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30. Resilient Hope _ The Heinigers _ Part 1

Updated: Nov 11, 2021



 

Today we sat down with the indomitable Pete and Shara Heiniger who founded the non profit called Stages. In addition to the nonprofit, they also started a podcast by the same name with the goal to change the stigma and story of the cancer journey. They work to accomplish this goal by focusing on honesty, candor, and hope through building resiliency.


Highlights include:

-Stage 4 Cancer.

-The importance of listening when going through hell.

-The elephant in the room.

-Your family is on the journey whether they like it or not.

-The medicine of normalcy.

-The power of routines.

To learn more about the Heinigers and their work, check them out at:

www.stages.community


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08;06;39;20 - 08;06;19;09

Aaron

Now we're here with two wonderful guests today, Pete and Cheryl Heininger. We're going to have it. We're going have a discussion about boy, lots of things, but it's going to be centered on sort of your cancer journey, your podcast that how you support people as far as support the people who support the people, even going through cancer


08;06;18;10 - 08;06;14;29

Aaron

. We're going to get into that in just a minute. But thank you so much for being here, guys.


08;06;14;10 - 08;06;05;07

Pete

Yeah, our pleasure. We're just I think it's been it's been a long journey, but I'm glad to share it. So I'm excited.


08;06;04;25 - 08;06;02;02

Aaron

Excellent. I'm glad you're here and share it. The wife.


08;06;01;07 - 08;06;01;02

Jon

Of.


08;06;01;02 - 08;06;00;21

Aaron

Pete.


08;06;00;13 - 08;05;59;18

Jon

Yes, we're.


08;05;59;18 - 08;05;57;19

Aaron

Here to have you fact check him. Really?


08;05;56;27 - 08;05;55;26

Jon

So I could.


08;05;55;12 - 08;05;50;27

Aaron

Chime in as he gets a little too out there. Inflates the story too much.


08;05;50;17 - 08;05;49;16

Jon

That's OK. Yeah.


08;05;49;06 - 08;05;48;09

Aaron

How's John doing today?


08;05;48;07 - 08;05;46;18

Jon

Doing well. Yeah.


08;05;45;26 - 08;05;44;27

Jon

Continuing the journey.


08;05;44;21 - 08;05;38;07

Aaron

Yeah, excellent. I can always tell your mood by how well your beard has been trimmed. And so like, life is good.


08;05;37;20 - 08;05;36;07

Jon

Yeah, life is good for again.


08;05;34;12 - 08;05;18;19

Aaron

OK, well, let's jump right into it right away. I want to just kind of find out what your what you've been working on. Of course you use sounds like you're your journey has been through cancer. You you share that you was a 20 even 22nd round of chemotherapy.


08;05;18;19 - 08;05;15;21

Pete

Yeah, this Wednesday will be around 22. Yeah.


08;05;15;20 - 08;05;02;11

Aaron

Wow. OK, so you had some thoughts to share on how to endure and be gritty and and get through tough stuff, I'm sure. OK. Tell us a little bit about your podcast and why how that came to be.


08;05;02;05 - 08;04;42;10

Pete

OK. Yeah, we when we started facing cancer, a lot of times what happens with a lot of us is that we can lose our employment. I mean, either because we're we're just struggling physically and can't do it anymore or, you know, work seems to make that decision for us, and that's kind of where we landed.


08;04;42;10 - 08;04;27;03

Pete

And so I think out of that, we thought, OK, what is it that I need to focus on and what can I do? And I think going through cancer for me was something that I realized is that there's so many firsts that people are prepared for.


08;04;26;17 - 08;04;08;02

Pete

And so we really kind of launched a nonprofit called Stages that is, you know, there's going to have a podcast by the same name stages just to come alongside, I think cancer fighters and also they're the spouses, but also just anybody that's friends with them.


