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Message for Craig - Sundanceh

traci43's picture
Posts: 775
Joined: Jul 2007

Like your new avatar!  Hope you're doing well now that the shock of the recurrance is past.

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

It's really just beginning to settle in....a little here....a little there...

They are moments....just moments....

Still in the gathering phase right now....been to the lung surgeon and the new surgical liver......got an mri scheduled for tomorrow to verify mets to the lumbar.....then 2 more doctor appts next week.....etc. etc.

By then, we'll have an opinion by consortium from all the disciplines....onc/rad onc/liver onc/ lung surgeon.

Honestly, I was a bit disheartened by the liver onc consult yesterday...I've got a good overview of what we're looking at....options are not as plentiful for me in the liver battle.

Might get lucky with some kind of zap for the pleura....but cancer in spine is going to dictate the entire scenario....that's the key right now to how they approach it.  We have to have the mri to make that determination. 

I'm in some good early pain now (lung) and I haven't even had time to double up my fists....resorting to Tramadol in the evening when I get in to take a little of the edge off......on w/ends I can take a dose in the am and pm....but during week, I've got to gut it out. 

My wife is a wreck...

I get a keen sense that the gravity of the situation is beginning to wash over her....perhaps for the very first time....I think she sees the future without me now (this time) ...and it scares her.  Lots of crying and hugging from her....and me downplaying it all the way....."it's fine"...."no worries"  etc.

I just keep putting the fires out....projecting an image for her to keep her as calm and focused as possible.  I just act like it's no big deal...and that seems to work.  I just keep it business as usual. 

Personally, I understand what's going on, but truly haven't accepted it yet.  Just don't want to believe it right now in my mind...was just ready to move on and take the next step beyond my own physical cancer.

I know it's there...and I can feel it now through the physical pain....and I know that I'm about to pass the baton and let go of the reins again as I come back to grips with the Illusion of Control....and how fleeting the concept truly is when you get to a point where you have to turn your life over for a spell....and hope you can get back behind the wheel later on down the road.

I find myself at The Crossroads once more...this one may not work out like the others did...and there are many major life choices and changes that I may have to make this time around. 

Everywhere you look, it feels like we're running through a maze...over to this treatment....or taking that option.....all in the hopes...

But, I'm sorta tired of running now, Traci...I'm tired of the chase...and I'm tired of getting caught for all my efforts...

It's our nature to want to run until we have to finally turn and fight...

While physically, the battle is always tough....it always starts back with the mental aspect of the disease...as you know, once you have seen, then you know....and sometimes 'knowing' can be an albatross around your neck that is hard to shake.  It carries with it - a weight that is imperceptible to those of an unafflicted nature. 

You know what's coming....you've got to jump the shark and get back on the medical treadmill that you have to hop back up on for the umpteenth time...all of the little aspects of your life that you have to let go of once again.....while they wheel you through the  seemingly endless system.

I look in the mirror now...and soon, I know that face will change from the reflection that I see staring back...

#3 had its own lessons for me...#4 has another chapter still to write...

But, I think I can clearly see that this is it....this is how it will be for me...until I can no longer tolerate the treatments or I run out of time.  My chances of breaking free as so many others have done, have dwindled now and I know that.

I can no longer see the Curative Path for myself any longer...#4 has already told me that.  We're going to play Hunt & Peck now all the way to the finish line....so in a way, it's really a palliative strategy now....not in the hospice sense of palliative....but the palliative approach with regards to treating and alleviating symptoms....and hoping for another temp streak somewhere down the line if fortunate.

That kind of Enlightenment makes me somewhat somber....

Where I had just started to envision a possible new life....with a new future...tunnel vision quickly replaces the rose colored glasses we want to view life through..and now you see Time again in a whole new light...where you saw a decade of opportunity moments before, you see the window of opportunity suddenly narrow.

I guess I'm just questioning myself right now...

I wish I had some neat, cut and dried answers for what to do with my life this time...

I think I'm getting to the point, where existing in the Real World and trying to conform to all of its demands on me, may be drawing to a close. 

For sure, one way or the other, this #4 signal is a warning to me to figure out a way to spend what days I do have in some less stressful way than having to bend to society's demands on my time and what they think I should be doing with it.

It's hard to know what to do...I've still got a lot of wrangling to do with my thoughts...

I know that I need some freedom at some point just to be me...without the daily grind of having to be a Have-To Man....always having to do...always having to be...for everyone and everything, but yourself...

Thanks, Traci, for giving me an opportunity to talk a little bit today. 

