Happy New Year ’22! Good Tunes Always Help Us Keep Rollin’

Hi everyone,

Happy New Year!
This is a really fun update and a great way to kick-off the year.

My dear friend, Tim Schafbuch of Petaluma’s KPCA 103.3FM community radio station, invited me on his show, Rockpile, this week. We talked about how music has helped me along my trail on cancer mountain and we spun some very special songs.
You can have a listen to the show here:

KPCA 103.3FM … Rockpile: Tim Schafbuch and Mark Crafts … January 3, 2022

Note: Because I’m a stickler on song credits and presentation errors, I must point out an error I made when introducing “You’re Only Lonely”. Jimmy Fortune sang with the Statler Brothers – not the Gatlin Brothers as I said on air. If you all will permit me – and with sincere apologies to both Mr. Fortune and the Statlers – I’m just gonna blame that little mix-up on all my chemo! Everybody okay with that?

Thanks so much for this great experience, Tim and KPCA!
I had a blast. Let’s do it again soon!
Keep rollin’,
MC

Promo Post By Tim & KPCA

Rockpile 1/3/2022 Playlist (on Spotify) …

KPCA FM 103.3 Petaluma Community Radio – Rockpile w/ Tim Schafbuch – 1/3/2022 Playlist

P.S.
We invite all family and friends to join us in supporting Conquer Cancer Foundation and their new Trailblazers Merit Award. Team Crafty is helping them create and launch this award. It’s our special way of giving back to the cancer community and it will help thousands of other cancer patients many years into the future. We got this idea after learning three of my UCSF doctors are past Merit Award winners. As one stated, “What you’re doing with this new award is really fantastic. The Conquer Awards really get things moving for you and your research projects. They draw worldwide interest and put you on the map. Everyone in the cancer community follows them.”
Learn more about this effort >> HERE.



Goodbye 2021! … Plus Some Great News Heading Into The New Year

Hi friends,

I couldn’t be happier to share this latest update. We are so ready to say goodbye to 2021 and this holiday season has been extra, extra special for us.

Last week, my UCSF doctors confirmed some great news. After 3 chair-sit chemo infusions and 336 chemo-on-the-go pills, between October and mid-December, it appears we have successfully given my cancer a very solid kick in the ass! My latest CT scans showed the progress we wanted to see and I’ve earned a treatment break. That means no more #chemo for a good while – at least until we get past #WorldCancerDay in February. After a total of 53 rounds of chemo, 25 rounds of radiation, 4 surgeries, and 1 clinical trial, to date, that’s just about the best damn holiday present ever!

I strongly believe the incredible power of “Team Crafty” carries us along this good path, working right alongside all the cutting-edge cancer medicine. That’s your love, hope, faith, friendship, magic mojo, prayers, positive vibes, white lights, and “orange power“! We feel it all … and, it confirms for me every day that amazing things are always possible when we support each other, our #healthcareheroes, and #cancerresearch.

If you need more convincing, just have a look at our Cancer Mountain year-in-review montage to see what I’m talking about:


Thanks for all the love and support from near and far. 
We really believe we do this together and we could not do it without you.
We are forever #grateful
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!  
We keep rollin’,
MC 

P.S.
We invite all family and friends to join us in supporting Conquer Cancer Foundation and their new Trailblazers Merit Award. Team Crafty is helping them create and launch this award. It’s our special way of giving back to the cancer community and it will help thousands of other cancer patients many years into the future. We got this idea after learning three of my UCSF doctors are past Merit Award winners. As one stated, “What you’re doing with this new award is really fantastic. The Conquer Awards really get things moving for you and your research projects. They draw worldwide interest and put you on the map. Everyone in the cancer community follows them.”
Learn more about this on our GIVE page >> HERE.

Week #217 – My Message To The Newly Diagnosed, There’s Always Hope

Hey friends,
This past week, a co-worker reached out for help. I could immediately sense their feelings of overwhelming despair, panic and fear. They’d just gotten word of their cancer diagnosis. My own experience – 217 weeks ago – with those very first hours and days on cancer mountain came right back to me. I remember, at first, feeling like all I could see was darkness and then slowly – very slowly – lights started to come up around the many people and resource groups ready and willing to help me. My co-worker’s ask and plight got me thinking about the best ways I can share some of my experience and positive reassurance with anyone that’s just landed on the nasty hill with us. This note below is a good start. And please, by all means, feel free to share it with anyone you know that needs a helping hand:

