26 June 2007


Dead man walking?

Cancer Treatment: Day 147 at Flickr.comI now know why I was getting those mixed messages yesterday. Today, Dr. Kennecke, my oncologist at the B.C. Cancer Agency, told me that he looked at my CT scan results from last week, and:

  1. Despite the chemotherapy and radiation treatments, the cancer in my rectum has grown, not shrunk.
  2. The spots in my lungs were not artifacts, but multiple further tiny tumours, showing that my cancer has metastasized (i.e. spread beyond its site of origin).
  3. I therefore now officially have stage 4 metastatic colorectal cancer.
  4. The surgeons are going to perform my operation as soon as possible, maybe next week.
  5. I will have followup chemotherapy after that to try to address the lung metastases ("mets").
  6. The median survival rate for people in my situation is two years. If the doctors can successfully remove the rectal tumour and address the lung mets, my chances of surviving five years are somewhere under 30%.

To boil it down: my cancer has grown and spread. My goals now are to see the Winter Olympics come to Vancouver in 2010, and beyond that to renew my driver's license when it expires again in five years. But while my medical team and I will do everything to try to make that happen, there is a significant chance I might not live that long, that I might be dead before five years are up.

It's a heavy day. I have cried, and laughed, and shared a drink and nachos with my friend Simon, and hugged my wife and my children and my parents. And I will fight on. It's a fine line between acknowledging and accepting what could happen and denying it. I'm naturally an optimistic guy, but I can't pretend that everything will be just fine, because it already isn't. The future, even the near future, is a mystery, and I must walk into it.

Fuck you again, cancer. Even if you win in the end.

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I don't know what to say, other than >hugs<. Until reading this post, I truly believed you were beating the beast, but it seems this one is an evil, powerful creature.
Not sure if you are a religious man, either way my Prayers are with you, don't give up!
Oh Derek....I've just read your latest blog post and though we've only met once at a meet up in Vancouver last year, this is dreadful news. I was in the room at PAB as you walked Todd through the reboot that got his powerbook up and running and had no idea that it was you on the other end providing that tremendous support. You'll be in the thoughts and prayers of many who know you Derek, so hang in there, and don't give up the fight.

Ted Riecken
Derek, this is still all so random to me. Here we are six months later, and I'm still in disbelief.

Our family is here for you, and my heart goes out to all of you.

Big hugs to you, and Airdrie and the girls and your parents and the rest of your family affected by this.

I think it's time we brought in Dr. Evil's sharks with the frickin' laser beams attached to their heads for the next round.
There are no words for this, Derek.

We might not have spent a lot of time together in the last few years, but you are and will always be one of the most important people in my life.

I simply cannot think of what else to say - I am truly shocked.

Please tell me how I can help - in any way, no matter how big or small.
Fuuuuuuuuuuck. Sorry to hear the not-great news... but realize that you are far from average, and there's still a 30% group that you can fit into! In the meantime, keep living life hard, and well, and with grace and joy and tears and sorrow and all the stuff that makes life worth living and fuck the cancer.
Wow...that was one heckuva Facebook status update!

People are always proving doctor's estimates are wrong and I'm confident you'll be one of those people.

Don't lose hope! You're friends and family are with you!
I am at a complete loss for words. All I can give is my hope and prayers.
Stay strong, Derek. This is terrible news, but keep fighting.

All the best to you and your family.
Gah, not much to say but, fuck cancer indeed.

Keep on fighting it, you've got a lot of support out here on the interwebs.
Hugs and good thoughts to all of you. Someone has to be in that 30% group!
Well that sucks. FWIW, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 35. Lots of surgery. Chemotherapy for an entire year. (That's how they did it back then.) Bad prognosis. But now she's about to turn 64, so you just don't know how these things will go.

People used to tell us "Oh, you're so brave." But anyone with or close to cancer knows that's silly. We just put one foot in front of the other and do our best.

