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. 

Humor Helps Our Frame of Mind

One of the things that I’ve found over the years is that a sense of humor can really help. Here are a few funny (maybe) quotes. Hopefully, at least a couple will make you laugh. 🙂

These quotes are from Cancer ABCs: [actually, they’re mostly groaners.]

Taken From Actual Doctor’s Notes

  1. Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.
  2. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.
  3. On the second day, the knee was better, and then on the third day it disappeared.
  4. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.
  5. Discharge status: Alive, but without my permission.
  6. Healthy-appearing decrepit, 69-year-old male, mentally alert but forgetful.
  7.  The patient refused autopsy.
  8. The patient has no previous history of suicides.
  9. Patient’s medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40-pound weight gain in the last three days.
  10. She is numb from her toes down.
  11. Occasional, constant, infrequent headaches.
  12.  Skin: somewhat pale but present.

Top Ten Ways To Know You Are A Cancer Thriver 

  1. Your alarm clock goes off at 6 a.m. and you’re glad to hear it.
  2. Your mother-in-law invites you to lunch and you just say NO.
  3. You’re back in the family rotation to take out the garbage.
  4. When you no longer have an urge to choke the person who says, “all you need to beat cancer is the right attitude.”
  5. When your dental floss runs out and you buy 1000 yards.
  6. When you use your toothbrush to brush your teeth and not comb your hair.
  7. You have a chance to buy additional life insurance but you buy a new convertible car instead.
  8. Your doctor tells you to lose weight and do something about your cholesterol and you actually listen.
  9. When your biggest annual celebration is again your birthday, and not the day you were diagnosed.
  10. When you use your Visa card more than your hospital parking pass.

 

 

Inspirational Quotes – Part 4

Previously, we cited inspirational quotes from Good ReadsWisdom Quotes, and Brainy Quote. Here are several more such quotes.

These quotes are from Lifehack Quotes:

“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.” Henry Ward Beecher

“The key to being happy is knowing you have the power to choose what to accept and what to let go.” Dodinsky

“The belief that youth is the happiest time of life is founded on a fallacy. The happiest person is the person who thinks the most interesting thoughts, and we grow happier as we grow older.” William Phelps

“The only thing that will make you happy is being happy with who you are, and not who people think you are.” Goldie Hawn

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”Denis Waitley

 

Click the image to read additional Lifehack Quotes on being inspired.

 

Inspirational Quotes – Part 3

Previously, we cited inspirational quotes from Good Reads and Wisdom Quotes. Here are several more such quotes.

These quotes are from Brainy Quote:

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” Jim Rohn

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” Omar Khayyam

“Every day is a new day. You’ll never be able to find happiness if you don’t move on.” Carrie Underwood

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond grasp, but which, if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it.” Bernard Meltzer

 

Click the image to read additional Brainy Quote sayings on being inspired.

Inspirational Quotes - Part 3

More Inspirational Quotes

Last week, we cited several inspirational quotes from Good Reads. Here are several more quotes about happiness.

These quotes are from Wisdom Quotes:

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.” Helen Keller

“It’s the moments that I stopped just to be, rather than do, that give me true happiness.” Richard Branson

“My mission in life is not to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Maya Angelou

“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.” Anton Chekhov

“In our lives, change and loss are unavoidable. In the adaptability and ease with which we experience change, lies our happiness and freedom.” Buddha

 “The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.” Mark Twain

 “Happiness depends upon ourselves.” Aristotle

“There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.” George Sand

 

Click the image to read additional Wisdom Quotes on being inspired.

inspirational quotes that will make 2018 your best year ever
 

Be Inspired By These Quotes

In doing research for my book Surviving Cancer and Embracing Life: My Personal Journey, I came across a number of inspirational quotes. Despite the tough times, let’s stay upbeat. Be inspired by these quotes.

Quotes to Help Us Be Inspired

Today’s quotes come from Good Reads:

“All happiness depends on courage and work.” Honoré de Balzac

“For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

 “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” Abraham Lincoln

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Mahatma Gandhi

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” Dalai Lama XIV

“Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.” John Lennon

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life — to be happy — it’s all that matters.” Audrey Hepburn

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” Charles M. Schulz (creator of the Peanuts comic strip)

“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” Dale Carnegie

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.” Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love author)

Click the image to read Good Reads quotes on being positive.

Be Inspired by These Quotes