Help Spector Fight Stage 4 Cancer!

$10,285 of $15k goal

Raised by 159 people in 9 months
A little over one month ago, on June 4, 2016, I had just had emergency spinal surgery to remove what I had thought was a pinched nerve but turned out to be a tumor on my T7 vertebrae, and I had just taken my first halting post surgery steps down Resurrection Road, as I began to battle what turned out to be Stage Four prostate cancer, metastized to my bones.

The T7 tumor had bored through the bone and reached my spinal cord; when it constricted the nerves by a factor of 50% my legs gave out and stopped "legging" -- I couldn't walk or stand or even crawl on hands and knees.  That was around the time I finally figured out this was no pinched nerve.

After an ambo ride and eleven hours in ER, I was medical transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, because the have neurosurgery. I spent the next 12 days in Trauma.  

The surgery was successful. I had faced the very real possibility of never walking again; as it is, it will be years before I am back to where I was before.

By the time I found out, it was already Stage 4 -- Stages 1-3 passed in stealthy silence, or were mistaken for something less life threatening, more mundane... only to realize that the fight of my life had just kicked off, and the dark dance it portends will last the rest of my days.

So be it. Now I know. And I fight. 'Cuz this battle may be mine, but the war is bigger than all of us. And it might be true that all we ever really get is today, and a dream.

But in the meantime, I fight.

The ringing of the bell in the photo is a tradition when you complete radiation treatments. I did ten in fourteen days, firebombing the bone spots where cancerous cells were taking root, and finished last Friday! Like Reese said to Ripley in Aliens: "nuke 'em from orbit, it's the only way to be sure."  Yup.

My doctors told me my cancer scores 8 of 10 on an aggressiveness scale. Very ambitious, my mutinous prostate is.

I score 11 out of 10 on a fighting back scale, and 20 out of 10 on a go screw yourself scale.  I am Spartacus. ;)

In one week I turn 58. Under the circumstances, I think I'm doing rather well. I gain a bit more strength each day, on the long road ahead. In addition to the radiation, I am into month two of Androgen Deprivation Therapy. And the fight goes on.  

You hear a lot about Cancer Victims, Cancer Survivors... that's fine.  I am a Cancer Warrior. I will fight this to my last breath. And I will live.

I am doing this GoFundMe to try to raise some basic operational funding, since the verdict on my application in the grand labrynthine maze of SSI SSDI Medicare Medicaid etc etc is months in the offing and I haven't worked since the beginning of May... and the employer in my day job as a medical and legal courier bravely responded to my condition by firing me (nice guy, Carl the owner is.  A true prince.)

So essentially, I am running on economic fumes.

Specific goals of this fundraiser are:

1) To aid in my increased mobility:  I have a walker (even the good ones suck), a HuGo Rollater (which is awesome, albeit fatiguing), and my trusty old Camry (which is a must.) I am seeking to get a Pride GoGo mobility scooter as an interim tool -- it runs on a battery, breaks down into five pieces, and will stow in my car. They cost about $900-1000. 

2) To offset costs such as airfare for the trips my wife Tess has to make between her home in Winnipeg, Canada, and my current abode in Virginia Beach, VA.  Even finding the cheapest fares, these average @$500US roundtrip, and these will spike if I have to undergo the other big C -- chemo -- in which case,  she will be taking a medical leave of absence to help me through the process.  

3) To pay for Rx meds prescribed for my treatment and recovery.

4) To cover basic costs like keeping my cellphone on, as it is my digital lifeline.

Much as I would prefer to quietly retreat to my dignified pile of cash to cover these expenses, I am woefully short of what is needed.  So I'm calling on friends, fans, and strangers alike: if you can help, I will be deeply appreciative.  

Yours,
Craig Spector

facebook: The ART of NOT Dying: Tales of Recovery on the Resurrection Road.
https://www.facebook.com/spartacus.fights.cancer/
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Update 54
Posted by Craig Spector
7 days ago
   Share
Hi All,

Happy Easter/Passover weekend; I hope your day is filled with peace and joy, and loved ones close. I am doing well.

