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WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 1237
Joined: Jun 2013

Hi Everyone,

My name is Laz I am a 48 year old man with a pretty bad rectal cancer. I just started my treatment with Xeloda and Radiation, will have surgery in September ending with a permanent colostomy.

Mentally my days are like a roller coaster: sometimes I feel strong and optimistic, because I still have so much to offer to my patients, friends and my family (I am a very good and compassionate dentist), I have a 15 year old daughter and a beautiful, supportive wife. Other days I lose this optimism and start doubting the reason to fight and stay alive no matter what.

The reason I'm starting  this topic is to ask all all of you about what keeps you motivated, what keeps you going? I believe it would be very insprational to share and give strenght to each other.

I am sure we all ask ourselves these questions a lot so it would be great to write down answers for ourselves and for each other.

Thank You an God bless you,

Laz

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6154
Joined: Feb 2009

God first and family second.  I'm so tired right now and I'll give a better post tomorrow but the first thing upon waking is praying.  It's hard getting through this but you will and you'll come out a stronger person.  I'll repost tomorrow.

Kim

thxmiker's picture
thxmiker
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

No doubt having cancer is a new way of life, but do not let Cancer define you.  

 

Let's see, You are a business man, a community leader, a Dentist, a Father, etc....  These are the things that define you.  Cancer is just an annoying disease that gets in the way.  

 

When ever I have got down, the powers that be, God, or how ever you want to define it, has introduced and let me help someone who is much worse off then me, I feel stupid that I even got down on myself.  I do not have it that bad. (If you do not know me, I got told in Nov 2012 to get my affairs in line,) I seeked better Doctors that were having better results with their patients. I now have a plan, and so far it is working for me. We just met a family who the brother has wide spread cancer. We met with them and gave them a bunch of books that have motivated us to Juicing and a better Diet to improve our immune systems. Introduced them to this site, and keep them in our prayers.

 

Hold your head up high and Live Life!  

Best Always,  mike 

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

first  i want to welcome you to our unique community.we are very supportive of eachother(most of the time)as with any family we do have some conflicts on here but i usually stay out of it.i see you are the same age i am.i was dx sept 2008 stage 3 went thru xeloda chemo and radiation was able to be reconected in feb 2009 did 10 treatments of oxy and 5fu pump that almost killed me.i have permenant neuropathy in hands and feet.then in jan 2011 when i thought i was still all clear WHAM i got the news it was in my liver and one lung.soo back to different chemo irrinatecan and had liver resection in sept2011.then more hard chemo with avastin until my platelets went south and would not come back up enough to get back on avastin.started taking xeloda pills and tried different options to get my platelets up nothing worked so in feb2013 had my spleen taken out because it has a reserve of platlets.now i am on xeloda pills and avastin will be on chemo for life as i now have at last count in feb 38 spots in my lungs.the reason for all this info is first i want to say ,What keeps me going is our gloryous Lord,He holds my hand everyday and carries me thru everything.then my family and church friends.another important one that gets me thru each day is i have been blessed to be able to have 2 horses.as you see in my avatar picture this is my baby she is 4 years old now but i have had her since she was 4 months old.i dont ride but all i do is love her and she gives me love back.pets are one of Gods gracious gifts i hope you have a few.this disease is doable just dont give up.good luck and ...Godbless....johnnybegood

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

Since being dx with stage 4 colon I've been blessed to see my daughter and son get married. I also wassupper blessed to welcome my first grandbaby to this world.Celebrated manyspecial birthdays, holidays and othere special events. I must admit after four years of treatments and side effects the mental battles are getting tougher. I have to pray harder and really appreciate every good minute. I also pray that new medicines will help this terrible illness. I've seen new chemos that have helped me stay around. Pray you do well with everything. Jeff

MaryCarol5's picture
MaryCarol5
Posts: 97
Joined: May 2013

Laz,

Like most, God and family are my motivation.  In addition to that, I just feel like I haven't fulfilled my purpose here.  I wish that I could offer you more "words of wisdom" but I am still finding my way through this myself.  I can, and will, keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

This board has been a source of great comfort and strength as I have read through the trials and tribulations. 

Mary Carol

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

I survive because I do. No great philosophies , no religion. Basically I survive because I knew I would. Right from the start I knew with certainty that ca did not kill me. It has been 151/2 years since my stage3c diagnoses. Several things have come close to killing me since but not ca. Just one of those unexplainable things. Ron.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4784
Joined: Jan 2013

Keep on going Ron. Always an inspiration. 

When people see me ( and right now, it ain't a pretty sight), they say, "I'm sorry that you have cancer" and I tell them "I look and feel this way because of the chemo. The cancer was Excised back in November"  

And that's part of my motivation. 