We're thinking about you, Derek.
I'm having a hard time finding the right words. Let alone words at all. My thoughts are with you man and my whole family sends their best wishes. Fight the good fight. The world needs a Derek K Miller.
Many things about you are inspiring, Derek, but most of all, your articulate honesty amazes me. I'm rooting for you.

We've never met, Derek, and have barely corresponded, but I'm deeply disturbed by this latest news. My thoughts are with you from far-flung New Zealand. Keep battling!
Crappy news. Yeah, me too I'd like to say, don't read too much about averages. I'd like to suggest you switching to a diet mostly vegeterian, supplemented by a multivitamin pill, vitamins A, D, C and E and selenium. You may also want to consider supplementing with calcium. Aspiring is good too, but it may cause stomach bleeding, ask your doctors about the aspirin and generally the vitamins I suggest you taking. Keep fighting.
Me again. Foods to include in your diet: Broccoli or carbage, onions, garlic, tomatoes, carrots, yogurt, oranges or lemons, beans, oats, green tea, walnuts, sunflower seeds , almonds. Forget about sugar or salt. You may also want to consider backwheat, lentils, barley and almonds.

Best sources of protein are the egg whites.

Maybe your wife can cook these for you and the kids. Kids should learn
eating healthy. Add some variety to this diet. Perhaps allow for no good food once a while too.

That's probably the healthiest diet you can have. I can't promise you miracles I am afraid, although I bet my head that it will help you. Also, I know this diet is not the easiest to follow and it doesn't taste very well, but it worths it.

Also, make sure to sleep well, seven to eight hours are good.

If you can, exercise too. Ask your doctors if they allow you to exercise. Top exercises include push ups and squats. Cardiovascular is good too. Stretching helps also.
Derek -- What can I say that hasn't already been said? Just know that I'm one of the many, many people rooting for you.
My thoughts and prayers go with you Derek.
Derek, that's terrible news. I wish you and your family all the best.

Hens Zimmerman
Derek if positive thoughts can help - you have mine.
We're all sending energy to you and hoping that there is a miracle in store for you yet.
Yes. Fuck cancer. Fucking evolutionarily pointless motherfucking disease.

And still, words escape me.
I don't even know you, but I feel like crying.

We're behind you, hang on to that 30%, and know that love is coming from all directions.
Warmest thoughts...
I don't know what more to say, but my thoughts and wishes are with you.
Derek, what a blow. We're experiencing this through you and yet I can still barely breathe right now. If anyone can beat this with optimism, it's you. Mixed messages aside, you have one of the best teams looking out for you.

We're all cheering loudly in our hearts, even from TO.

Take no prisoners. Kick some cancer ass. Take names and get ready to renew that driver's license!
I'm shocked and stunned at the enormity of what you have written. I suppose from this day forward it will be one step at a time. Don't give up the fight because everyone, your family and friends and me are walking with you along this terrible road until the cancer is gone.
You rock, man. You just do.
I am amazed by your resiliency Derek. It is an honour to know you and to be invited to your birthday this weekend. I am looking forward to it!
Been staring at the monitor in disbelief, not knowing what to say.
We have loved you since birth and we hope that this love is converted into energy, that will help you fight this cancer.
Real, Sirkka & family
THIS FUCKING SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!! I know it's probably better to focus on loving support but all I can think is how much I HATE your cancer. You are a special person, Derek, and if anyone would be in the 30% it would be you. If there is anything at all I can do for you and Airdrie right now (taking care of the girls, errands, laundry, whatever) please do not hesitate for one second to ask! My mother sends her love as well.
Derek, I am so, so sorry and grieved.

What a horrible shock for you. What a horrible thing to happen.

Why you? Why wonderful, generous, brilliant, kind, good, loving, active, multi-talented, genuine, honest, thoughtful, irreplaceable, ultra-contributing, committed, reliable, full-of-life you? Hang in there, Derek. The best is yet to come.

