It's that time of year again when a group of young colon cancer survivors gather together for a "Big Chill" type of weekend to take pictures for the Colondar. A calendar made up of young people from all different walks of life, who all had colon cancer way ahead of "normal age" for this type of cancer.
I was blessed to be one of these models in 2005. I was Mr. May 2006. I wrote about it last year and wanted to share it again.
As I sit here at the firehouse, my thoughts are on a group of young colon cancer survivors getting together this weekend for a photo shoot for something called a “Colondar”. It’s a calendar that features colon cancer survivors. It’s been around since 2005, featuring different colon cancer survivors each year, all willing to show off their cancer scar for the good of the cause. It’s one of the many great projects that an organization called “The Colon Club” does.
The reason this is such an important thing for me is that I was one of those Colondar models. Yes, I was Mr. May 2006. It was truly one, if not THE, biggest thrills of having cancer. Yes, having stage 3 colon cancer does have its upsides sometimes. For me it was one of the best weekends of my life.
I could go on for pages describing the weekend but in one short sentence, I would say it was like the movie The Big Chill but for colon cancer survivors. We all got together for a short period of time but we all shared that same common cancer cloud that hung over our head.
For a brief period of time, I didn’t have to answer questions about cancer or try to pretend things were ok. I was with a group of people that just simply “got it”. They actually did walk a mile in my shoes and they understood my pain. We laughed at our embarrassing cancer and hospital stories and we cried while telling the same ones again.
Please check out the website for the Colon Club. It’s www.colonclub.com It truly is a great organization. Purchase a colondar while you are there. If you buy a 2006, I’ll be more than happy to autograph one for you.
A lot has happened since that great weekend in 2005. I met the love of my life, found my Savior in Jesus Christ, and had 3 more kids. I will never forget that great weekend though. We have lost a lot of members of the Colondar family over the years. As an 11 year stage 3 survivor, I admit to having some survivor’s guilt over that. Sometimes that just goes with the cancer survivor territory though.
To all the new members of the Colondar Model club, we welcome you with open arms and an open invitation to discuss cancer or colon issues at any time. To the rest of the world, we might seem a bit strange. To us, cancer, butt and poop talk is just a normal part of life.
Yes, that weekend in 2005 was special. I was introduced to a different side of cancer that I didn’t know existed and I am a better man because of it.
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