08;04;08;02 - 08;03;50;08

Pete

I think trying to help people understand like how you can you come alongside somebody and really walk them through the journey? But I think, you know, we were faced with so many firsts in that first, you know, 66 months of you get a you get a stage four colorectal, you hear those words and you just you, you


08;03;50;08 - 08;03;37;15

Pete

don't listen to another thing that the doctor says, you're just like, what it was. It was stage four. I know it's like probably worse than stage one through three, but I mean, what does that mean, you know? And I think you then you start to go through, how long do you have and you have to come to


08;03;37;15 - 08;03;30;22

Pete

grips with your mortality. But there's so many little things you know, what is chemo? What is it, you know, infusion? What is that like? You know.


08;03;30;15 - 08;03;30;09

Jon

Tell.


08;03;30;09 - 08;03;17;19

Aaron

Me, but tell me about it because these journeys are thrust upon us. Yes, I'm sure you didn't walk in with any preparation thinking, Well, this is going to be a huge change in my life completely.


08;03;17;19 - 08;03;02;23

Pete

Yeah, I think the very first time we sat down to go over everything it was, they used the word palliative. And of course, with me in my past, all when I hear somebody say palliative care, I think hospice, this is the end.


08;03;02;15 - 08;02;48;07

Pete

So the very first thing you get hit with is is this word that you're associating with. Oh, like, this is like, I don't have very long. Hmm. And I think then they explain, Well, no, like, I mean, but the average, you know, length of time could be four years or something like that.


08;02;48;07 - 08;02;37;02

Pete

So you go into that and then you're told, like every other week you're going to do chemotherapy and then you kind of have this idea. I guess you're going to put chemicals in my bloodstream and it's going to be brutal or something like that.


08;02;36;22 - 08;02;20;28

Pete

But it's even gets down to the place where you're, you know, what's what's the hospital like? I mean, what are you going to? What are you to walk into? So everyone has this idea that you're going to be in this room by yourself and know you're on a floor next to 40, you know, 45 other people.


08;02;20;15 - 08;02;09;08

Pete

There's no oftentimes there's no barrier between you and the next person in there in a chair, basically six to eight feet, you know, from you. And there's just a whole row of of everyone going through cancer. They're all different ages.


08;02;09;08 - 08;01;54;07

Pete

Some are older than you. Some are younger than you. You kind of get the first taste of, OK, cancer hits a lot of different people. And and then you get this pump that's attached to you after five hours of sitting there and having all this other stuff.


08;01;54;07 - 08;01;43;14

Pete

But when your bloodstream? Now you have to take it home and then wear it for 48 hours and have to go back in and have it removed on Friday. So my and I go on Wednesday and then I have it removed, right?


08;01;43;12 - 08;01;29;16

Pete

So it kind of completely changes your life and to. The chemo weeks, you could be in the hospital in visits and working, I mean, like six or seven appointments that week. And so you just kind of in and out, in and out, in and out.


08;01;29;15 - 08;01;15;01

Pete

So it does, you know, kind of thrust itself right into your routine, right? So it just breaks everything. And then it's so challenging in the front end because you don't listen, you know, you like to think that you listen, but you don't.


08;01;15;01 - 08;01;01;24

Pete

And so like for me, I have numbness in my hands. That's probably permanent damage and my feet. I can't feel my feet. And that, you know, is called peripheral neuropathy, but it's due to a side effect from a drug.


08;01;01;24 - 08;00;56;14

Pete

But as they're flying through, those drugs are like, Oh, be sure to tell somebody when you have no idea.


08;00;56;12 - 08;00;55;00

Jon

You know.


08;00;54;21 - 08;00;51;21

Shara

Girls, girls, girls, you know you don't want to know.


08;00;51;10 - 08;00;36;04

Pete

And because it would go away like the numbness would come on. But then I'd have my off week and then I'd feel again. So I thought, Oh, I'm just going to power through, you know, my big thing was, you know, I'm just going to be, I'm going to go longer, more and more rounds, you know, extend this


08;00;36;04 - 08;00;22;11

Pete

out. I'm just going to fight through because I'm younger and I'm healthy and I can I can do this. But what I found out was that somewhere in that pamphlet that they gave you a folder of like a bunch of information, they're telling you this could actually be permanent damage.


08;00;22;10 - 08;00;06;08

Pete

And so you there's all these first that you kind of go through that you don't know. So then when you finally bring it up, all of a sudden the the feeling doesn't come back and you're like, Oh, I just created permanent nerve damage, you know, and two different things that I should have listened better.


