Friday, December 26, 2008

What About Now

I created this slideshow and recently found the appropriate music. What About Now by Daughtry

Enjoy and more later...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Clouded Vision

So another round of antibiotics for sinus and upper respiratory infections. Oh, forgot to mention the double eye infection that I thought was gone until 4:00 am today. Another day of work and then wanting to come home to rest for another day. Another day of what I ask myself...Some days it feels as though I see things through cloudy vision(no pun intended) since the watch and wait period began. I lack the energy to run out and play at times, to laugh at other times and sometimes just to smile at others. I see other people laughing, enjoying life and taking part in the various offerings of the city. Me, well I got this diagnosis that occupies too much time on my mind and just don't feel like it. I think at times that this will pass but then remind myself that this ain't going away and I must choose to live, laugh and smile. Some days, I just don't feel like it. Too much clouded vision in my path.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Words of Others

Not feeling good lately with another upper respiratory infection, I came across a blog entry from Carl Wilton who is a survivor of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In his latest entry he shares some writing that David Bailey has done about survivorship and made me think of my own situation.

Today his words are enough said...

more later

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Having a cancer in which the initial treatment is nothing, just wait for the symptoms, can be daunting at times. Much time is spent on testing for diagnostic purposes and then time is often available to read, research, look into what might lie ahead as the disease progresses. Doctor appointments come and go, blood is drawn, stress levels rise and fall in anticipation and through all this, life must go on.

The balance of worry, the unknown, the stories you read and hear, the fact that "the timing of this just isn't good" and oh yeah, don't forget you have cancer and through all this, life must go on.

Ikigai, the sense of life worth living came to me today through listening to the radio while driving to work. Sometimes it seems that when one asks, the answer appears. What to make of all this time, between the doctor visits and the waiting...the purpose of life. This will mean different things to each of us, but just the thought to live each day with a purpose, to live with hope, live with happiness and just to live. What the purpose is remains unknown but just to be reminded that there is a purpose to life was all I needed to hear this day, at that time driving, to help make the day start off in a good direction. I guess I have something to be thankful for this season.


Friday, November 14, 2008


In every moment...Something sacred is at stake

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

Nothing like a 5 hour plane ride across the country to have the time to clean out the email inbox. Came across this quote and it brought calmness to the flight. Having to leave family to work is tough. Missing time to rest, play, laugh and share times with my family often takes it's toll. But in every moment, something sacred is at stake. I cannot be anywhere else than here at this moment so I will make the best of what I am given. The opportunity to read, sit quietly(with the help of noise reduction headphones), watch a movie and write. I am reminded of something I wrote when I passed my 1 year mark from diagnosis. At the time, I was thinking about choices and what the previous year had meant. I wrote.

As I come to a year after being diagnosed (July 3rd), my mind is racing with thoughts of what the last year has brought and what lies ahead. I had the realization that I can make choices daily and that certain things are out of my control. I can choose what to put into my body as far as food and drink goes, I can choose what to put into my mind through thoughts, prayer, reading, music and quiet moments. I can choose to exercise to strengthen my body and mind, I can choose what to take on each day that gives me energy and choose to avoid those things that take energy away from me. All this and the hope that my journey will travel many miles before this dreadful disease takes it's toll. Each day IS a choice and I cherish the idea that I do have choices.

More to come.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. [1] To hope is to wish for something with the expectation of the wish being fulfilled, a key condition in unrequited love. [2] Hopefulness is somewhat different from optimism in that hope is an emotional state, whereas optimism is a conclusion reached through a deliberate thought pattern that leads to a positive attitude. "Wikipedia"

The following is a poem by Wendy Harpham, MD from her book,
Happiness In A Storm
Posted with permission of author

Hope is an image of goals
planted firmly in your mind.
When looking at life before you,
hope lines the paths you find.

Hope is a well of courage
nestled deep within your heart.
When faltering in fear and doubt,
hope pushes you to start.

