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Advice to self of yesteryears!

Phil64's picture
Posts: 838
Joined: Apr 2012

I was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer in April 2012. If the person I am now could speak to who I was then, what would I say? 

It is an interesting question to contemplate. What advice could I give to me, to help make coping easier? What wisdom could I share that would guide and comfort me through the tougher days?

When I think about this more I tend to really appreciate this site. So many people shared Their wisdom with me. And they where me in the sense that they had already survived what I was going through. 

I especially remember and appreciate Craig. He was a true rock star in this forum. His posts were captivating and genuine. His heart was revealed through the words he wrote. And his wisdom was inspirin, comforting, and freely shared.

A couple things he told me that really sunk in for me. I will share those with you all and add a couple of my own thoughts as well.

1) you can beat this! He told me that it is possible to beat colon cancer. Yes, even Stage IV.

2) it is a marathon. Not a sprint. So pace yourself. And ENDURE. You have to PUSH FORWARD. Even when sometimes you simply want to curl up and stop. 

3) Find a doctor you trust and then TRUST THEM to do their job. Listen to your feelings when deciding if you can trust your doctor.

4) don’t stop living. Keep living. Loving. Engage people and Love!

5) NEVER GIVE UP. Even when things are bleak. You never know what the next day will bring. 

6) Ask lots of questions. And keep notes. You will need to learn a lot. Especially about managing symptoms and side effects. Meds: what and when to take. What to eat and what not to eat. Managing through diarhea. Surgery recovery.

7) Surgery recovery. LISTEN to your doctors. Seriously. Walk when they tell you to. Eat what they say. Don’t overdo it.

8) it’s okay to be pissed and angry. And it’s okay to be sad. And it’s okay to be HAPPY too! 

What would you say to yourself, knowing what you know now?



ron50's picture
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

Bad sign getting caught talking to yourself. I get my 20 years cancer free up next month, bring on the next twenty. Merry Christmas Ron.

Phil64's picture
Posts: 838
Joined: Apr 2012

Merry Christmas Ron. And thank you for all of your support of many people on this forum. And my mother always said it’s okay to talk to yourself as long as you don’t talk back. LOL

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6694
Joined: Feb 2009

Awesome dear friend for reaching such a milestone - you have had such an inspiring story during your 20 years of just trying to deal with it.  You are a true survivor that has really had the the journey of a lifetime and not an easy one at that.  Thank you for all your support during the years.

Hugs and Merry Christmas!  Kim

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5422
Joined: Jan 2013

What a man!

You know he continued posting right up until a few days before he died, though his last few post were garbled, his heart was still with us, trying to help.  God bless him!

When I first joined the fourm, there were so many posting so often, and one by one they passed away. Good people, Buzzard, Lisa, Nana, Joemetz, DocHawk, steveandnat, Pete, John, Jeff, Barbebarb, Johnnybegood, Dick (Kathleen), Pepe, LindaK (for her husband), thxmiker, Renw, Winter Marie, tachilders, Vicklig, Steved. The list, sadly, is endless, but these are a few that helped me along the way. 

What would they have to say to us now, do you think? Now that they have passed. 

My friend died yesterday of CRC. Diagnosed after me. I'm gutted! 

What would I say to my newly diagnosed self? Enjoy the things you learn from the experience. Live every day to its best. Don't judge others. And BE THERE FOR OTHERS, especially for those here on the forum.  This list is endless as well. 

I am so very happy that you are not on my 'passed' list, Phil. You've been through the ringer, as have you Ron. But you're both here for a reason. Honour our friends passed, by being the best we can be now, and by helping others going through the same trial. 


Phil64's picture
Posts: 838
Joined: Apr 2012

Sue, your post sums it all up nicely. And it brings tears to my eyes to think about all the people in the list you have. I too remember conversing with them over tougher days. I am also so very saddened by your most recent loss. There certainly are many trials and much tribulation to endure for us on this Earth. And I agree that it boils down to being here for others in our lives. And remembering to not judge and to simply Love others whenever we are faced with an opportunity to do so.

And you, my friend, have supported me and many others. I pray that you receive much Love in return for all your goodness!

Love and Light to you during this time of mourning. ((Hugs))

Momof2plusteentwins's picture
Posts: 508
Joined: May 2012

Well said Phil.  I was diagnosed the same month and year as you, stage IV, and still around.  Not on sites as much, busy with my twins that are 20 now and in college and now have twin grandbabies - twin girls that are 3 and twin boys that are almost 2.  So trying to live life after stage IV cancer.  Wishing everyone health and Merry Christmas!