08;00;06;07 - 09;59;54;02

Pete

So I think part of stages is trying to walk people through just that. That aspect of it, like, Hey, there's some things that you should probably you're not going to pay attention to, but you should, right? Right. And because you're walking people.


09;59;54;02 - 09;59;40;14

Aaron

I mean, you're you're very distracted with like the severity of the situation. You're going, you know who's who's reading every single word. You're just like, OK, how do I get to the end of this thing now? Yeah. And then you're sitting and you're sitting, copilot.


09;59;40;12 - 09;59;31;03

Aaron

I mean, what's that like? Because I mean, you can't go to the chemo for him? What is how does it feel being in that circumstance? Or how did you go through that journey?


09;59;30;26 - 09;59;12;09

Shara

It changed everything about I literally have things about my life before hearing those words and things, you know, that will ever, never be the same as sleep. The things I think about, you know, very much every aspect of my life has changed from that.


09;59;11;26 - 09;59;00;28

Aaron

We've talked about it in the past that like when we go through difficulty, that how dare us to think that we're doing it alone. You know, the ones that love us are right there and they don't have any choice like, you're shackled to this thing.


09;59;00;28 - 09;58;59;01

Aaron

You know, he's going in the water. So are you, you know?


09;58;59;01 - 09;58;58;20

Jon

Yes.


09;58;58;15 - 09;58;42;13

Aaron

And and it's it's just as difficult. And I think it's worth noting because those people who are walking through these journeys, whatever they are, cancer is a big one for a lot of people that could be jobless, which expands things or are going through grief of any kind.


09;58;41;24 - 09;58;38;16

Aaron

The ones that love us are right there with us trying to deal with it. Mm-Hmm.


09;58;38;10 - 09;58;16;14

Shara

I did write a blog about the elephant in the room that very oftentimes you you can act like it doesn't exist, but it is very much there. And one of the visuals I use is our number two daughter was pretty newborn and number one daughter was sitting beside her.


09;58;16;04 - 09;58;02;21

Shara

And then she stood up and very slowly just sat on her sister because she was like infringing on her life, you know? And then I have that imagery with the elephant in the room, and for me, it comes at night.


09;58;01;18 - 09;57;44;06

Shara

We'll talk about heavy stuff. He'll go to sleep and then the like. The elephant, you know, just comes and sits on my chest and then, you know, yeah, so you're right, then you have a decision, you know, is this what gets to take over my life or do you have a choice?


09;57;44;05 - 09;57;32;02

Shara

And you know, I'm going to choose to fight this elephant. So I imagine myself as a little kid kicking it off and pushing it off and yelling and telling it, who's boss? And it's not the elephant.


09;57;31;27 - 09;57;10;08

Aaron

So we just had a podcast about this recently regarding grief, and we talked about, you know, loss of family dog. Everyone's lost a family pet that stinks. On some level. It has those same exact stinging, maybe not as lasting effect when it's human being that we've loved for many, many years.


09;57;10;08 - 09;56;55;15

Aaron

But it's still the same kind of feelings. And one of the things we we're talking about is is how how we do face it, because it's like you're saying you made a choice to go towards it. And what do you say to those who are who are very tempted to be like, I just don't want to deal


09;56;55;15 - 09;56;45;29

Aaron

with this. I don't want to look at this, I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to let anybody else know about it. This is my fight, and I'm just going to get through it. What do you say to that mentality?


09;56;45;21 - 09;56;34;24

Pete

I think the first thing that I say is I felt the same way in many ways that I'd rather. There internalize and I make it everybody else's thing, and I think there is a line, there's always a balance.


09;56;34;24 - 09;56;20;26

Pete

I think when you're going through things you you don't want to bring your family and your friends and make it all about like, now, now you're part of this too. Right? But there's also a part of it where you need those friends and family.


09;56;20;26 - 09;56;07;09

Pete

So you have to keep a balance because you you can let cancer in this case, take over everything. And so then your conversation is that everyone and that's not how you want your friendships or your relationship, you know, with me and share.


