I Found Courage in Vulnerability to Ask my Brothers in Cancer for Positive Energy and Prayers
Hello fellow Howling Place group members, I am Bruce Watkins. After being in this group for a long time and being cancer-free for 5 years, I’m writing to share some new health news involving Cancer, and as difficult as this is for me, I’m finally going to find the strength and courage to ask you all for “The FAVOR.”
I’ve been a member here for about two years. Since joining I’ve read more heartfelt posts than I can count. Although I have kept a low profile here, I have written back to a good number of your posts with supportive comments. I also have had the privilege of either meeting or talking 1-on-1 with many others in the Howling Place pack. Every person I’ve interacted with in our diverse group (including their significant others too) has been a decent and solid person.
Several of you have positively encouraged me to be more vocal within our group, to share more about my cancer advocacy and the Our Cancer Journey Podcast, and to share more about my personal cancer story. Even the creator of the Man Up To Cancer podcast, Trevor Maxwell who I spoke to just a few days ago for the 1st time, encouraged me to share more and to know that I am supported by our brothers in the Pack. All of this has been truly moving, and I was planning on sharing the above, but that is not why I am writing you today.
I have tried in my humble way to help others throughout my life, and occasionally I have succeeded. When it came to me, however, it was a different story. Even in my darkest times, I could not find it in myself to ask others for support, and NEVER did I have the courage to ask for “The FAVOR.”
You would think that with all of this encouragement, kindness, and Wolf-powered love that was being sent my way, I could be more willing to ask for support and positive thoughts for myself, but until now, this had been a struggle for me.
Well, just a day after my recent conversation with Trevor, a set of routine scans (for issues unrelated to my past cancer) unexpectedly spotted not just one, but two possible new cancer diagnoses. My new medical teams are rapidly moving me through a series of tests that will provide more information in the coming weeks. One scan showed preliminary findings indicating a lesion in my Prostate. I am hopeful that, based upon some limited initial information, this occurrence may have some paths to a successful outcome.
The other event is a lesion on my pelvic bone in the area of the hip. While an initial MRI reads the lesion metastasis rate as “inconclusive,” they also found a “hotspot” in the bone marrow under the lesion. I went through another bone lesion discovery 3-years ago on my lower leg. The upside of that past experience was that, after a year-plus of observation, there was no enhancement of the leg lesion and the medical team deduced it to be nothing more than an old adventure trekking injury. The downside of that past experience was that I learned that metastasis to the hip and pelvis regions were far more common cancer events, and I learned the serious nature of this type of diagnosis, should this new lesion event turn out to be confirmed.
There have been many reasons in the past why I had not been vulnerable and courageous enough to share information like this, and one day I will tell that story. But over the last several years I have become more grounded and less fearful. And, because I have been blessed to witness other people, including several men in this group, who have had the strength to open their hearts and share their thoughts, their feelings, and their need for support despite their fears, I now believe that I too can, Stand Up and be honest and vulnerable Or, as people in this group call it, “Man Up” …. the way men who are truly secure Man Up. So today, I will do just that.
I want to ask any of you who have the kindness and the inclination to do so, to please send along supportive thoughts, positive energy, and your prayers.
What I wish is to do more than just survive. I wish to continue to humbly Give Back, to have the purpose in life of Helping Others, and that I am Worthy of that Purpose. The Favor I ask of you today is to support and amplify those wishes.
Thank you fellow Howling Place friends. Please know that if it is at all possible, I look forward to seeing those of you who will be at the Gathering of Wolves in New York in September.
The Our Cancer Journey Podcast
As many in the Wolfpack know, I produce and host a show called the Our Cancer Journey Podcast. The show complements the Man Up To Cancer mission as it discusses a variety of whole-person issues. It is a conversation about LIFE, and how we can make our lives BETTER!”
Last Season I had the privilege of having MUTC – The Howling Place’s own Joe Bullock as a guest on the program.
Listen to All OUR CANCER JOURNEY PODCAST episodes at www.ourcancerjourney.com