so in the future.

    There's so much more I could say to you, but want to give some of your other freinds the opportunity to do so.

    Please just know that your thoughts, wisdom, caring, feelings, love, advice, opinions, and anything else you care to share will always be appreciated by me. So many of us look back on our lives and feel we have served no valuable purpose. You, my friend, fulfill yours in so many, many ways.

    Luv,

    "Mama" Wolfen

  • LivinginNH
    LivinginNH Member Posts: 1,456
    Dear Craig,My goodness, that

    Dear Craig,

    My goodness, that powerful post of yours has left me emotionally drained, and as Wofen stated, rather speechless.  I don't even know where to begin, but I'll start by telling you that you have saved me too, more than once, during my most despondent moments.  You have always been there for me, helping and guiding me through the trecherous cancer journey with Rick, and I'm so thankful to have had your friendship during that time.

    I believe the following poem states what I have a difficult time expressing (if I only had your gift of writing....).

    Acquaintances are many but friends are very rare
    For with a true and trusting friend your secrets you can share
    Your friend will comfort you and advise you and you will not betray
    Your friend will never disown you and as your friend will stay
    When others do not wish to know you your friend as your friend remain
    And feel lucky in your lifetime if one loyal friend you gain
    Your friend will always stand by you no matter come what may
    And when you ask your friend for help your friend will not turn you away
    No your friend will stand by you when you are feeling down
    When others shun you as if you were an outcast of the town
    Acquaintances like Nature’s Seasons they come to your life and go
    But your friend a friend for lifetime and the bond of friendship grow
    And the one who betrays your trust could never be your friend
    Your friend to you is ever true and one on whom you can depend.

    by Jaspreet Kaur

    Luv and hugs,  ((()))

    Cynthia

  • PhillieG
    PhillieG Member Posts: 4,866
    Good Post

    “I” have to be the one that puts the meaning back in my life…and here’s how I’m doing it…

     

    As Joseph Campbell* said "Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning."

    A very thought provoking post Craig. We all find our purpose I believe or at least we're given a chance to reflect on things. Whether we do that is up to us.

    *Joseph Campbell ~ the Other JC

  • Phil64
    Phil64 Member Posts: 838
    Wow - Thank you Craig

    I started reading aloud to my wife. And when my tears stopped me from reading she took the helm. And when she was moved to tears I was able to continue. So we made it through the first reading and your insights have touched both of our hearts. And I know I want to read it again! I personally testify that I have felt this repurposing churning away inside of me and your heartfelt gift to us had helped me see inside my own heart more clearly. And given me words to talk about it more clearly. To make sense of it for me in a way that I can make sense to others. And this passage has helped me see the blessing I have in my wife, and family, and friends. The love that surrounds me is a true blessing / gift that I must nurtur and grow! To be continued... Thank you again, from both Connie and me!!! And may you be inspired with countless words and inspiration! So you can continue to paint your masterpieces! God Bless you my Brother! Phil

  • Phil64
    Phil64 Member Posts: 838
    Phil64 said:

    Wow - Thank you Craig

    I started reading aloud to my wife. And when my tears stopped me from reading she took the helm. And when she was moved to tears I was able to continue. So we made it through the first reading and your insights have touched both of our hearts. And I know I want to read it again! I personally testify that I have felt this repurposing churning away inside of me and your heartfelt gift to us had helped me see inside my own heart more clearly. And given me words to talk about it more clearly. To make sense of it for me in a way that I can make sense to others. And this passage has helped me see the blessing I have in my wife, and family, and friends. The love that surrounds me is a true blessing / gift that I must nurtur and grow! To be continued... Thank you again, from both Connie and me!!! And may you be inspired with countless words and inspiration! So you can continue to paint your masterpieces! God Bless you my Brother! Phil

    Back
    Craig, after reading your post I opened an email from Guidepost.org. This was there of lent post.

