Living Better and Being Happier

I am thankful each and every day to celebrate the blessing of life.

As those of you who follow this blog know, I am a VERY lucky survivor of pancreatic cancer. On February 12, 2019, it will be four years since I had my successful Whipple surgery. My longevity is related to my embracing life and choosing happiness.

Today, I want to share a few FREE resources I have developed and tell my personal story. Why? To provide hope and serenity for anyone with a serious disease and their loved ones. We must never forget that our caregivers suffer and endure along with us.

Resources for Better Embracing Life and Choosing Happiness

After recovering from my surgery and follow-up chemotherapy, I view my life’s mission as assisting others with a terrible illness. To me, this is a responsibility that I welcome as one of the relatively few long-term pancreatic cancer survivors. In my mind and heart, I MUST give  back.

So, please take a look at these resources.

Surviving Cancer and Embracing Life: My Personal Journey

With this book, I want to share my personal cancer journey with you. I want to offer hope and support to those dealing with a terrible disease and their families. Why? To quote the late NY Yankee star Lou Gehrig when he was honored at Yankee Stadium while dying from ALS: “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

The book is a hopeful, but realistic, view of my journey from diagnosis through treatment through return to work and my being able to walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding. It has some humor and many quotes to ease the reading.

Click the book cover to download a FREE copy of the book. Then, share it with someone you love.

Embracing Life and Choosing Happiness

Living Well While Surviving Cancer

During the summer, I started a new blog to share health-related information and inspirational stories. It features infographics, videos, articles, and more. And despite the title, it relates to a wide range of health issues.

Click the image to visit the blog. Then, PLEASE sign up to follow us.

Embracing Life and Choosing Happiness

Other Resources

Finally, check out these new resources. Welcome aboard!

My Story: Live Life Every Day

In early 2015, my wonderful endocrinologist Dr. Joseph Terrana ran a routine blood test (part of my three-month testing as a diabetic). And he did not like the results. So, he sent me for an immediate CT-scan. It showed a lump in my pancreas. Soon after, I underwent 9-hour Whipple surgery by Dr. Gene Coppa of Northwell and the Hofstra Medical School. The tumor was malignant, but removed in full. After a short recuperation, I underwent six months of chemotherapy and other treatments under the supervision of Dr. Jeffrey Vacirca and his right-hand person Diana Youngs, nurse-practitioner, of NSHOA (now New York Cancer & Blood Specialists).

Why do I consider myself so lucky?

  • I was diagnosed REALLY early and had surgery shortly after. And pancreatic cancer can be a real killer because eighty percent are diagnosed too late for surgery.
  • My family and friends have been terrific every day. And I have bonded with other cancer survivors.
  • My medical team has been extraordinary. Besides being excellent professionals, they are caring and devoted. They are dedicated to making our lives as comfortable as possible.
  • I work in a profession I love. I’ve been at Hofstra University for 43 years. Except for sitting out the spring 2015 semester, I have not missed one class since since then.
  • I have a drive that encourages me to be upbeat about dealing with life’s events. Thus, I have two mantras: “Live life every day” and “Happiness is a choice.”
  • On February 12, 2019, I celebrate FOUR years since surgery. After finishing chemo in August 2015, my CT-scans have all been clean. My plan is to be around for many more years. 🙂

My personal advice:

  1. Do not avoid the doctor because you are afraid of what he/she may find.
  2. Early detection is the best way to mitigate your health problems. Have regular checkups and blood tests.
  3. Listen to the medical professionals!
  4. Surround yourself with family and friends who are supportive.
  5. Be upbeat; getting down is counter productive. [(a) When diagnosed, I set two goals: to dance at my daughter’s October 2015 wedding and to deliver a toast. Mission accomplished. I never thought these things wouldn’t happen. (b) People don’t believe me when I remark that I never said “why me”? Instead I say, “boy was I lucky to be diagnosed so early.”]
  6. Seek out your friends/acquaintances who have also dealt with cancer. They can be a wonderful resource and sounding board (when you don’t want to further burden your family).
  7. Be active. [I went to the gym while undergoing chemotherapy.]
  8. Live for tomorrow and the time thereafter. 

Joel Evans on the Pat Williams Show

Stay hopeful — and inspired.

Last week, we posted our radio interview with Health Professional Radio. Today, we present our radio interview with the Pat Williams Show. We hope that it will inspire you.

