Week #104: Gratitude, Lessons Learned, Celebrations, and Looking Ahead

It doesn’t really seem possible. At the end of this month, I will have been at this cancer-wrestling thing for a solid two years. Partly to help those of you keeping score at home and partly to convince myself, I put together this handy map for us to put it all the action in perspective:

That’s 4 surgeries, 11 months with an ileostomy, 27 rounds of chemo, 10 rounds of radiation, and … 1400+ miles on my e-bike … WE. KEEP. ROLLIN’ 😎

Here’s what I’ve been up to during the past few weeks:

Making Time for Gratitude
Mady’s Week 100 guest post … Okay, so now you all know why I am THE most fortunate cancer fighter you know. And, that’s past, present and future, I will argue! Thank you Mady for the amazing tribute and for sharing your perspective on the caregiver’s/spouse’s/partner’s journey along side the patient. WE have cancer and I draw incredible strength and love from you and Nat every day, every step of the way.

Sharing Lessons Learned
I was really honored to speak to the Petaluma Sunrise Rotary on Friday, October 4th. PSR is organizer and host of the annual Sonoma County Backroad Challenge bike ride which has been instrumental in my recovery and healthcare plan. It was great to share with them what their event and support means to me and Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation. Here’s a link to the slides I used for my talk >> Get Educated, Get Screened, Keep Rollin’ – Lessons From My 100+ Weeks Wrestling Stage IV Cancer.

Celebrating the Important Stuff
October 10th-14th, for the first time in 2+ years, I was able to travel alone cross-country. There was no medical appointment on the other side – just a fantastic family gathering in Buffalo, New York, to celebrate my Aunt ML’s ninetieth birthday. The countless laughs and hugs from that visit are more powerful than any chemo infusion! Happy Birthday again ML – The Barrier is Broken!

Looking Ahead
I’m happy to report Chemo Round 27 is in the books today, Wednesday, October 16th. As we approach the holidays, I will have three more chemo infusions and then a status scan in early December. We’re hopeful that I will then move off this ‘maintenance level chemo program’ into a schedule of regular status scans in the New Year. Either way, we are aiming for a big party in January here in PTown and we’ll keep you posted on details. We are also all-systems-go for our May 2020 ride for Conquer Cancer. Please check out the Ride page for details.

Thank you all for all the ‘Team Crafty’ support from near and far. Mady, Nat and I are forever grateful for the many ways you all carry us along this difficult path. We look forward to seeing you soon. – MC

Wilson Hill in PTown is now ‘Bernie’s Hill’ … 7 miles from my house is the highest point on one of my favorite bike rides. I will always call it Bernie’s Hill going forward to honor my friend Bernie Hoffman who passed away just before my BikeMS ride last month. Bernie battled MS for over 50 years and his spirit and grit will always inspire me to find the positive in every day.

Remember …

Get Educated, Get Screened, Support Cancer Research. Keep Rollin’ 😎

Published by Mark Crafts

I am a Stage IV cancer survivor with a very hopeful and amazing story. Surgery, chemo, radiation … I’ve have been through it all during 44+ months of treatment. Now, I am a UCSF clinical trial patient loaded with “Terminator” T-cells which may provide a major breakthrough for colorectal, colon, liver, lung, and head & neck cancers. Amazing things are always possible!

3 thoughts on “Week #104: Gratitude, Lessons Learned, Celebrations, and Looking Ahead

  1. Mark, I am so happy that you, Mady and Nat are doing so well! You look great!! Fitter than I can remember. If you are ever in the neighborhood come by the store and say hi, we can grab a coffee and catch up. Best to all and hopefully see you soon!

  2. OMG< that is a great and powerful documentation of the path that you guys have been on Mark, and a testament to your team's strength and courage…keep rollin'…!

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