Folks, one thing we don't want is for Derek and his family to have financial worries on top of this. I have a suggestion. Let's all buy Derek's CD (see link on home page), spread the word to all our contacts, and make it a best-seller. For those of us with media contacts, let's ask them to write/talk about Derek and the campaign to make his CD platinum.
Derek, I'm going to order it right this second.

See you at your 90th birthday bash,

I'm so sorry you've got such bad news. I'm thinking of you and your family. Keep going, you've got a lot of reasons to battle this one.
We are rooting for you. Stay strong and don't give up hope.
Derek ... I can't find words that come close to how I feel ... and I'm sure how I feel can't come close to how you're feeling. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. 9:33am ... not too early for Scotch ... think I'll got have a belt now.

Big hugs to you and your family. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

(Ricky Ewing: Good idea, I'm going to do the same.)

-Christine Kondo
derek - i think about you and your family all the time.

i am sorry to be missing your birthday this weekend (out of town) but i hope it's a great party.

Hi Derek, I too am at a loss for words.

We miss you greatly in the office and are all wishing you the best.

See you on Saturday,
Hi Derek,
Just wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you.

A little in shock by this news. Keep fighting.
with fear of sounding dry or cliche i almost want to refrain from leaving my message,as really.... wtf can i even say.
your post brought me to tears, your openess and honesty through this process is courageous, and my heart aches for your family and for you....

for what its worth to you, i will pray to God that He will carry you through this next while, and be your strength and hold you up when you cannot go on.

with love...
Oh sunuvabitch. Derek, I am another stranger who is sorry for your news.

I am currently doing what I can to help my best friend and his wife as she spends her time in a hospice, and each of them prepare for whatever comes next, after the end.

Your news is ineffably sad, and it's pricked its way through my thin emotional skin.

I am so sorry for you and your family to have to absorb this news.

I am not a religious person, so I won't give you dishonest prayers; but I will say that I hope you realize that statistics are just statistics, and that your life course may well be very different than anyone's reckoning.

My sense of you from your dismebodied voice and your blog is that you are already realizing that it's much better to get busy living than to get busy dying.

Someone else already said that it's not about bravery, it's about putting one foot in front of the other.

Lick your wounds (metaphorically, as the one in the pooper would be gross to lick), pick yourself up, and start walking. You already have the courage that you need to do it.
I really can't imagine what you're going thru... so just wanted to let you know that you I'm thinking of you and shouting "Keep fighting!"

Thank you for sharing your inner thoughts on what you're going through. It's quite the inspiration.

I'll see you on Saturday and hope to see you in your Austin Powers suit!
Derek, I'm so sad/sorry to hear about your bad news. I think you're going to be okay though - it starts with exactly what you said: "I will fight on" - keep that mentality!
Derek, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I know you will fight hard.

All we can do is live for today...

You'll be in my thoughts :) Take it easy, as much as you can and then some.

I read your post from the hospital waiting room as my 84-yr-old dad is recovering from a near-death blood vessel rupture. Life's not fair. He will probably go home tomorrow, even though he said he was quite content to slip away at any time, having lived a long and wonderful life. If there's any way the combination of love and medicine can keep you alive, I'm sure it will for you certainly deserve an equally long and wonderful life.

All the best,
Dave A
We've never met but reading your entry, I felt the need to pass on good wishes.

My thoughts are with you and your family. Good luck and keep thinking positive. It's the biggest part of the battle.
Derek, your news has left me shocked, I have thought of you all day. From what I understand from your Aunt you are a fighter and with all that European blood running through you, I know you can be strong through the next while and continue to gain strength as you forge on to a recovery. Your family and of course your parents are in all my positive thoughts. Remember always you are the captain of your fate and the master of our soul.

Just don't give up.... you have everyone pulling for you ....Barbra
Thank you, everyone. I'm amazed.