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

of course god mafe it all, my day starts and ends with gratitude prayets.

all these beathes a joyous bonus.

its a great question to ask ourselves.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6154
Joined: Feb 2009

Thought I'd add a little more to my first post but besides God and Family knowing that you have a great team of doctors on your side is a very important part of your getting through.  If you don't like or trust them, then you will not be able to move forward with a confidence that you need for the upcoming events and appointments that will be facing you.  Don't be afraid to lean on people either.  I'd always try to do things for myself, but when you need help or you just don't feel like doing it "yourself" ask.  Write down how you are feeling even if it is a weekly log, you can write whenever you what, whatever you want.  It helps you express yourself and it will be there for later when you can look back and say, I've been through all this and I'm still going.  You can get through this, and some days will seem like forever.  We are here for you so ask what you need, and express what you need.  Glad that you found us.

Kim

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4885
Joined: May 2005

I've heard they're all fun! What motivates me and keeps me going? I'd have too answer that with:

  • On a personal level, my kids and family
  • what motivates me? Helping others deal with their cancer and with other things
  • what keeps me going! A sense of humor and a great medical team. Also, I'm too busy and have too much to do.
annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

I keep going for my kids and my husband, and my extended family (who really don't need to lose another member to cancer).

Beyond that, it's the little things that keep me sane...a good book, an engrossing movie, some time spent on our boat or sitting at the beach, a really well-made martini...

not long ago I was sitting in the sun on a bench at the park, reading my magazine while my son played, and even that moment was enough to give me a little more strength to keep moving forward.  AA

marbleotis's picture
marbleotis
Posts: 696
Joined: Mar 2012

It is easy

  1. My family
  2. My faith
  3. I want to stay around a long time and be a little old lady..........
YoVita's picture
YoVita
Posts: 590
Joined: Mar 2010

During surgery and treatment what kept me going was my husband reminding me that I wanted to live to see our son on his own, happy, and in a relationship.  I almost quit my treatment - many, many side effects- it was very hard!  But my goal kept me going.  This September  - 3 and a half years out from initial diagnosis, I will see my son walk down the aisle with his love.  I'm pretty sure I'll make it until then - well cancer won't stop me.

Now, post-treatment, goals keep me going, and appreciation of life's little things - one of the bonuses of being a cancer survivor.  

Good luck to you Laz.  Surgery and treatment are a challenge and a roller coast ride - just keep thinking ahead to the end.  It helps.

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

I have no control over my illness, it is what it is.  I make the most of the day,  If I'm tired I wastch great movies, if I have energy I go ot in the yard.  If I want to work on a hobby I do that.  I do take care of me first now.  I don't do as much as I used to, I was a super Mom and Wife, now I'm probaby average but I don't over do any more.    I sit with family, I don't drink my daiily wine anymore, too scary thinking about my liver, so I miss that.  But I  have so much to keep me busy that I don't have time to dwell on anything.  

 

I'm not giving into this cancer........it's going to have to drag me out the door. 

danker's picture
danker
Posts: 1179
Joined: Apr 2012

my wife of 56yrs is in a nursing home for alzheimers.  She needs me, so I have to keep going.  God doen't give us any choiice.  

Onlly He will determine which is to be my last day.

Easyflip's picture
Easyflip
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2013

Laz,
I approach each day with gratitude. Family, friends, grateful patients have already shown you what matters. I'm sure you've experienced the outpouring of support we all have, you know why? Because we"re loved! That seems to me to kick the a$$ out of having stupid cancer! We owe it to them and ourselves to fight to create more of that every day! There are people way worse off and you now have a choice to live well and be an inspiration for your family, kids, friends and us here at the network or not. What's the alternative? Feel sorry for yourself? It's not even close if you ask me, get busy living!!

Sonia32's picture
Sonia32
Posts: 1078
Joined: Mar 2009

My faith, family, friends and my csn family they are what have kept me going. Oh and I forgot me, you are also what keeps you going because you are a fighter.

tachilders's picture
tachilders
Posts: 313
Joined: Jun 2012

Family and friends are what I use as my motivation to fight this damn disease with all I have.  The same family and friends support me in the fight.  I'm not particularly religious, (my wife is and she is Catholic), but I do pray on occasion for help to fight this disease. 

Tedd

joemetz's picture
joemetz
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

I have to say, after reading everyones posts that past few days, I've been thinking each night if I was going to reply. 

And, then i thought... "joe if you reply will you be honest, or 'say what everyone wants to hear?'.

 

Well, I have to say it... 

Fist let me appologize for "sniping" the post as this might go off in an unexpected direction.

 

I was brought Catholic. 12 years of catholic eduction. Jesuit Priest for high school teaching Be A "Man for Others" as their foundation to raising teenage boys into Men.  I am married to who has now become my best friend.... for 24 years, who was not raised Catholic.

we have four kids and we're raising them catholic.  

I am diagnosed stage IV colon cancer in November 2011.... I've had 2 surgeries, 50 chemo treatments and everything has been all cancer for 20 months.

so, my family is what is keeping me going.

Gotcha... you were thinking my faith. Instead my faith has gone to being mad. I feel like I am being punished for something. Jesus didn't deserve to die... but he did it to save the sins of others. 

is a cancer patient taking hte bullet for the sins of those around him?

If God is all knowing, why is there childhood cancers? He can control all things... then why do sick people continue to pray for good things... only to get a new drug to help the fight.  Its a simple question, and it disturbs me to say it...  But God, where are you?