09;56;06;21 - 09;55;56;28

Pete

We can't make it all about that. So I think I think what we have to do is learn a good communication strategy. But I think when you try to think you can take it all on, my answer to that would be.


09;55;56;01 - 09;55;38;09

Pete

I'm I'm a pretty big fighter, and I learned I can't take it all. Like when you're sitting there in chemo and you feel nauseous and it's been 72 hours, it's been, you know, and it's just been straight. And then you're thinking about like, OK, is this worse than.


09;55;37;23 - 09;55;37;12

Jon

Just.


09;55;36;25 - 09;55;21;00

Pete

Just, you know, let it take its course and everything. And so you have to fight those internal battles about, you know, is this worth it? Should I go through it and and or should I just, you know, like, let's just go in the hospice and let's just call, you know?


09;55;20;19 - 09;55;08;12

Pete

And I think those things battle you, and there's no way that you can overcome that by yourself. You're going to have to develop deep friendships with people who are going to be stubborn with you, who are going to, you know, try it out of you.


09;55;08;00 - 09;54;52;12

Pete

And, you know, I think over time, then you start to get a resiliency. I think there is a part where they you need a fight, you need grit, you need to approach it that way. But you have to realize that it's a team effort like there is going to be people and I need a team because I


09;54;52;12 - 09;54;36;09

Pete

can't just bring everything to her. one of the first things you have to worry about is communication with your spouse. I mean, she's working full time, right? And I'm sitting there working on the nonprofit, but she's working full time eight hours a day for a software company.


09;54;36;08 - 09;54;23;21

Pete

And so when she gets out of a heavy day, it's been busy. Like the last thing, you know, like, how are you? And then I'm like, you know, dump like, well, you know, today I felt, you know, so you have to have a balance and try to not draw her in.


09;54;23;21 - 09;54;02;22

Pete

So there's things that your are really heavy and that you're fighting through, and sometimes it's depression. Sometimes it's it's just that the you're scared of what's going to happen. I think it's good to have people, you know, I have some good friends in my life who I can sit down and they're like, You can tell me anything


09;54;02;22 - 09;53;45;23

Pete

. You can say anything. And that helps me buffer what I say to her. Like, I know, keep her in the dark. But there are some times where she's like, How hard? I'm like, I'm good, you know, and we kind of have a tone that we have between us of communication, which is means let's not talk about that


09;53;45;23 - 09;53;32;11

Pete

right now. I'm OK, but let's, you know, let's just not go there because you don't. It's not the time or the place. We've got to set up a a balance, and I don't feel like this is a good time to to tell you where where I am mentally, because it's just deep.


09;53;32;03 - 09;53;18;12

Aaron

Yeah, we've known John. I know you exercises too. Like, sometimes we have these unrefined thoughts that like, I got a I got to go beat the salami a little bit with a friend or whether it's a physical thing or whatever I just need to.


09;53;17;16 - 09;53;04;16

Aaron

I'm not quite ready to speak it out, but I will. I will. I'm committed to doing it, but I but I got to first figure it out. Yeah, it's time to start saying these things, and sometimes I've come and you're like, I had a rough day.


09;53;03;23 - 09;52;59;26

Aaron

I've done a few things to kind of be ready, but I needed to have the conversation.


09;52;59;24 - 09;52;58;10

Jon

Timing is important, right?


09;52;58;04 - 09;52;58;00

Jon

Yeah.


09;52;56;24 - 09;52;54;20

Jon

A good thing can be a terrible thing if you don't have.


09;52;54;06 - 09;52;53;24

Jon

Some.


09;52;53;15 - 09;52;39;25

Jon

Foresight into what it's about. And earlier, a few minutes ago, we were talking about everything that happens good, bad or indifferent. Every stimulus requires a response, and I think that's a lot of what we're talking about here. So it's like.


09;52;38;27 - 09;52;38;10

Jon

Cancer.


09;52;38;03 - 09;52;24;21

Jon

Stimulus response long and complicated. But one of the things is we're we've been talking like he referenced. one of my dogs was hit by a car. My wife shave her dog. Mine too. On Monday night, and then he came home.