By the way, the physical CDs are sold out, but you can still get the album digitally at iTunes for immediate download, as well as at other music services. But we are not having financial worries -- I have disability benefits at work, and life insurance. So only buy the album if you want to! :)
This post brought me to tears. I am thinking of you and wishing you strength and serenity. I also know our birthdays are pretty close together, and I hope to be wishing you a happy birthday for many years to come.
Thinking of you & family. Unfortunately not able to make it on Saturday but will be over for a visit soon enough! (a visit to Flight Centre on the weekend may not be out of the question!)
As they say at The Onion - Holy Fucking Shit.

Really hoping you beat this dude.
Shocked as I was to read this news, if anyone can beat this mofo thing, it's you Derek.
55 Comments already. Well deserved.

If you bring together "The Secret" and the whole idea of being a self fulfilled prophesy, the answer really does boil down to planning and living for life or death. I've said you're a super guy MANY TIMES publicly, on your wife's blog and on my blog, so you know the support and caring has come long before this announcement and turn of events.

My advice is to plan for life as much as you can and as far into the future as you can. Death is a contingency for all of us. That's why we buy life insurance. We all could go tomorrow, or within the next five years. Don't focus on that. Prepare as you should, but live for your plans as much into the future as you can - beyond the Olympics and your license renewal. We all should.

Oh, and btw, waiting for your next podsafe music to come out. Get to work! ;-)

With much care and love from over here in Japan - Robert.
Derek, I read your blog first thing each morning at work, and I was in shock this morning when I read it. We've known each other a long time (over 20 years now) and although we don't have much contact these days, I still consider you one of my best friends. From reading your site regularly, I see you are rich in friends. I'm here for you too, and will be sending positive thoughts your way each day.
oh ^*$^)__+@@ !!!

that wasn't supposed to happen! i had this fantasy for you that you'd go in for surgery, they'd cut the stuff out, and that would be it.

bummer, bummer, bummer.



i think it's very cool of you to keep facing this head-on. and i'm grateful that you share this with the world, even though and/or especially because this is so hard.

please keep it up - keep up the sharing, keep up the living.

if it ok if i include you in my prayers?
Add me to the list of people who have not had the pleasure of meeting you in person, but I look forward to doing so.

Your music, your candor and your ability to find strength in the face of so much adversity are all truly inspiring.

When you need that extra little bit of strength, think of the legion of supporters you have in the community who are all rooting for you to win this battle, against all odds.
Derek...Grant's been keeping me updated but this is not what I'd hoped for. I do, however, have a "keep fighting, you-never-know-the-power-of-positive-thought" story: my mother survived a diagnosis of colorectal cancer at an advanced stage (C) with cancerous cells detected in 30% of her body's lyph nodes after surgery. Extended chemo and chemo/radiation combos, but I really believe her unshakeable belief that she would triumph, have made her a ten-year survivor so far. I know hers was not quite the same as your current diagnosis, but I wish you the fortitude to weather whatever will come your way, the ability to look to your family for strength knowing the boundless love they have to give, and the knowledge that we all stand with you as you begin this next battle.
My family is thinking of you and your family.
You know what to expect, so just do all those things which you always wanted to do. (we live in the hope of putting things that we want to do for a later date). you live every day so make it memorable.!
Though what arrives is sad news, im elevated to see your optimism and go getter attitude that you bring to life. You inspire me. You are in my prayers.

Mesmerized .
I am truely speechless. My thoughts are with you. Take care!
Hey, man. You have a way out.

Approach this man, one Jesus Christ (he is a healer, Isa 53:5 says of Him: "By his stripes we are healed").

Is is also said (Luke 18:27)that "what is impossible with men is possible with God" (The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. i.e.).

Also, "He who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved"

Do you believe these? If so, just sincerely come to him and say, Jesus Christ, I need help,Help me!
good luck derek. best of luck.
I'm truly sorry to hear this Derek, and although I haven't met you personally, I can tell from all the love coming from this podcasting community you must be one very special person! Not being much of a religious man myself, I think even Jesus would say 'Fuck man, that sucks!' Hang in there Derek, and aim to make every moment count.
Derek - I'm sending prayers and strong positive thoughts your way.
Derek, All the best to you. Your honest assessment of your situation is a tribute to you as a person and all we can do is be with you in spirit; please know that we are.
Derek- Fight it- you can beat it. Positive thoughts and prayers coming. We are rooting for you. Clapping and shouting!
Be strong and have faith.
Cancer hit my family (like so many). Older brother (mid 40s) survived colon cancer.