Team Crafty Is On Your Team And There’s Always Hope

We wish you all good health and the best possible outcomes this holiday season.
Amazing things are always possible when we support each other – and cancer research.
Keep rollin’!,
Mark

P.S.
Quick update on my treatments and our latest fundraising:
* Chemo cycle #53 ends Monday, 12/14.
* Status scans and next steps to follow before Xmas.
* Our Keep Rollin’! Gear fund drive for Conquer Cancer Foundation runs thru 12/22.
* See details here >> TeamCraftyConquersCancer.org/Gear
* Please share some of our #HOPE with the #cancer fighters close to you.
Thanks for all you support!
We are forever #grateful,
MC


HOPE and Bears Spotted On Cancer Mountain, Heading Your Way!

Team Crafty’s Campsite Way Up On Cancer Mountain
(aka Brewsters Miracle, Petaluma, CA)

Hey friends,
I won’t bury the headline. Team Crafty’s campsite up on cancer mountain was overrun by hundreds and hundreds of little magical bears on Thursday night. I’m sorry to report they got into our new Keep Rollin’! Gear and quickly dispatched one of our newest products for a different purpose. Sorry to those of you that might have been eyeing the KR scarf. The bears ate them. That said, what the little guys left behind for us is really special.

Gather ’round and let me tell you the story.

It was another cold and dark night …
way, way, way up …
way, way, way up …
way, way, way up …
(repeat about more 50 times!)
high on the nasty hill we call cancer mountain.

I was making my way from Chemo Latrine to our main Mess Hall when I heard some rustling over by our Medical Supply Tent and our Bike Racks. (Remember, Team Crafty’s been at this for 4+ years. We’ve got quite a little compound up here!) With a touch of concern I might not have secured our new gear boxes adequately, I scanned my flashlight over in the direction of the noise. What I saw shocked even me, and that sayin’ something because I’ve pretty much seen it all up here on the mountain.

What looked like a tidal wave of tiny bears was forming around our Supply Tent. They were coming from everywhere and the wave was getting bigger and bigger by the second. As I watched in disbelief, frozen in awe, I felt a tug on my leg. It was one of the little bears and he was gesturing he wanted to talk to me.

I leaned down and he said, “Hey, big guy, relax. We’re here to help. We’ve been watching you and your team. Really, really amazing what you’ve been able to do. Incredible, really. We’ve never seen anything like it. We love the new products too. But, ya know, you’re missing something for the little people and the people who can’t ride. We can fix that and you’re gonna love it. Just watch.” With that he popped on a pair of cool sunglasses and slipped me a pair too, adding, “Put these on, quick!”

Just then, the sky exploded into brilliant orange as a comet streaked overhead. As the sky blazed bright, I heard a series of loud bangs from what sounded like t-shirt cannons and my field of vision flooded with what looked like blue confetti. It felt like someone had just thrown me from darkness into the center of a Jackson Pollack painting, created with our team’s cancer-fighting colors – Conquer Cancer orange and CRC blue.

It was all over in an instant. When everything settled, the scene before me was simply magical. All the bears were now wearing tiny blue t-shirts emblazoned with an orange image. The tidal wave of tiny bears had a become a sea of glowing orange Hope Hearts.

The little guy at my side said. “Damn now, isn’t that just about the coolest thing you’ve ever seen?” I was still paralyzed with shock as he continued on, “Sorry about the scarves. We think people are gonna like us a lot better and you can send us anywhere you think somebody might need a little hope and support. We’re guessing kids and anyone who’s new to the nasty hill are probably really good places to start. Think you and your friends can help arrange that?” I remember stammering something that sounded like approval. My mind was soup in a blender.

He could tell I was still trying to process everything that had just happened. After studying me in silence for a couple more moments, I heard him say “Let’s do it. I think he can handle it. Besides, who’s ever gonna believe him? This guy’s had 53 rounds of chemo!” The close group of bears around me erupted in laughter before turning to the larger crowd, shouting “Okay, gang, hit it!”

