Care

Attitude is everything. You have to believe.....in yourself, in your family, in all that is around you.

My “Frontier Words” (I live in Alaska, the Last Frontier) were the foundation to helping me through my 11 battles with cervical, ovarian, twice breast, thyroid, stomach, lymph, multiple malignant melanomas and stage 4 colon cancer (currently)
FRONTIER WORDS:
FAITH, FAMILY, FRIENDS, FUN, FORGIVENESS (ESPECIALLY OF YOURSELF), FLEXIBILITY, MORE FUN, FELLOWSHIP WITH OTHERS, FINDING PERMISSION TO TAKE A NAP, MORE FUN AND CHOCOLATE (OH, I MEAN FUDGE - AS IN DOUBLE FUDGE BROWNIE ICE CREAM - EVEN A SPOONFUL EVERY NIGHT BEFORE BED!)

Chose Hope - Because Cancer Sucks.
— Care

I was humbled to be able to meet this remarkable woman at the Instigator Experience (a conference on turning your big idea into a reality....http://www.theinstigatorexperience.com/). I can't recommend her first book enough (http://www.amazon.com/Loose-Screws-Skinned-Knees-Opportunities-ebook/dp/B008QQ1RXE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397677732&sr=8-1&keywords=care+tuk) . She tells her story of fighting cancer since the age of 19, to recovering from being hit by drunk driver, adopting two kids, and still flying all over the world helping people. My only regret is that she lives so far away and I can easily see her more often. I can't wait for next book that she is working on right now. Love you, Care. 

My Mom

All day, I have been struggling with what to write about my mom and her fight with cancer. Her strength and courage through her laryngectomy has been so inspiring. I hope one day to articulate what this experience has meant to me. She is one of my heroes. I hope to be half the parent she has been.

Love you, Mom. 

Jonathan

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I was very fortunate at the time I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Fortunate seems like a weird word to use, but it’s very true. I had a great support system from the very beginning. My wife and family were supportive, I had a church family that cared for me, and I have a strong faith in God. It was these three things that were instrumental in the way I coped.

I think my wife was more devastated by this disease than I was. She stood by me every step of the way, but I know it was harder on her, and so I thought less about myself and more about meeting her needs. I didn’t have time to feel sorry for myself or worry about what was happening because I had to be there for her. I think having to go through this together made us a stronger team and changed us for the better.

I’m also thankful for the family and friends that were there for us when we needed them. Their love, help and support meant a lot to us.

As for the advice I’d give to others who are diagnosed with cancer, I’d recommend making sure you have a support system that will meet your needs. Besides what I’ve already mentioned, my wife and I attended a cancer support group, and the people there were extremely helpful. It’s important to have something to lean on besides your own strength.

I’d also advise anyone who is just diagnosed to make themselves an “expert” on their particular type of cancer. Learn as much about it and absorb as much information as you’re able. I was advised to get a second opinion, and that’s what I did. Both of the doctors I saw recommended the same treatment, so I felt comfortable and understood what I was about to go through. I also found the best doctor to perform the surgery, and I believe I received the best treatment available.
— Jonathan

Reverend John

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Life will go on. From my point of view, there is nothing to fear. God will provide excellent care givers and every need including “How will this work?” and “How this will happen?”.
— Rev John

Uncle Bob

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My uncle Bob has been fighting brain cancer for close to 2 years. At this point, all he can verbalize is "yes" or "no". I will cherish the hour we spent watching and laughing at The Price Is Right. My Aunt offered the beautiful advice below in his place. 

"Stay positive even in the  negative times.  Take a day, an hour, or a minute at a time if you need to, but try not to worry about the future. Everything can change in a heartbeat, or so slow you don't remember time passing. 

You need to feel comfortable with the doctor that is treating your loved one.  If you aren't comfortable, get another opinion.  Then , get involved with his disease.  Learn as much as you can, allow the family members to be as involved as they want to be,  get involved with a support group if there is one, and welcome anyone who is willing to help. 

Let them listen to you,  hug you when you need it, give you what they feel comfortable to give you, and prayers.  The power of prayer cannot be discounted, both for the patient and the family members.

And say what you want to say while you have time with your loved one.  Even if you repeat it a thousand times. "

My why......

"Mom has cancer". Those words are burned into my memory. I still remember standing outside of work in the crisp March morning air as millions of thoughts swirled about in my mind. All the fears and doubts assaulting me from all sides. Unfortunately, the experience has repeated multiple times with other relatives and friend's families. Each successive pronouncement does not lessen the hurt or ease the burden of the news. I may not have the right words but I can offer a platform who those who might.

I present you the "Say It a Thousand Times" portrait series. Each individual is fighting or fought cancer and offers their own advice to those just diagnosed.  The title comes from my Aunt Nancy who is faithfully caring for my uncle who is fighting brain cancer. 

Say what you want to say while you have time with your loved ones. Even if you repeat it a thousand times.
— Aunt Nancy