    Day 3:
    Renew Your Spirit
    Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:1

    Life gets off course when we get off course. Believe that the God who created you can recreate in you a clean heart and a right spirit. Let no day pass that you do not pray many times, “Renew a right spirit within me!"

    And I wanted to share a draft blog I'm thinking about posting in smaller bites, over several weeks...

    I'll send via a pm.

    Good night. I'm guessing your setting out in your barn relight about now. :-)
  • Kathleen808
    Kathleen808 Member Posts: 2,342
    Craig

    Craig,

    You're a gem, a brilliant wonderful gem.  Thank you for sharing your words, so filled with deep thought and insight.  I love how you describe your time with LMS!  Oh how very precious to see the world throught the wonderful eyes of a child.  I also love your description of your barn.  When **** and I moved into our house we built a lava rock wall around our carport and made it part of the backyard.  We now call it our lanai and have two tables, a tiki bar, our washer and dryer a couch, coffee table and two chairs, lots of flowers..... you get the picture.. it's all what you do with it.

    Thank you for sharing.  I too have learned so much from all of you.

     

    Take care my friend.

     

    Aloha,

    Kathleen

  • Varmint5
    Varmint5 Member Posts: 384
    Very good...

    You have a way with words. I used to have a "way with words." I would write and write and write, from the depths of me, as you do. I just don't have the energy or time now. And I realize saying "You have a way with words" sounds kind of blah, but I feel kind of blah, and it's the best I can do right now.

    What I think of most when reading this - re-reading parts of it - is that it took a lot of energy for you to write it and I am sure you were drained afterward. You really pour your heart out. And it just seems like you have so much depth and this is your outlet for it, your writing. And you spoke of the little niece and I could feel the emotion... and what kept coming to my mind was that there are so many kids out there who could use someone like you in their lives. You and your wife could make such a difference in the life of a child. Your energy - and it is there - needs an outlet besides this colon cancer support forum... "I'm just a soul whose intentions are good, oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood..." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don't_Let_Me_Be_Misunderstood

    Don't get me wrong - I love that you are here on this forum sharing your story and although I know it has been a hard one for you to live, it gives such hope to me for my daughter and so many others. You belong here and are vital here. I need you here. I know others agree. But you need some pure joy and purpose in your life - I am glad you and your wife are working on "repurposing" your relationship. It is worth the effort, as I think you are realizing.

    But I keep going back to that happy little girl you wrote about... is there some way you could volunteer or become involved with a child who doesn't have a parent or grand parent or role model? They are out there and they need you. Wow, you just have so much to give.

    Best wishes with repurposing! I need to do some of that myself. Thanks for the powerful post.

    Sandy

     

     

  • So Worried
    So Worried Member Posts: 111
    Wow...just Wow....

    I am fairly new so I am not lucky enough to be one of your longtime friends here. You sure are a wonderful, caring, intelligent, wise, strong..(I could go on and on) person. I do believe this is one of my favorite "articles/ posts/ blogs/ short stories" I have ever read in my life. I am going to re-read it over and over again. It was so good and I did not want it to ever end. 

    I am not a patient but a caregiver. This gives me a lot to think about from the patient's veiewpoint on things. It was really great. I just can't say that enough. I think we are all here for a purpose. I'm your age and I still do not know my purpose. I walk around in a fog since June of last summer. My thoughts swirl around and around in my head like I'm going crazy. You have given me the inspiration and drive to find my purpose. Thank you. 

    I was very shocked and saddened to hear of your sister. I send my deepest condolences. I am very sorry she is no longer with you and I know she would be very proud of you. 

    I wish you many, many years of more wonderful times and precious memories with LMS. I also wish you true happiness in your marriage. 

    Thank you for the wonderful post.