09;52;24;21 - 09;52;10;01

Jon

Me barrier. But we had to choose right where we're going to play the blame game, we're going to be angry with each other, we're going to be angry with ourselves. We're going to choose to have that, you know, lightning bolt moment could be something we deliberately have.


09;52;09;21 - 09;52;01;27

Jon

Bring us together. We chose that and then we work through the ramifications. Now what's interesting is I have four young children that you saw when they came in the.


09;52;01;26 - 09;52;01;16

Jon

Car.


09;51;59;28 - 09;51;44;01

Jon

And they were all asleep. While I didn't go wake them up to tell them, you know, I let them sleep. We fed them breakfast. And then once they were fortified, we had the conversation right and then began walking the process so that this is a small example of how timing with this is important.


09;51;43;17 - 09;51;27;21

Jon

And then the other thing that just jumped into my mind from what you're talking about, like, sometimes it's not for my bride and I to walk through. It's for me to battle for me and a friend, right? It's like when you're walking through significant challenge, the goal plan appears to often be outward focused, right?


09;51;27;06 - 09;51;09;02

Jon

All right. I'm one piece of the resource load in this network, and how can I contribute in that so that it doesn't become all consuming, you know, less tragic, but similar is parenting, right? Yes. A lot of marriages struggle because raising children becomes the only thing in the conversation.


09;51;08;21 - 09;50;51;28

Jon

And that lack of balance, even with a good thing, is just as damaging as something where cancer can't be all consuming. You know, that's a pretty wide spectrum. But I love the emphasis that you guys are bringing in of like and really what I heard of, how you lost so many friends in your life's work and all


09;50;51;28 - 09;50;39;05

Jon

these things from a from before we jumped on the mixes you have when you go through these things, it's going to it's going to bring up other people's demons. It's going to bring up their discomforts, their own mortality.


09;50;39;02 - 09;50;30;03

Jon

Right. And if you don't have the courage to look at it, you may run away or have other issues. But knowing that I'm just one bag in, this is a big part of it.


09;50;28;28 - 09;50;16;08

Pete

Yeah, I think that's so true. I mean, like for one, I think we have five daughters and they're older. But at the time, because of COVID, we had one girl that came home from college and was student teaching here.


09;50;15;22 - 09;50;02;22

Pete

And so she staying with us. She's back home and then we had to at home already. And so, you know, you have your experience seeing the journey, but there are that with you, whether they like it or not.


09;50;02;15 - 09;49;50;05

Pete

Like, I can't when they were there, when I went through my first round. And I mean, I can't I can't go through eight and a half hours of throwing up and not have them know they're in the same house, right?


09;49;50;05 - 09;49;36;25

Pete

And it's just brutal. So I mean, when you're when you're going through those things, they're kind of living it with you, right? And then I think we had to say, OK, how do we create some space in there where that's not so heavy?


09;49;36;25 - 09;49;21;09

Pete

And I think it was good she took a job in Chicago to teach and and then our our next girl, who is 18, said, I'm going to wait to go into school and maybe I won't go into school, but I'm going to go with her and kind of help her adjust to Chicago.


09;49;21;09 - 09;49;03;24

Pete

And so they moved in together. But I think that gave them some good space. I think there and I think the other side of it is you do have to kind of see their friends that showed up immediately and said, we're here and like, so we have a couple in our lives that meets with us every, you


09;49;03;24 - 09;48;49;00

Pete

know, Sunday night. We just go hang out. There's no agenda. There's no like, you know, we have to share or talk about cancer or anything else the time we don't. But it's just that they their presence became more pronounced in that space, and I think that was so important to us.


09;48;48;20 - 09;48;36;16

Pete

And then we have friends that we thought would be like that who just completely like you said, you know, we know they love us. It's not like, Oh, well, now they have, you know, they're fighting cancer. So we just don't love them anymore.


09;48;36;07 - 09;48;18;18

Pete

I know that's not the case. I think it is that kind of unspoken thing. I think what the two things that I learned going through cancer, the the to me that having worked with people and try to counsel people through cancer and be there for people before that, now I experience as a cancer fighter.


09;48;18;16 - 09;48;04;21

Pete

one of the things I learned was just sometimes we we've given ourselves such a small toolbox to help people, you know, like everybody kind of does the whole online Facebook, you know, you know, Hey, I'm praying for you.