Don in Ontario also is a survivor of a similar cancer as you. He had a blog about his cancer, but think it's down. You can view his story at his profile here:
We haven't met but my thoughts are with you. I wish you the best. I'm predicting a huge Olympic party in 2010.

Derek, How surreal and unbelieveable. Hang in there and keep the faith. A co-worker's husband recently had a similar prognosis--actually worse because he couldn't tolerate the chemo. He had 0% chance of recovery. Desperate, they researched for anything to help and they discovered something called Mangosteen. He began a treatment program with it and within a couple of months the tumors were shrinking. After nine months he was declared cancer free! The doctors were amazed. All mangosteen is not the same so message me if you want more details. Godspeed on your journey back to health!
Derek, much positive energy from the east coast of Canada. We missed you at PAB this past week but your presence was felt, as there were many thinking and talking about you. You get well and we'll see you at PAB 2008,09,10,11, etc...
- Bruce Murray
Derek: The love is coming from Nashville buddy. Our hopes and wishes are with you and your family.

Dave & Heather
Hey Derek, I've been a longtime reader of your site (met you briefly at Gnomedex a few years back) and have been following everything you've been going through. Just wanted to let you know that you and your family are in my thoughts.

Hang in there and keep fighting. You've got a lot of people (that you don't even know) pulling for you...
Hey Derek, we really did miss you at PAB. I was looking forward to meeting you. Here's a video from the conference you may like to see (sorry, it's a bit shaky!): https://youtube.com/watch?v=3yRPyG_wLdo

Be strong! We're all with you.
Holy shit!!!!! Cancer is a huge evil beast and it takes from anyone and everyone.

Keep up the fight - I spoke to your dad this morning at school and he said that he was amazed and proud of your wisdom and strength, he didn't know where it came from!

You and your family's kindness is what made our kids being together through pre-school that much sweeter..... well i could ramble forever

Don't know what the future will hold but I know that you have too much left to accomplish to not be there.
Derek you don't know me, but I feel as if I know you to some extent through your podcasts. My thoughts and prayers go out to you!

Looking at all the positive comments preceding this one (and knowing that they are surely just the tip of the iceberg), I can't help but think that all this positive energy will not go to waste, but that it will somehow help you face the odds heads on.

Cancer may have power, but the love, friendship and support of a worldwide community have just as much power, if not more.


Like has been said before statistics are meaningless. 31 years ago, my mother in law was told she had less than two years to live. She is still with us and still thriving.

Keep on keeping on and believe in no one but yourself. You can beat this.

Fuck cancer.

We've never met. But it feels like we've met because of the amazing loving community in your corner who consistently keep you part of the conversation. Plus, at PAB last year I luckily won one of your CD's at a draw! Awesome stuff...

You are definitely in our thoughts and prayers...

Vivian and Andy
Canadians living in Kensington MD
So many here don't seem to know what to say and I am one of them. Hugs to you and your family; you're all in my thoughts.
So many here don't seem to know what to say and I am one of them. Hugs to you and your family; you're all in my thoughts.
Another stranger here (I found you through Darren Barefoot). I work at SPH, and am a fellow patient of Dr. Phang's. He's a talented surgeon, a kind man (he's a joy to work with), and you couldn't be in better hands. I know you know that, but what else can I say? I hope you kick your cancer in the ass. I'll be rooting for you and your family.

- Matt
Thinking of you and your family...
Yet another stranger who's found you through Darren's blog. My thoughts are with you and your family. Hope you get through this fine. All the very best to you
Be strong, mate!
Bad break. I got the news of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma a few months ago and that was the good news. We'll say a prayer for you. Hang tough and know you aren't alone there or here.

