In life, we face a variety of roadblocks. I refer to one that has come up for me very recently as a, “speed-bump.” As I’ve shared before, success is not measured by what happens to us but how we deal with what happens to us. I believe that my sharing what follows is in the public interest and may well benefit many of you.
A routine colonoscopy in December, 2019, revealed a tumor thought to be cancerous. I had been feeling great and had no symptoms, so it felt strange when the doctor came in and threw out the “C” word. Pathology confirmed that it was, indeed, cancer. It felt rather surreal, yet I told myself that I didn’t have cancer, I just had a tumor that had cancer. CT scans indicated that the cancer had not spread to other areas, and surgery was scheduled for January 22nd. Surgery went well, and hopes were high that that would be the end of the story. I kept my positive mindset and visualized myself getting better every day, recovering to full health. The doctors and nurses were impressed by how quickly and well I was recovering from the surgery.
While still in the hospital, the pathology report from what was removed during surgery showed some lymph nodes were positive for cancer, resulting in a clinical diagnosis of Stage 3. An oncologist recommended six months of chemotherapy. I was released a day or two earlier than initially expected and maintained my positive attitude. More tests were scheduled, including a PET scan, which was, thankfully, negative. I traveled to Houston at MD Anderson’s Woodlands campus for a second opinion. Patti and I armed ourselves with as much information as we could digest so that I could make the best decision for my health.
It took some time to digest all that we gathered, and I decided that the course of treatment I would undertake was a combination of the oncologists recommended six months of chemo as well as dramatically changing my diet to primarily plant-based with certain supplementation to support my immune system. I chose what seemed best for me. I had a port placed on Friday, March 20th, and got my first chemo treatment on Monday, March 23rd. It all still felt rather surreal, as this entire ordeal has been, and the pandemic and the various “stay-at-home” orders that followed added to how weird it all felt.
When I first wrote this, I had just finished my fourth chemo treatment. As of this post, I have had eight treatments. Though the side effects aren’t fun, to say the least, I am concentrating on the healing that is going on and am determined to be healthier and stronger than ever at the end of treatments. A positive mindset is more important that many realize, and I am staying positive. Many of you have reached out with your support and love, and I am grateful for each and every one. As a dear friend has reminded me, no one fights alone. I am blessed to have so many in my corner.
I will add to this story in the future, to share more about my experience, perhaps more pictures and some of the videos I’ve posted on Instagram, with the intention that it might help you if you are going through something similar. I am happy to share my experience with anyone who reaches out, so please comment or contact me directly.
The message I want you to get is clear. Get your routine screenings done, now. You owe it to yourselves and those who love you. This goes for all of you, ladies and gentlemen. As was my case, even if you are feeling fine, get your screenings done according to the recommended schedule and intervals. A speed bump can only slow you down for a short time. No matter what you face, a positive attitude, believing the best outcome, and doing everything to support your body, your mind, and your spirit, will quickly get you back up to speed. How cool is that?