In all, I had a very nice, peaceful, and quietly productive Easter 2017:

I worked on my new song (the last one for the new album)...

I talked on the phone several times with my lovely wife, whom I miss terribly...

I walked rescue dog and sat out on the patio with her for a couple of hours, because it was a gorgeous spring day; longest time outside Lacey has had since she came to us, and she needs practice learning to chillllll, which she did...

I changed the old and crotchety windshield wiper blades on my mom's car, which were stuck on the wiper arms by age and sheer stubborness...

My sis brought over Easter dinner -- pork loins, mashed potatoes and sauerkraut, with some Hawaiian bread -- and she, my mom, the doggie and me all ate on the patio;

I partook of my personal Easter ritual, i.e., watching the epic 1977 miniseries by Franco Zeffirelli, Jesus of Nazareth, which is imho the best telling of that story ever put to film, has a mega star cast... and the screenplay was co-written by Anthony Burgess, who also penned a little story called A Clockwork Orange :D

And physically, I feel pretty good... beating back cancer, day by day.

Feeling grateful, at peace, productive, and good.

I wish that for all of you.

xo
Spartacus
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Update 53
Posted by Craig Spector
12 days ago
   Share
Hi All,

Working on mixing and mastering tracks for my upcoming CD release, CRAIG SPECTOR: RESURRECTION ROAD. Anticipated release is June 2017, the one year anniversary of my Stage Four Cancer diagnosis.

They're all songs and music inspired by this experience... for what it's worth, this is a one-man show: I wrote and performed all tracks, did the production, mixing and mastering, even the CD cover art and design. Seems fitting, somehow.

Resurrection Road will be available online on iTunes and etc., but I'll also have physical CDs for sale for those who like their music old-school style. And I'll figure out a way to offer it as a new gofundme perk. Stay tuned for further developments.

Here's a peek, a fresh mix of one of the tracks, Never Be Me... the link is to the song on soundcloud, but you can also hear new tracks at craigspectormusic.com and reverbnation.com/craigspector.

https://soundcloud.com/craig-spector/never-be-me-x6d-4917-12-38-pm

As ever, thanks for all your care, concern, and support.
xo
Spartacus

Never Be Me
words/music by Craig Spector
©2016 Serendipity Music, all rights reserved.

And when all’s said and done
A random bit
of circumstance
A twist of fate
a cruel caprice
A wage of sin
for my release.

Never be me
never be me again
So I’ve been told.

But when all’s said and done
a random twist
of happenstance
It’s not too late for me
to find some peace
a page within
my own surcease.

Never be me
never be me again
What dreams may burn
Never be me
never be me again
the pages turn…

So when all’s said and done
I take the stage
release my rage
into the sun.

Never be me
never be me again
And dreams may burn
Never be me
never be me again
the pages turn.

Never be me
never be me again
What did I learn?
Never be me
never be me again
I take my turn.

Never be me
never be me again
Never be me
never be me again



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Update 52
Posted by Craig Spector
29 days ago
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If I Had
words/music by Craig Spector
©2017 Serendipity Music, all rights reserved.

If I had a grain of sand
I’d build a castle in my hands
a secret shelter from the raging storm
a sanctuary that would keep us warm

If I had a drop of rain
I’d build a sea to wash away the pain
filled with currents dark
and deep and wide
and all our troubles on the other side

But when it’s coming down baby
And there’s just no other way
Oh when it’s coming down all around
I’ve heard them say…

‘If I had another chance
I’d trade it all for just another dance
If I had another dream to share
I’d give it all away and never care…’

But when it’s coming down baby
And there’s just no other way
Oh when it’s coming down all around
This ain’t no game
And when it’s coming down baby
And there's nothing left to say
Oh when it’s coming down all around
Could be hell to pay

