Help Spector Fight Stage 4 Cancer!

$10,235 of $15k goal

Raised by 158 people in 8 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 51
Posted by Craig Spector
22 days ago
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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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Update 50
Posted by Craig Spector
1 month ago
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Hi All,

Bracing myself for this week: today I go in for a fresh bone scan, followed by a CT scan. Tomorrow is my monthly Zometa infusion, which means pencilling in Thursday and Friday for the inevitable flu-like reaction. Also meeting with my urologist on Friday to review the ongoing ADT therapy.

The blood work on my PSAs came back -- up a bit, from 0.5 to 2.5. The verdict on resumption of chemo is still in the offing; I also may be qualified for a new clinical trial -- I might get to be a cancer lab rat, woo hoo! -- but I'll keep you posted....

Been dealing with an uptick in achy-breaky days, when things just hurt more than the usual pain, and with it, a lot of fatigue -- more than a few days when every two or three hours I just have to lie down from feeling wiped. But pretty much everything about this features fatigue as a side-effect: the cancer itself, and all the meds and treatments. But in all, I'm doing pretty good under the circumstances.

Pursuant to chemo, I'm also looking at having to get some dental work done, which is going to cost $1800 or so -- fun!

In other more pleasant news, I have a new song up, Crazy Life, on soundcloud, reverbnation.com, and www.craigspectormusic.com. I've got upwards of twelve new tracks for the CD now, thinking I should do a few more and call it 'done'... or maybe just keep going a while longer? I think I still have a few things left to say on the resurrection road.

I also found a company that can do high quality CD reproduction in small quantity runs, so it looks like CRAIG SPECTOR: RESURRECTION ROAD is going to cross over to a physical as well as digital release! :D

In podcast land, Episode Two of THE ART OF NOT DYING is also up on soundcloud -- come join me and co-host Michael Osborne for original talk and original music as we delve into the whacky world of battling cancer, and also discuss art, creativity, and better living thru not dying!

https://soundcloud.com/craig-spector/the-art-of-not-dying-podcast-2-010217-1317-235-pm

In bookland, as I mentioned earlier, Crossroad Press has done fabulous new ebook editions of my solo novels -- A QUESTION OF WILL, UNDERGROUND, and TURNAROUND, and they are available wherever fine ebooks and PODs are sold.

Crossroad is also going to be doing new ebook and POD paperback editions of the Skipp & Spector novels: THE LIGHT AT THE END, THE CLEANUP, THE SCREAM, DEAD LINES, and ANIMALS (sorry, THE BRIDGE is forever caught in amazon publishing...) These will all have awesome new covers by David Dodd. Coming soon, stay tuned....

As always, much thanks and appreciation for your concern, caring, and support!

xoxo
Spartacus









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Update 49
Posted by Craig Spector
2 months ago
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Hi All,

Quick update... today I go in for my post-chemo-break meeting with my oncologist... I got the results of my latest blood work back, my PSAs are as follows:

Standard range <=3.100 ng/mL My value 2.630

In my layman's understanding, my PSAs are up from the last time back in December, but still within "normal" parameters.

Since the big burning question is, do I or do I not resume my chemo treatments... or alternately, postpone them until such time as my PSAs rise more? I'm rather hoping that the verdict will be to postpone.

Wish me luck!

xo
Spartacus
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Update 48
Posted by Craig Spector
2 months ago
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Hi All,

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are ready to rock this new year with renewed energy and purpose,,, to help kick off 2017, all three of my solo novels -- A QUESTION OF WILL, UNDERGROUND, and TURNAROUND -- have been re-released with kickass new covers from Crossroad Press! Now available on amazon and wherever fine eBooks and POD paperbacks are sold...

xoxo
Spartacus
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 2.6K shares on Facebook
Read a Previous Update
Barbara E. Ouderkirk
8 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.
5 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.
5 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.
6 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
6 months ago
2
2

That's fantastic, Craig!!!

+ Read More
Marina Radcliff
8 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.
5 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
6 months ago
1
1

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

+ Read More
Elizabeth Massie
3 months ago

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

+ Read More
Elizabeth Massie
4 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.
4 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
9 days 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
21 days ago

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

+ Read More
Elizabeth Massie
4 months ago

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

+ Read More
Corrine De Winter
7 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
8 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... :)

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$10,235 of $15k goal

Raised by 158 people in 8 months
Created July 10, 2016
$10
Andi Pants
18 days ago

I had mentioned on FB that I was re-reading "The Scream" (bought a bunch of old favorites by you and Skipp recently, when I discovered they were available for Kindle), and a dear friend and fellow author told me that you're fighting cancer and pointed me here. Glad to hear that your latest update is so positive -- wishing you the absolute best! <3

$100
Anonymous
1 month ago
$50
Stephen Tilson
1 month ago
JM
$50
John Mathias
2 months ago

I think of you often - shared the old demo tape you helped me with, with my daughter. I think I surprised her for once. You're voice was fantastic on it! Stay strong.

SR
$25
Stacey Roberts
2 months ago

Fight hard. I'm rooting for you!

PH
$15
Pete Harrison
3 months ago

COME ON $10,0000!!!!!!

PH
$100
Pete Harrison
3 months ago
1
1

Wish I could kick in a million bucks, daddy-o! KICK ASS, SPARTACUS!!!

KN
$200
Karen Nash
3 months ago
1
1

We love you! ~ The Nash Malone's

$25
David & Lisa Feerick Pollison
3 months ago
1
1

Friends don't let friends fight Cancer alone. We were friends once and I hope you're happy I found your page. Forget about whatever happened one day a long time ago cuz it just doesn't matter. One of my fave Kris Kristofferson songs about other people talking smack about former friends speaks to this well. He says: "Don't turn away there, hey, goddamn you, he was your brother. Turn on your father, sister, mother, brother... but he was your friend! Don't you condemn him; leave that to strangers. You ought to know. Give him a hand, if you can, but at least for Jesus Christ's sake, understand." Keep giving that man with the dark cloak and big Scythe the middle finger. Every day you survive to create new art and/or to be with your family is a victory. Call if you like: 323-301-5104 Lisa Feerick Pollison & David S. Pollison

$50
Jerry Unangst
3 months ago
1
1
Barbara E. Ouderkirk
8 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.
5 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.
5 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.
6 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
6 months ago
2
2

That's fantastic, Craig!!!

+ Read More
Marina Radcliff
8 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.
5 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
6 months ago
1
1

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

+ Read More
Elizabeth Massie
3 months ago

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

+ Read More
Elizabeth Massie
4 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.
4 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
9 days 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
21 days ago

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

+ Read More
Elizabeth Massie
4 months ago

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

+ Read More
Corrine De Winter
7 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
8 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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