The devil is winning this fight and this entire battle. People raising major money for all cancer charities, events and paying all the bills to these oncologists and cancer centers.... moving lots of money, appearing to be moving lots of caring people to take care of a bunch of dying people... all for big money

Great!

then, I get a card from a friend that says "God only gives you what you can handle".

I am 49 years old, and yes, i can handle a lot.... but the person who said that to me has to be the most unthoughtful person I've encountered.

 

I hope my "quetioning of God and his presence in our lifes is something that is short lived, but that's where I'm at with my faith."

why would God take the father away form four young kids? Kids need a month AND a father. (especially a father as cool as me)

Why would God take the husband from a 24 year marriage, we have too many single, divorsed and/or lonely poeple in the world.

Why would God take the youngest son from a Mom?

Why would God take the youngest brother from 2 sisters and 1 brother?

Why would God take the owner/leader and boss of a small business that employes 120, which is doing so many great things for our compunity and creating lifestyle for our employees and their families?

 

Sorry, I know its a pitty party.... but I'm Pushing On and Fighting Hard for my Wife, Four Kids, My extended families of relation, work, customers and others.

I'm waiting for the signs to help understand all of this. I'm hoping I don't stay mad at God, but it sure is hard to go to church.

I say to my wife.... I sure am Glad everyone else goes to Church to pray for us... cuz it sure is hard for me to pray for me.

 

So, my only prayer these days is "why God?"  "Why Cancer?"

then, I quickly say... If you cannot help me, help everyone else who has helped me... and please please pleases God, NEVER give this terrible crap to my wife or my four kids.

 

Hugs

 

Joe

 

(I look forward to everyones reply)

 

 

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 1237
Joined: Jun 2013

I am way to early into the process to say "What KEEPS me going". I just started chemo and radiation and besides some fever and weakness I haven't felt the effect of the cancer or the treatment. Before I told my wife I had all kinds of thoughts: I'm not telling anybody, I'm not getting any treatment go back to Europe and just die in my sister's arms.

One early morning I had such a bad anxiety that I was 100% sure that I'm gonna die. I was walking up and down at 2 am, because I felt if I stopped I would die. I didn't sleep a bit and left for work at 6am. I must have fainted or fell asleep, because I woke up in a wreched car. I hit a tree at 80mph. the engine was next to me toucking the passenger seat. I only had a 1/4 inch cut on my pinky. Since then I did several reaserch and even a accident expert said that I'm not supposed to have survived such a deceleration, my heart should have been torn off the aorta. Still I walked way. Talking about an Omen to survive.

That day I told my wife about the cancer, which was scary and a relief at the same time. Relif, because I didn't have to carry this weight alone. Scarry, because now I'm not the only one who is gonna make decisions about what's next.

A couple of years ago I decided to actively seek out the good things in life, stop and appreciate them and make sure that I conclude every day as good by doing something that makes every day worth while. 

If you think about it we only have control over one day. Something can scare you or piss you off for a few hours and you are gonna have an emotional reaction. A week is too long to have control over, but we can all make each day a good one. Well, that's how I tried to live and now that I have cancer it is ever more important to live like this. ONE DAY AT THE TIME.

I have so much in my head that it won't always allow me to live like that, but I certainly will try every day.

I think asking questions like Joe above ( with all the respect) is not useful and meaningless. I believe we got cancer for multiple reasons: genetic, bad diet, bad lifestyle, environmental pollution, stress etc. Maybe God gives you cancer to try you, see what you do with it. In my case maybe God gave it to me telling me: "Well son, You always wanted to live one day at the time, notice the beauty in the world. Let's see how it works for you under extremely difficult circumstances." All the great people who do so much for others had the same illness. How do you think that woman who started that big organization for breast cancer awareness and research. Either she or someone she love had breast cancer. How else is she gonna be motivated, but experiencing the dissease.

I have a beautiful supportive wife, a teenage daughter, 3 syblings, a great profession as a dentist, a lot to live for, but only on day at the time.

The only thing I don't know if I'm gonna be able to deal with many of you had to: recurrence, metastases, liver resection, debilitating chemo etc.

Well, hopefully that is still far away to think about and I certainly try not to ruin my present days with those scarry thoughts.

I try to concentrate on the things I like: work, gardening, cooking, making my home nice. Spend valuable time with my wife, daughter.

Just keep doing things I always liked to do.

Thank you for reading and...

...nothing but good days for you all.

Laz

.

joemetz's picture
joemetz
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

Laz

 

I hope you're able to keep this possitive motion and vibes through your entire fight.

I remember being where you are and I wish you the best in this battle.

 

Joe

Chelsea71
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

Joe, you are completely justified in asking these questions and having these doubts. I am not a religious person, however if I was, I would be feeling completely disillusioned right now. Like you and your wife, Steve and my life for the past two years has been constant sickness, surgeries, complications, hospital stays, tests, appointments, disappointments and heart ache. Steve has stayed very positive and motivated and has moved forward as he faced each new obstacle. Spending a lot of time in hospitals, we have seen so much illness and suffering. I think your feelings are completely normal. You have had a rough time of it, especially these last few months.