I believe in you
and all that we’ve been through
it’s made us stronger
than we ever knew
the things we feel they keep us real
and real will have to do

Cuz when it’s coming down baby
And there’s just no other way
Oh when it’s coming down all around
This ain’t no game
Oh when it’s coming down baby
And there’s nothing left to say
Oh when it’s coming down all around
Could be hell to pay

Oh when it’s coming down baby
Oh when it’s coming down all around
Could be hell to pay

If I had another dream…

https://soundcloud.com/craig-spector/if-i-had-vox3-32617-9-39-am

http://www.craigspectormusic.com

http://www.reverbnation.com/craigspector












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Update 51
Posted by Craig Spector
1 month ago
   Share
Hi All,

Happy March 1st! I had a meeting with my oncologist today: it appears we have turned a major corner here on the resurrection road.

The short version: no more chemo!

The new bone scans and CTs are in: my body has responded very well to the treatment so far... really, really well, actually... the surgery, radiation, ADT therapy, and truncated chemo sessions all did their respective jobs. Apart from an odd fracture at the T9 vertebrae of my spine, it's all good!

I'm starting a new meds regimen, and will be getting monthly ADT injections, and Zometa infusions every three months.

So we now enter the management phase: keeping the pain level and the nasties at bay.

All things considered, it's the best news I could have hoped for, going in this morning.

On the way home I called Tess -- she dials in on all my medical appointments when she's not here. "On a ten scale of good news, where does this rate?" I asked her.

"Three hundred," she replied.

Boo ya.

xo,
Spartacus

P.S. Back in January I wrote a song for my upcoming album, Resurrection Road. It kinda fits today's news....

Crazy Life
words/music by Craig Spector ©2017 Serendipity Creative, all rights reserved.

Oh darlin’ when the dark times come
And you don’t know what to do
There’s a calm beyond the storm
Somehow some way we get through
Nothing gonna hold us back
Nothing gonna keep us down
This crazy life goes round and round

Oh honey when the hard times come
And it seems too much to bear
Take my hand bebe we’re not done
This ain’t over don’t be scared
Nothing gonna hold us back
Nothing gonna keep us down
This crazy life goes round and round

Oh my dear
Fear no fear

Oh bebe mercy calls
Hard times fade dark times burn
When we’re up against the wall
Hang on tight the tides will turn
Nothing gonna hold us back
Nothing gonna take us down
This crazy life goes round and round

Oh my dear
Life’s uncertain
never say never
Fear no fear
Love goes on forever and ever
Loves goes on
after the dark night fades
into the new day’s dawn

Oh my dear
Life’s uncertain
never say never
Fear no fear
Love goes on forever and ever
Love is here
after the storm has gone
after this road is done
Love goes on
after the dark times come
after the battle’s won

Bebe when it’s just too much
Take my hand and feel my touch

Oh my dear
Fear no fear
Love goes on
Love is here
Love is strong
Love is here

https://soundcloud.com/craig-spector/crazy-life-11-1_24_17-8-48-am
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Read a Previous Update
Barbara E. Ouderkirk
9 months ago
4
4

I have an extra mobility scooter that you might be interested in. I comes apart also. I'm going to have my husband check it out to make sure everyting is okay. It has been sitting for a few years. I don't use it anymore and if we can arrange to get it to you , it's yours. I'm on facebook. Contact me there.

+ Read More
Samuel Glass Jr.
6 months ago
2
2

The new track is beautiful, BTW...I think that even lowered MY blood pressure, and that is saying something! LOL...

+ Read More
Samuel Glass Jr.
6 months ago
2
2

I don't know why - just call me crazy - but the 4 a.m. surgery prep pic strikes me as an image that would easily fit into the tapestry of one of my favorite album covers...Harry Chapin's SHORT STORIES. If you've ever seen it before, you'll know why I said that... Hope everything is still going good, relatively speaking.