  • Dxed
    Dxed Member Posts: 79
    Craig
     
    You’ve always been a

    Craig

     

    You’ve always been a soothing guiding voice and a great help before having painted this one. As for this one, I am at a loss for the right words, being no painter with words. Tough read though it is, it nevertheless is a soul-searching piece, spirit lifting and clear roadmap for a better life (with/out) this kind of disease . I cannot find a better response across the Arabian sands but to send you the words of Wordsworth’s (words worth?) Solitary Reaper

    No Nightingale did ever chaunt

    More welcome notes to weary bands

    Of travellers in some shady haunt

    Among Arabian sands

     

    Bless your soul

     

    Sander

  • Lorikat
    Lorikat Member Posts: 681 Member
    Children..

    Craig..  I gave birth to two children and haveclaimed a and been claimed by many more.  Why?  I gave them a soft place to land and an ear to listen.  ALL of my "children" are important and take up space in my heart.  Just as Your niece will do for you..  Be her soft place to land....her person to listen as she grows up...and she can be your "reason" .....PS some of my "children" are heading toward 40 years old and STILL need that unconditional soft place on occasion...

    Awesome writing ....  You have a true talent, not only for writing but for sharing your heart....  Thank you

  • Chelsea71
    Chelsea71 Member Posts: 1,169
    Craig, I've had a very
    Craig,

    I've had a very stressful and upsetting 24 hrs. I logged on this aft. for the first time today and there was a gift waiting for me. A gift from you. You may as well have wrapped it and placed a big bow on top. It's almost like you thought, "Hmm...when will Chels need this the most".

    I read it at the coffee shop at the Ottawa General Hospital. Steve's situation has evolved over the past few days and hours. It's all become quite complicated. I find myself experiencing a wide range of emotions. I'm extremely frightened, worried and sad, but I'm having other thoughts too that make me feel guilty. Defense mechanisms kicking in to help me cope with all that's happening. I'm down here because I need a break from him. He's understandably irritable, he's in pain and it's difficult for me to be with him
    right now.

    I don't really know what to say. I read your post. I was so engrossed that Ifound myself to be oblivious to the noise and hustle and bustle that
    surrounds me. I even forgot to drink my coffee and now it's cold, dammit.
    You're very talented. You have a gift. After I had finished reading it, I felt
    like I had changed in some way.

    Like those above me, I especially appreciated and related to the section
    about LMS. Steve and I (no kids of our own) have a LMS, as well. Our niece, Emma and she is my bright spot. She is five and she lights up the room with
    her presence. When I feel down in the dumps, I will think of her and realize that no matter what happens, everything will be okay.

    Before reading your post, I wanted to leave the hospital, hop in my car and drive far away. I wanted to drive and drive as far away from this life as I could get. Because of your post I now have the motivation, strength and
    desire to go back up to the fifth floor and be the best wife and caregiver that
    I can be. That is what Steve deserves.

    Your post has inspired me to repurpose my own life. I have experienced so much throughout this painful journey and I plan to look for opportunity to help others benefit from what I've learned.


    Thank you,

    Chels
  • ron50
    ron50 Member Posts: 1,723
    G'day Craig
    I am a self confessed accidental tourist of cancer. For fifteen years I have toured the land of cancer. Liking what I find sometimes,sometimes not. I have met so many people in my travels,be they actual or in cyberspace. My emotions have ranged from "Ï love this person"to "give me a break,go and annoy someone else". But I listened to them all. Some of the experiences have left me feeling sad and lost,others uplifted. Some I acknowledge as kindred soles. Some have described me as inspirational,I can't see it,in fact I see more inspiration in them. What is my purpose? I guess to accidentally go where no man has gone before. What does that mean ,dunno but I always liked the beginning of Star trek.
    Have I forgotten cancer . No . It reminds me every day that it was part of my life but I really have learned to live with its effects.
    Today on my tourist wanderings I have once more visited the mind of Craig. It is a beautiful mind,an enquiring mind that will always strive to answer all of the questions. My mind is not beautiful . It is a logical accepting mind. It does not ask the questions that Craigs does but it loves to read the journey of his and all of your minds . Thank you all for letting me visit....Ron.
  • Phil64
    Phil64 Member Posts: 838
    Chelsea71 said:

    Craig, I've had a very
    Craig,

    I've had a very stressful and upsetting 24 hrs. I logged on this aft. for the first time today and there was a gift waiting for me. A gift from you. You may as well have wrapped it and placed a big bow on top. It's almost like you thought, "Hmm...when will Chels need this the most".

