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I've got stage 4 cancer, lost my job unexpectedly, and am now considered "disabled" because I get chemo every 2-3 weeks for the rest of my life. But currently the chemo (usually) only puts me down for 1 of 3 weeks, so I can ride far!

I wish there was something we could do.

My apologies if I am probing too much, and/or being too morbid, but I wanted to ask. At some point, we each must face our own mortality. Has your diagnosis and/or reflection since, provided any wisdom and/or perspective you would be willing to share, either here publicly, or even privately? I would appreciate your thoughts, if you are willing to share.

I appreciate whatever time you choose to take from what you have left, to share here with us. All the best, to you, and to everyone, for the time we all have left.
 

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Just saw this

We should all live today like it could be our last. Hope is faith in the promises of God, through a saving relationship with His son Jesus Christ.

I know this post will not sit well with everybody, so I'll just let it go at that. However, I'm always ready and willing to share via phone, text, email or pm.

Dan


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Just saw this

We should all live today like it could be our last. Hope is faith in the promises of God, through a saving relationship with His son Jesus Christ.

I know this post will not sit well with everybody, so I'll just let it go at that. However, I'm always ready and willing to share via phone, text, email or pm.

Dan


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Amen!
 

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I was diagnosed with embryonal carcinoma in September last year. A few months of chemo, a very long surgery, and a few more months of recovery, and I got the all-clear earlier this year.

Whatever the outcome, it's definitely life-changing.

You learn to do what you can to be comfortable on the bad days, and make the most of your good days. And yes, the bike is great therapy when you're up to it.

You also get a much shorter tolerance for petty bullshit. Whether work, so-called "friends", or just random public, you simply think "I literally don't have the time or energy for your hassles."

You also learn who you can really trust and rely on.

And these are lessons that can benefit us all, even without a random life-threatening illness.

Note that I've never been the least bit religious, but any way that you can personally find hope or healing is the right way. I simply chose to put my trust in the doctors, nurses, staff, family, and friends who worked tirelessly to quite literally save my life.

I'm glad that's all behind me now, even if it never really does fully go away...
 

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My 91 year old mother passed about a year ago and up until the week she died, was 100% there mentally. Three months before she died, we got the diagnosis that she was 90% likely to be gone in less than 6 months. She never once was sad about her health and immediately informed us all that she wanted to be home with hospice care and never wanted to see the inside of a hospital or receive any medical care other than for her comfort. Her faith in the Lord Jesus was an awesome inspiration to all of us. She spent her last few months living with grace and complete happiness over where she was headed after she passed and always encouraged us to celebrate and be happy that she was going to be with the Lord. I've lost dear friends and family over the past few years but I've never witnessed anything like the gift she gave us all about the power of faith like that.

There's a couple of guys that I take a big epic trip with every year. Both of them are on the clock and choose to accept it as a blessing to put them in a frame of mind that every day could be their last and never leave anything unsaid or undone.

My dad passed at the age of 43. I was 13 years old at the time.

I am a truly blessed person to have these experiences and influences in my life that shape my approach to every day living. Most of us won't know our "use by" date until it's too late to react to it.
 

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I wish there was something we could do.

My apologies if I am probing too much, and/or being too morbid, but I wanted to ask. At some point, we each must face our own mortality. Has your diagnosis and/or reflection since, provided any wisdom and/or perspective you would be willing to share, either here publicly, or even privately? I would appreciate your thoughts, if you are willing to share.

I appreciate whatever time you choose to take from what you have left, to share here with us. All the best, to you, and to everyone, for the time we all have left.
No apologies necessary. Curiosity is as natural as mortality, and life itself is a terminal event. I always knew this; so post-diagnosis I never had a 'why me' moment, because 'why not me' would be the more relevant question. In 50 years, I'd never spent a night in a hospital, ever. I'm about to turn 51, which ain't half bad, considering they gave me 6 to 18 months almost exactly a year ago today. I went in thinking I might have an Appendicitis, but no such luck. ;)

Stage 4 Colon Cancer is my official diagnosis, metastasized to a dozen plus places in my liver, which makes the liver portion inoperable. They guessed I'd probably had Colon Cancer for about a decade, and indeed, the day after they cut that sh!t out of my colon I felt better then I had in years; walked 3 miles per my phone, doing fast laps around the hospital pushing the cart-machine that pumps all the various sh!t into you. Prior to discovery and surgery, I was walking around with a hemoglobin level of just 5, which is about a third of what it should be. This is akin to only having 1/3 of your blood oxygen supply, and makes you feel really fatigued; even just walking from my car to my office I'd have to sit down.