+ Read More
Samuel Glass Jr.
7 months ago
2
2

I know from personal experience, that any day you can walk without your cane is an EXCEPTIONAL day. Here's hoping for more of those kind as you continue to progress...

+ Read More
Elizabeth Massie
7 months ago
2
2

That's fantastic, Craig!!!

+ Read More
Marina Radcliff
9 months ago
2
2

I'll share this. I appreciate the way you're facing this, and I'm so sorry it's happening. I am leaving a comment to wonder if you could reach out to your/your wifes preferred airline, and find out if there's any way that people could donate sky miles or something, in lieu of cash (if they're unable to cash). Best of luck to you.

+ Read More
Samuel Glass Jr.
6 months ago
1
1

Go get after it, Spartan! Let Cancer know that it 'hits like a little bitch', and smile when you tell it off! As always, we got your back....

+ Read More
Terri Cruikshank
7 months ago
1
1

The only email I always open. Congratulations! Keep up the good fight!

+ Read More
Elizabeth Massie
5 months ago

You inspire me. Thanks for the powerful and important words, Craig!

+ Read More
Elizabeth Massie
5 months ago

I'm so so happy to read this new good news!!! The Unclenching (which should be the title of your next novel) has to be an amazing feeling...and may it be a long, long time before the PSAs rise again! Love the photos of you guys...I've stood beside the base of ole Neptune many times and thought of the sea and life and mysteries. Love to you and Tes!

+ Read More
Samuel Glass Jr.
5 months ago

Way to go, Spartacus! I doubt you could ask for better holiday news than that. Congrats...Now you guys should find a great Thanksgiving dinner you can dive into...

+ Read More
Lisa Feerick Pollison
1 month ago

Your March 1st update is wonderful news. Keep up the fight. It seems Cancer is afraid of you, Craig! ♥

+ Read More
Byron C Miller
1 month ago

That's great news Craig! I'm glad the treatments are working!

+ Read More
Elizabeth Massie
5 months ago

I hit post and cut off the last "s" of Tess' name. Oops....

+ Read More
Corrine De Winter
8 months ago

You know I tried Go fund Me to help keep my Dad with Alzheimers out of a nursing home and raised barely 600.00. I am now facing incarceration because of unpaid taxes for the the thousands of dollars put out for my Dad. Is there any soul in the medical "system" here? If anyone reads this please know that there are good people who need help, and if you can afford to give any money at all, please do so. Craig is an amazing soul- Let's help out as much as we can- That is why we are here, to help one another.

+ Read More
Craig Spector
9 months ago

Hi Marina -- that's a fantastic idea! We usually fly United or Delta, but mostly United... the trip is from Winnipeg, MB (YWG) to Norfolk VA (ORF), usually stops in Minneapolis or Chicago, sometimes pings to Detroit or even Atlanta (odd, but it's a hub!) We have a United Miles account... :)

+ Read More

$10,285 of $15k goal

Raised by 159 people in 9 months
Created July 10, 2016
GT
$1,000
GoFundMe Team
9 months ago

We’re excited to be able to Give Back to campaigns that have touched us here at GoFundMe. We wish you the best, - The GoFundMe Team

$500
RC Matheson
8 months ago
4
4

Sending big healing thoughts, Specto. xx

LZ
$10
Lexi Zantkovsky
8 months ago
3
3
WS
$100
Whitley Strieber
9 months ago
3
3

God bless, Craig!

$50
Kimbra Eberly
9 months ago
3
3

You have given me a lifetime of friendship. Love you...... Your biggest fan. hugs from Kenny too.

ER
$100
Emiliano Ranzani
9 months ago
3
3
$150
Anonymous
9 months ago
3
3
PH
$100
Pete Harrison
9 months ago
3
3

You are kicking ass. Please continue to do so.

TC
$5
terri cruikshank
6 months ago
2
2

my latte is on you. get it? fight on.

