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Not the Day or the Way I Wanted to Mark 9-Years:(

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

First, let me apologize in advance for being a downer after barely being able to enjoy the highest of highs for only a brief moment.

That's the story of my life...

Whenever I can 'get happy', the smile always gets knocked off my face Frown

I had a completely different post (just sitting ready to go for today) to mark the 9-year day...

So, we'll have to go with this postfor now until I can find out more...

I was in the onc's office for just a blood-lab visit on Friday...port was plugged and I had to argue with the nurse for TPA, so we didn't get blood and they sent me up to the doctor.  I kept telling her for what?  To say hello?  No blood?  Nothing to talk about with him...

When I got up there, this other nurse was up there and said your doc wants blood - and she drew it right there on the spot, she was good too:)

Anyway, the consult went good and some of the bloodwork had come back, but not much of it.....the CEA was still pending, but we talked about it.....

Last time it sat about 2.8 I believe...but, it has been trending slightly upwards in very small increments.  The doc brought this up and there was a look on his face that said CONCERN...somehow, I didn't interpret this as anything, but his expression did let me know that he was worried and conerned about what he was seeing as we moved through the cycles. 

We left with..."I'll call you if there is anything substantial with the CEA...."

It's Monday now...I just got a call a few minutes ago from my doc...and this is a guy that doesn't call to say Howdy.  He said simply..."Call me."

Oh, $hit!

I just got that sinking feeling we get in our guts; that sort of nauseous feeling that comes over you.  I thought for a minute if I should mention this to anybody at all - it may be nothing after all.  But, the doc doesn't believe it - and neither do I now.

I felt before I said anything, I should tell my wife about the possibilities...she should be the first to know....she was at a doctor's office herself and so I told her what I knew...I couldn't get a read of what she was thinking....she was quiet and I was giving her the numbers etc.  And then I let her go for her consult....I hated to say anything to her at all, but felt it was right to make her aware of possible future events.

So, now the onc wants to move the CT scan immediately up (can't argue with this) and I'm waiting on the nurse to help me get this scheduled so we can see what's going on.

CEA was 2.8 last visit.....three months later it now sits today at 9.2.

I realize that it can be many factors and I am old school with this stuff.....but it's a disturbing trend and now it's not going up in tenths of a tenth percent....

The post that I wanted to release was the marking of 9-years with a cancer diagnosis....and 2 years in a remissive state....and my theory on why I was finally staying clean....one I've been waiting to talk about for so long....oh well, perhaps another day now.

I guess I'm really not surprised if we find anything - what will puzzle me more is why it took so long for it to get her? 

If it is cancer again - that will make #4....

Feels like a sucker punch to my ribs...its amazing how quickly your mind and thoughts turn once again when confronted with the possibilities...

I'm sorry to bring you down after getting you so high.....maybe I should have waited, but I just had the air let out of my tires....and I just can't get to enjoy the things I've tried to work so hard for. 

Well, at least we're published....I'm going to go and finish up sending out the paperwork and get my mind off it - I can't change it....I'm just disappointed if it is the case, because it tells me what I've already known - and then let myself believe wouldn't happen anymore.

There will be time to talk about things....

Happy 9th!!!!   Now, do I know how to celebrate or not?



Joy1216's picture
Posts: 293
Joined: Mar 2006

I was expecting an upbeat celebratory post.  Boy was I disappointed to read your post.   I'm so sorry that you got that kicked in the stomach feeling.  Just hang in and see what the MRI and CT show.  I'll be praying for you.


Cathleen Mary
Posts: 827
Joined: May 2011

Nine years is worth celebrating as is getting published!  Congrats on both counts. Don't let thoughts of another cancer take this from you.

I am sorry you even have the anxiety of thinking about another bout let alone if it turns out to be so. Know you have my prayers and the support of a lot of people who care for you.

Cathleen Mary

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Where have you been keeping yourself:)

All of you are right, of course.  I was just 'blinded' all of a sudden and had my joy snatched....I don't get good news too often to share up here.....so I had been really looking forward to giving the community some positive news with the publishing thing.

Thank you for your kind words....I'm holding on to all of the words in this post:)

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Nice to see you again....

We had the upbeat post prior to this one.....I finally got one of my cancer stories published in a major cancer magazine - COPING.

Now, that was upbeat.....

The 9-year post was a good one too...good stuff that would have helped new folks....I can't even open it up anymore....just don't want to look at it now....it's like those thoughts just died.

Which was why this post one broke my heart....that's why I put a :(

Anyway, I've pulled a rabbit out of my (gotcha) before.....so we'll see if Sundini has any tricks left at all.


KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Sending big hugs to my gentleman cowboy....