Those days are now behind me, though the chemo too has a fatiguing effect... but that only lasts during and a few days after treatment. The chemo sucks, no way around that, but I am very fortunate that conserving energy by laying around is all I have to do to combat it. It doesn't make me sick like it does some, and I still have about half my beard... which seems to have stopped falling out altogether. (Downside to that, is I still have to shave my head. ;) ) My carcinoembryonic antigen (measure of how much cancer my body is fighting) peaked at 89.8 before chemo (sounds high, but can reach the thousands) was just 0.8 last time I was tested. The cancer tumors themselves actually shrunk 20% in the last 3 months, which was not expected (the chemo is supposed to slow it down, but isn't considered curative.) All in all, I'm doing very well, expect to ride a lot this season and probably the next.

If I have any insight or advice worth sharing, it's this: Get yourself checked out, now. Colon cancer is going to occur in about 1 in 30 men, and the sooner they catch it, the more likely they are to be able to knock it out. Don't be a stubborn a$$hole like me, who waited till he could barely walk. Ideally, you want to catch it YEARS before you notice ANY symptoms whatsoever. Apart from the chemo-related neuropathy (numb tingly feeling in fingers and toes) and the fact that I sleep A LOT, I am in perfect health per every measurement they have (save for the whole dying of cancer thing. ;) ) There is nothing tough or cool about being stubborn about seeing doctors; that's really just plain stupidity. So please, get yourself checked out regularly. Don't be like me.

Insight number two: If you think good insurance is expensive; try taking on a serious illness without it. I'm probably 3/4 of a million dollars into treatment in the last year. It completely wiped me out, and if it wasn't for my wonderful family and friends, I'd probably already be dead... or at least homeless and/or wishing I was dead. The silver lining there is; once you're destitute, you no longer have to pay for your care at all, and mad props are due to the staff at Columbia Saint Mary's who never seemed to give a rat's a$$ about financing. Do support Universal Healthcare, because everyone is eligible to lose this particular lottery and MANY more, and taxpayers pick up the difference as soon as you're broke anyway. It's a LOT cheaper to get regular checkups and catch stuff early, for you and every other taxpayer.

Insight number three: Money is infinitely less important than the time you spend with people who matter to you, and the experiences you have to look back on. This I fortunately got right, as I've never denied myself much in this regard. I am super-fortunate to have a sister and brother-in-law that love me, and welcomed me into their home for the rest of my days (or until the miracle cure arrives), and friends/family that will open theirs to me for cross-country visits. My biggest financial concerns now, are keeping the K16, keeping it running, and paying for Insurance and gas and places to rest in between the places where I have people to put me up. Hence, the reason I'm going "double dark" tomorrow if it stops raining, or Tuesday if it doesn't. I never thought twice about replacing tires early, with the best money could buy, but things change. The smarter move would be to just keep the old Honda Shadow, but I just can't let go of the K16... yet. ;)

Sorry if those weren't the kind of insights you were looking for, but it's all I've got. I've never been a religious man, but do appreciate all the wonderful people who are praying for me. I wasn't built to wallow in misery, never have, and likely never will. Life is too short and is a terminal event. Mine will probably be over sooner than most, but even that isn't guaranteed (I feel pretty darn good!) Spend your time with the people you love, and doing what makes you happy. Tomorrow is guaranteed for no one.
 

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Amen Bill. Every time this subject comes up I can relate at least 3 different recent experiences of people who heard the most dreaded phrase in medicine: "If we'd only caught it sooner." I tell everyone I talk to - get checked and make sure you get a PSA test every 3 - 6 months if you're on the back nine of life. Just getting it checked when you feel bad isn't going to help because the number isn't that important. You need a baseline number and need to know when it starts to move up - that's catching it early enough to do something about it. I'm about due for my 10 year colonoscopy and I'm starting to research all the newer techniques that don't involve Barry White music and a general anesthetic. One way or another, that's a test I won't skip because I feel great.

Bill, I hope you live a long time and continue to be an inspiration to others like your posts you've made here. Thank you.
 

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Sorry if those weren't the kind of insights you were looking for, but it's all I've got. I've never been a religious man



Thank you. It is what I sought. I am not religious, either. Thank you for taking the time. Enjoy the ride. Best of luck beating it, and in making the best of whatever remains.
 

