Staring at my budget with blurred eyes and a brain addled by a host of fun chemicals, I have to pinch myself and remind myself there are reasons that I chose the long game; there are reasons I passed over GoFundMe or GiveForward or any of the other single-goal fundraising websites my friends have used wisely to bridge specific financial gaps. I’ve seen those sites work super effectively, raising $3,000 or more in less than a week while targeting figures high enough to cover a host of potential costs ahead. For those friends, who would be “out of the woods” in a few months or so, where all their resources will be expended in a concentrated time, I think the outreach and the community reciprocity is amazing and a great testament to compassion within our social groups. But I’m not hard-wired that way, and my condition is not so neatly tied up in a closed time-frame.
Longer stretch, earning smaller frequent support goals
At this point, though it could change, I am on this merry-go-round every three weeks until I die — preferably quite a few years from now. And while I am still riding my chosen horse (a big, jet-black unicorn with a dangerously sharp silver horn, if you must know), I have a lot that I want to accomplish. I can’t manage a job for more than an hour or two most mornings, so I haven’t been traditionally employed for over two years. And yet, I have so much work to do! Like my book on living well with advanced cancer, getting on with life in spite of new limitations and finding the very best of ourselves along theway.
It’s part memoir, certainly (how else could you understand my perspective if I don’t share where I am coming from), but also a collection of updates on the real state of cancer research, what the future holds and why our old Cancer Narrative is outdated (and potentially harmful). It is also a book in which I share stories from other cancer patients, caregivers and medical professionals, with a broader look at the cancer care industry and quality of life issues. In short, it isn’t a book just for lung cancer patients (like me) who are facing the daunting future of financial hemorrhage and inconceivable lifestyle changes, but for readers who are facing any turning point in their lives that must be embraced to move forward. It’s tempting to consider this a self-help or inspirational book, but I generally dislike the idea that a book can solve your problems or make your life better.
Where Is the Owner’s Manual?
Rather, this is a sort of guidebook for how to make changes that suit you or to steer you around to a new perspective worth considering. And it is educational, too. Not “textbook dry” educational, though there is factual information inside that some people should study up on in spite of my no-testing policy. But don’t worry, because the heavy learnin’ will be mitigated by humor and pathos. At least once I will use the line, “so a tumor walks into a bar…” And I will tell uncomfortable stories about people being convinced I am in the final process of dying even after I’ve explained why my treatment is working to prevent such quick cessation of my bodily functions.
You get a taste of my style on my blog, along with a nice, easy way to follow the progress of my journey from diagnosis to now; but you don’t get the handy, portable book that ties it all together with lively and life-affirming stories, hard data and rational discussions that support or dispute the validity of different types of cancer treatments, and a brand new approach toward the discussion of cancer that will jump-start our language in a subtle way that will benefit patients, caregivers and even medical professionals going forward as we reach a cultural shift in understanding what Cancer is — and what it is not.
I’m particularly excited about this book and what it means, and the process of writing it has driven the creation of this blog as a place to explore stories and ideas. I am also very excited about celebrating the launch of my Patreon page!
And that is why, for the next five days only, I am adding a special thank-you gift to everyone who signs up at any level on Patreon to support my work.
Each new subscriber through Patreon offers me the message that my work is reaching the people it needs to reach, that what I am sharing has the potential to do something good for another person. And it validates that my choice to focus on the long game of giving something back was the right choice for me to bridge my hardships rather than just trying to pay a set group of bills. After all, I’ll be having that new stack arriving in the mail every month, indefinitely, and if I don’t keep my standards high with my real work, here and now, it will be impossible to justify those monthly subscriptions that help keep my chin above water and point me toward shore.
Sign up to support me at any level before the end of this month (September 2016), and you will get a thank you as an original patron. You will then get to read that thank you in your very own, free, digital copy of the book as soon as it is ready for publication. That is right — every single patron who signs up to support me before the end of September 2016 will get a free digital copy of my book when it is ready for publication. While patrons can currently read some versions of chapters I am working on and have access to interview material and my podcasts through Patreon, there is currently no other offer to get a copy of my completed book. Please consider joining me now and helping to support this project! I’ll appreciate it on more levels than you can probably imagine. And the more patrons I have waiting on my work, well, the faster I am going be compelled to get it all done. More podcasts, more blog posts, more speaking engagements and, yes, faster delivery of your very own copy of that highly touted, life-changing book.
Please share this with your friends on social media. I love the idea of giving away hundreds of books because I want my message to reach far and wide to help as many people as possible with real, clear information and to help them separate the myths of cancer from modern realities without sugar coating or selling an agenda. Help me spread the word that we can redefine this narrative, remove the stigma and encourage healthier and happier post-cancer living!
Follow me on Twitter, Patreon, Facebook, Tumbler and many other fancy social sites or apps. Please share my posts to groups you are involved with on Reddit or Google+ or anywhere else that you feel it will help or enlighten or inspire another reader. Thank you!