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Tom McAlexander

Free Member, Volcano, HI

To My Dear FC Buddies & Friends: An Explanation

First, my deepest apologies for taking so long in getting around to this explanation for my absence from fc. I wanted to wait until I had all the facts before explaining, and the facts came slowly. Yesterday, I got the last of the information that I wanted to share.

After dealing with all the musical events of last season, I had problems getting my interest back in photography and fc. At first I blamed it on fc burnout...after all, I had been spending 4 to 6 hours daily, 7 days a week, on the fc website, and my fall respite gave me the time to think about other things that I had ignored.

Then in February I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. During the next few months I was meeting with doctors to work out a plan for dealing with it, and then jaundice hit me, and my energy level dropped down almost to a zero. Then more doctors, more tests.

Finally, it was determined to a 90% certainty that I also have pancreatic cancer, which trumps the prostate cancer.

So, I have taken a hormone shot to slow down the growth of the prostate cancer. I will continue the shots for two years and will eventually have radiation therepy. But the pancreas comes first, and I will enter the hospital in Honolulu on August 7 for a Whipple operation which removes the portion of the pancreas that has the tumor as well as parts of the stomach, small intestine and gall bladder, then rearranges the "plumbing" to a new configuration.

Please send me your positive vibrations (or maybe put your hand on your monitor and yell "HEAL"), and I should be back practically as good as new (at least for a 69 year-old man) in a few months.

I love you all.

Comments 28

  • Marlis E. 09/07/2008 20:15

    I am standing still, reading this ...I am with you and your family...I wish you all my energy ...there are no words for me to answer you ...I know all about this kind of cancer...May be all my energy with you ...all kind of love to you and your family
    Best wishes from good old Germany ...may God bless you ...
    HOPE !
    I had a dream ...
    I had a dream ...
    Marlis E.
  • DRAGA PUC 08/07/2008 12:57

  • BRYAN CRUTE 08/06/2008 11:19

    I have never met you Tom, but from what i can see you are a kind and caring person who deserves a break. I send you all my positive thoughts and hopes for a speedy and safe recovery.Look forward to many years of seeing your pictures on this site. Keep the faith !
  • Robert Riley 08/03/2008 19:49

    Hi Tom. Mary and I met Inez today and she told me about your situation. I havn't been on FC much lately either.

    Let me tell you a positive story!

    My mother had a problem. She went to the Doc. Had the tests which confirmed Cervical Cancer. She had treatment, and she went into remission. Later she had a reccurance of the cancer, she had more treatment. She went into remission again and stayed healthy for a few years.

    Then she noticed a lump in her breast. Right! Breast Cancer. Had the op, all was OK.

    She had another recurrance of the cervical cancer, had the treatment and has been well ever since.

    Tom, this started 35 years ago!! She is now healthy and 89 years Young.

    She cant remember my name but who cares!!!

    One thing that she did every day was pray to her God!

    I sincerely hope you come through this and my prayers are with you.

    See you in 2018!

  • Dianna 08/03/2008 18:45

    Tears pour as I read your explanation.....
    More tears pour as I read through the love going your way....
    You do have my thoughts, prayers, yells, tears, concern, hope and faith....
    today, and throughout your healing process.
    Big hugs, and lots of love,
  • Alfred Spectrum 08/03/2008 4:14

    Dear Tom,
    I had been missing your pretty shots of beautiful and strange flowers growing in that wonderful place, they always come with solid explanations. It is clear now why you were not at FC so often anymore.
    OK, so we'll wait a "bit" and in the meantime try to return the favor you did us so many times and upload our best.
    Strength, courage and determination I wish you, and our thoughts and smudged monitors are with you.
    Be back soon.
    All the best,
  • Vesela Maleeva 08/01/2008 9:10

    Dear Tom,
    Also I'd like to give you two prayers,
    that I've said to myself in hours of
    darkness, and found strength in them...
    as words (and images) are all we have:

    "... and if the darkened hours of despair
    overcome me, may I not forget the strength
    that comforted me in the desolation of other

    -- Max Ehrmann

    "God, grant me the courage not to give up
    what I think is right, even though I think it's

    -- Chester Nimitz

    Your friend, Ves

  • Vesela Maleeva 08/01/2008 8:54

    Dear Tom,
    I wanted to give you a flower, but I
    didn't have any new ones that seem
    good enough. I will do one for you,
    to your health and many happy years
    to come, and I trust you will heal and
    be back to your beautiful music and
    pics, enjoying life as before. We are
    all of us waiting for you.