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In response to the OP's original post.........As a 11 year prostate cancer survivor (diagnosed at age 52) I can say that finding that I had a life threatening illness probably is what prompted me to get back into motorcycling after a 35 year absence. Call it live for the day or trying to experience as much of life as I can before I go, it all applies in my case. Many of my friends said I was crazy: Why would you dodge a life threatening disease only to get on a motorcycle and tempt fate? Riding motorcycles cannot be explained to people that do not ride so I don't even try. I have no desire to jump out of airplanes or go cave diving but I applaud those that push the envelope in any endeavor. It is about conquering your internal fears and experiencing something most people never have a chance to experience. It was a "wake up call" for me not only to take an active role in my physical health but also to make sure my mental health was getting some attention too by getting out and enjoying life.

@Bill Ward I hope you kick it and get back on the road soon. My 68 year old riding buddy had a bone marrow transplant in February and we are going for a short ride in the N Georgia mountains on Monday as his 1st ride since his treatments! He is already planning his next 2 trips - each one longer.
 

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I'm about due for my 10 year colonoscopy and I'm starting to research all the newer techniques that don't involve Barry White music and a general anesthetic.
My last colonoscopy was done without any anesthesia and it was not bad at all. I will do all my future ones this way. It is about 20 minutes of discomfort like having bad diarrhea cramps. They told me that they have about 50% of their patients go without anesthesia. The procedure is the same as with anesthesia - nothing different. You also get to see the inside of your colon on a large TV screen.:vhappy:
 

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Here's my take on it:

1) Try not to hurt anybody.
2) Have fun.
3) That's all the rules.

I had a cardiac arrest out of the blue (electrical arrythmia) about six months into my retirement. Fortunately, it resolved spontaneously with no permanent damage. That convinced my wife that I may as well get a motorcycle, but the first thing I did was get an implanted cardiac defibrillator. A couple years ago, I developed CHF (congestive heart failure) due to a ruptured mitral valve. Open heart surgery to repair the valve saved my butt and restored pretty decent heart function. Makes me appreciate each and every day.

Everybody is dying. Some already know what from and even more or less when, but everybody goes. I am trying to live in a way that I feel my time (however much I get) has been well spent.
 

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@Bill Ward I hope you kick it and get back on the road soon. My 68 year old riding buddy had a bone marrow transplant in February and we are going for a short ride in the N Georgia mountains on Monday as his 1st ride since his treatments! He is already planning his next 2 trips - each one longer.
I got back on the road the day I was discharged after surgery, roughly a year ago. Within a month, I bought the GTL. Took it to Sturgis, Denver, dropped down to New Mexico and took Route 66 back to Milwaukee. So much easier and more enjoyable than the chopper I road the year before. This Summer, so far, I'm planning to do the Dragon area, and visit my peeps in South Florida and California. I'll stop riding when it gets too cold or I flat out can't, not before.



Oh, and I did jump out of a perfectly good airplane last year, took a ride in a sketchy helicopter, canopy tour in Costa Rica, and pretty much every other sketchy activity presented to me. Not much to worry about when you have nothing left to lose. ;) Truth be told though, I did the same stuff before being diagnosed though. Personally, I'd rather skid into my grave, than croak in front of a television. Life must be lived, or what's the point?



Glad to hear you and your buddy are doing well, and doing it right! Ride safe brother, and maybe I'll seeya on the road!
 

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My last colonoscopy was done without any anesthesia and it was not bad at all. I will do all my future ones this way. It is about 20 minutes of discomfort like having bad diarrhea cramps. They told me that they have about 50% of their patients go without anesthesia. The procedure is the same as with anesthesia - nothing different. You also get to see the inside of your colon on a large TV screen.:vhappy:
If I'm around long enough to ever need another Colonoscopy (fat chance), I'll be sleeping like a baby through it. That's not the kind of adventure I'm up for. ;)
 

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This Summer, so far, I'm planning to do the Dragon area, and visit my peeps in South Florida and California. I'll stop riding when it gets too cold or I flat out can't, not before.
If you make it to the Pacific NorthWest, you're always welcome here. :tb
 

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....I'd rather skid into my grave, than croak in front of a television. Life must be lived, or what's the point?..

Much like i say in my sig' at the end of my posts...




Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaim: "Wow, what a ride".
 

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My last colonoscopy I had a "mild" sedative, that was to relax me, I literally do not remember the procedure and no discomfort was experienced. This was MUCH less than full sedation (which was also an option for people)

I cant see a good reason to refuse the mild sedative and possibley experiance all the discomfort asssociated with a 9 foot long camera (or however long it is!)

I had a good friend who also refuses sedation whenever possible. He got the seditive mid way through the procedure........ that was good enough for me...
 

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Bill,

Best of luck and thanks for being so generous and open in your comments. Your remarks might just be the push that some need to get that next checkup or physical. We never really know all who we touch in life and I'd bet that there are many that you have touched and will continue to do so in a positive way.
 
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