CSN Login
Members Online: 4

You are here

Want to know more about who Sundanceh is?

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

Sundanceh – the man

For those of you who have not had the opportunity of a long association with “our” Craig, I thought maybe a summary would help you understand how he became so important to so many of us.

What I share here, he has already shared in his posts and his profile page, so I don’t tell you anything he hasn’t already said.

Craig had, what we would call now, a dysfunctional family life.  His one bright star in that family was his sister Suzanne.  That star was taken tragically by murder in 1986.  She was weeks away from her prom and graduation.

He married a sweetheart named Kim.  She has stood by him through all adversity that life has brought them, including a tornado which severely damaged their Texas home.  But they rebuilt.

You may wonder how he chose his “CSN” handle.  For many years, he had a Golden named Sundance.  This dog was a “person” who brought life and light into his life.  Therefore, Sundanceh is in honor and remembrance of that furry 4-legged child.  He now has another Golden named Harley.  While different, he also is a love and is loved.

While Craig and Kim don’t have children of their own, there is one who stole his heart.  Her name is Lil’ Miss Sunshine.  A relative who lives quite a distance away, it took only one visit for him to fall in love.  From the way he has shared his experiences and thoughts about her, he would have made a great father.

“Our Craig” is a multi-faceted man.  He likes to sing.  He created a CD with him singing along with Alison Krauss and Union Station.  He also created a Youtube video of him singing along with Johnny Cash on Folsom Prison Blues.  He had a career in technology, even while in treatment.

“Our Craig” is also a Cowboy Philosopher and a writer.  His posts here always long, funny and full of information about his journey.  He wrote a book about his journey and shared several excerpts with us.  Unfortunately he has not been able to get it published.  He did get a spot in a magazine for just a tiny part of it.  I liken him to a Texas Mark Twain.

As with many under the age of 50, Craig was showing symptoms years before his official diagnosis.  As remains a theme in his journey, doctors he saw were not listening or taking actions which could have made all the difference in what came next.  His recurring counsel to all of us is to not be put off.  If you feel that something is wrong, keep trying to find the right answer even from those outside your usual medical community.

Like most, his journey has been one long rollercoaster ride of ups and downs.  Treatments which were tough to handle while working, hospitalizations, surgeries, and worry over how to cover the medical costs that were mounting.

He went from Stage 2 at diagnosis to Stage 4.  He did all the “normal” protocols of chemo, radiation and surgery.  He has shared his story with us…the good, the bad and the ugly.

Even through this process, his pioneer spirit has shown.  He was the first to have the da Vinci Robotic Surgery on his metastic lung tumor in Ft. Worth.  The operation was a success, the entire tumor was removed, and “Our Craig” made medical history and the news.

In one of the darker moments of his journey, another persona emerged…Big Billy.  Big Billy is the rough and tough dude, the other side of our compassionate cowboy.  As Craig said “Big Billy became my alter-ego in the cancer fight – he’s my ‘go-to’ guy that I reach out for, when I think I’ve had enough of all of this and can’t go the distance anymore – and need a helping hand to get me back on my feet.”  Big Billy is the man you want on your side when the going gets tough.

Craig put his own life and health on hold to deal with his estranged father’s final illness, passing and clean-up of a life-long hoarder. He and Kim worked nights and weekends for over a year to deal with all this.  When asked why he did it given the strained relationship, he said it was the right thing to do.

Craig has always been a sharer and one to reach out to others.  His responses to others who posted issues or concerns have always been laced with compassion and good information.  If he sensed that you might need an extra boost or a kind word, you might just find an email from him waiting for you the next time you signed in.

 Craig has given far more than any other single contributor to this board.  He does it with a gentle style that lets you know you are “family” and without any expectations in return.

I know for a “summary” this is kinda long, but there is so very much to the man we call “Our Craig”.

There is just not enough love or enough hugs for a man most of us have never met except through the written word.

Please send this mighty warrior your best wishes, prayers and good vibes to overcome this latest challenge.

Marie who loves kitties

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5487
Joined: Jan 2013

for the insight into Craig's life. 