Knuffels, Kathi


(My beau was put on the heart transplant list on Friday....this was NOT a good day, it seems, for any of us!!!)

barbebarb's picture
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Dear Craig I am so sorry to read your posts with this recent cea report. Please know your 9 year accomplishment whipping this insidious disease has been an inspiration for all of us. Your writing accomplishment is awesome and so well deserved. This disease does not let allow us to let our guard down as Chelsea, said I believe. Its is so hard to live on call. Will be waiting to know what is happening and hoping for the best. For every downfall we envision there can be a victory. The lion roars and I am rooting for you. Fondly. Barb

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

Sundance, Sundance... Are we watching the same flippin CEA movie.  What the heck!   Too many CEAs going up.   Hang 

tough!  Kiss arse!  Indeed, ROL!   


Sending a big hug! 

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Same Bat Time - Same Bat Channel?


Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Finally found you a new nickname:)

Living On-Call is an apt description of how we go about it alright.....

I think that is the hardest part...to not really be able to put down any real plans in cement.....you wonder Should I or Shouldn't I?

And this is with everything? 

You want to move ahead....but you know where the stumbling blocks are...and it paralyzes us all to a certain extent.

I was just getting to a point where I could see something over the hill....had dared to try and make plans for later this year and part of next year.

Silly Rabbit! 

Trix are for kids:)

I just wanted to say that I'm so proud of you and all that you're doing....you're really shining a light for me with what you're going through. 

Fondly as well,

-The Lion

Sundanceh's picture
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Joined: Jun 2009

I'm sorry about Beau...let's hope that something good comes through there....


wawaju04976's picture
Posts: 316
Joined: Dec 2012

It sucks, you've kicked its ars b4, you will kick its ars again. Get those boxing gloves out and be ready to put'em on if need be!


Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Message received - and understood!


Thank you and continued best to you and your husband as well...I've been following....

lilacbrroller's picture
Posts: 412
Joined: Jun 2012

HI, Craig. I'm sorry to hear that. But nine years is pretty awesome to hang around. Hopefully you'll get another nine, to be sure. 

Keep pluggin,



Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

9 years is pretty big in our world here....

We'll see how much I can carve out this time if need be.

Thanks for posting.

Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

Craig you have helped me through some dark times last year and I am there for you although I hope you dont need my support. Nothing is carved in stone at this point. I know what your feeling after having cancer 3x and 3 false alarms. I often think about facing the beast again and mountain I would have to  climb.

Recurrence is like climbing Mt. Everest. You make it all the way to the final campsite and bam a storm rolls in and forces you down the mountain rather than making the final push to the summit. Then you have to start all over again with a new plan of attack.

Try and take everyones advice and dont let this uncertainty overshadow your 9 years and being published. Both GREAT accomplishments.

You will be around for at least another 9 years. There are too many people counting on you here including me. Although you might have to put on your climbing gear again to do it.

johnnybegood's picture
Posts: 1122
Joined: Oct 2008

i saw your post yesterday and have been pondering on what to say so here goes.first lets not put the cart before the horse.i know i have horses and it doesnt work very well.just try to stay positive and take one day at a time.dont be afraid to celebrate,as you know our celebrations are few and far between.now here comes my conflic.t you see ever since i found out i was inoperable(too many spots in lungs) and will be on chemo for life there has been this little voice in me saying WHY cant i be one of those people(like you and phil and others)that are stage 4 and be NED.even if it was just for a little while.but now i see the fear that you all go thru just waiting and waiting for cancer to show up somewhere.i dont know how you all can handle those up and down emotions.the only thing i look for is i know that someday  my body will say when enough chemo is enough and then i will stop.so my point being is are we better off being inoperable and knowing this cancer will never go away or are we better off having surgery after surgery to get rid of the cancer just to live in fear of when  and where is it going to come back.love you like a brother and i am so greatful to have you as a friend.do what you have to do ,your old school,first we get angry then we turn our anger into fight mode.whatever happens it happens for a reason.take care and Godbless....johnnybegood

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Love you too, "Sis"

I'm glad to be riding along with you this time through...

You've said some pretty amazing things in this post.  I'm finding alot of insight and I can literally hear your questions as you're contemplating all of life's many intricate issues.  And they are numerous....

I really feel your angst right here...

"WHY cant i be one of those people(like you and phil and others)that are stage 4 and be NED.even if it was just for a little while.but now i see the fear that you all go thru just waiting and waiting for cancer to show up somewhere.i dont know how you all can handle those up and down emotions."

See, that's the thing, J....and it's as perplexing a question and thought today - as it was yesterday - and will be tomorrow...

Everybody things "Get NED..."

And everything will be okay...it will all work out...

To some physical degree (and for that period of remission) things are okay....with cancer on hiatus, it gives the body and the mind some much needed time to heal.  We weren't geared to be in fight mode 24/7. 