09;48;04;21 - 09;47;53;18

Pete

I hope you, you know, I'm a pray for complete healing or I'm going to, you know, and you get that, you know, and I have tons of friends from high school all the way through on Facebook, and we started with a group called Pete's Posse.


09;47;53;15 - 09;47;41;24

Pete

A friend of ours started. And so then but now we have like 900 people in there. And so there's 900 people that are that are making comments. But a lot of times it's that and then they don't know what to say.


09;47;41;07 - 09;47;28;16

Pete

So once you kind of, as a friend, have gone to, you're your friend going through cancer and you just say, Hey, I'm praying for you. Well, that sounds great. The first two or three times, then there's nothing else in the toolbox, right?


09;47;28;03 - 09;47;15;11

Pete

I think one of the biggest things I learned is that for 90% of us, we're not going to get that many. Magical, you know, thing where, hey, there's no evidence of disease, you went through chemo for six rounds, that's all gone, you know?


09;47;15;01 - 09;47;00;22

Pete

Some people get that, but there's a lot of us, I think, that basically are in the long haul. It's going to be a long journey. And so I think people become intimidated by, well, then what do I say?


09;47;00;22 - 09;46;43;16

Pete

What do I do? Like this isn't going away. I keep saying I'm praying for him, and I just would say, like, Hey, encourage somebody to have your prayer. Your focus should be. Can I help them have hope no matter what the circumstances of that week is or that day?


09;46;43;04 - 09;46;31;11

Pete

I think that's the biggest thing that you could do for somebody is in what way could I contribute to them having hope in the midst of circumstances? Sure. You know, say a prayer for healing, do do something like that.


09;46;31;11 - 09;46;13;07

Pete

But I think on the other side of that is this idea of just like I need hope to make it through this tough spot, right? And what could you do to contribute this? So we spent a lot of time writing blogs and focusing on friends who just did these little things, you know, for us and kind of


09;46;12;29 - 09;45;59;26

Pete

showing people exactly what you could do. I mean, it's just it's amazing. You know, I had a buddy who used to go on a fishing trip in Minnesota all the time, and he just called his buddies from high school and said, Hey, can I bring a friend?


09;45;59;07 - 09;45;48;16

Pete

And they're like, Sure. So then he just he said, Hey, on your off week, we're going to go up to Minnesota and spend three days in fishing opener and go up there. I got to get away from cancer.


09;45;48;16 - 09;45;46;28

Jon

And everything, and they just.


09;45;46;28 - 09;45;46;12

Aaron

Planned it for.


09;45;46;12 - 09;45;43;12

Jon

You. Yeah, if you were going fishing, yeah, OK. Yeah, because.


09;45;43;12 - 09;45;42;01

Aaron

You're not planning anything for yourself.


09;45;41;16 - 09;45;40;27

Jon

And you're not in.


09;45;40;27 - 09;45;40;02

Aaron

That state of mind.


09;45;39;27 - 09;45;37;29

Jon

Yeah. We got you. Yeah, yeah.


09;45;37;22 - 09;45;25;29

Pete

And it was such a blessing just to get away from think just, you know, I think getting away from everything talking about it. I don't think I talked about cancer at. It wasn't like I was like, Hey, I don't know if you guys know.


09;45;25;18 - 09;45;24;24

Jon

You know, it was like.


09;45;24;14 - 09;45;12;12

Pete

It's like leaders stuck in fishing. We went back, we're all from Minnesota, so we had a lot of talk about there. But I think it just that's an easy thing. Someone said, I'm just going to add one little thing to my summer.


09;45;12;12 - 09;45;12;02

Jon

Yeah.


09;45;11;23 - 09;45;06;09

Pete

And it changed my life, right? I mean, it really, really did some amazing things for me. So I think that was cool.


09;45;06;08 - 09;45;03;02

Aaron

What a subtle thing for a friend to do. And it meant the world.


09;45;02;29 - 09;45;02;21

Jon

Oh yeah.