Just click the play icon to listen.

 

Spotting Skin Cancer to Stop It

During the summer, we blogged about what to do to avoid getting cancer. Today, we focus on self-examination as a way to avoid skin cancer.

As the Skin Cancer Foundation notes: 

“Coupled with yearly skin exams by a doctor, self-examination is the best way to ensure that you don’t become another skin cancer statistic. If you can spot it, you can stop it.”

Here are some tips.

Spotting Skin Cancer to Stop It
 

Our Interview with Health Professional Radio

I recently did an online radio interview with Health Professional Radio about my experiences and my upbeat message.

As we noted when our blog began: “This blog is intended to inspire hope and show the value of a positive attitude. Happiness is a choice. And may we all live as long as we can as well as we can.”

My personal goal is to try to inspire as many people as possible — and to encourage us all to live life every day.  With that in mind, I recently did an online radio interview with Health Professional Radio about my experiences and my upbeat message.

To listen to the interview, click the play button below. 

To get a FREE copy of Surviving Cancer and Embracing Life: My Personal Journey, click the book cover.

Surveying Cancer and Embracing Life
 

Best U.S. States in Which to Live

The quality of resident livability varies greatly by state.

Even so, we tend to live where we feel most comfortable. 🙂

As recently reported by Cheyenne Buckingham and Grant Suneson for 24/7 Wall St.:

“Each state has advantages and shortcomings. Often, Americans live in the state they grew up in because it is familiar and feels like home. Other personal factors are often behind why people live in a certain state. However, there are more objective factors that drive people to — or away from — a certain state, and can be used to help assess just how livable a state is.”

“These factors include an area’s economy, job market, crime rate, health care, and more. Sometimes the best way of measuring these factors is to look at an outcome that best reflects the combined effects of living in a state. For example, differences in life expectancy between states can be caused by everything from differences in the regional quality of health care to the differences in state education systems and economies, which also can make a difference in health outcomes.”

“To identify America’s best states to live in, 24/7 Wall St. ranked states based on an index of three factors — life expectancy at birth, the bachelor’s degree attainment rate among adults, and the poverty rate. While there are many different measures, these three collectively are an effective way to sum up quality of life in a state in terms of health and prosperity.”

These are the top ten states in which to live. Click here to read about all 50 states.

  1. Massachusetts
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Connecticut
  4. Colorado
  5. Minnesota
  6. New Jersey
  7. Hawaii
  8. Maryland
  9. Vermont
  10. Utah

Interesting which states are in not in the 10 top!!! California, Florida, New York, and Texas

Why is Massachusetts number one?

“Adults are the best educated in the country, as 43.4% hold at least a bachelor’s degree. This sets these residents up for higher paying positions in their career. Massachusetts has the fourth highest median household income, at $77,385 a year. The state’s poverty rate of 10.5% is well below the U.S. rate. Massachusetts also has some of the best health outcomes in the country, possibly because residents are the most likely to have health insurance.”

Best U.S. States in Which to Live
Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

 

Having a Work-Life Balance

I’ve only grasped the value of a work-life balance in recent years. You? How to do better!

Millennials do a good job at a having a work-life balance. Us older folks don’t tend to do as well. For me, work has been dominant in my life.

So, what can we do to improve our work-life balance? Let’s learn some tips from Marissa Levin, reporting for Inc.:

“Today’s work environment has permanently blurred the lines between our personal and professional lives, which requires us to be even more intentional and protective with our downtime.  Burnout and mental health issues have reached crisis levels, with nearly 1 in 12 adults having depression. The number of hours we spend online checking E-mail or engaging in social media platforms continues to grow. Adults today spend an average of 11 hours online.”

“What can we do to ensure we care for our physical and emotional health while still attending to personal and professional obligations? These 8 steps can help even the most stretched person regain control over his/her schedules and restore a sense of calm to their daily life.”

“(1) Prioritize your health. (2) Put buffers in your schedule. (3) Stay true to your agenda – not someone else’s.  (4) Schedule touchpoints with your friends. (5) Plan for long-term fun.  (6) Get your sleep. (7)  Be OK with not getting it all done. (8) Remember the power of your thoughts.”

Click the image to learn about each of these tips.

Having a Work-Life Balance
CREDIT: Getty Images