I come late to the game though earlier than others, but still not here long enough to know 'The rest of the story'. 

I often look at that majestic Lion and wish that it were a picture of Craig, as i would love to see the face behind the name. 

Sue - Trubrit

jen2012
Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

Maybe Craig will post a link to his youtube video :)

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

Here is the link that Craig shared with us.  It is still there.  But you won't "see" Craig...it is Big Billy who does the singing!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Beb7axEinKY

 

 

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

If you search members for Sundanceh it will take you to his profile.

There you will find an Expressions tab.  Click on that.

On the second page, a ways down, you will find a picture of Craig that he shared.  Click on it to make it bigger.

 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5487
Joined: Jan 2013

Now I can 'see' him when I read his posts. 

Trubrit

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

Marie, tell them about Santa Craig:)

Those were golden times of community...

Ho Ho ho

sc

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

How after I kept the lion (decided to do) an image that chicky had called me her  lion:)

that story and passage of time here was so special so I kep the lion as conception to her......

the crowd kinda' digs him too;)

See you

while im at.....I am working on an update post for you...

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

By today's count, we were a relatively small group back around 2009 - 2010.  We had a rare mix of folks.  Friendly, funny banter prevaded the threads.

One of the folks was a lovely lady...she had the most infectious smile and big eyes.  Shayenne was her handle here.

Craig and she had an especially close relationship...kinda like close brother and sister.

He nicknamed her Chicky and she called him her Lion.

She passed way to soon (August 2010), leaving behind a husband and  4 children.

One thing about Craig is that he has never let the loss of friends on the board keep him from forging new close relationships.  While his heart may have a piece missing for each dear one who passed, there is always room for more. 

So, ROAR loud and long, Lion.

Marie who loves kitties

 

 

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

I missed the first Santa Craig experience as I didn't join until Jan. 2010...my bad luck.

However, as Christmas 2010 approached there was the distinct jingling of bells and pawing of hooves in the mail boxes of many here.

One of our members, Craig's Chicky as it happens, had started the annual Christmas card exchange for those who wished to participate.

As it turned out, our Santa Craig used the list in a different kind of way...he made a compilation of many old favorite holiday tunes, burned CD's and mailed them out.  What a wonderful gift!

As I recall, many of our members played them on their trips to and from treatments...and some even were playing them long after the holidays were over.

Mine gets a work out during the holiday season each year.

And while we are talking about his generous spirit, there were two other things that arrived in the mail for those who wanted their own copies....The medical magazine which featured his da Vinci surgery and a copy of Cope magazine which ran his story about the "birth" of Big Billy.  Personalized, signed copies no less!

That is our Santa Craig...always willing to share.

Marie who loves kitties

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

Marie, this was beautifully written about our wonderful and caring Craig, it made me smile and cry at the same time.  Craig, I'm just not able to say anything right now, except, I love you dear friend. 

Gentle hugs (())

Cyn

jen2012
Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

I'm feeling like a blabbermouth cyn since we have the same number of posts and you have been posting for two extra years.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5487
Joined: Jan 2013

What does that make me?

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

I guess I'm more of a silent participant these days. ;)

Hugs (()) 

Cyn

jen2012
Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

Very nice Marie...give a little insight why we are all pulling for our Craig!

 

Jen aka. Craig fan club member since 2012

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

for the insight. I wish him nothing but the best. Any dog lover like that is a friend of mine.

Easyflip/Richard

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

Love that man!!!

 

*hugs*

Gail

janderson1964
Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

Thank you so much for the post Marie. I couldn't have said it better myself. Craig has helped me through some tuff times. He truly is a giving and caring man. It is important that the newbies know about him.

Fight for my love
Posts: 1530
Joined: Jun 2009

Marie, thank you so much for this beautiful post. Craig, I have been thinking of you everyday and I have been praying for you everyday. I truly truly hope your pain and discomfort will be under control. I wish I were there for you and Kim to give you a hand. Please remember, although I was not interactive with you for a while, I never stopped thinking of you and many other members on this forum, and I will never never forget how supportive and how kind you were  to me when I was dealing with my husband's first round of cancer, especailly I just moved to the U.S by that time. Your friendship and love means so much to me just like it does to many others. My love, prayers, best wishes are always with you. Hugs.

