A thousand miles from Ecuador, in the Pacific Ocean, are 19 islands that make up The Galapagos.
The islands were made famous first by Charles Darwin and his Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection (published in 1858). Since then, the Galapagos have beckoned travelers looking to discover this unique and isolated ecosystem.
This post is from my friend Charles Porter. Charles’ cancer journey has been quite the road trip. Diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkins lymphoma at age 30, his world was turned upside down. A promising acting career was stalled and instead Charles found himself facing a difficult and risky stem cell transplant.
Success with a stem cell transplant
For a while.
The cancer is back, but immunotherapy is currently working.
Cancer teaches us many things. One is to do it now! And so, Charles visited the Galapagos Islands to celebrate his 40th birthday:
CancerRoadTrip: The Galapagos Islands with Charles F. Porter
Visiting The Galapagos
To commemorate my big 4 0 close friends and family came together from all regions of the United States to meet for an epic adventure in the Galapagos Islands. I personally, along with my mother, brother, niece and her friend Eric left from Los Angeles. Flying through Miami and catching our breath for two nights in Guayaquil, we were able to adjust to time zone changes as well as experience local culture of mainland Ecuador.
Charles and entourage: Ecuador
The adventure was truly a two part celebration. We celebrated my forty years of life but we also took time to celebrate each other and how truly precious each minute of life is. With each excursion, hike or paddle in the ocean we were surrounded by one of a kind wild life amongst exotic back drops of lava rock or bustling tree tops full of birds. With each siting I was reminded how lucky I truly am. Ten years ago I was diagnosed with stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I had a stem cell transplant in 2011 and was in remission for two years. Since then I have had three relapses and continue to treat this disease today. My brother and best friend below has endured the highs and lows throughout this fight. We celebrate the journey and all that it brings with it for this is life.
Best Friends, through thick and thin. Galapagos
Pictured below are my mother and the mothers of two of my closest friends. Two of the moms have battled cancer and the third, my mom, has been a care taker. Her father also passed away from cancer. This disease has affected so many of us. In fact statistics say that nearly 40% be affected by the disease. Fortunately advanced research and science has been able to extend lives and information to healthier life choices give all of us a fighting chance.
Cancer will impact nearly 40% of us.
I would recommend this trip to thrill seekers and those who love to just relax in the sun alike. Thankful for each day.
Over the last five years of my life there have been many challenges. One was the fight for my life as my family, friends and I fought off stage 4 Cancer. I am now two years in remission after a stem cell transplant at UCLA. Many things changed in my philosophy of what is important in life. My circle became smaller but ever so stronger as I am able to pour more energy into relationships that mean the most to me. Many of these poems talk about that fight and what those who battled with me mean to me. You can also see a transition of a young boy turn into a grown man as I start to really search for my true meaning on earth. I always felt as though its to leave this place in a better way then when I entered. Even larger goals are in the balance as I continue to thrive as an artist and my voice starts to reach the masses. I love peace and team work and together we can make a difference. I have learned to never quit and aim high. Much love
In his last book, ‘Get To Know: Unlocking the Essence in You’, Charles gives insight to the man he was before going through his battle with Stage IV Hodgkins Lymphoma and the man he became once on the other side. ‘Choose Your Path’ was written during the last three to four years of being in remission and is literally being published two weeks after Charles received the news that the cancer has returned. Making this title so much more compelling as Charles will once again try to grow from a life threatening challenge. During the years of medically and mentally being cancer free, Charles has climbed mountains, ran with the bulls and gotten engaged. Substantial changes in his mindset, actions and desires have taken place and Charles lays his private thoughts out for the world to see how he ended up on the path that he walks today. A path that no man has walked on before and one that no man will walk again. Charles intentionally looks for the path least taken simply to be able to share an experience and inspire someone to do the same. ‘Choose Your Path’, reminds us that all humans were born with a purpose. That feeling inside that keeps you awake at night should be acknowledge and if reasonable pursued. ‘Choose Your Path’ also reminds us to love ourselves and that trying to be the best that we can be is never a bad mission. This book serves as voice for a generation who realizes that humanity needs a philosophy of love and encouragement in order to sustain and grow. Without it the ideology of every man for himself will spread. History has told that story many times before, try this one. ‘Choose Your Path’ 2015
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What is #CancerRoadTrip and how did it come to be? Read this post to get the backstory!
Inspiration, joy & discovery through travel. Oh, did I mention with supposedly incurable cancer?
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CancerRoadTrip is about making lemonade out of lemons.
As you read my story, you may want to start at the beginning to "grok" how CancerRoadTrip came to be. You can click here to start at the end (which is actually the beginning) and read forward! The posts are chronological, with the most recent posts appearing on the front page.