I should probably explain more about why I am doing this than I mentioned in the video. The video was a bit of an experiment to see how well it will work as an option for interaction. I know that many will agree with my comment of “face for radio, voice for print”, so I will not subject everyone to videos all the time. I also decided to mix my product delivery method so that people have the option of how to interact.
My thought with the FB page https://www.facebook.com/chronicleswithcancer is that there will be an opportunity to share and have open discussions about Cancer. The internet is a pretty vast treasure trove of information – some of it is valuable, some of it is pure poppycock. For example – today I found a tweet that stated “Playing in swimming pools on a hot day can cause asthma and bladder cancer.” This got retweeted 255 times today….. no medical background, proof or anything – just someone said…. And the hordes of conspiracy theorists, and people that will believe anything rush to be the first to tell you what can cause cancer. But, I have also seen at article that said I got bladder cancer because I didn’t eat enough Brussel sprouts…. Tell that tale to your kids to get them to eat their veggies. Do I believe those tidbits of info – no, but the trick will be finding valuable pieces of information, and having good dialogue between people with cancer, and caregivers, about cancer.
I hope to keep posting videos to youtube,
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvF91We3YbbQgxuF3s6VKWQ/videos so that people can follow along there, getting less notifications than they would with a facebook page like. That and I will post both vlogs and blogs here on blogspot, for those that just want to avoid facebook, and get the posts that I put out. I will use my twitter https://twitter.com/RATruscott to also advertise the posts on the blogspot site.
There were 2 substantial factors in my decision to follow this blog/vlog path and to see where it takes me.
The first key factor was mostly part of my mental game. I have been in busy, high tempo military positions for almost 10 years. Going from that speed and throttle, the declaration that I had Cancer put the brakes on really hard. Full stop, I need something to do as my brain seems to want to keep going; but without tasks that have deadlines, I am finding it difficult to focus and concentrate. This concept of a website/FB page will give me tasks that require completion, with the goal being an on time quality product delivery.
The second factor was something that I was starting to notice, and get a feeling for. People stopped wanting to talk to me. Some people had even unfriended me on Facebook. I had recently done a Facebook rapture of my feed, unfollowing a few people that were telling me 10 times a day about their “my vegas” points(6), unliking a number of pages that were just sharing and reposting drivel constantly(over 20), and removing myself from groups that I wasn’t actively involved in, or willing to be a part of the drama that was going on (about 6). I did the same for my twitter feed. I also deleted the friends that had suspended or deleted their accounts at the time. I was following a few other cancer patients and the blog that I retweeted yesterday from Colin had really hit home for me. We don’t need to whisper about cancer, and we need to talk about it. About a month after my diagnosis (so June 2014), I was in Edmonton for another surgery (called a TURBT – google it for a cringe), and went to visit another youngster like myself with bladder cancer. Sitting on his deck, talking about cancer and his teenage daughter stood up to go inside and said – “you guys are depressing, just talking about cancer”. All this points at something – we don’t need to treat this as a big dark scary secret. If we do, it will become one.
As a Jedi Master procrastinator, the key was getting off my ass to get it done. See my first point for more details there. I had actually started thinking about this in Fall of 2014, but it wasn’t until after trips to visit friends and family that some of this started to sink in. Cancer is my world, and the world of my wife for the foreseeable future.
So, where do I want this project to go…….
As mentioned in the video, I have to consider that the military will find me no longer suitable for continued service. That will lead to a medical release. If so, I will need to grow up and get a real job. At the time of this writing, I have absolutely no idea what I will do. This will allow for everyone to be a part of watching me go through the process, selection of options, and possibly even training. Side benefit – I might become part of the Veterans Affairs Canada problems – so that should be one to follow for a blow by blow explanation of what I am doing and how it is going.
I am also going to talk a lot about how I intend to learn to live with cancer. Bladder cancer is normally diagnosed in 70 year olds, so I have a long life to live with it…..but, I know that my future lifestyle will not be what I thought it might be, only a year ago. I have taken all future plans, and erased everything. I will be writing new plans, and I have no idea what that may look like. Of course, I will start putting together details about what has transpired from the time my doc said “there is a tumor in your bladder, it shouldn’t be there and we will take it out tomorrow morning. Could you drive yourself over to U of A hospital and you will be admitted into emergency surgery”. Needless to say, it has been pretty whirlwind since then.
I am inviting everyone to follow along as I learn all these things, and promote discussion about living with cancer. I hope that some people will submit questions and ideas that they want to know about. I have met some good people, I will talk more about them as we go.