09;45;02;13 - 09;44;43;00

Jon

Well, I think it's the medicine of normalcy, right? And I think that one of the things I'm hearing is you're giving permission to people to just interact with you normally. Right. That that's part of the walking through the journey because yeah, I think there's this feeling of need to address the problem that scares people away once they


09;44;43;00 - 09;44;39;01

Jon

run out of the OK, I'm praying for you, OK? Hey, theorizing and prayer, great.


09;44;39;01 - 09;44;35;28

Jon

But actions better. Come on. Yeah, show up, please.


09;44;34;24 - 09;44;23;19

Jon

You know, it's like when the dog died and I knew I had to dig a gigantic hole, right? Because she was a large dog. It was very helpful that he did. He didn't just send his thoughts.


09;44;23;15 - 09;44;22;09

Jon

But yeah, yeah, exactly.


09;44;22;01 - 09;44;20;10

Shara

My thoughts and prayers are with you.


09;44;20;09 - 09;44;19;25

Jon

Yeah, yeah.


09;44;19;24 - 09;44;08;06

Jon

Came and picked up a shovel and dug with me, right? So it's like that. That was a great thing. And there has to be I think I think there's a combination because you don't want to just pretend and ignore the elephant in the room.


09;44;08;05 - 09;43;57;17

Jon

Right, right. So it's a willingness to say, like, Hey, I see that elephant. I know it's there. I'm ready to address that often if you guys need to or want to. But since we're on the same page, let's live life together, right?


09;43;57;15 - 09;43;47;05

Jon

And let's try to just have enriching experiences and walk through this. And then we can kind of learn when we need to bury each other up and when we just want to enjoy a good steak and beer or whatever.


09;43;46;02 - 09;43;27;00

Shara

These are two things that I do are I give myself license to deal with it for a little bit of time, like I'll go running in like the neighbors will be like, Oh my goodness, what's going on? Because there will be, you know, angry running and or screaming that that goes on.


09;43;25;26 - 09;43;23;04

Jon

Right? So then.


09;43;21;15 - 09;43;16;03

Shara

And then also being pickier with the friends that I do trust and let in.


09;43;15;05 - 09;43;14;14

Jon

That's critical.


09;43;14;02 - 09;43;09;15

Jon

Yeah, you have to have a very carefully filtered inner circle.


09;43;09;08 - 09;43;08;15

Shara

Yes, that's.


09;43;08;14 - 09;42;48;12

Aaron

That's I think something that's something that becomes apparent when you go through more and more difficult things. I think people who haven't had to pick their friends probably haven't really faced big battles because you can always sort of get soothsayers around you for things that if you want to keep things that are.


09;42;48;02 - 09;42;38;08

Aaron

But if you're trying to strive to overcome something that either happened to you or you're trying to challenge yourself, you're going to need new friends. I mean, somebody, somebody is not going to make the cut.


09;42;38;03 - 09;42;37;20

Jon

Yes.


09;42;36;24 - 09;42;35;17

Jon

Unless they joined the journey.


09;42;35;04 - 09;42;21;12

Shara

Right? If they become someone who fills your bucket, it's reciprocal. It doesn't need to be, you know, I don't need to be the only one who's taking care of that person in. Person doesn't need to be the only one.


09;42;21;02 - 09;42;19;06

Shara

You know, it needs to go both ways.


09;42;18;26 - 09;42;07;28

Jon

Well, it's kind of like if you're on a train or bus, right? Some people are going to get on, some are going to get off somewhere and say, Hey, let's just keep going this direction together. But is that mutual two way street?


09;42;06;08 - 09;42;04;27

Jon

Yeah. What are?


09;42;04;15 - 09;41;49;29

Aaron

So you mentioned the fishing trip. I'm kind of curious because with your podcasts, even with stages, what are some of the things that people can say around somebody who's going through a big, difficult, hairy, awful time in their life?


09;41;49;01 - 09;41;37;27

Pete

I think, you know, I think moving past a lot of I think we do a really good job initially when we when we embrace somebody that's going through something, we show up like, Hey, can I bring some meals over?


09;41;37;26 - 09;41;27;01

Pete

Can we do that? I think once you get kind of past that first two, three or four weeks. I think one of the biggest things is just, Hey, can we can we grab some to grab some time together?