That's why I hurt so much for you!  I know you need some rest so you can recharge and refocus your energies. 

On the other hand, you get clear...and then you're right....you wait....and you wait....

And I was just getting to the point where I was trying to break the gravity of one world and settle into orbit in the next one...

And see, that's where Cancer will always win...it knows how to 'hold' us in place....gives us just enough rope to think we are free to manuever....and then the free-fall back to earth if the news hits....or even a hint of news...

Fear is a hard thing to overcome....my fears are different than they would be if I were absolutely at my last stages...if that happens, I"m going to tell you now.....lock up your back doors and run for your lives:)

We try to live in the moment....we try and live life to the fullest...and if enough time goes by, you don't fear cancer every second, but then as your scans approach, it seems like our tests act as some kind of a judge, that is ready to sentence us back to more hard time.

I've been hung out between the Land of the Living - and the Land of the Living  Dead....

We were making plans again....my niece and nephew are getting married next August....as close as I'll get to seeing 'my son & daughter' married, like so many of you get to do.  Now, I'm concerned that I'll be too sick or even worse by that date.

We talked about finally getting a vacation...LMS's sister won a Make A Wish and selected DisneyWorld....the date is still being determined......last year at the funeral, I talked to 'the kids' about going there with their family one day and how great that would be....it still remains The Happiest Place on Earth!   

Then this opportunity presents itself and it might be possible for us to meet them there for a couple of days or something...a chance to be with my little girl LMS with Mickey and Cinderella....

So, cancer can so much derail us from our lives - because we can't really plan too far down the line....and timing and scheduling is everything in this world. 

You're right, J, fear plays an even bigger role the longer you survive.  I know that sounds contradictory in nature, and I've tried to it explain it to folks the best way that I know how.

But, there is a PRICE for living too...

I had hoped that the fear would dissipate the further I got.....two years was right about the point, where you think to yourself, hey, I think I'm gonna' make it....or at least, I've got a chance.......

And that's where the biggest disappointment came from.....I climbed the hill as Jeff said, but couldn't push to the summit. 

I can only imagine what those going 3-4-5 years all clear must feel......I'm sure they still carry fear to a certain degree, but they have gone far enough out to the point, where they fear it, but probably feel that they are in the clear.

Anywhere from 0-2 is a bad time......hung out in both worlds as I said above...

I want you to get clear too, if only for awhile...because, I want you to taste it and savor that feeling....it's fleeting, but it's what we fight for.   

But, as for which camp is best? 

To get clear, is to open yourself to another world of challenges, which can be equally challenging on their own...it's a time that can't really be measured against cancer....because, there is nothing more dire than a life and death scenario. 

But, what if you live through it? 

That's a post I want to talk about in its entirety - and perhaps now coming sooner than I originally planned.

I've often wondered too if I should have passed quickly...and not had to wade through all of this.....

But, through my explorations into spirituality, I'm finding that He chooses people and then tests them and uses their examples to teach, nurture and encourage others....

And that's my conflict, J.....

I "surrendered" my life recently, J....and it's been a whirlwind having done so....God is hard...He is tough

Dr. Stanley has taught me alot this year and even in my infancy, I'm learning a great deal about a good many things.  So, my questions to the Father right now are...

Why would you allow one of my stories to be published and then a couple of days later, test my will and resolve with the threat of cancer returning? 

What is Your purpose with me?

How does it help people when I'm ill - haven't I already done that enough?

What possible example could I bring?

And then I got this funny thought, J....God uses people for His purpose and as examples to others...what if He selected me to allow the cancer back - so that I could be an example of how to die with cancer?

That was some pretty big thoughts to wrestle with as I turned in last night...

Perhaps, you summed it up best when you said..."whatever happens it happens for a reason" ~JGB

Something is afoot and we'll just have to play it out....if things are what they look like, I'm going to rely on Trust & Faith - two missiles in my arsenal that I've never launched. 

I want to personally thank you and give you a big hug for a very thoughtful and insightful observation in your reply....made my day:)


"Mama's" Other One:)

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

"Recurrence is like climbing Mt. Everest. You make it all the way to the final campsite and bam a storm rolls in and forces you down the mountain rather than making the final push to the summit. Then you have to start all over again with a new plan of attack."

Marie had mentioned me wanting to climb a mountain too tall - but I think my message was misinterpreted somewhat.  Having read your reply, it's more along the lines of what you are saying. 

What I meant is that I fight hard to get myself back to a position where I can start all over again.....I don't know if you ever watched the movie Hamburger Hill?  It's the battle of the Ashau Valley.  The last bastion of resistance was this muddy, slippery slope that was very steep.

The troops would attack wave upon wave - getting a little bit further each time - but only to literally slide back down the mudhill. 