And then …

The whole mountainside of little bears started to sing together:

When the night, has come
And the land is dark
And the moon, is the only, light we’ll see
No I won’t, be afraid
No I won’t, be afraid
Just as long, as you stand, stand by me
So darlin’, darlin’ stand, by me
Oh-oh stand by me
Oh stand, stand by me, stand by me … *

And that’s our story of Hope … Team Crafty’s Cancer Mountain Comfort Bear.
Send some Hope to the cancer fighters close to you this holiday season.
Proceeds benefit the Conquer Cancer Foundation which is helping advance cancer research and cancer breakthroughs for ALL types of cancer. Amazing things are always possible when we support each other and cancer research.**

Thanks for all your love and support from near and far.
Happy Holidays and Keep Rollin’!,
Team Crafty

Order Link – Hope Bears


*Stand by Me lyrics © Sony/atv Songs Llc
Songwriters: Ben E. King / Jerry Leiber / Mike Stoller

**For more ways you can help and get involved in your cancer community, see this great guidance provided by ASCO’s site Cancer.net – Making A Difference.




It’s Time To Light Up Cancer Mountain!

Nov 30th – Chemo Round #53 – Across the street from UCSF Cancer Center, San Francisco

Team Crafty’s Keep Rollin’! Gear for Cancer Fighters and Cancer Research is Here.
See the new GEAR page on our site, a holiday fund drive for Conquer Cancer Foundation.

Hey friends,
Let’s light up #cancer mountain for the holidays with a blast of brilliant Conquer Cancer ‘orange power’ and that incredible Team Crafty positive mojo you send to me, Mady, and Nat from everywhere. I picked these products based on my own 4+ years on the nasty hill. Please also consider that little orange pedaler a direct message of support and encouragement directly from us to you and your family.
We are all in this together.
Amazing things are always possible when we support each other and cancer research.
Share these products, along with our story of hope and gratitude, with the cancer fighters close to you.
Happy holidays,
Keep rollin’,
Crafty

Happy Thanksgiving ’21 … Three Ways You Can Help The Cancer Fighters Close To You

Hey now, we know it was yesterday. But, Thanksgiving isn’t just one day a year for us. If you know our story, you know that Team Crafty is thankful for every day!

As we embark on our own Year 5 on cancer mountain, we’d like to share some of the incredible positive mojo you’ve given us with the cancer-fighters close to you. We’ve come up with these 3 simple ways we can do it together:

  1. We Invite You to Share the Team Crafty Story.
    If you know someone that’s been newly diagnosed with cancer, they might appreciate knowing …
    – treatment has changed dramatically for the better in just the past few years
    – breakthroughs are happening all the time
    – amazing things are always possible
    – they are not alone
    – there a millions of people like me out there on the trail with them
    – there is hope
    Conquer Cancer Foundation just published this profile on us >> see this link
    The Gift of Science / Mark Crafts

2) You Can Give A Friend Some Of Our Keep Rollin’! Gear Designed For Cancer Mountain
I won’t lie to you. The nasty hill is a goddamned awful place that can be cold, lonely, scary, and overwhelming. COVID’s just made it worse. For cancer-long-haulers like me, you typically say goodbye to your family in the hospital or treatment center parking lot and go it alone for your treatment sessions. And, even after your session is done, you often wrestle with side effects for days/weeks on end. Sometimes something as simple as a cozy blanket, a soft bag, a warm hat or scarf – from a special friend – can make a world of difference for you both physically and mentally. That’s where our Keep Rollin’ gear comes in. You can buy and give these items to friends who need a little comfort, help and reassurance. Note, that bright orange rider and the Keep Rollin’! message is from us to you and your friend(s) — Team Crafty is on YOUR team just like you are on ours! All proceeds and additional donations go directly to Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation. 
Get Your Gear Here >> https://www.teamcraftyconquerscancer.org/KEEPROLLIN

3) You Can Help Launch The “Trailblazers Merit Award” For Cancer Researchers From Conquer Cancer Foundation / ASCO
I’m really excited about this because it will be awarded to a promising cancer researcher every year starting next June. That’s going to make a lasting, positive impact in the cancer community that will help thousands. I know this because three of my own doctors at UCSF are past winners of merit awards and each one is regarded as a world-class expert in their respective field. The new merit award, named and endowed by Team Crafty, will be helping mint more cancer experts just like them.
You can make a tax deductible charitable donation directly to Conquer Cancer Foundation on our Conquer.org/Team Crafty fundraiser page.
Donate Here >> https://teamcraftyconquerscancer.org/TRAILBLAZERS


Please share this post far and wide — and please remember Conquer Cancer Foundation for your #GivingTuesday and year-end giving plans.

Get educated.
Get Screened.
Support cancer research.
Keep rollin’!

Thanks for all your support.
We are forever grateful.
Crafty

P.S. For more information and ideas about making a difference in the cancer community, visit this great resource page from Cancer.net (powered by ASCO and Conquer Cancer Foundation).