It's easy to stay positive and enjoy one day at a time when you are just starting out and feel good and strong. But after 30 chemos, three surgeries, recurrences, thrombosis issues......it starts to take a frigging toll. It becomes increasingly hard to keep up a strong fight. I totally understand your doubts. I hope you get your answers.

Chelsea

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 1237
Joined: Jun 2013

I know exactly what you mean. I am at the very beginning of my journey and haven't experienced the fraction of what you did.

The reason I started this subject is, because I read your and other people's stories and honestly I cannot believe what you guys have been through.

And again I meant no disrespect. Contrary, I have the greatest RESPECT.

I wish more people would have opened up about their fears, doubts and every day motivations, so we could all learn from one an other.

Some people draw strength from anger, some from God, some just accept the way things are. So far I have been able to draw stregth from being optimistic and live for the positive things in life. I pray that no matter how bad it gets I don't turn bitter, angry or blaming myself or others.

Maybe this is not possible and the pain will brake me. But I know the greatest motivation for me to fight is not just to survive, but still find meaning in my life.

All the best,

Laz

 

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

of how one's faith co-exists with a terminal illness.  I hope that others here who are religious can answer some of your very essential questions.  I'm not religious at all, so don't have to struggle to understand why things like this happen, to me or to anyone else.  For me, it just comes down to biology and the natural world, so no hard feelings.  But as a religious person, I would imagine this situation is very difficult.  I'm sorry, and I hope others who share your beliefs can help you with this.  Hugs~AA

jen2012
Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

I hear you Joe.  My husband has very strong faith (Catholic) and our 13 yr old son is following in his footsteps.   Something I'm feeling uncomfortable about is a speech our son did for his  communication merit badge.   he gave a talk about how prayer works and went on to tell the troop about his dad having stage 4 cancer and getting so many prayers and when they did surgery they couldn't find any cancer.  That's the short version and I didn't hear it, but I do know he's a smart and thoughtful kid and I'm sure it was beautiful.   One of the dads, who happens to be a doctor, told my husband about it and he was all choked up and just said how beautiful it was.  I'm so proud of him, but worried at the same time how let down he may be if the cancer comes back.  Chances are very slim that it won't come back, but we figure why stress the kids more than they need to be, let's hope for the best.  In the back of my (crazy) mind I'm wondering if the doctor friend was so emotional because he knew our son may be let down. 

My husband tells me I need to remember that this life is temporary and what's next is what is important.  He thinks we are here for a reason and our reasons are different.    I don't know  Joe - I wish I had the answers for you.

I get angry when I think of all of the good people that suffer and all of the people that destroy lives and go on to live long healthy lives.  It doesn't make sense and it's certainly not fair. 

You may, or may not, find this helpful - read if you wish:

http://www.ourcatholicprayers.com/act-of-faith.html

I try to find/keep the faith because I think it could make life easier to believe.   I get the sense that you want to have faith - I think you may benefit from a talk with your priest or deacon. 

My prayer for you today is that you find peace, hope and strength to keep fighting. 

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 1237
Joined: Jun 2013

In a study in an Arizona Univercity they had a bunch of people pray for one group of patients and no prayer for the others. The group that was prayed for had better recovery. I'm not religious in a conventional sence but I believe that your mind has to be at the right places most of the time. I will try to live in this world with hope and positive outlook and when the times comes will try to leave it with no regrets and bitterness.

But I can only try.

Laz

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

makes people feel better emotionally in this battle.  And that's a very valuable outcome.  I've yet to see anything that showed an actual, significant impact on prognosis, so I'm just curious...do you have a link for that study?

It does make me wonder a bit, if prayer is effective to the point that its effects on survival can be clinically proven, that someone like my sister, who had a church full of people praying for her, still died at the age of 44.  

AA

joemetz's picture
joemetz
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

In that church, the families bonded together to help them deal with the loss.

Cancer was glorified as the work of The Evil One, and those on earthy say.... God just needed your sister in Heaven...

and, he wants the families and friends who are left behing to bond together to help one another.

 

hopefully that happens.... but what comes shortly after the dust settles is the WHY from the survivors? 

The "she fought so hard, a true inspiration for us all"... .and here's hte biggy.

please donate your money, in her name to these organizations

 

begause one day very soon, we will have a cure, but not without your money.

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

that your words are in no way a "pity party", Joe.  They are a legitimate expression of grief in the face of an intolerable injustice.

More hugs to you~AA

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

But, here goes...

First, Why Me is a universal feeling that we all share...and there will never be a way for any of us to escape that question..

It can be overwhelming until we take a step back and see the bigger picture all around us.  When we compare our troubles to that of others, it brings things into the proper perspective when we look at this through this context.

Let's get started...

"is a cancer patient taking the bullet for the sins of those around him?"

No, Joe.  Cancer is very random and strikes each one of us up and down the line, no matter what our status in society is...it's an equal opportunity destroyer that affects people of all ages and crosses all boundaries.  Celebrity or regular folks....athletes or couch potatoes....married or single....with children and without....for richer or poorer....and in sickness and in health.