And that's sort of where I was going through that.  I'll never be a Mt. E kind of guy or even reach the heights of the Ragtop that Marie alluded to. 

But, that's what I'm getting at.....never being able to move past...never being able to move forward....as you say, to make the final assault to where I can finally get a chance at doing something with this life....

I just wanted to clarify that...

My idea of hill climbing right now would just to be clear of cancer......to repair our house, which literally has boards falling off it now....to take a vacation of some kind...and to be able to continue sorting through our live and getting it back on some kind of normal track. 

And of course, to try and help others with a cancer or regular life issue...

Or, maybe the hill climb would be just to stop being tested - at least for awhile......to have a window of time that would be meaningful where I could just be....sort of like finding the eye in a hurricane...

And yes, Jeff, you and I know what #3 felt like...and how truly hard it was for both of us to be here...and for all normal accounts, to be doing pretty good despite that. 

So, what would #4 be....

Neither of us want to know....but it looks like I've got the pole position right now...

Cancer stuck a pin in my balloon on the timing of two nice events I had so much wanted to share with everybody.  And I feel that this was the source of my disappointment yesterday. It really stemmed from that.

Thanks for your kind words....

I'm glad you are here as well. 

I've got a line I want to use....but will save it for the result post:)

Take care buddy and thanks as always for your support!

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

I don't want you to think that I meant you should not aspire to the ultimate challenge of getting to top of that highest mountain.  I just want you to remember that is not the only summit to reach.

If we only concentrate on that one we miss the fact that we have had other successes.

You have had many. 

You never slide all the way to the bottom because of the knowledge and experience you have gained in the climb.

Hugs and love,

Marie who loves kitties

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

...to have such loving and caring friends as you all are to me. 

This post is a real conversation, isn't it?  If we were sitting across from one another in person, I'd be bending your ears back about now, LOL!

I think that there are things that I see - and things that I cannot see.....and at times when I have my blinders on, I rely on the (in)sight of my precious friends to help steer me back in the right direction.  And perhaps, this is the message that is being reinforced within me yesterday and today.

I haven't talked this much in awhile....truth be told, I miss the intimacy among everyone.  This post has got some meat on the bone, I can tell you that.

I was touched yesterday by what you said...and it holds true reading your words...."Ours is a bond - that cannot be broken..."

And if that be the case - then all will be well in our universe....

The only way I get to the top of a mountain will be in a HOVEROUND, LOL! 

My back and necrotic hips won't let me keep up....

As always, thank you for being such a good friend and sounding board for Life's Echoes - anyone who puts up with me has cetainly earned their stripes:)

Love you - Craig

Sonia32's picture
Posts: 1078
Joined: Mar 2009

You should celebrate, the fact that this |%&*( disease has not got you yet.

Whatever happens you are a texan, and you can not keep a good southern man down.

Love ya

Your sis in the uk

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Thank you and tell the follks howdy for me and am glad everyone is doing well there...

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I just wanted to thank the entire community for their heartfelt responses in this post.  I wasn't expecting such an outpour of emotion and I sure didn't mean to rattle your cage - but, sometimes unexpected situations can make us dizzy - especially, if we can't see it coming.....and I expected things to pretty much be the status quo and see you in three months...

It's wonderful to feel the love of the community - a community I have stood up for...

So, you know, yesterday was like a Mental Ping-Pong match with thoughts flying over the net at a rapid pace etc. etc.

I had my little parade rained on and in rather short order, my thoughts had been shifted from the present to some kind of 'future' future...

I got home and did the treadmill and used that time to work out my thoughts - to more or less just let the random thoughts in and bang around inside my skull until we could find a place to store them.

I was planning on going to bed early and sleeping this thing off....

I think subconsciously that I really wanted to avoid an unpleasant meeting with my wife and just duck out from the responsibility.  But, I thought, maybe this is where I've made a mistake with her before when I should have been better to her.

I thought about what LindaK told me about sitting down and having a talk with her when she got in.....at first, I dismissed the idea completely...I think mostly, because those have always been a source of tension - as I was looking for some form of nurturing and her idea was to treat me rough and hard and basically suck it up.....

We'd end up in an argument and I'd end up having to leave the area...

But, Linda's words hung with me....(see Linda, you're already making a difference:)

So, I called her and told her I would wait up for her....told her I would not be up 'long'.....and she said she wanted to talk with me.

Of course, their were hugs and tears...and I said, now remember all the things that were said this weekend?  Don't you feel badly about that now? Of course, we both did. 

So, we actually had a civil, adult conversation about cancer and about what might happen IF....

I told her not to get too emotional and too realize that we built our lives together and that I would have left and provided for here the best way that I could - and not too be swayed or rushed into any major decisions........