Phil64's picture
Posts: 838
Joined: Apr 2012

Wow. You are double blessed twice. :-)

We have two grand children from our daughter marrying someone who had two girls. 

And 2016 brought us TWO new grand babies. Blakely Jean was born on April 9 and Franklin Lawrence was born on October 4. 

We are so LOVING our grand babies so much!

NewHere's picture
Posts: 1332
Joined: Feb 2015

All good advice Phil and Tru.

Craig was awesome, though he passed away fairly soon after I got here.  His posts did become garbled, a pattern I have seen repeat more than once since then.  The changes in posting...starts brining tears to my ears thinking about it.  When he passed away, I burst out in tears, something else that has occured more than once since I am here.  For people I have never met, but became so important in short periods of time.



Phil64's picture
Posts: 838
Joined: Apr 2012

I know what you mean. Both my wife and I have cried together when reading posts about others on this forum suffering and succumbing to this ugly disease. I think that is because we know the trials and tribulations we face. And the impact it has on our loved ones. And the impact it has on ourselves as well. 

In the end we will all pass away. I believe in life after death and want so much to share my beliefs with others on this board.

But I respect the board rules. And have come to accept the importance of listening to others and their thoughts, and being a whiteness of their struggles and trials. And being a coach sometimes. Offering encouragement. 

God Bless. ((Hugs))

Joan M's picture
Joan M
Posts: 411
Joined: Oct 2016

You are so fortunate to have survived and conquered Stage IV cancer.  It brings hope to me and others battling the disease. 

I pray for new treatments that will allow more Stage IV patients to be cured.  Hearing of all the deaths from cancer is frightening, but almost expected, it feels like a death sentence when you hear the diagnosis.  I am happy to still be alive and feeling as well as I do 20 months after being told I had 6 to 18 months to live.

I hope you continue to do well and please continue to post.

God Bless and Merry Christmas!  


Phil64's picture
Posts: 838
Joined: Apr 2012

God Bless you Joan. And may this season bring oodles of Love and countless Blessings to you. I feel compelled to share this with you. Although i likely won’t say it as elequently as a friend once said it to me. I will try. 

She said that it is true that Life is all about the special moments. About making a heartfelt connection with a Loved one. About a step towards a truer friendship. About loving a baby. About forgiving someone who wronged us and letting them know. About deepening our support to others, building them up.

AND we should NOT simply wait for these moments. We need to CREATE them.

And that is what I’m asking Santa for. “Skills to create moments.” A “moment generator thingy.” 

:-) God Bless

lp1964's picture
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

Life is so busy and don’t post much, but here every day. 

Thank you for the words of wisdom and reminding me how I felt at the time of the diagnosis and since. I lost a lot: a marriage, a few body parts and honestly the faith in fairness. Except the body parts I️m happy to report that I have rebuilt most of it. Enjoy working full time (even though the pain in my butt and the numbness in my fingers revisit once in a while). I am very active, Dating, cooking enjoying my days.

one thing that helped me the most when I was diagnosed is to keep reminding myself that I am the same person I was before I was diagnosed with the same wisdom, knowledge, skills and emotions, except now I happen to have cancer. And homestly it’s not the cancer that kicks our butt, but sadly the treatments. 

All of you here and all of the ones that are not here anymore are on my mind a lot with the greatest appreciation.


Phil64's picture
Posts: 838
Joined: Apr 2012

Laz, great to read a post from you. You are right that we have to survive both the cancer and all the collateral damages that happen in the battle. The treatment weakens is and can rob us of many things that we love. I had to stop playing golf. I missed events. I missed work.

But we now know that we can recoup some of what we did after the battle is done. And we know that we are changed in many ways for the good as a result of the battle as well.

God Bless my friend Laz

Lily Flower's picture
Lily Flower
Posts: 254
Joined: Jul 2017

Thanks Phil for sharing. It is very encouraging to new members as well as the current ones. Isn't ironic that we all hate cancer but it is cancer that brought us together?! Congratulations to you for beating the cancer. May you stay NED forever and enjoy life to the fullest! 

JanJan63's picture
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Great topic Phil! And I think I'd say the same things to myself. My diagnosis will be four years as of December 31. I still can't believe the doctor thought it was a good idea to bring me in to tell me on New Years Eve, but whatever. I wish I could tell my even younger self to go and do the stupid colonoscopy that had been suggested. But I was scared of being embarassed and I hate needles so I didn't go. 

Anyway, Merry Christmas to you Phil! And many more years of doing well! 


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