"If God is all knowing, why is there childhood cancers? He can control all things... then why do sick people continue to pray for good things... only to get a new drug to help the fight.  Its a simple question, and it disturbs me to say it...  But God, where are you?"

Now, Joe, I'll first tell you that I'm in the infancy stage of my spiritual journey...but, from my limited time studying.....this is my understanding right now...

I believe we all wonder where God is, when we see so much tragedy happening all around us that looks like it could be prevented.  And truth be told....it could be prevented.  My understanding is that He allows things to happen for those that believe in Him, so he can use that  person for His purpose that He has for your life.

Now, here's a personal story....

In 1986, my sister was set to graduate high school and go onto college....her graduation and prom were a couple of weeks away.  She loved and believed in the Lord.  She was a virgin at 18 and was saving herself for her husband - qualities all too easily forgotten in a fallen world.  One evening before dusk, she and a couple of friends went to a lake to chat or whatnot and came upon an evil man......a 4x convicted serial rapist. 

He killed her two friends...and then he murdered her too....pistol whipped her, sexually abused her, sodomized her....and then strangled her with her own panties....and threw her over a cliff like bag of garbage...

When they found her, she was only recognizable by her class ring:(

And I'm quite sure that during the assault, that she was crying out Why Me, God....and Where are You, God.....as he beating her beyond human recognition....

Having studied Dr. Stanley off and on some of my life.....and now, strongly for the past several months....the good doctor has taught me this...

Ours is not to understand.....Ours is to Trust.....our ways are not His Ways....our thoughts are not His thoughts...

The message I get over and over again is...if you believe and accept the basic premise of why Jesus died on the cross and accept Him in the ways that you must, He lives inside you....and is therefore with you....at all times.

I don't see anything in there about Him necessarily having to save everyone....but apparently, He is on the inside of you, so always there with you.

I get the struggle...I've had it all my life...my dad's deal finally took me to my knees.....but the fight was already over...and I "surrendered" again anyway. 

I came to believe something different......that there had to be somebody else.....just had to.....with all of the pain and suffering on this planet, there has to be something bigger than ourselves to handle it all.

I saw it first hand here on the board - and this place only represents a microcosm of all the suffering that the world goes through...I tried to take on everyone's pain and angst....for years up here.....over and over....more and more.....giving until I had nothing left of myself to give....

And still the people suffered....

And then it got to where it wasn't even about cancer....even for me....and that's where you see that cancer is really just a part of the story of some of or lives.....but tragedies are happening all day, every day, for everyone.....

When the weight got too much for me to bear, I cracked and broke.....and knew I couldn't save anyone, much less a board....or a planet full of hurting souls....

And so, I began my spiritual ascent with the intent of having to finally believe in something.....or I would go stark raving mad at the things I saw just happening to me and my friends....I had to turn it over finally...

As Jen alluded to, I just had to do it, so I could make some kind of sense out of the world we find ourselves living in. 

And let me tell you a quick testimonial...would you believe me if I told you God was using your post to get me to write to you today?  I don't, Joe....not anymore.

Ok, so one night, I was watching Dr. Stanley and he told me the things that I needed to do.....and when the show was over, I did them...with sincerity and earnest.....a few days went by and I did not feel any differently.  I thought I like Dr. Stanley alot....and I so much want to believe what he's telling me.....but I just didn't feel it. 

One night, I was down at my barn.  It was cold and I had the doors thrown open and found some old 40-year old Star Trek cassette tapes we had made in the early 70's....I plugged one in and was just down there listening and watching my dog  run around.

All of a sudden, I felt a peace and contentment that drugs and alcohol could never deliver....though many have tried...

And then some secular things went wrong....something said here...and other events, and I went dark, just as sure as I had seen the light.....

But, I knew what was going on...

See, Joe....He tests us....all the time....and it seems that if you believe....he tests you harder.  I've been watching the History Channel's Bible series that came on.  And I watched the examples that God used....oh man, God is a hard guy....very hard.....I watched the examples up and down the line from Abraham, Daniel, Moses, Samson etc. etc.

Now, I hate the line you mentioned...."God only gives you what you can handle".

But, I've been thinking about this again recently...maybe there is some truth in those words...some folks are selected (Pulled Off the Shelf) and put into play for reasons that we may not understand.  Not everyone can do it (things in life that come up) and so developing strength to handle those adversities in life may come in play when we run into someone else out there, who might benefit from a living example. 

This is what I believe...

Now, here's my personal story....

We just got an article published....big day, right?  Yeah, for about 2 days...and then came impending news about another cancer situation to have to contend with.....buzzkill. 

And now, we're probably looking at my 4th recurrence in 9-years...

Timing, huh?  Why?  Why let me have something I've always wanted - and then days later, have me step up for a new challenge - before I could finish my first meal?

Because, He is testing me once again....

Now, I'm tired of being tested....and yet, I have no choice but to pass the test and try and help others with any kind of positive example that I could set. 