I tried to lay out the business end of it and soothe her from that angle...a little while later, I heard her sobbing on the couch, uncontrollably.  I imagine its the 'realization' that she might have to face that came rushing back to her at 100 mph and hit her square in the face.

And so, I just tried to keep it normal....and show strength to help calm her apprehensions...

Deep down, I think she really does look to me...

So, that was at least good....she actually let me express my thoughts and feelings....she didn't discuss hers too much, but I know what she is thinking and what she is fearing.  And I know all of you do to.

Doesn't even have to be real, does it?

Just the perception can make it real...

As with any sucker punch, I was caught off-guard and stunned...but I told her that we needed to approach this week as we would any other....nothing is going to change.....and nothing can be changed...so we execute our plans as we planned...and deal with Monday Monday....and Wednesday Wednesday.

Then, we go from there.....

Thanks so much, Everyone!

Posts: 506
Joined: Apr 2013

Things usually do look different each and every morning, especially after a long hard day like you had yesterday :-(.  I am so glad you took my advice.  My husband and I had those heart to heart talks in the hospital before we even knew the details of his cancer or if he would survive surgery.  They ARE hard, but those words need to be spoken between a man and wife.  I cried so many times, still do so easily (as I am right now) when I think of those conversations.  You're both scared and need to face it together.  You each handle it differently and that's OK.  You can be weak one minute and strong the next. 

I'm glad you stayed up and asked her to come right home and I'm glad she was also willing to talk.  I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this crap once again. I'm not an overly religious person but just last week I met the woman chaplain at our campground (just by chance I held onto her dog while she did something) and we got to chatting.  She asked me what I was going through because she could tell I was in pain.  Her sweet kind blue eyes could see into my heart.  She told she had lost her husband to cancer two years ago, she took my hand and told me "I know what you're going through".  She invited me to stop by any time to talk.  That encounter and the dialogue I've had with you and others on this board give me hope.  It has a calming effect on me.  THANK YOU for that...

 I'm hoping your doctors are on top of things by having the scans and IF it is something, it won't be too bad. 

May you feel safe,

may you feel happy,

may you feel healthy,

may you live with ease

Love, Linda

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Even a Lion can learn new tricks:)

That was a beautiful story that you shared today, Linda.....empathy is a wonderful quality:)

I was not overly religious either...last several months I've been listening to Dr. Stanley...and one of his prevalent messages is how some of us are allowed to endure things - so that we can empathize and help someone else with the same or similar issue.  It took cancer to wake me up to this fact, but apparently that's what we're all supposed to be doing for one another. 

We're to be used for a greater purpose - and I'm happy that I've been repurposed to be here with someone like you and so many others as well. 

Cancer hardwires a direction connection between us - provided that the Sender/Listener data flows both ways.  Only in this way, do we truly grow to try and reach more of our potential.  It seems that true growth can only come from putting aside some of our own troubles - to listen and be there for someone else from time to time.

I'm so glad to be a part of your plan and feel privileged to be sharing so deeply with you....keep it up!



YoVita's picture
Posts: 590
Joined: Mar 2010

But you are still here to celebrate.  So very true what you wrote:

"how truly special it is - and how very hard it also is - to make it 9-years with a cancer diagnosis"

I'm hoping for a clear ctscan for you, and if not, at least a minor issue.  

My best to you Craig.  You've been a rock for this group.

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

Pardon my French, but wow, I am so upset by this.  Haven't been on the forum for a couple of days.  Left on a high note with your good news, and come back to read all of this.  I can't imagine what you're feeling right now, Craig.  Based on how I'm feeling, as your virtual pal, you must be reeling.  There are so many wise words from others here, I guess all I can say is that I know you will face whatever is coming down the road with your usual courage and grace.

I remember back when I got to NED, and you wrote a post warning me that NED often wasn't forever, and then deleted it, I suppose because you didn't want to be a downer...but I had already read that post, and thought what an important message you had been brave enough to put out there, and wished you had left it up.  Your words have helped so many on here, Craig.  I just hope we can help you in return if new challenges are coming your way.

Lots o' love from your librarian friend.  AA

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I'm sorry you had to read this....

I pumped everybody up so high with the good news....I actually felt pretty good for a change and wasn't letting any of my detractors drag me down to their level.

And then one phone call....

That's all it can take....that's how fragile our ecosystems are:(

I remember the post that you mentioned....I had deleted it before I thought you would see it.....I care about you very much and upon reflection, I just did not want to burst your bubble - thought it was wrong. 

But, you saw it:)  And I thank you now for your thoughts on that...I was trying to protect you and didn't want my words to hurt you, so I retracted.  I'm glad that you see now what I was talking about. 

I mean getting cancer once - okay....getting it again with recurence - it's to be expected....getting it 3x begins an emotional and psychological shift....and the thought of #4 - well, how many of us get to that point?