Keep Rollin!’ Gear Is Here = Helpful Gifts For The Cancer Fighters Close To You

Hey Friends,

Just in time for the holidays! 
Our new Keep Rollin’! gear is now available.
>> Have a look and order here.
Each selection makes a great gift and the collection is based on our own lessons learned, thinking about what might help make someone else’s path a little easier.
All proceeds will go to Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation to help fund our new Trailblazers Merit Award for cancer researchers.
Buy now and your gear will be delivered to you between Christmas and New Year’s, shortly after our fund drive ends.
Thanks for all your support from near and far.
Keep rollin’,
Crafty

P.S. About the products and respective underlying lessons:
Gear Bag ~ Perfect for the slog to/from the treatment center. Backpacks are too heavy and strappy while a string bag keeps it simple and light.
Scarf ~ Sometimes you don’t need a big blanket when you’re sitting in the chemo chair or wanting to fight off a nagging room draft.
Blanket ~ Extra warmth and refuge is always a good thing on the nasty hill!
Beanie ~ Much more dapper and warm for those days when you want to protect the dome.
Travel Bottle ~ When the hospital coffee, apple juice, or ginger ale isn’t cutting it for you … bring your own blend.
Shirt ~ Help spread the Team Crafty message – Get Educated. Get Screened. Support Cancer Research. Keep Rollin’!

Chemo Round #52 … Time For Some 52 Pick-Up!


Lordy Lordy, my friends!
If you’d told me 4 years ago I’d be starting my 52nd cycle of chemotherapy this week, I’d say that’s just not possible and you’re out of your mind.
But that’s where we are and it’s a friggin’ miracle. I know without question it’s been made possible by 3 key things I’ve been incredibly lucky to have on this tough path:

  1. The worldwide support and love from everybody on Team Crafty.
  2. My incredible crew of healthcare heroes at UCSF Cancer Center in San Francisco and the Eubanks Center here in Petaluma.
  3. The financial ballast of my excellent healthcare coverage and benefits provided by my employer, Salesforce.

All these things combined make me a very, very unique and fortunate individual. I’m grateful every day for every single advantage that I’ve been given. I know millions out there don’t have a fraction of what I have in these incredible resources and supportive tools. That’s one of the biggest things I’ve learned during my time on cancer mountain. The delta between the advantaged and disadvantaged is just staggering:

  • 90% of cancer patients in low and middle-income countries around the world lack access to radiation therapy. Seriously, that’s true. We’re talking access to one of the foundational cancer-fighting tools many of us take for granted here in the U.S. – radiation machines and the people who know how to prescribe and run them. (Worldcancerday.org, ‘Where You Live Shouldn’t Determine If You Live‘ Fact Sheet 2021.)
  • Here in the U.S., there’s also a great disparity in the cancer care resources offered by top cancer centers versus local hospitals across the country.  Just getting to a top-rated cancer center in the U.S. is an economic or logistical challenge for most. (U.S. News & World Report, 2021-2022 Best Hospitals Rankings, Cancer) And, this was true even before the system stresses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Good health insurance is absolutely essential for anyone taking on cancer and needing an extensive rebuild and treatment like mine.  Years ago, TV’s fictional character “the bionic man” was considered an extreme financial investment at $6 million dollars. That’s actually a bargain in today’s cancer world. One can easily blow past that number with the current exorbitant costs associated with multiple years of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. The numbers get very big very fast! Consider also that few Americans have any substantial savings for financial emergencies and you get my point. Cancer causes bankruptcies and good health insurance can provide some protection against this. (For you kids out there, here’s the intro to the TV show The Six Million Dollar Man, a true classic!)

It’s taken me some time to figure out the best ways I can help the cancer community. But, I think I now have a good plan. As we start Year 5 on the nasty hill, I have these simple goals:

  • Share our story through this journal to show what’s possible and spread some hope.
  • Keep others off cancer mountain by encouraging regular screenings.
  • Help fellow cancer fighters get the same kind of care and treatment I’ve had.

I will be drum-beating the first two items through regular updates here. And, for the third, Team Crafty will be helping Conquer Cancer Foundation and UCSF Helen Diller Cancer Center with fundraising efforts.

I’m most excited about the new fundraiser already underway with Conquer Cancer >> See this link.