I'm not sure this is what you wanted to hear - but, it's a realistic assessment of where I'm standing today. 

I know your path is similiar to mine with the recurrences you've had in your 6-years....I know I was fortunate to get a couple of years in a remissive streak.....but angry at myself for giving it all away to work...and all of that tiime squandered handling all of my dad's estate and affairs.

If we get clear again this time....the next stretch of time is going to be all mine after that....

Take care, Traci....thank you for this post:)


lp1964's picture
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

First of all I wish your doctors the wisdom and you the physical and mental strength to deal with the things down the road.

You don't know me that much since I am kind of at the beginning of my journey with a rectal cancer. I am a 48 year old guy from California.

When you are talking about finally being YOU and the way you wish you would have spent your years in remission, how differently would you have done it looking back?


Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009


I would have spent my time in remission in the cancer world - giving back and helping others through my writing where I could. 

I would have tried to get my book published with more time...or work on the avenue of self publishing it, so that the folks up here that I wanted to have read it, finally could. 

I would have gotten up everyday and looked forward to writing something out of nothing that would touch people's lives in some fashion, cancer and non cancer related material - instead of crashing into one another and being stepped upon on the way to nothing in the hypocritical world of corporate work where I find myself.

Projects and deadlines that ultimately lead to really nothing...

I would be excited to wake up every morning and not have not have to be doing something for a living that brought me no joy - that I would be doing something when I wasn't living in fear that the next day I might not be able to do the job.  It's horrible to live in fear everyday, wondering what you would do for a living with a stage 4 dx. 

I would love to be able to captain my own ship and set sail for destinations that I wanted to reach - without the constraints of work commitment to weigh me down and suck every available good day out from under my feet.

Anyway, something like that...

lp1964's picture
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

I don't know you much, but what I know, you did all that. Was it perfect? No. Would it have been perfect if you were completelly healthy?


I will admit it myself that on bad days I see the world as ugly, dirty and disappointing. I'm jelous of people that "appear to be" healthy. But only they appear to be since who knows what kind of physical, emotional, financial pain do they carry. But seeing the world like that is my own interpretation for which I'm resposible for and have at least partial control over.

Don't beat yourself up my friend since you've done more than a million other ignorant people in this world.

Now will this idea console you? Not on a bad day, but on a good one.

Take care till next time and listen to only those who love you.


joemetz's picture
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011


Man, your post really is solid, real and to the point. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. 

Its hard to read, yet truly uplifting to read... as many have been in your shoes and many will be in those shoes.

your sharing about "working through your remissive state" was huge to me. It seems like each time I begin to feel better, I go to work and try and work for awhile. knock out some good stuff, pick up a new customer... get consumed into the Jazz of sales (which is what I've done for 31 years) and I miss the enjoyment of feeling good... WITH my wife, who is the one who sees me through every one of those sh*tty days.

Its not fair that I've done that to her, and your words mean so much to me today.

please keep sharing your journey. Some might not want to read these details, and they can choose not to read what you have to say. But, I have a feeling that you sharing, will help you by letting it all out... and you'll help so many of us who might be months or years behind you. You're one solid guy, and its not fair that Colon Cancer picks on a guy like you... but maybe it was meant that you are to share your journey like you have for many years. (for over 4,000 posts here at CSN)


Hugs & Prayers coming your way to you and your wonderful wife and family.


lp1964's picture
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

I agree to a great degree with everything you said in your last post except one thing regarding your wife: "It's not fair that I've done that to her..."

I understand why you feel like that and I would lie if this thought didn't creap up on me ever. But it is not a good thought and it is not fair to us. We did not create our own cancer and by having cancer even though we may cause great pain and difficulty to others, it is still not our fault.

If you really love someone you wish them better than what you have and you do everything to make them feel good and safe. But it has never been perfect even when we were healthy. But it is the purpose and intention that counts.

The idea that I constantly try to establish in my mind is that I'M STILL ME with all my knowledge, skills, good intentions, values and believes. I just happen to have cancer. I may have pain and discomfort, I may be frightened and will be literally scarred, it is still gonna be me. At the same time it is the reality that physical and emotional pain will immediatelly shrink your world into your own head and all these good rational thoughts fly out the window and are replaced with fear, anxiety and emotions that completely take over until you get relief.

But I believe that no matter what we have to make an effort to find meaning in our lives no matter how bad it gets, because without this, life is meaningless.

Just my thoughts, take care till next time and I just want to say that I really appreciate you.


LivinginNH's picture
Posts: 1458
Joined: Apr 2010

Oh Laz, I have to comment on your comment.  Joe stated that it's not fair to his wife soley because he loves her and doesn't want her to see him suffer.  And no, there's nothing fair about cancer, and it's not your fault that you've got it, but Joe is probably still going to feel guilty about having his wife care for him at such a young age.  I know, trust me.  You've only just begun your journey, so you're most likely still pretty independent.  My Rick was too, until near the end, when I had to do pretty much everything for him.  I won't go into the details of that, but it was quite difficult - for both of us.  He often told me, "You really must love me to deal with this."  And then he'd look at me with sad, but loving eyes.  And hours before his passing, he told me that he was sorry, and that it just wasn't fair to me that I had to take care of him 24/7.  But I'd still do it again, and he knew that I would.  I took very good care of him up until the end because I loved him very much, and he felt sorry for my emotional pain, because he loved me.  You may understand more fully someday, as cancer has a way of making things very clear and and shows us what's most important in life. 

It's love Laz, plain and simple.

joemetz's picture
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011


its hard to explain, however "livinginNH" hits the nail on the head.

We've only been at this since November 2011... but it is certainly amazing the diffferent emotional feelings each of us have during our cancer battles.

I've blog'd about every week of the journey.

here's for your review: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/joemetzger


I never "blame" myself, but I do say "I'm sorry" a lot. There is so much that my four kids and my wife do for me, at some of the strangest times. To have a 12 year old girl, have to run to get more toilet paper, or a wet towel to help me while on the floor of the bathroom, puking my guts out... and fainting several times, as she or my wife holds me up until I "come too".

Strange things are ahead for all cancer warriors and no two of us are alike.  I appreciate all your comments Laz as well as "livingNH".

keep up the faith keep up the fight.

and we're praying for all.



traci43's picture
Posts: 775
Joined: Jul 2007

Craig - You have such a great way of saying things, I wish I was that good.  It sucks that you are having to go to so many different docs and try to pull a team and treatment together.  Just take it one day at a time and don't think about the road ahead.  You'll get there when you get there and deal with things as they come.  I hope they find they can do something for you.  Thinking of you, Traci

karguy's picture
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

I wish you yhe best of luck on your journey,and I will keep praying for you.

thingy45's picture
Posts: 633
Joined: Apr 2011

Dear Craig,


Where do I start, have not been on the board for awhile, daughters orders. All the pain and hurts, including her Trigeminial Brain surgery and all that came with it has taken a toll on me.

I was also told that NO I am not going blind, but my cataracs are origessing faster then anticipated so I will be helped with that on august 6 and august 20 I will have new lenses installed in my eyes, looking forward to that.

Then the Onc told me I have a incissional hernia the size of a cantalojupe, whoopie, now what. After all that, I had to reload the battery, I think the passing of a few good people on this board also has affected  me more and deepler then I realized and today I read Steve D, Doc Ray I am friends with on facebook and so a few more.

Then I read the posts from Craig..................my first thought was...... life is NOT fare, but who am I to say that. How much can a person take. I know life is ab ut ups and downs, speedbumps and potholes, mountains and valleys, Just knowing Craig was getting published and then the downer.

At first comes the disbelieve, then  the anger and now the acceptance. And NOW the most important part, looking for every angle, knowing what can be done and how and when AND THE FIGHT IS ON.

You can do it, I know you feel tired and discouraged now. Pain takes you down, the unknown takes you down. The fear of leaving your wife behind etc etc.

But now I rely on the LION, roar friend, we are standing beside and behind you all the way, whatever you decide is the best road for you to walk.

I am sending love and hugs , Marjan

 PS excuse if there are any typo errors I  am typing in a fog

barbebarb's picture
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Dear Craig :
You put every aspect of cancers ups and downs in such perspective with each post.

I cannot express how much your posts have helped me cope and realize so much of what I feel is all part of this
awful disease. Many times I feel as if its a bad dream but I know it isn't and one must move forward
with tenacity and endurance.

We are all here for you as you have been for us.

Tomorrow I have the other side of Sirtex injection in my liver and wonder what my limitations will be
After this treatment. Its so hard to keep regrouping but I know you will and tackle the next option.

I am pulling for you and thinking big like you Texans do!!

Wishing you the best in the next step forward.
Hugs!! Barb

BusterBrown's picture
Posts: 221
Joined: Mar 2005

Sorry to hear the news about the recurrance, see my latest post, I know the feeling. 


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