Keep jammin'

len (a guitar player and Dad)
Hi Derek,
I heard you and your wife on CBC this afternoon. You are an amazing couple, and I think that it's very courageous of you to share your story with everyone. I have just graduated as a family doctor, and I recently spent 2 weeks at "Inspire Health", (formerly known as the Centre for Integrated Healing.) https://www.inspirehealth.ca/
Not sure if you have heard of this service or not, but it is a wonderful resource for people living with cancer. If you have some time check out their website, but the best thing is to attend one of their drop-in sessions on Monday afternoons.

One other thing - you were commenting on your pain, and I hope you know there are lots of ways to treat pain, and you shouldn't have to suffer. Just because someone has cancer, doesn't mean they have to just put up with the pain. If the morphine isn't cutting it, tell your doctors! Dr. Pippa Hawley at the Pain & Symptom management clinic is super, she's one of the best pain doctors in Canada.

My very best wishes for you and your family.

Dr. Amy Mabie

We have never met and you have never heard from me before. I found your blog a few years ago after a vacation trip to Vancouver. I've visited regularly since then and have been following your battle. I don't really know what to say to you latest post. I just wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Get well.
In these situations nobody seems to know what to say. Got to your blog through R. Scoble. I´m going to wish you the best, but not tell you what you should do, think or say, or how. I´m just hoping, as a fellow human being that everything turns out for the best (be it that you, the people around you or the ones that read you learn an important lesson...which I think is already happening by the way you´ve taken this on; or be it something else). I´m just going to say that a couple of times recently (last few months) people around me have DECLARED sanity in similar situations: declared that they are going to be ok, that love (you may put whatever name here, God will understand) would cure them or their children...and within some time it has happened accordingly. The lesson I have learned and want to share from other people is the CONVINCED attitude that they will be ok, for something else to be glorified for the good of mankind (again, put whatever name her, God will understand).

I wish you the very best and my prayers are with you and your family.
Well, if you've got enough energy to do it... you wanna talk about it on-stage at Gnomedex? I mean, you've been pretty public about it to this point, and hopefully will be just as open about it rolling forward...
I'm mortified to hear all this, Derek. I don't know what to say; I don't want to be the one to throw a cliché out there, so I won't do that. I have no idea what you're going through, nor will I pretend to. You're right though...it's amazing any of us are alive, considering how fragile life is. I'll be thinking of you and sending you positive mental energy!
you are an amazing fellow Derek! My thoughts are also with you.
Thinking of you Derek and all you family. This sucks, but you can beat it.

I'm really shocked. Thanks for continuing to share your life with us. I wish you the best, Derek. Hang in there!
My thoughts and prayers are with you this day and here after. Take it from one who has beaten cancer, it is indeed possible, never stop believing that. All my best, take care of yourself.
Derek, I haven't said much of anything through all of this, because, quicte frankly, I haven't known what to say. I still don't, really. But I wanted you to know that I've been reading and have nothing but massive respect for the way you've handled this so gracefully. I've known enough people that have had cancer to know that those who survive well beyond their diagnosis are always the ones who deal with it similarly to the way you have. Thus, I have no doubt you'll be around for a quite a long time. Selfishly, I hope it's long enough that I can meet you -- because it would be a great honor.
I am sorry to hear this, Derek. My best wishes to you and your family.

Tim Robertson
I know your cancer has spread, but have your doctors mentioned the option of removing your colon and rectum? The surgery results in something called an ileostomy, which you means you poop in a pouch for the rest of your life. I happen to have one because something called Chron's Disease ravaged my body for about 15 years. Life is no picnic, but at least I'm no longer in pain.

God bless, Derek.

I've seen you in my CARS referrer logs now and again and lurked on your site a bit. Now that you can use it here's hoping I can send some good thoughts your way.