We are launching a new annual Merit award that will help advance treatment breakthroughs and help thousands of cancer patients for many years into the future. Three of my doctors at UCSF are prior winners of Conquer Merit Awards. Today, each of them is recognized worldwide as an expert in their respective field. When I shared news about our new effort with Conquer, one of them said: “This is so great! The Merit Award is really meaningful and it really gets things going around your research work.” Conquer has permitted us to help name the award and to provide some recipient criteria. So our Trailblazer Merit Award candidates and recipients will be focused on our patch of cancer mountain. Specifically, that’s the same general focus area as my recent UCSF clinical trial – solid tumor treatment. Also, when possible, winners will be from low to middle-income countries. Finally, since this award is endowed, it will be given out every year at the ASCO Meeting starting in 2022 along with the rest of their annual Merit Awards.

This all means Team Crafty will have a lasting impact in helping others fight cancer for many years into the future. I invite you to have a look, join us, and please donate today … Let’s spread the ORANGE POWER together!

For many years, I would give Natalie and Mady, a comically hard time about playing holiday tunes in the car anytime before Thanksgiving. But, now, with what we’ve experienced in the past few years, I’ve changed my mind. In fact, if you want to play Bruce Springsteen’s version of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” starting on June 1st, I will help you turn the volume knob to 10. I say bring it, anytime and all the time! Cancer Mountain is a dreary damn place and if you/we can bring some laughter, hope, happiness, and togetherness to the hill, I say go for it. That’s why you’ll find Team Crafty celebrating the holiday season as soon as November 1st … which also happens to be my ‘cancer survivor new year’s day.

Thanks for all your support from near and far.
We welcome you to share our story with anyone whom you think it may help.
Happy Holidays and Keep Rollin’!!
– MC

P.S.

Here are 3 easy things you can do to help fight cancer right now … today … PRONTO!

  • Call your doctor for that screening you’ve been pushing off. Pick-up …the … phone!
  • Support a great cancer-fighting initiative like our Trailblazers Merit Award or a cancer organization that’s close to you. There are millions of ’em!!
  • Reach out to a friend fighting cancer, tell them you are thinking about them and that you are standing by them. It’ll mean more than you’ll ever know.

November 1st … That’s My ‘New Year’s Day’ On Cancer Mountain

Hi friends,

Today is a special day.
We’ve now put 4 years behind us on cancer mountain.
That’s an incredible feat, something to celebrate and share.

Our resolutions for the new year are simple:
– Be grateful.
– Help others.
– Keep rollin’!

Thanks for all the support from near and far!
You carry me, Mady, and Nat when we need it most.
We are forever grateful.  – MC

P.S.
We’ve started a new fundraiser for Conquer Cancer Foundation – see this link.

Week #209 = Chemo Cycle #51 = Back On The Horse

Team Crafty - Est. 2017
Get educated. Get screened. Support cancer research. Keep rollin’!

Hi Friends,

Today I will start chemo cycle #51.
That is … PRETTY … DAMN … INCREDIBLE, I’m sure you’ll agree!!!

Our new plan calls for the following over the next couple of months:
= Chemo infusions at UCSF every 2-3 weeks.
= Daily chemo tablets at home, morning and evening.
= Next status scans to follow in late December.

From a technical standpoint, this additional treatment means I am no longer in the UCSF & PACT Pharma immunotherapy clinical trial. However, the super-cells I received through the trial treatment will always be in me. I like to think of them as the ultimate door prize.  As one of my medical advisers put it, “There is a possibility that the new chemo treatments may trigger the super-cells to do their thing against your #cancer … That’s a possibility that shouldn’t be ruled out.” Wouldnt’ that be fantastic!

So, we keep rollin’ and we keep climbing.
I am grateful for so many things as we start this new chapter in treatment.
My family, my friends, and our entire extended support circle of “Team Crafty” are all at the top of the list.
Super-cells and chemo can’t hold a candle to the way you have all carried me, Mady, and Nat, along this difficult path.
We are forever thankful and grateful for all your support from near and far.

MC

P.S.
Team Crafty has a new fundraiser with Conquer Cancer Foundation. It’s for their new “Trailblazers Merit Award” which will recognize cancer researchers working on our specific patch of cancer mountain (solid tumors) – every year starting in 2022.  We aim to raise $40k between now and #WorldCancerDay, February 4th.
Please join me in supporting this effort.
> Donations can be made directly at this link.
Thanks for your support! – MC

P.P.S.
This is what chemo-at-home looks like upon arrival … Bet you didn’t know!

P.P.P.S.
Call your doctor today for that cancer screening you’ve been pushing off. It could save your life.

%d bloggers like this: