Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network and The Hero’s Quest

Until my brother was diagnosed with bladder cancer late last year, I didn't know much about it. When you set out to learn about this disease, it doesn't take long for you to find the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network support community. It's an online place where folks can share their own experiences and information. I thought I would probably check it out, read a little, and then move on to other research. But that didn't happen. I stayed. These folks are great. I have learned a lot and been comforted by their kindness. It is much more than an emotional warm blanket or a group hug. The participants share detailed information about treatments, resources, their surgeries, pathology reports and how to interpret them, and much, much more.

Together we're better - Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network Support Community

There are support groups like this one for other diseases, conditions, transformational life experiences, and just about anything you can think of. Most of them are probably terrific, too. I can only speak of this one: the sense of respect for one another, honesty, and caring is the absolute best in "high tech/high touch."

Click on the badge and you'll find that I've started a journal over there. "Pinewoodswriter" is my totally unsurprising handle!

Steve's options for treatment have widened considerably now, and he has selected Dr. Charles Rosser at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando. (I might note that Dr. Rosser has very kindly selected Steve, too.)  He saw Dr. Rosser for the first time today, and will see him again on February 2 for another cystoscopy. Our brother and one of our sisters were with him today, and that's a big dose of warm fuzzies for me sitting at home on the other side of the state and our other sister out in Phoenix, Arizona.

When I started writing here about Steve's diagnosis, I started a category called "Steve's Cancer Trip." Awkward? Uh huh. I began hearing Joseph Campbell's voice as he described the mythological hero's journey and it occurred to me how many of the experiences Steve has already had and will go through in the weeks and months to come fit into the matrix of the classic hero's quest. And so, you'll see that that  category has now changed to "Steve: hero's quest."


10 thoughts on “Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network and The Hero’s Quest

  1. The wonders of technology and the generosity of people..what a great combination! And how quickly the two have come together..nothing like this existed when my mom was diagnosed in 1992. My hopes and thoughts are with you all.


  2. I’m just amazed at how productive you’ve been since your brother’s terrible diagnosis. And it’s amazing how so much information can be right at our fingertips as we navigate the complex medical world. I do hope that you continue to find everything that you need and that your brother is healed!
    I took an archetype writing class once and I often thought that my life is a classic Demeter/Persephone archetype…


  3. How neat that you can journal on that site as well. For us wordy people it’s a gift to have the outlet of connecting via writing. And of course you do it well. The hero’s journey will apply, I’m sure, to each of you involved in this experience.


  4. When I read Campbell on “the hero” 35 years ago, I thought he was referring to an exalted individual who does things ordinary mortals can’t do and so becomes the subject of legend, someone for the rest of us to look up to. With a lot more life under my belt, I realize now that he was suggesting that every person’s life is a difficult hero’s journey, and that all of us from time to time have to bring the best of who we are to overcome difficult challenges. Thanks for keeping us informed about Steve, and I wish the best for him.


  5. Your humor shines through in your writing about the difficult time your family is facing right now. It will pull you all through this mess. Thank you for following my blog. I tried to do the same once I began to read your posts, but since I’m not on Facebook, I can’t. Guess I might as well do the Facebook thing since this isn’t the first time it’s happened.


  6. I think there is a Shero in this story too:0) I suspect that a brother sees his sister like that. Many small steps, a few giant leaps and regular plodding pace will almost certainly be part of both of your journeys may each arrival be gentle and each stting off be purposeful. Still drumming every morning with Steve and you in mind. Love to Buck and Maggie your TLC store:0)


  7. Everyone plays a part in helping a loved one through treatment and beyond. I know Steve is very glad for yours. After diagnosis it feels like a mountain looms in your brain, its shadow blocking the view of the land. Having a guide helps a person choose a path and keep moving.
    Glad you’re sharing the journey with us. The more hearts, the more energy.


  8. Hero’s quest is a great way to frame it–better than roller coaster, which is what I’d been thinking of, reading the latest ups and downs. He is lucky, in any case, to have you with him on this journey.


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