  • DRAGA PUC 07/30/2008 21:47

    Tom, I am with you... wish you all the best
    and do take care.
  • Wendy de With 07/30/2008 21:24

    I hope you'll recover fully soon and wish you strength.
    All best wishes to you.
    Greetings, Wendy
  • Anna Kowalski 07/30/2008 4:48

    You WILL.
  • Anna Kowalski 07/30/2008 4:30 I'm touching monitor instead... again... looking at your picture. It draws attention with its beautiful play of LIGHT on the leaves and this vibrant orange-red bloom.

    You will HEAL.
  • Anna Kowalski 07/30/2008 4:13

    ...the kids would wake up.
  • Anna Kowalski 07/30/2008 4:13

    Can't yell "HEAL!" though.
  • Anna Kowalski 07/30/2008 4:00

    Tom, I'm touching the monitor right now......
  • Pascal Viyer 07/29/2008 18:38

    I'll think about you, dear Mate, about the august 7th !!
    C O U R A G E, Tom :o))

  • Christiane Wüllner 07/29/2008 0:10

    My hand is on my laptop - IT WILL WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Fons van Swaal 07/28/2008 12:14

    Dear Tom,
    Reading your story and the comments you got in return, I noticed your are a loved man by a lot of FC'rs ...
    To bad I have to learn about you by the bad news you receipt lately, wished I had hear from you in better times..
    Anyway it's never to late to learn as they say, it's never to late to give up , it's never to late.......
    Keep your fight going stay positive and I hope to see you back as a healthy buddy on my list.....
    Sending you strong positive vibrations and I shout out :
    " HEAL " holding my hand on the monitor ......
    Best wishes and Aloha ,
    I shaking my hand with thumb and little finger up.....
    ( you will know the meaning of it )
  • Canan Oner 07/28/2008 10:02

    As a "conductor" I am sure this will be your best performance, showing how you can overcome playing out of tune and making your best music in your orchestra. Now..put all your positive intention and start!
    I will be holding you with much love and compassion as a good friend..And will send you distance healings every day as a healer.
    Aloha Tom...
    For You TOM....
    For You TOM....
    Canan Oner
  • Claire Laira 07/28/2008 9:36

    I wish you all the best, dear Tom!
    May all the positive vibrations get to you!
    I wish you a speedy recovery and ...NEVER loose your optimism!

    The Wait

    It is life in slow motion,
    it's the heart in reverse,
    it's a hope-and-a-half:
    too much and too little at once.

    It's a train that suddenly
    stops with no station around,
    and we can hear the cricket,
    and, leaning out the carriage

    door, we vainly contemplate
    a wind we feel that stirs
    the blooming meadows, the meadows
    made imaginary by this stop.

    Rainer Maria Rilke

    My best wishes to you!

  • Véronique Soulier 07/28/2008 8:35

    I missed you but was not thinking you had so much troubles . All the best for coming months, keep hope in future and as better english speaking people than me have wrotten, you'll get out of this hard chapter of your life.. Amitiés Véronique
  • CsomorLászló 07/28/2008 6:38

    Much fortune Tom!
    We are with you!
  • MAURICE CLEGG 07/27/2008 21:47

    tom, my friend.
    i call you my friend though i have never met you, but through our comments on each of our images i feel i have got to know you very well.
    you are a man of great understanding, humour and passion which is conveyed in your comments on other members images and through your own posts, your attention to detail and explanations of your shots.
    you will conquer your adversities, i am sure.
    i raise my healing baton to you.
    take care my friend.
    regards, maurice.
  • Dennis Maloney 07/27/2008 21:23

    Tom, you know how much I care about you, but I will say it anyway, I love ya man, and will include you in my prayers every day.........I am a cancer surviver, and you will be too.....if there is anything I can do, please let me wishes, den
  • Geoff Ashton 07/27/2008 20:32


    thinking of you
    come to visit us as you can

    bw geoff


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