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

Craig is a special guy, and I'm glad you thought to share him with the newer members of our forum in this way!

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

thank you so much for the thought and compassion that you did this with?

You know me so well, lol. You did a nice job!

we can spare the new folks from me:)

Me

Marie, I almost forgot.....

Just when I thought there were no more tears to.cry, you made tears spill over in affection and gratitude for you:)

-Craig

jen2012
Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

Big Billy's stories in Coping magazine is still online :)

http://copingmag.com/cwc/index.php/feature_article/the_legend_of_big_billy

The Legend of Big Billy

by Craig Harrison

Inspiration image

Craig Harrison as Big Billy

It was late in the winter of 2010, and the nights were long and dark. I lay in bed motionless hour after hour, listening to the wall clock mock me with its relentless chiming that marked each passage of time – a haunting melody that became the subtle, audible reminder of yet another sleepless 60 minutes I would never get back.

It must have been somewhere between three and four in the early morning – that thin layer of time that separates the night from the dawn. It’s affectionately known as “the witching hour” for many a cancer survivor in the throes of treatment. It’s often a time when we find ourselves alone, with nothing but our thoughts to keep us company. It can be a time of deep despair and haunted visions. Or it can be a time of enlightenment, where cer­tain truths finally align themselves in the perfect order, at last revealing that which you’ve been hunting for those many long, soul-searching nights.

Big Billy would bear the markings of one tough,
cancer-fighting dude.

This particular night, there was a stillness and a calmness in the air. It was so eerily quiet I could hear my thoughts rattling around in my skull like a game of Ping-Pong gone mad. I was tired, I felt defeated, and at that moment, I felt I had lost my way. I had lost my inspiration as well. Hope had packed a suitcase and was heading out the door. I was left feeling emotionally bankrupt and destitute.

I was nearly a beaten man, swaying back and forth, grasping at phantom ropes in an imaginary boxing ring to steady myself. I lay there contemplat­ing why I was fighting so hard and for what anymore. I began to question whether I had the right stuff to make it to the final round of this second title-defense match against cancer. All great fighters have to lay down the gloves at some point. Maybe it was time for cancer to retire me.

Then it came to me: Big Billy, what he stood for and represented for me, and what he might represent for other cancer fighters who felt their strength waning and their mental resolve begin­ning to weaken. Big Billy would bear the markings of one tough, cancer-fighting dude. He would be the antithesis of my normally meek outward appear­ance, but on the inside, he would carry my ideals and my values.

Big Billy became my alter ego in the cancer world, the muscle behind my hustle. He was born from a figment of my imagination on a cold winter night, and he crystallized into the em­bodiment of a mentality that I wanted to represent. More importantly, he became the person I wanted to feel like on the inside: one of the baddest cancer fighters there ever was.

Big Billy and I developed a symbi­otic relationship; each of us could stand on his own merit, independent of one another. But in combination, we were an unstoppable force in the cancer uni­verse, a dynamic duo bent on knocking out cancer and emerging as victors.

I harnessed this image of the fight­ing nature that we all carry with us into our cancer battles, and manifested that image through a persona that was tan­gible and readily identifiable, and that could represent us all.

In essence, Big Billy personifies our fighting side. He lives in me, and he lives in you, too. Keep fighting. You can do it. You’ve got Big Billy in your corner.

 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Craig Harrison is a four-time colorectal cancer survivor living in Arlington, TX.

This article was published in Coping® with Cancer magazine, September/October 2013.

NewHere's picture
NewHere
Posts: 1340
Joined: Feb 2015

I have pieced some of this together in the short time I am here and it is obvious he is a good person, well liked, funny and as tough as nails.  Awesome combination.

as someone else mentioned, anyone who likes dogs is already a good person in my book.  I love animals generally and grew up with dogs my entire life.  

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Marie, thank you so much for taking the time to do that. He is obviously a very special man.

Jan

Subscribe to Comments for "Want to know more about who Sundanceh is?"