Hang in there. Best wishes.
Hi Derek. Really sad about your news. But hang in there! Plenty of people cheering you on. If Lance Armstrong can do it, so can you! Prayers and thoughts are with you, mate, even from here down under (Australia).

Cheers. Steve Taylor (IHR listener, Melbourne)
Hi Derek - so sorry to hear this news. It was a huge shock and I know there's not a lot a complete stranger can do to add to the optimism you need to fight this, I just hope that hearing one more post and knowing that there are a lot of people thinking about you, praying for you, and generally hoping for the best along with you, that it can make some difference.
i accidently stumbled across your blog

please let me apologize first if I am not eloquent in words

i really wish all the best for you, even if it seems all you have is the worst right now

like other posters here, i want to remind you to not give up

do not go gentle into that goodnight

take care <3
I don't know you my friend, but fight hard and fight long. Fuck that cancer and celebrate yourself, your family and your friends.
I am touched by your courage. Fight on, and we'll all hope for the best.
Fight like you've never fought before, and Love like there's no tomorrow. Make every minute with your family count, and let them love you back, that will pull you through as far as your body will allow. If you have a god, may he or she stay by your side at all times.
Poignant. I'll keep you in my prayers.
I too was diagnosed with rectal cancer in July 2005, but my surgeon was able to remove the tumor in situ. And, after recovering from chemo and rad treatment, I seem to be ok.

One thing that helped me keep my head up when all the fear came crashing over me was the knowledge that survival stats are old data. As the investment folks are always saying, "Past performance is not indicative of future performance."

Hang in there...
hey derek,

been a fan of yr blog since coming across it on the Daily Source Code and thought we were similar kind of people. sorry to hear this news. hang in there man and God bless you.
Derek, you're amazing and in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks always for sharing and all your honesty.

A fan of your music, podcast, blog and as it's turning out, your life- j
Derek, We're praying for you here. At our high school grad a couple of weeks ago a speaker said "How can you be afraid of falling when you have so many people around to catch you?" by the comments here it looks like you've got a huge support network of loved ones... even if you haven't met them yet.
You're an inspiration to me as a fighter and with what you do with your music. I know I still need you around!
I have faith that you'll kick this thing's ass in the end since it's been such a pain in yours.

Mike T

For those of us living without apparent, challenges coming from within our bodies (yet), yours is an unfathomably difficult confrontation with yourself. I can only wish you the continued wisdom, patience, and expression to make the most of every moment. At age 68 now, and having said final goodbyes to pals younger than I for various reasons, I know that there is that invisible diagnosis that has a stated day for the end of my time. Could be later today. Could be til I can see more grandkids. The lesson is the same. Make the most of whatever.

I've been recently inspired and moved by a very young man who gave the valedictorian speech at his high school graduation. I was there for my 50th reunion. Miles' talk was cosmic. I include the link below for you. At 18, with a cancer that will take him sooner than later, barring a miracle, he has connected to something larger out there and is passing it on to all of us. Perhaps he will have something to say to you. And very likely, vice versa.

That you have created a generous community to speak with and who write so eloquently to you is a great gift from you to the world. All we can ask for is to learn by sharing our stories. Yours now tests all of us to get beyond platitudes, trivialities and make nice.

I'm very thankful to have run across your work.

Godspeed to you and everyone here.

Here is the link to Miles' talk. Sorry it's a long one.

Sorry the previous link didn't make it.

For the link to Miles Levin's talk go to


At the bottom of the article click on the Media link and then scroll down to Miles Levin's talk to hear it.
Found you through Scobleizer. Just want you to know that you've inspired me. Your today is very powerful. Cancer can be beaten, or, if not, brought to its knees.
Fuck you cancer and all you infest!
Derek - I only know you from IHR but it's not hard to tell you're a pretty special guy. Just the way you keep batting on with IHR without too much fuss about yourself speaks volumes.

Keep fighting this with all you've got because you never know what's around the next corner.