09;41;27;01 - 09;41;13;23

Pete

And I think think back to when you what was life like before you found this out? I mean, did you hang out and talk football? Did you did you did you go? I mean, what did you do? And then can we just do more of that?


09;41;13;21 - 09;41;13;01

Pete

Because usually.


09;41;13;01 - 09;41;07;05

Jon

It's normal. Yeah. What should be normal for normalcy? Yeah, I'm plugging it. It is so.


09;41;06;13 - 09;40;48;05

Pete

Important because I mean, you had people who I would sit there and they're just five weeks ago, we were sitting there having a laughing conversation about whatever you know and just just goofing off and not struggling. We're just like, Oh crap, we've just been here for two, you know, two hours, and then all of a sudden you


09;40;48;05 - 09;40;42;08

Pete

get this diagnosis and you sit down with them and they're just like, So I mean, how are you? You know, how are you feeling?


09;40;42;04 - 09;40;40;29

Jon

This is supposed to be somber now.


09;40;40;17 - 09;40;19;22

Pete

You know, and you're just like, Yeah, you're like. And that's not, you know, I don't think that's the kind of thing that anybody needs. I think you what what I'm looking for is, you know, like. If I'm really going through something, the understanding that you're willing to hear me out right like that, I need to just unload


09;40;19;22 - 09;40;05;09

Pete

, but that's not going to be every week or every day. But on the other side, I want normalcy. I want something that that feels like it did before because it helps kind of relieve my mind of of this big.


09;40;05;04 - 09;39;55;02

Pete

I'm sitting at the the bottom of a huge mountain that I have to climb, and it looks like it's the, you know, the kind of the false peak you get so far up the mountain. Now you're you, OK?


09;39;55;01 - 09;39;36;28

Pete

We're 22 rounds of chemo in and then you're like, but it could be, you know, end up being 44, you know, you know, we could relive this entire year again. And that's a reality. So then how do I get encouragement and encouragement for me is just like normalcy.


09;39;36;28 - 09;39;22;28

Pete

It's just like hanging out and doing stuff with my body is the that I used to do right and not having to change the conversation or change our the way that we work. You know, and then I think people come out of the woodwork.


09;39;22;14 - 09;39;04;17

Pete

Who are those, those individuals that you can trust where you just say, Hey, I just need to go out? Because I'm scared to death, like I am just absolutely scared to death this week, or I'm just kind of losing a I'm kind of getting depressed, I don't I'm getting frustrated.


09;39;04;04 - 09;38;48;07

Pete

And you know, and somebody who's going to step in anger. All right. Let's talk about that, right? And I think the other thing was just, I had a buddy who just learned that one of the things the doctor said was like, Hey, if you can, you know, continue to do, you're going to the gym and staying in


09;38;48;07 - 09;38;33;19

Pete

shape and doing that stuff that will really help you in this in this journey. So he just stepped up and said, I'll go to the gym with you every morning and I won't let you out of it. Like, I'll just say, I'm going to show up at your house, pick you up, drive you there and then take


09;38;33;19 - 09;38;26;19

Pete

you back to your house. So like every morning, has Big Diesel Dodgson, the, you know, out of five.


09;38;26;19 - 09;38;19;18

Jon

In the morning waking the baby. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think that's that's right. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah, yeah.


09;38;19;02 - 09;38;03;22

Pete

So that's been so I think that's been huge for me, just because then you get that time with each other, but you also know that you're putting in some physical effort. That has massive payoff, I think one of the biggest things I face is people have chemotherapy.


09;38;03;22 - 09;37;57;10

Pete

They're like, Oh, you're going to lose your hair. And then I have this big, huge beard and they're like, You're going to lose the beard. And I'm like, Blasphemy.


09;37;57;03 - 09;37;54;15

Jon

Yeah. And it never.


09;37;54;15 - 09;37;53;08

Shara

Concerned about the beard.


09;37;53;02 - 09;37;49;24

Jon

I was thinking in the back of my mind, that was eleven. Yeah, yeah.


09;37;49;13 - 09;37;46;23

Aaron

That's for me. Does he know that the beard might go?