BE
$100
Brian Emrich
6 months ago
2
2

I just had a thought come to mind to look you up and see what I could find out about your recent activities, only to find this! I hope you're staying strong, old friend. I'm thinking of you. Brian

Barbara E. Ouderkirk
9 months ago
4
4

I have an extra mobility scooter that you might be interested in. I comes apart also. I'm going to have my husband check it out to make sure everyting is okay. It has been sitting for a few years. I don't use it anymore and if we can arrange to get it to you , it's yours. I'm on facebook. Contact me there.

+ Read More
Samuel Glass Jr.
6 months ago
2
2

The new track is beautiful, BTW...I think that even lowered MY blood pressure, and that is saying something! LOL...

+ Read More
Samuel Glass Jr.
6 months ago
2
2

I don't know why - just call me crazy - but the 4 a.m. surgery prep pic strikes me as an image that would easily fit into the tapestry of one of my favorite album covers...Harry Chapin's SHORT STORIES. If you've ever seen it before, you'll know why I said that... Hope everything is still going good, relatively speaking.

+ Read More
Samuel Glass Jr.
7 months ago
2
2

I know from personal experience, that any day you can walk without your cane is an EXCEPTIONAL day. Here's hoping for more of those kind as you continue to progress...

+ Read More
Elizabeth Massie
7 months ago
2
2

That's fantastic, Craig!!!

+ Read More
Marina Radcliff
9 months ago
2
2

I'll share this. I appreciate the way you're facing this, and I'm so sorry it's happening. I am leaving a comment to wonder if you could reach out to your/your wifes preferred airline, and find out if there's any way that people could donate sky miles or something, in lieu of cash (if they're unable to cash). Best of luck to you.

+ Read More
Samuel Glass Jr.
6 months ago
1
1

Go get after it, Spartan! Let Cancer know that it 'hits like a little bitch', and smile when you tell it off! As always, we got your back....

+ Read More
Terri Cruikshank
7 months ago
1
1

The only email I always open. Congratulations! Keep up the good fight!

+ Read More
Elizabeth Massie
5 months ago

You inspire me. Thanks for the powerful and important words, Craig!

+ Read More
Elizabeth Massie
5 months ago

I'm so so happy to read this new good news!!! The Unclenching (which should be the title of your next novel) has to be an amazing feeling...and may it be a long, long time before the PSAs rise again! Love the photos of you guys...I've stood beside the base of ole Neptune many times and thought of the sea and life and mysteries. Love to you and Tes!

+ Read More
Samuel Glass Jr.
5 months ago

Way to go, Spartacus! I doubt you could ask for better holiday news than that. Congrats...Now you guys should find a great Thanksgiving dinner you can dive into...

+ Read More
Lisa Feerick Pollison
1 month ago

Your March 1st update is wonderful news. Keep up the fight. It seems Cancer is afraid of you, Craig! ♥

+ Read More
Byron C Miller
1 month ago

That's great news Craig! I'm glad the treatments are working!

+ Read More
Elizabeth Massie
5 months ago

I hit post and cut off the last "s" of Tess' name. Oops....

+ Read More
Corrine De Winter
8 months ago

You know I tried Go fund Me to help keep my Dad with Alzheimers out of a nursing home and raised barely 600.00. I am now facing incarceration because of unpaid taxes for the the thousands of dollars put out for my Dad. Is there any soul in the medical "system" here? If anyone reads this please know that there are good people who need help, and if you can afford to give any money at all, please do so. Craig is an amazing soul- Let's help out as much as we can- That is why we are here, to help one another.

+ Read More
Craig Spector
9 months ago

Hi Marina -- that's a fantastic idea! We usually fly United or Delta, but mostly United... the trip is from Winnipeg, MB (YWG) to Norfolk VA (ORF), usually stops in Minneapolis or Chicago, sometimes pings to Detroit or even Atlanta (odd, but it's a hub!) We have a United Miles account... :)

+ Read More
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