I don't know all the answers, Joe....I'm too new to the religion thing...but this time, I'm really trying...

I have to believe in something more than myself....because after 52 years, I haven't got it right yet. 

When cancer is confirmed (in less than a couple of hours), I'll head into this new battle with 2 new pieces of armorment that I've never had before in my life (with or without cancer)...and those ladies are called Trust & Faith...

There's more I could say, but I don't want to crush this thread anymore than I already have...

I'm with you, Joe....I feel you, man......

Now, put your back right up against me - and together we'll hold each other up as we try and figure it out...

I know God is going to use my 4th cancer for something....though for the life of me, I know not what it is....

Or maybe I'm just delusional....and just a fool....

Either way I've got to fight...

Which reminds me, Joe...one last thing, buddy....

The last Dr. S. message I saw this week was "The Courage To Stand Up...."

It talked about courage in all arenas of our life....to stand up and speak out if something is wrong....or to stand up and fight in a sickness and have the courage to do so. 

He alluded to the fact that Jesus fought and didn't give up...and he talked of the Apostle Paul and how he never gave in....and Joe let me tell you, just from what I've heard, Paul was an example for all of us....that man took a beating that none of us deserve...and yet it did not deter his faith.  I found it very inspirational and when I now find the times where I'm feeling sorry for myself, I now think of him and what he endured for what he believed. 

And if these guys fought....we've got to fight....

Which is significant, because this time....I don't want to fight anymore....and I was looking for an easy way to cop out and not deal with it.

And then I  heard that message...we've got to fight, because that's what He wants for us. 

Remember, this is just from an infant....just what I've learned in the past few months....

And I think that God pulled the trigger today and put me here with you, so we talk with you today. 

Well, that's about it, Joe...thanks for listening...soul searching is very cleansing and thank you for sharing your heart and thoughts with everyone today....I needed a post like this today...I get to walk in to the doctor's office and pay him to tell me what I already know. 

Everyday, I get up....I say "Good Morning" to the Lord - who can we help today? - please don't let my fight be of a chemical nature - and I reiterate that I'm still TRUSTING....

And that's hard for me, Joe...

I grew up alone and basically raised myself (minus food/clothes/shelter) and so I only believed in what I could see - what I could feel - what I could taste...

It's not easy trusting...when you never have.

I always figured I could do it all by myself....after all, hadn't that what I had been doing all my life anyway? 

Was it - or was it?

Take care, Joe...and thanks for a though provoking post!

-Craig

MaryCarol5's picture
MaryCarol5
Posts: 97
Joined: May 2013

I have grown so fond of Craig's responses and believe this is one of his main purposes.  Please continue to be a beacon.

Religion and the tests of faith for me are too simple.  On one hand, faith and prayers bring me hope.  I find so much peace giving my worry to God and following his "voice".  On the other hand, it is all a hallucination and God doesn't exist.  But what do I have to lose living in faith and hope?  Nothing.  If He is, and I believe He is, I'm covered.  If He isn't, then nothing lost. 

With that said, I have left my heart open to the peace of God.

tachilders's picture
tachilders
Posts: 313
Joined: Jun 2012

These are all very good and normal questions when faced with a terminal illness, and unfortunately, I don't (and no human really) has an answer for them.  I commend your honest post, and I will be as honest in this reply.  As I said, I'm not particularly religious, but I know many people that are, and in truth none of them can understand why bad things happen to good people (especially children).  Christianity teaches that we are all sinners, so I guess you could argue that even "good" people (as we humans would define someone) have committed numerous sins within their lifetime, so maybe we all deserve much worse than we normally get.  Also, even though I have this disease, I am thankful that it is me that is sick and not my wife or kids.  Another thing is that I have been blessed with a fantastic wife and 6 great kids, as well as many great friends, a good career, a relatively comfortable life, great parents and grandparents, etc... so even though I will likely have a short life, it has been a good life.  Not sure I would trade that for a longer life, but one that is filled with much more hardship than I have ever faced.  I think a natural reaction to terminal illness is always "why me", and I often still feel that way.  In summary, I think it is really impossible to try and understand God's plan (if you believe in him and believe that he has one), so all you can do as a christian is accept that there is a plan and hope and pray that your family will be alright after you are gone.  One thing I have learned for certain is that I am a lot less in control of my life than I thought I was before getting this diagnosis, so maybe that is what I needed to learn.  I am still trying to make sense of the past year, and come to grips with what I truly believe with respect to God, so I'm still on a journey of discovery here.  Maybe I will lose my life but save my soul from this disease....

Tedd

TMac52's picture
TMac52
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2010

I was DX'd stage 3 rectal May 2010..chemo,radiation,surgery resulting in a permanent colostomy, more chemo that ended in march 2011...just had my second anual scan and its good. It will be three more years of clean scans before they will concider me cured. Anyone who battles Cancer is going to go through hell to stay alive thats just the brunt of it.