It would be easy to say at least you're alive to see a #4 if confirmed, wouldn't it?  But, would it? There is a psychological toll that is every bit as challenging as the physical fight.

When you combine that feeling with the other feeling about the multitudes that have been with us - and then no longer are.....

I think it says....."This is It."  Another words, it looks like this is all that would ever be....if I were fortunate...and that sort of truth seems to weigh heavily on your soul.  You begin to see that the finish line keeps moving further and further out of your sight.....

I always look forward to seeing you!  You always have something good to tell me. I'd miss not seeing you on these posts...I'm always looking to see where my Annie is:) 

You're living LaVida Loca, of course:)

Have a great time at the graduation tonight!

AnnLouise's picture
Posts: 276
Joined: Mar 2013

I am rather new to the community so I don't have a long history with you but you have already made a difference in my life. I hope this next week has some positive outcomes. Your posts are both informational and personal, explaining your knowledge through your experiences. Thank you for what you have given us and we are here to give back to you...I will be thinking of you this week. ~ Ann

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Your words touch my heart...

There was a time not too long ago, where I'd figured my time here had come to an end here.  I had one foot out the door, but then were a few people like yourself in the new group that I was enjoying talking to and trying to help some. 

I had alot of personal struggles coming out of my last cancer fight....we ran head first into a buzz saw with my dad's passing and the subsequent mess that involved managing and liquidating estates and unloading over 82 years worth of a hoarder's mentality.

I think what I'm most upset about right now....and Kim and I talked about this last night...

Is the fact, that Dad's (long story but in archives) affairs and the secret life he was hiding from me.....ate up 15 precious months out of the 24 that I got....we lost the whole year, everyday - weekends and holidays included.

I rationalized it by telling myself that at least I was 'well' to be able to engage in such a project, as the year prior I would have been unable.  So, the timing was good and bad.

It just seems that just about when it's time to be my time - it's something else - another seemingly immovable object to have to overcome. 

I'm glad I've been a part of your life and have been able to help you somewhat...I've talked to many people and I know sincerity, true sincerity, when I come across it.  I guess it comes from the way I talk to folks - and how I can make them comfortable enough to share. 

In alot of ways, that's all that I ever want...

Thank you so much for your kind words and generous support!


Kathleen808's picture
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Sending you prayers and aloha dear friend.  We are here with you.




Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I'm already dreaming it away right now...

Normally, I am patient and can 'outlast' most anything or anyone...

This time though, the waiting is hard....I just need to know....and then I can wrap my mind back around and stop having to speculate and conjecture...

Sorry for the bad news....

We didn't get to soak in the Friday good news of the article, before another rain came and swept it away.  I really hesitated about posting, but it was such a shock to even get an inkling that something could be amiss...

Just trying to stay focused and be business about everything until next week. You'd think after all of these years, that this feeling would go away....and it does to some degree...but it amazes me how our mindset can change with just a hint of things to come.

It's like your brain freezes again....you come to a quick stop....and then start preparing for something else....

I'll be fine though...as long as chemicals are not involved, I'll be ok...

Thank you for always being there with me, Kathleen.

Tell Dick, I'm not cutting in or anything, but just wanted to say...."Mahalo & Aloha Nui Loa"

Continued best to you both and I hope to have some good news for you soon.  Whenver I hear Mele Kalikimaka, I always think of you both.


Goldie1's picture
Posts: 264
Joined: Sep 2011

every post said it all, so, I'm just gonna say that I am thinking about you and sending some good thoughts.


PS...we adopted a nine year old golden retriever in April.  He's a great old guy and it's nice to hear the pitter-patter of giant golden paws in the house again!

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I was just about to leave:)

Ellen, I wondered about the golden looking seat cushion I saw in your pic recently:)

You know Harley is 3 1/2 now:)  What a ride it has been for him.....he was like this out of control Marley (like in the movie) when he was younger.....I was so sick during the first year or so, he didn't even know who I was...I had no alpha in me then.

He's growing up and very empathetic - and very protective of either of us.  He can't stand dogs or people fighting.....he runs right up and breaks up the fight, LOL!

He's like Marshall Dillon:)

Seeing your picture of both dogs has got me thinking about Harley's mental health...I think it would be good stimulation and companionship to have some kind of other dog for him.  He's energetic and bright, but he's inside now due to the heat of Texas and it just warehouses him.

We've been outside at nights on the weekend (camping in our backyard) and he really opens up when we do that.  He patrols the fence lines and loves to chase and bark at dogs and folks who walk by.....he stakes out positions and watches for him.....and when he sees them, he takes off....and I mean he is faster than a speeding bullet.....

