I Am Now a Five-Year Cancer Survivor

Hope is a precious commodity.

 

Amazing. Unbelievable. Lucky. Blessed. I am now a five-year cancer survivor.  Although some define the 5-year period as beginning at the date of diagnosis, I prefer to use the date of my Whipple surgery for pancreatic cancer. February 12, 2015. So, exactly five years ago today.

I am kind of melancholy about reaching this point. But I don’t feel the euphoria about beating the less than 10 percent survival rate for PC that I expected. I just learned this is not uncommon. According to Dr. SP, a leading psychologist, my melancholy reflects a lot of subconscious feelings about the traumatic events during my journey. Even though I try as hard as possible to be upbeat on a daily basis. Also, it relates to my profound sorrow about others with cancer who have not been so lucky. And my own continuing challenges.

Live life every day. Live as long as you can, as well as you can.

Observations about Surviving Cancer

From Cancer.Net:

“A person who has had cancer is commonly called a cancer survivor. ‘Co-survivor’ is sometimes used to describe a person who has cared for a loved one with cancer.”

“Not everyone who has had cancer likes the word ‘survivor.’ The reasons for this may vary. For instance, they may simply identify more with being ‘a person who has had cancer.’ Or if they are dealing with cancer every day they may describe themselves as ‘living with cancer.’ Therefore, they may not think of themselves as a survivor. Living with a history of cancer is different for each person. But most people have the common belief that life is different after cancer.”

“Other common reactions that people have after cancer include:

              • Appreciating life more.
              • Being more accepting of themselves.
              • Feeling more anxious about their health.
              • Not knowing how to cope after treatment ends.”

           

        • Now, check out this video.

       

A Humorous Look at Fulfilling New Year’s Resolutions

Have you given up yet? LOL

Yes, we have made it to January 9, 2020. 🙂 So, after 9 days (including today), how are we doing with our New Year’s resolutions?

For a humorous look at fulfilling New Year’s resolutions, check out the three images below.

A Humorous Look at Fulfilling New Year's Resolutions

A Humorous Look at Fulfilling New Year's ResolutionsA Humorous Look at Fulfilling New Year's Resolutions
 

A New Book of Poetry to Start 2020

Food for thought!

Once again, it is my honor to assist David Fox in publishing a new free book of poetry.  This is yet another example of what we can do regardless of our limitations.

As we said last November:

David is a true inspiration. Despite being born with Cerebral Palsy and having suffered from mental illness in his 20’s, David has written poems for children and adults for over 20 years. His poetry has appeared in Bell’s Letters, Ceremony, Great South Bay Magazine, Humoresque, The Oak, Opossum Holler Tarot, Performance Poet’s Association Literary Review, Poetic Expressions, Poets’ Roundtable, Reflections, SMILE, Tale Spinners (Canada), Visions, Wanton Words, Whispers of Poetry and Write On!! Poetry Magazette. He is still a participant at UCP Long Island.

Click the image to access the new book. Note: A free, simple login is required. 🙂

A New Book of Poetry to Start 2020

 

We Wish You Happy Holidays

Many thoughtful quotes.

In the United States, we are sometimes our own worst enemies. For example, see a post about our under-use of vacation time. But, it’s the season for happy holidays 2019. Enjoy your time with family and friends. 

Food for Thought: Happy Holidays 2019 

We hope these quotes make you more reflective. And do things to make others happy. Which in turn will make YOU happy.

Fred Rogers — “I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending.”

Kate Klise — “During the holiday season, it’s easy to forget that sometimes the best gift of all is simply the gift of time. I can’t think of anything a writer would appreciate more than being given time and space to work.” 

Ainsley Earhardt — “Giving back to those in need is something that everyone on all sides of the political aisle can relate to. And it is beautiful to see people come together, especially during the holiday season.”

Geoff Stults — “The holiday season can be an especially trying time for our service men, women, and families. Military service and deployment create empty seats at holiday tables, religious services, and celebrations.” 

We conclude with these wishes.

Happy Holidays 2019

Time with Loved Ones

Treasure every moment. Be inspired by “Time in a Bottle.”

As we have shown before, music can be inspiring. And we can reflect on the lyrics.

One of my favorite musical artists of the early 1970s was Jim Croce. His best-selling song (and number one hit) was Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.”

But, unfortunately, Croce died at age 30 from a plane crash. He was just entering his prime. And he left a wife and a very young son.

Today, I dedicate another popular Croce song to my wife Linda — “Time in a Bottle.” Here are Croce’s lyrics:

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that Id like to do
Is to save every day
Till eternity passes away
Just to spend them with youIf I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I’d save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with youBut there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time withIf I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with.

 

Croce in 1972, photographed by Ingrid Croce

 

Volunteering and LOVING It

Be inspired by giving back. 🙂

If you aren’t already doing so, consider volunteering. It’s a true win-win, for those you are helping as well as for YOU. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 It is so rewarding!!


As I mentioned at the beginning of this year, I am now retired and interested in giving back. And I really want to volunteer as part of my giving back approach. But, it has been an unexpectedly difficult journey to volunteering. For different reasons, I was not able to hook up with various cancer organizations and other social services groups.

Rather than give up, I broadened my volunteering search. And it must have been my destiny all along to be a volunteer with United Cerebral Palsy of Long IslandSince last month, I have been a volunteer with the day programs at the Hauppauge, NY facility. I am working with disabled individuals who are the sweetest people. They have treated me like a long-lost friend. In addition, the staff is phenomenal and really caring.

I am involved with self-advocacy, socialization, human rights, job skills, and more. They keep thanking me. Yet, it is really I who am thankful because I get to give back in such a meaningful way. I am fulfilling my mission related my to fortunate survival from pancreatic cancer. To me, this is so inspirational and motivational.

As its Web site notes:

“UCP of Long Island is committed to advancing the independence, productivity, and full citizenship of people with disabilities. Our mission is to provide life skills training, education, advocacy, meaningful employment, and a place to call home for Long Islanders with a wide range of disabilities. UCP of Long Island proudly upholds the values of excellence, integrity, dignity, empowerment, responsibility, accountability, vision and innovation.”

“Over 65 percent of the individuals we serve today have disabilities other than cerebral palsy. These include acquired disabilities, epilepsy, sensory impairments, autism, learning disabilities, traumatic brain injury, chronic physical/medical conditions, Prader-Willi syndrome, Tourette syndrome, Down syndrome, mental health disorders, and Spina bifida.”

Giving Back Quotes

Consider the following.

Volunteering and LOVING It

Volunteering and LOVING ItVolunteering and LOVING ItVolunteering and LOVING It