Add one more stranger from Minnesota to the list of those praying for your recovery. As others have mentioned I too know of people who have been diagnosed and have beaten cancer, and I've also known people who have lost the fight. The ones who beat it did one simple thing: believe.

God Bless, Derek.
Hello Derek,

I just ran across this getting here from Apple's site. My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 non-hodgkins lymphoma at age 72 and was give 2-3 months to live by her doctors. She told the doctors, you don't undertstand I just bought my season golf pass :) It continued to advance through her body for the next several months during her treatment. She and my father would go to dinner dances til 1 in the morning and she also snuck in a few golf games...she told me she didn't tell her doctors everything she did......Six months later they couldn't find cancer anywhere in her body and today she is 83 and still with us.....don't always listen to the doctors..they study disease, not health....

My 56 year yound sister did lose her battle with cancer 2 years ago and I wrote about it and what I have learned from that journey on https://www.healinggardens.org....not sure if we can list websites here...I just know it helped me and may help others...

Our thoughts are with you and your family....although we may not continue our journey here on earth, our spirt continues in everyone we touch...
I hope you can beat this, Derek! Good luck, man! I've never met you or heard about you before today, but you seem like a great person.
indeed, the best of every minute you have with those you love, things you like to do, and goals you have set.

my mother has always been sick.

her whole life.

for her, through her, i learned that you always have a choice to whether or not you want to have joy, or wallow. doctors aren't gods. a diagnosis is simply the moment they found out about something. those predictions about how long someone has to live and so forth, are based on stats.
they told my mother she'd die 14 months after being diagnosed with her condition and statisticly that's true. but she braved out, changed her diet, and is currently breathing 6 years after they told her that. so i'm BELIEVING if you keep your spirits up and your head clear, learn everything about your condition...learn everything about your options, then apply it...

you'll definitely surpass those 'diagnosed' years and place what matters back to the fore-front of your life. love, family,and happiness.
Whew, those words are heavy. You don't know me from Adam, but I just want to send my very best wishes to you and your family. As Churchill once said in the closing of a speech, "Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."

On that note...Fuck Cancer!

May you be alive, really alive for whatever time you have. Whether it be years and years, or a year, or months, or if you get hit by a car next week, or a tree limb tomorrow.
Dying is for Communists.
Derek, I stumbled across your blog while researching for my brother Duane who is also battling rectal cancer. I encourage you to give your heart to Jesus. He's the only hope any of us have, whether we think we're healthy or not. God is good, Derek, and He loves you very much. I'll be praying for you and your family.
hey - we don't know each other but we're in the same boat... and I've been blogging my story since the diagnosis too! I've been skim reading your entire blog tonight (it was name checked in a UK paper today The Guardian in an article about blogging)

atm I'm in hospital having my 10th course of post op 5FU etc - I'm in here for three nights at a time, and I was reading your story wondering how like mine it would be and then WHAM this post ..

and I've had a little cry for you .. and amazed at your sharing that fact in here, simply cos I haven't done that yet with my blog .. I'm still telling ppl that I had a clear scan and not telling ppl that my situation is not much better than yours, statistically .. slightly better perhaps, cos I'm post-op and my liver mets went off with the chemo (pre-op) and my tumour did reduce in the pre-op treatment (which was v. similar to yours)

so I've read your story to here and now I brace myself to read the rest .. I hope for both of us that we come out on the right side of the stats . but even that feels cruel ... cos some ppl (MOST) ppl in our situation will NOT comeout on the right side ..

I send you my love and (however unwelcome) my prayers too!

xxxxx suze
I lived on death row in the world for 38 years on drugs and alcohol. I thought "even if there
was a GOD" why did he hate me so much? My life sucked! My family is dead and I have liver cancer that I can't get rid of.Like you, i'm
not promised tommorrow, only today.
And today I can offer hope to people whom might live to see tommorrow, even if I don't. Just as you have given me hope with your testimony today.thanks. tim pilgrim.justified14all@yahoo.com

my sons 10 years old and has crohn's we know how you feel our prayers are with you