I was very active on this site while I was in treament, this site and these people are sent directly from heaven in my opinion. Some battling for many years and healing, and then there are those that take a turn for the worst and cross over. That was painful to witness even over the internet, it bothered me a lot. But also made me so grateful for my life and every breath I am able to take and witness my children growing into young adults. Thats what keeps me going. But I wont lie there were times during the treatment that I wanted to give up. Thank God I didnt.

Cancer and treatment left me with some permanent issues to deal with everyday like neoropathy in my feet (very painful) the colostomy and then there are other issues I'd rather not share at this time. That sucks ya but I try to accentuate the positive and not wallow in the sorrow.

I wish you the best of luck Laz and hope you have good doctors. Cancer can be beat although I'm superstitious and would never say I beat it.  ANY DAY ON THIS SIDE OF THE DIRT IS A GOOD DAY TO ME!  keep fighting....Peace Tom

joemetz's picture
joemetz
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

 

Yesterday was our second treatment of the Avastin and FolFuri line of druggs.

they adde a large doze of benedryal and a couple others to the pre-med cycle whih seem to improve thinkgs geatly.

so, knowing that I have a glimmer hope to at least stoping the spread of the cancer to the bones, adrenal glands and further into the lymphmnodes.  TheseFolfulri and Avastin treatments shoul (I hope) to allow for some serious set back to this cancer.

 

It's been a pitty party since Feb 25 when I realaized my blodd couns were way off.... Doc said "for a guy with stage four colon cance with far to numorous tumors to count, that i will be inoprable. No Other Options.

 

I searched out on myonw and learned above RadioEmboliztion Spirs, Then ytrium 90 = SIR Spheres (THIS IS WHAT I ENDED UP HAVING DONE:=)

its ore of a LIVER directed treatment, however the think was... if we don't get rid the culpret (the cancer in the liver) then the source would have no placd to plant its seeds in other areas of my body. It was a risk.

I had to be off chemo for about 4 weeks prior to the 790 treatment and another 3-4 for recoverey and testing. I had super high hopes that this could be the magic buillet.   To date.... no such luck.  a couple areas shrunk. But the rest of the spots either remained the same or coninued to grow. And, the cancer has begun to spread to my right hip and pelvic bones as wll as some lumphn nodes and other ares that sound scarry.

 

I all can do for now is FolFuri. and avastin.

its conventional.... but we need something with a better track recordred at making tings happen with ore predicability.

my emo- side of my personally cannot handle the stress and the rollow coster or ansesrs or worse yet... "the opptions"

No all doctors like to make 100% of the final decisions when they are faced with a very serious cancer patient.

 

I has written early that its been so hard to "for me to pray for me". I have a hard time saying... God, here's my choices, point me in the right diretion.   When first bed ridden here at home, from Jan- May 2012, I was overwhelmed by the parishinors, preirest and the kids fellow classmates families who would bring over meels. Send time sitting togeher at the table with my family playing simple boardgames after the meel and we just enjoyed the heck out of those time.

so , i hope this makes you laugh more than cry..... and provides all of use the energy to move forward and I hop to take my wife on beautiful vacations ilike my dad do for my mom, befor he passed away from a stroke that puthim in the hospital one week, hospic the next week.. in the Catholic war veterens momorial.

 

If anything in my path, resembles your path.. let's connect.

 

 Hugs

 

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 1237
Joined: Jun 2013

I sense that you and I are very similar. I am a business man too and I always wanted things my way and had hard time to delegate or ask for help. I wanted to be in full control of my life. Now that brought a lot of conflict to my life of had to avoid a lot of conflicts which caused me a lot of stress and I realy believe that that was a great factor that I got cancer.

This time is the same. It is hard to trust doctors, treatment options, diets, remedies. We  are very vulnarable when we are ill. Sometimes I just wonder that the first time shouldn't I just let go and let people take care of me and just concentrate on things like myself that I may be able to control.

I think once we find a team we trust we should try and let go.

All the best,

Laz

fedester
Posts: 757
Joined: Jul 2004

well my faith in the man upstairs and my family.

as ron said have had other issues that could have killed me but i am still here.

i have always been upbeat while facing the dragon as  many of the old timers say

everyday we wake up is a good day and another day we beat cancer.

all the best to you

and never,ever give up !!!!!!

steved
Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

Religion is always a difficult topic here but pleased to see it aired as part of this dIscussion Asti is such a valuable ,though at time times challenging aspect of getting through this journey. Opfor me as an an atheist it is more grounded moments that get me by at present. Have been at this close to ten years and and different things have been importantn ESP the arrival during that stage of my two kids. But now I am terminal and don't klow long long I have I try snatchor make make moments of joy in each day. I take my wife out for lunch and dwell on a taste or a glass of wine that really is great. A moment in the afternoon where my son stops his hyperactive  life for a second to sit down and chat about his day with me or I read to him, or teach my daughter to plait hair. That beer as the sun reaches the right spot in the sky on a rare hot day. It can get labelled in the new trendy mindfulness  therapy that is growiing everywhere but to me it is jus stopping to appreciate that whilst I a dying joy continines and I am allowed  my share if I stop to notice it.

SImples really!

