Friday, June 15, 2012

Graduation, par excellance

i'm not going to let June slip by.  for several reasons.  here's one:

the youngest fellow Merkeler i personally know of, a never-give-up survivor of us all, MENTOR to us all, Scott Hammond, way at thuh other end of thuh continent ... graduates from high school today:

(if you've never been on a caringBridge site, you likely will be often when yer my age, might as well start now.  you sign in and register once for life, never have to again, and it's innocuous and never comes back to you, they don't sell yer stuff.  it's quite a community.  and a caring force toward real, in each moment, living.  the idea is to set up for everybody, easy to use, a blog for just the same purpose that my cousin Mac set this one up yer readin now, for me.  i visit easily ten, often, each month.)

join me.  go visit Scott, and leave a note in his Guestbook.  i believe we'll be able to do this for the rest of our life.  he's a true leader, for us to follow.  why not start now?  (even if yer readin this in July)

with love.  marty


  1. Dear Marty,

    I am so sorry that it has taken us so long to find your blog and give you support. First of all, I just want to thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words on my Scottie's caringbridge site. Your support means more than you know. Yes ... you can say whatever you want on our site, and I'll never censor you : } We pray every day for all of our other MCC survivors and those in the fight. As you already know, and I am biased, Scottie is an amazing young man who has been through so much since he was 14 battling this cowardly disease called Merkel Cell Carcinoma. He was given a few months to live in June of 08 and I am so thankful that I didn't listen to the MCC expert whose name I won't mention, who told me in July of 08 that chemo wouldn't help my son. That is water over the bridge, and thankfully, I listened to our doctors. My precious son is living life, cancer free ... and taking baby steps getting to college. He went out and bought four books today to practice reading and develop the reading comprehension that he lost from chemo. The first book he is reading is Aesop's Fables ... short little blurbs where he can absorb some short stories ... a little at a time. I am so proud of him. I will say ... that anyone who is diagnosed with Stage IV MCC (even one lymph node involved) and they are told by the MCC expert on the West Coast who told me that chemo wouldn't help my son ... with multiple tumors, bones, lymphs, etc. .... seek a second opinion. I've seen too many people die from this hideous cancer because they were talked out of chemo. We pray that you are well and I think the last note you left on Scott's site will be embedded in my mind forever. XO and stay strong Marty. You are one in a million ... and I mean that in a very good way . With faith and hope ... Diane and Scott

  2. wow. i am reading this from Oaxaca, México, on Feb 22, 2013! in the wee hours of the morn. living wild life beyond my four last years of dreams. in total solidarity with all the Merkelers who share this world and life in mutual support. what a blessed comment to receive. heart to heart. mcc blog to mcc blog. thank you for standing with me and making me strong with your mentorship and support! yes, faith and hope. marty to Diane and Scott

  3. this is my "last comment you left" Diane refers to on the Guestbook of her and Scott's CaringBridge blog:

    By marty campbell — Sep 7, 2012 2:37pm
    whatever "side" we're on, we're all in the same boat. and it seems there's a nother dimension of cancer on earth in our whole presence as human beings. it is my prayer that by healing one we can heal the other. i believe in both cases that spirit is the greatest medicine. including the spirit of freedom to hear and embrace the truth of each other in a safe, even loving, space such as this blog. to me this is the only way we beings will learn to live on this boat with each others' (perhaps equally divine, and different) truths. so your simple offering of this space, to me, is healing many realms at once, close and far from you. close and far from me. thank you. i can hear what makes you sick. and that act with mine of listening, even embracing it, can open me, myself, to more healing. when i post this, it will appear without screening, if i recall correctly from previous postings in this Guestbook. there is a site on our mcc lifeboat, within the greater ship of human life, where you and i share silence currently, i believe; where this kind of open hearing and open speaking does not exist so purely. and that saddens me so much when ever i have been there from the beginning, it's been hard for me to go back each time. the healing there—which is great indeed—is complex, even conflicted, for me. i may be eccentric. perhaps what i say or the way i say it is confusing or upsetting to someone. but here it goes. a nother human being on this earth. embraced in this safe space created, journal by journal, by you over these 4+ very long years. (i was diagnosed the same year as you, Scott.) we might even get wet by each others' utterance, but we can always wash and dry off. this blog is a true monument to life. i recommend reading today's (415th) journal next to the second one Jul 9, 2008 to anyone. [Sort by: [date - oldest to newest] may be the easiest way to get there.] no wonder you're taking a few breathers! simply thank you for all. this much to Diane to Scott. so wonderful you're finding a job that you love in a time when "simply" finding a job at all is so hard for all of us. please take the moment to note that this is in large part because of who you are. i believe in you so much partly because i'm biased by yer mom. but all so because you and i share the same boat within the lifeboat within the greater ship of life. we know some of the same territory, if from very different life experiences, ages, and sides of a continent. to me this is a huge bond, to which you are welcome to agree at any time along the river. you and i are both at a point where however timorous or tipsy the boat, we dare to live life for all it's worth, with heightened knowledge of life's worth, and with newly outwardly recognized possibility (though we may've always known inside) of duration. we are survivors given a possible option of thriving. may i call it a thrifeboat we share? bless this new burst in your journey, beyond school and medical center, and into "everyday" thrife. and i pray for your riding all these waves including the emotional ripples of risk, MDS, AML or ALL, and all. thank you most for having shared, and continuing to share, your journey, however concentrated or sparsely. and in this way, this part is all to to diane. i am going to share this blog today with a man here who's in the midsts of it all, teetering, balancing the mcc lifeboat and thrifeboat simultaneously in amazing spirit much, in my sense, as you have throughout. thank you both for your long time open armed witness. your companionship, the wealth of our differences, shared along our in-common journey. the healing. well, off to have lunch with this (North Carolina) same boat brother of ours. deeply in gratitude. marty c, seattle