Thursday, September 25, 2014

Taking the Leap, Counting on Friends and Strangers

Mom in 1945. The risk-taker.
This is a very nerve-wracking day for me. I made the decision to go "live" with a fundraising effort that, I hope, will help me finish my book about my experiences with mom and her fatal cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer).

I shared my experiences since day one with my Facebook friends, but that's a safe environment. In fact, it's so safe that I've made many new friends through old friends during this experience, and most of those new friends are cancer patients or caregivers.

I draw strength from all my friends, but it's time to expand that circle. I'll tell you why -- it's because those new Facebook friends have become some of my best supporters and sources of information. So, in expanding my circle to include new readers and supporters, I hope to get AND give back even more.

This society is geared to accept a doctor's prognosis and remedies without question many times. My mother was like that. She rarely asked questions and she never advocated for herself, even though she considered herself a risk-taker. But, after living through her experiences, I had to question why the focus is often on experimental "cures" rather than preventive care. I don't have the answer as to how a person might find out how to detect bile duct cancer or any other chronic disease before it's too late. But, I intend to find out.

I also intend to learn how caregiving can become more effective. When I learned about mom's disease and prognosis, I had little time among mom's doctor visits, caretaking, and taking care of my own business to learn how to take care of myself. I learned how to take care of mom through her doctor visits, and even then directions were fuzzy. I did learn enough to teach mom's home health care and hospice nurses how to take care of mom, since mom's disease still remains on the rare side.

That's a heck of a lot of responsibility for someone who knew nothing about chemo, let along vacuum bottles or heparin.

Although my journey with mom was a fulfilling and strengthening experience for me, it also represented many losses. This is one opportunity I don't intend to lose. I need time to finish this book, and I need your help in this goal. Your gift can help me give back to people who may not even know they need my information yet.

Let's get this show on the road. You can learn more at my Indiegogo fundraising site.

PS -- stay tuned. I have a lot of great gifts and surprises coming from some great individuals in my "team."