    I read it at the coffee shop at the Ottawa General Hospital. Steve's situation has evolved over the past few days and hours. It's all become quite complicated. I find myself experiencing a wide range of emotions. I'm extremely frightened, worried and sad, but I'm having other thoughts too that make me feel guilty. Defense mechanisms kicking in to help me cope with all that's happening. I'm down here because I need a break from him. He's understandably irritable, he's in pain and it's difficult for me to be with him
    right now.

    I don't really know what to say. I read your post. I was so engrossed that Ifound myself to be oblivious to the noise and hustle and bustle that
    surrounds me. I even forgot to drink my coffee and now it's cold, dammit.
    You're very talented. You have a gift. After I had finished reading it, I felt
    like I had changed in some way.

    Like those above me, I especially appreciated and related to the section
    about LMS. Steve and I (no kids of our own) have a LMS, as well. Our niece, Emma and she is my bright spot. She is five and she lights up the room with
    her presence. When I feel down in the dumps, I will think of her and realize that no matter what happens, everything will be okay.

    Before reading your post, I wanted to leave the hospital, hop in my car and drive far away. I wanted to drive and drive as far away from this life as I could get. Because of your post I now have the motivation, strength and
    desire to go back up to the fifth floor and be the best wife and caregiver that
    I can be. That is what Steve deserves.

    Your post has inspired me to repurpose my own life. I have experienced so much throughout this painful journey and I plan to look for opportunity to help others benefit from what I've learned.


    Thank you,

    Chels

    Thank You Chels
    Chels, you are a strong and beautiful person. And as a Stage 4 crc patient I can tell you that I've had many a grumpy day and have not been the best husband to my caring wife. She had always been patient with me, giving me hugs and kisses (even with the nasty Erbitux rash) and she has gone to every doctor visit and most long chemo treatments too.

    And I recognize and am in awe of her support for me. And, even if the pain is distracting Steve, I believe he truly sees and feels your support and Loce for him and it is a HUGE part of his battle power source.

    And please remember to take your breaks and relax. Even Jesus took escape from the crowds by escaping into the mountains to pray and recoup.

    Love and Light to you and Steve.

    My prayers are for you both!

    Sincerely,

    Phil
  • Chelsea71
    Chelsea71 Member Posts: 1,169
    Phil64 said:

    Thank You Chels
    Chels, you are a strong and beautiful person. And as a Stage 4 crc patient I can tell you that I've had many a grumpy day and have not been the best husband to my caring wife. She had always been patient with me, giving me hugs and kisses (even with the nasty Erbitux rash) and she has gone to every doctor visit and most long chemo treatments too.

    And I recognize and am in awe of her support for me. And, even if the pain is distracting Steve, I believe he truly sees and feels your support and Loce for him and it is a HUGE part of his battle power source.

    And please remember to take your breaks and relax. Even Jesus took escape from the crowds by escaping into the mountains to pray and recoup.

    Love and Light to you and Steve.

    My prayers are for you both!

    Sincerely,

    Phil

    Thanks for the kind words,
    Thanks for the kind words, Phil. I read it to Steve. He feels guilty about his mood swings. He snaps at me one minute and then is apologetic and remorseful and then snippy again. I'm sure the steroids are playing a role. It did him good to know that he is not the only one who goes through grumpy times. Generally speaking, as caregivers we get it. We are pretty thick skinned. We see what you go through and we imagine how we ourselves would tolerate the same situation. In my case, it wouldn't be pretty. I do get frustrated with Steve, at times. But mostly I am in awe of his strength, tolerance and willingness to fight. I'm sure your wife feels the same way.

