I've known Bob for a few years now. He's a musician and photographer, and now he's added the title of author to his resume. His debut book You Mean, Besides the Cancer? is a heart-wrenching journey through his wife Carole's cancer diagnosis and treatment. In it, he offers up his own experience as caregiver in order to help others going through a similar trial....which most of us will, at some point or another, ourselves, or in support of friends.
Today, Bob shares ten things with us.
1 – I’m still amazed that there are only 12 notes on a piano, 26 letters in the alphabet, and we’re still finding new ways to use them.
2 – Having been a church musician for as long as I have (since 1975, on an off), I can truthfully say that it’s been like having a bit part in the greatest show on Broadway. The good news is that you have the best seat in the house and you’re on stage with the actors. The bad news is that you know all the lines but no one wants to hear you recite them, and no one notices you until you screw up.
3 – In my opinion, there are three great contradictions in life – Jumbo Shrimp, Military Intelligence, and Country Music. (OK, I’m kidding…about the first two).
4 – Creativity for me usually starts as a foreboding sense of something left undone. It bothers me; it nags me until I address it.
5 – Meatball sandwiches are proof there is a God and that He loves us, a meatball sandwich and a football game treads dangerously close to actually spending the afternoon in heaven.
6 – Except for trying my hand as a blogger for a while, this book is the first thing I’ve written. I keep up my writing on a new blog called www.besidesthecancer.org. It helps keep me sane.
7 – The saying goes that God won’t give you more than you can handle. I sincerely hope that I’ve reached my limit.
8 – From 2007 until today, our lives have gone from one where we thought we were in control, to a life of manageable ‘challenges’, to a life now being redefined on the most basic levels. It’s like going from being the lion who led the pride, to prey.
9 – Profit was never a consideration when we decided to publish this book. Sure, we'd like to have it pay for itself, but the possibility that we've helped people we will never meet is a once in a lifetime reward. If we hadn't done this, I would have spent the rest of my life wishing we had.
10 – Cancer sucks. It destroys bodies, lives and futures, but it also creates tremendous doubt in even the strongest of souls. The first thing that gets shaken is the belief in all things good – as in 'what did I do to deserve this?'. It takes time, but one of the greatest gifts you can give a cancer patient is awareness of the goodness and the miracles that exist around them.