We should have called him Flash:)

Anyway, thank you for your sentiments....the community has done a wonderful job with this post and outpouring of sentiment is truly gratifying. 

I'm laughing when I think of the 'pitter-patter' you mentioned......we get it....all golden owners do....big paws indeed!

Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

I like the story about Harley. Like you we got our 2 weimaraners when I was halfway through my first battle. Our male weim stayed right by my side and comforted me the entire night before my last liver surgery. I truly believed he senced that I needed it. They both sleep on the bed with us and switch around through the night but that night he was on me like velcro. I will never forget that. 

k44454445's picture
Posts: 494
Joined: Jul 2012

i am so sorry to read your current update. Hey you are still here after 9 years so kick butt & post in 9 years from now!!!



Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I can't count that high, LOL!

Let's try for just ONE:)  I always wanted to make it 10-years with cancer....it's a nice round number:)

Thanks, Judy!

Posts: 271
Joined: Nov 2011

Your news just blew me away yesterday and I had you on my heart all day.  Just didn't / don't know what to say.

I'm glad you're listening to Dr. Stanley.  I get his daily devotionals and a monthly magazine from him and he's helped me put a lot of things in prespective.  

So, congrats on 9 years and wishing you 19 more even more healthy and wonderful.  



Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I feel badly about burdening the community with news like this...

We were cruising so high with the news of the upcoming published article....2 years in the making....and then dashed (at least for me) as it took the wind out of me.  Friday things were swell...Monday things had slightly changed...

One always wonder whether to post or not, especially without confirmed results, but it just hit me in the face and wiped the grin away and I just turned to the only folks I know who would listen - who I hoped would listen. 

Many are probably speculating....

Dr. S has been good for me....a couple of other times in my life I listened to him and he made a huge impact, but I didn't hold up my end of the bargain.  I was a different man then and figured I'd always gotten through on my own...you know the mantra.

As Dad's stuff wound down and the fight was seemingly over in that regard (the toughest parts anyway) I found him again and began listening...and learning now....in a new way....

I swear, Patch....whatever day I listen to him, he always seems to have the exact message that I need - it's uncanny!  Tuesday, I was looking for some solace, (I have a few episodes taped on the dvr) and his message that night was on the Courage To Stand Up...

Dr. S talked about all kind of types of courage....but he also talked about how giving up is not of His nature...and that we were expected to have courage and fight - and trust.  I think I was looking for an easy way in my mind to justify perhaps not wanting to even face it again.....but He sets the bar very high and expects so much....

And somehow, I just feel like this fight is going to be for a different reason...some different kind of meaning or use, stands to come from it - though I cannot for the life of me fathom what that could be.

Even at 80, he's still very powerful and extremely effective...he reaches me in ways that I cannot explain.  I enjoy listening or seeing old video archive footage of him when he was younger...he was captivating....and a terrific speaker.

Now, I see him as the wise, studious professor, who 'teaches' more with his message now.  I could listen to him all day on the internet radio....or watch several episodes....I always get something of it.

And it was because of him, that I did 'surrender' my life again and try a new way...I figured what did I have to lose?  I haven't done all that well on my own. 

He was able to convince me in ways that nobody had ever been able to do - or maybe, I was just at the point where I was ready to finally listen and consider?  I think I was "Taken Off the Shelf" again, Patch...

And still, I'm left to wonder..."Am I just a pawn in the grander scheme of things?"

If I have to gear up again, then let the new journey begin....

Are you listening?  Say Amen.


Thanks so much for stopping by to see me - you come back now, you hear?




Posts: 188
Joined: Apr 2011

Thinking and sending positive thoughts and prayers your way! You have a whole lot more writing to do for all of our benefit!! Cool keeping you and yours in my thoughts and prayers.  kim


lizdeli's picture
Posts: 570
Joined: Jul 2009

First of all congratulations on your 9 years!  Secondly, you have dealt with this disease in such a courageous and inspiring way and in my heart I feel there is still a lot of fight in you. Right now you are dealing with an  incremental rise in your CEA.  That is all that is known at this point.  Your doctors and nurses obviously care about you very much and I am sure that are cheering you on as much as everyone else.  So any anamoly is going to have them concerned.  I understand about reading every word and expression from our medical support teams.  Right now, as best I can tell from reading all the posts, they know what you know - your CEA is up a bit. I am going to be praying for you and hoping that it's not what you think it is.



Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Yes of course, that's absolutely right!

I believe they are concerned - which is what concerned me.....if they had blown it off, I might have been better:)

I'm gonna' feel pretty stupid if this doesn't turn out to be something...

It was just the overall thing.....my wife and I were talking about it....and from the minute he hit the door, I got this distinct impression that he knew something that I didn't know. 

Just the way he comported himself...

And he never calls.....this was just the 2nd time in my 4-years there....