    Thanks
  • Phil64
    Phil64 Member Posts: 838
    Chelsea71 said:

    Thanks for the kind words,
    Thanks for the kind words, Phil. I read it to Steve. He feels guilty about his mood swings. He snaps at me one minute and then is apologetic and remorseful and then snippy again. I'm sure the steroids are playing a role. It did him good to know that he is not the only one who goes through grumpy times. Generally speaking, as caregivers we get it. We are pretty thick skinned. We see what you go through and we imagine how we ourselves would tolerate the same situation. In my case, it wouldn't be pretty. I do get frustrated with Steve, at times. But mostly I am in awe of his strength, tolerance and willingness to fight. I'm sure your wife feels the same way.

    Thanks

    Hope

    Hope today is going well for you and Steve.

  • Varmint5
    Varmint5 Member Posts: 384
    Varmint5 said:

    Very good...

    You have a way with words. I used to have a "way with words." I would write and write and write, from the depths of me, as you do. I just don't have the energy or time now. And I realize saying "You have a way with words" sounds kind of blah, but I feel kind of blah, and it's the best I can do right now.

    What I think of most when reading this - re-reading parts of it - is that it took a lot of energy for you to write it and I am sure you were drained afterward. You really pour your heart out. And it just seems like you have so much depth and this is your outlet for it, your writing. And you spoke of the little niece and I could feel the emotion... and what kept coming to my mind was that there are so many kids out there who could use someone like you in their lives. You and your wife could make such a difference in the life of a child. Your energy - and it is there - needs an outlet besides this colon cancer support forum... "I'm just a soul whose intentions are good, oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood..." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don't_Let_Me_Be_Misunderstood

    Don't get me wrong - I love that you are here on this forum sharing your story and although I know it has been a hard one for you to live, it gives such hope to me for my daughter and so many others. You belong here and are vital here. I need you here. I know others agree. But you need some pure joy and purpose in your life - I am glad you and your wife are working on "repurposing" your relationship. It is worth the effort, as I think you are realizing.

    But I keep going back to that happy little girl you wrote about... is there some way you could volunteer or become involved with a child who doesn't have a parent or grand parent or role model? They are out there and they need you. Wow, you just have so much to give.

    Best wishes with repurposing! I need to do some of that myself. Thanks for the powerful post.

    Sandy

     

     

    On second thought...

    Craig,

    I re-read my reply and I don't like how it sounds. I think it sounds different from what I was trying to say. I think you need a broader audience for your writing besides just here, like a blog. You are very good and have a lot to say. I hope it keeps coming for us, here, but it is blog or book-worthy. Maybe you already know that. For me, your story is so full of hope and promise. I know it's been a hard one to live. But you are still here after 8 years and that is simply amazing, considering all you've had to conquer during that time. You are fearless. You help me believe that anything is possible.

    And I still think you have so much to offer a kid or a child as a mentor or big brother... SO much. Your story just lit up when you spoke of your niece.

    Thanks again for sharing your heartfelt and moving story of repurposing.

    Sandy

  • annalexandria
    annalexandria Member Posts: 2,571
    I think you have another book in you, Craig...

    not exactly the same as the book outlining your experiences with cancer that you've already worked on, but utilizing pieces of it.  i can see this book being called "Repurpose Your Life".  In it, you use what you have learned from the many challenging experiences in your life to teach people how to move through any challenge, and come out the other side in better shape.  You could do a little research and get some ideas for personal exercises (I mean psychological, not physical, although that could be part if it), techniques, and practices that folks can use to function better during and after hardship.  You could use anecdotes from your own life to give it a personal touch.  This would not be a book just about cancer, although that would be a part of it.  It would have a much bigger audience, because almost everyone has a time in life when the burdens become overwhleming, and almost everyone needs some help getting through those times.  I could see a website component as well, where people could interect directly with you....kind of an online Dear Abby with a Texas accent!  I really think you do deserve a larger audience, and I think that "repurposing" your book might be the way to do it.  Think about it anyway...you have a gift, and there must be a way to share it.  Hugs~AA