Hope is an urge to keep going,
for limbs too tired too tired and weak.
When apathy stills all desire,
hope sparks the fuel you seek.

Hope is a promise of patience
as you wait for distress to wane.
When all you can do is nothing,
hope pulls you through the pain.

Hope is a spirit that lifts you,
should heaviness pull at your soul.
When torn apart by losses,
hope mends to keep you whole.

Many days, hope is what provides energy, hope is what provides strength, hope is what provides security and hope provides the belief that no matter what lies ahead, all will be well.

Some things I hope for...
The opportunity to laugh each day
A long joy filled life with my wife
A smile each day from my son
Chances to travel near and far
The strength to face the road ahead
The opportunity to make a difference
The ability to make positive health choices
Many chances to share a meal with friends and family
The day when my cancer no longer will be chronic

To live with hope is something I have adopted within my new "normal" life.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A New "Normal" Way of Life

After spending many days and nights thinking about being diagnosed with a chronic cancer, it finally came to me that my life as once known was no longer. There being no cure for chronic leukemia, means that every day I wake up, this will be part of me. Many times each day, the thought pops into my head, "I have cancer".

It was then brought to my attention that no matter what I did from this point forward, my life as I once knew would no longer be possible. Yes, I could make the choice to deny that I have been diagnosed with cancer and try to fight the shift towards a new way of life or I could accept the change and make a decision to live life.

Some have made the analogy that cancer is like a 800 lb. monster in the room. You can try to fight the monster or you can embrace it and learn to live with it. Every person must make many choices when faced with a diagnosis of any type of cancer, and one of my choices is to embrace the monster, hope for a cure, make the best choices I can for my own health and most of all, live life.

Embrace can be defined in many ways, to take or clasp in the arms, to avail oneself of, to take in with the eye and mind or to encircle just to name a few. It does not mean that I wish or desired this to be part of my life but I accept that it is there nonetheless.

So now come the to accept this new way of life and live it to the fullest. One resource I recently read is the book,
AntiCancer: A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD. This book brings forth information, backed by the research, on important aspects of self care that can be taken on by those diagnosed with cancer. Written in a way that is easy to follow, well documented and very practical from first hand knowledge of the authors' own story of cancer.

The following video clip provides a preview as told by the author.

More later

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Where it all began

July 2nd 2007: Stomach pain for 4 weeks leads to MD visit. Referral to GI specialist with blood drawn. Phone call July 3rd 2007: You have abnormal blood levels and we are sending you to an oncologist today at 2:30. Flash forward 4 most likely have chronic leukemia(CLL) and lymphoma(SLL) so enjoy the 4th of July and come back Thursday for a bone marrow biopsy.

Chron-ic: 1. Marked by long duration or frequent recurrence 2. Always present or encountered.

From the standpoint of a 43 year old male, anything chronic outside of happiness and a large bank account doesn't sound too appealing.

Flash forward 1 year after multiple blood draws, CT scans, visits to a specialist and alot of reading, searching and find me here. Something about this chronic disease of leukemia and what is known as "watch and wait" can make one ponder what lies ahead. Watch for symptoms and wait for treatment is what many people deal with when first diagnosed with CLL. Others have written that it is like waiting for the train that is going to hit you, just not sure when it might happen. I have also read that it sounds and feels better to "watch and live". So this is where this disease has taken me at this point.

There are many ways to cope, deal, live with a chronic form of cancer and writing is often listed as one. Inspirational and educational reading is another. Those diagnosed with cancer are often labeled survivors from the date of diagnosis. So thus the name of my site, Cancer Survivor Inspiration. Some written posts will be personal, some what I find inspirational, some what I find educational and some...just plain funny and enjoyable. Will it inspire others? Not sure Will it inspire me? Hopefully.

Anyway, I look forward to many posts of my journey and finding those of others to help me. Names will be changed to (oh you know the details).