There's just something about the possibility of #4 unmasking itself that unnerved me....and it's so very hard for me to express what those kind of thoughts and feelings feel like.....1-2-3....4?

Maybe, I've over-reacted, which is generally not me....I'm general a pretty cool customer.....

Before my dad passed away.....he called me a "Stud Poker Face."  It was not meant as a compliment, but rather that I hid my emotions so well that nobody, nor he, could every get a good reading on what I was thinking or feeling....unless I wanted them to.

It is a trait that was learned and has been very useful in many situations in my life

But, with everyone here, I can drop the pretense, and just talk about what I need to discuss.....

I spend my entire workweek in silence....the guys have not spoken to me in 16-months up here, not one word.  They are doing a freeze-out to try and drive me out of here.....they have tried many times before, even with the help of the management team up here......they know I've got cancer. 

They know I'm mentally tough and won't crack...but keeping up appearances and putting on a stone-face wears you down year after year.  I spend most of my time alone with my thoughts.....and I just needed to get some of that anxiety off my chest. 

I didn't mean to upset anybody...I just couldn't keep it inside....guess I just needed to talk...and write....

Thank you, Liz....and am so glad that you are doing so well! 

Thanks for making the journey over here:)

Hey, at least we're going to be published.....that was a good thing that rose from the rubble.

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Keeping you and yours in thought as well....I've been keeping up with you too:)

More writing to come?


Thanks for coming out to see me today!

thingy45's picture
Posts: 633
Joined: Apr 2011

Hi Craig,


You for sure know how to get a ladies attention. WOW. I go away for a few days,knowing Big Billy will  be published, all happy and smiles for my Texas brother and then  THIS.

Man..... what can I say. What ever it will be, they got it early, we will all be here for you fighting and cheering you on. We know you can do , whatever is requested of you.

I know, because we so need you here with us and for us.

I wish I was in Texas, might be next year I have friends in the state and will be visiting close to Houston. When I make it I deffinately will look you up and get and give a BIG Hug.

Love you Craig , Marjan

angelsbaby's picture
Posts: 1171
Joined: May 2008

sorry keeping u and your family in my prayers




Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

And I wanted to add that I was sorry to read your post about your brother's passing...

It's nice that you still come here and visit with old friends....

I hope for clear skies for you from here on in:)

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I never know when to quit:)

Houston is 260 miles south from me down I-45:)

I'm sorry, Marjan...

I've struggled most of my nearly 52-years....and just when it was time to break the good news about the publishing deal, this came up......

You know how much work goes into just submissions, much less getting selected.  It felt really good there for a couple of days.....but after a couple of years.....I should have gotten more than a couple of days.

Things don't always work out like we want them too.....and still I'm pi$$ed....

I just want the whole thing to be over with....nine years, I'm tired of it....I want to move on like so many of you have...

That's all...

Just hopeful that we'll see where the trouble is stemming from....and will remain guarded that a surgical intervention can be done....and that chemicals are not involved this tiime around.

I'm not going to make it anymore with a chemo battle, unless it were short-lived, 6-months tops.

I'll be peeing through a straw after that.....my kidneys were extremely compromised by Irinotecan...

It seems with every recurrence, you can just about take away 2-years of hard work right off the top....a year in the fight if you're lucky enough to have it come to a close....and another year to recover. 

I'm having a hard time staring at the possible 4th time....I'm just being honest with you....multiple recurrences shatter the illusions that we hide behind....

I'll get it together, or at least I'll stop talking about it....

Take care and thanks for posting - I know you've got plenty of challenges as well....wish we all didn't have such a hard line to tow.

thingy45's picture
Posts: 633
Joined: Apr 2011

Craig, don't care how far your are, IF I get to Texas...... I get to the Lion, by car by train or crawling.

You have no choice in the matter friend. I understand you frame of mined, I wish  I could send you some of my  health, however I was just diagnosed with a major hernia so...... Back to surgery for me to have it fixed, minor compard to what others here on the board are facing.


Craig you and Kim are in my thoughts and prayers,


thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

We all need to celebrate every day we can look down at the flowers instead of up at them.    


This was told to me from a friend Jim, whom was 81 and enduring his forth battle with cancer. Ironicaly, we had a similar career path and the same cancer.  We need to live in the positive, and Fight the good Fight!  (Another one stolen from Jim.)


Best Always,  mike 

fatbob2010's picture
Posts: 467
Joined: May 2012

You and Kim haave made it this far and should celebrate that accomplishment.  None of us know's what the future holds.

I suggest that you worry about tomorrow only after it gets here.  Try and avoid the pre event anxiety caused by a trip through castle "What If."  The castle "What If" is dark and dank with nary a good smell to be found.

Celebrate the accomplishment and fight on should it need be tomorrow.



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