Steve

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 1237
Joined: Jun 2013

I agree with you in a sense that we have to bring down this issue of having cancer to reality. I don't believe we should dwell to much on the esoteric , spiritual or religious level, even though I think they are an important part of healing. Spiritualism and religion is cultural, nobody was born religious, our parents and culture made us. These things were invented to explain things, understand things and deal with things, in our case illness.

I realy liked that you bring it down to the simple things in life, like lunches, wine, sunset, because a lot of people and so did we used to take these for granted. I try to live the same way. Only pain and occasional dwelling in unusefull thoughts get me out of this mindset.

I believe that being connected to some kind of larger spirit whether it  is God, the collective human spirit that each of us contribite to and draw from is important though, because there are times when there is no rational that you can hang onto anymore.

Let's not forget to try to have a good day at a time.

Laz

kennyt's picture
kennyt
Posts: 110
Joined: Jun 2013

 I too am 48 and just recievd the results of my biopsy and they were positive, now I'm scared to death and in a constant state of panic.  I see a surgeon tomorrow and don't know if I can take anymore bad news

jen2012
Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

The first few weeks are really tough Kenny. Try to take things one day at a time and not let your thinking get out of hand. Difficult I know...it sucks. I'm sorry...hang in there.

kennyt's picture
kennyt
Posts: 110
Joined: Jun 2013

thanks ,my mind def. won't quit racing. everytime I look at my family I feel like I'm gonna lose it.

janderson1964
Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

You will get through the first couple of weeks. It is incredibly tough but we all get through it. The important thing is to write down questions for the doctor and write down his answer and dont rush into anything.

kennyt's picture
kennyt
Posts: 110
Joined: Jun 2013

lasy sunday I was rock climbing with my friend feeling good, now my life seems forever changed trying to stay positive hopefully I will settle into this as much as one can.

janderson1964
Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

Rock climbing can be a great outlet for you. I was a hardcore mountain biker before cancer and still am. I use it as a weapon to fight it physically and mentally.

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 1237
Joined: Jun 2013

I'm very new to this as well. You get the diagnosis, you make appointments, you write down "cancer" first time on your medical forms.

Kenny, I'm telling you the worst thing is the unknown. Gather as much information as you can as soon as you can. Once you have a strategy you will feel much better. Only concentrate on the next piece of information, don't think about the future stuff and definatelly not your and family's future, because the anticippation is a million times worse vthan what's really gonna happen.

Get going and post here a lot, ask questions as much as you want. This forum put me to ease.

We are here to support you.

Don't ever forget that you are still you with all your qualities, you just happen to have cancer.

Still make every day a good day saying: well I'm still here when so many other people died and got injured.

Laz

kennyt's picture
kennyt
Posts: 110
Joined: Jun 2013

Laz, thanks for your wise words I totally agree. I think I'm still in shock it's the worst when I wake up and know this is my new reality. I'm trying to just accept the fact that this is just the way it is for now, Kenny

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 1237
Joined: Jun 2013

The best way to utilize this wonderful discussion forum if you post your own thread. This is how you are gonna get the most answers and support. These patients here are gonna be just as important in your healing as your health professionals, ok? Don't be passive and don't be shy.

Never forget to turn every single day into a good one by doing something spacial.

Laz

Eltina21's picture
Eltina21
Posts: 174
Joined: May 2010

My faith has kept me going through every aspect of life's journey.  I was there when my 72 year old mother was diagnosed  stage IV  colon cancer with mets to the lungs, brain, stomach and kidneys and passed away from this disease two weeks later,  19 years ago.   I am the second of my first cousins to be diagnosed with cancer.  It seems that we carry the gene in my family.  When I was diagnosed, I prayed.  When I had surgery to removed 2 feet of my colon, I prayed.  I had surgery in the morning and was sitting up in a chair the same evening.  I never used the morphine pump, for I didn't have pain.  I was told that I would be in the hospital for 7 days, however, I left in 4 days and I left on Palm Sunday, 2010. To this day I continue to pray and give thanks and mentor to others.  I don't take anything for granted and enjoy each day of life.  There will be ups and downs going through treatment, I went through chemotherapy for 6 months, but no matter what, I held on to my faith in GOD.  HE is who keeps me going. I have two handsome grandsons aged 4 and 10 and I want to see graduate from college. Also laugh whenever you can and be happy.  Happy people live longer.

RickMurtagh's picture
RickMurtagh
Posts: 584
Joined: Feb 2010

when i was first dxed, i was devastated, two large tumors in different parts of the colon and lots of little wannabe polyps.  after starting treatment, grandkids seemed like the fresh air that kept me going.  but after a while i realized something.  it was not the grandkids as much as it was seeing my kids growing up and having children of their own, the circle of life.  having grandkids around was an added super bonus.  i am at peace, with god, family and friends and my "lot in life."

that roller coaster is hard to get off isn't it?  i thought i was done with the ups and downs then came the second dx.  it seemed to me i was trying out a world record coaster.  wow - do i not miss that.  seeing the people around me just live out their lives (and doing it well, PTL) is what keeps me "interested" in life and gets me going.

peace,

rick

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