Sometimes the Road Is More Bumpy

As I wrote in my very first blog post for Living Well While Surviving Cancer: “I want to offer hope and support to those dealing with any terrible disease and their families.” At times, this refers to me as well. I’m doing my best to be upbeat and live as well as I can EVERY DAY. Sometimes, that’s not easy.

Last month, my wife Linda and I went on a cruise vacation that we were planning for months. The travel and itinerary both seemed within my capability range. Because of my health issues, we prepare carefully and wait until near the date of each of our trips to book everything. And we always get trip insurance.

The first few days of this trip were fine; and we had a great time. I even tried — unsuccessfully — to take a selfie while sightseeing. I may have a lot of skills, but taking pictures with my phone is not one of them. Yes, that is my hand blocking the scenery. LOL.

Sometimes the Road Is More Bumpy

Unfortunately, there was nothing very funny about the rest of our trip. On the third night of the cruise, I couldn’t stop shivering. And the ship’s doctor decided to send me ashore. We were docked in a good spot and the hospital I was sent to by ambulance was fine.

I was examined right away and admitted to ICU. It turns that somehow I had contracted double pneumonia with sepsis. In addition, I had a fever,  low blood pressure, and a low oxygen level. Pretty scary stuff. I was out of it, so I didn’t really know what was going on. However, Linda was petrified (again).

I was in ICU for 6 days. Then, I spent another 4.5 days in a regular hospital room.  Thankfully, the excellent doctors were able to mostly “fix what ailed me.” When I was able, we returned home.

How am I now, a short time later? My doctors at home tell me it may take up to six weeks to fully get over this illness. They have also ordered me not to fly for another 6 months or so. Nonetheless, I’m feeling much better today and looking forward to every day as it comes.

What’s my moral of the story? The same one I’ve been preaching to myself for years: Live life every day. We really don’t know what is around the corner. We can only play the hand we are dealt, and make the best of it. Yes, this was not my favorite trip by any means. But Linda and I did have a few good days at the beginning. And we have a LOT of memories to look back on and stories to tell. I LOVE YOU LINDA!!

Of course, we have insurance companies to battle with over my medical care, our return home, etc. That is part of what makes life so challenging.

 

I wish you all the very best on any travel you have coming up. And above all, stay well! 

 

Jim Valvano ESPY Awards Video

To me, there are three tremendous videos of presentations by those suffering from a terminal illness. Today, we cover Jim Valvano’s speech at the 1993 ESPY Awards show. Jim was a championship college basketball coach.

As the V Foundation Web site notes:

“Don’t Give Up . . . Don’t Ever Give Up!”®

“With these words, Jim Valvano announced the beginning of the V Foundation for Cancer Research with ESPN’s support. During Jim’s memorable speech accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award at the inaugural ESPYS on March 4, 1993, his message was simple: cancer research needs our support.”

“Despite being weakened from his fight against cancer, he delivered an energetic and inspiring speech that brought the crowd to its feet. Although he passed shortly after his speech, Jim’s legacy lives on through the V Foundation.”

“For the past 25 years, the V Foundation has continued Jim’s message by funding incredible projects and researchers focused on finding and end to cancer. Because of the V Foundation’s generous supporters: More than $200 million has been awarded to cancer research and programs. 100% of every direct donation goes to cancer research. There are 16 million cancer survivors in the U.S., with that number expected to grow to 20.3 million by 2026.”

 

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

Feeling Fortunate – Not Sorry for Oneself

I am truly blessed and appreciate the life I live.  I have never once said “why me?” since I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Rather, I have always asked “how was I so lucky to be diagnosed early enough to be able to have  surgery?” And I try as hard as I can not to be distracted by continuing side effects. Life is great. 🙂

Consider this excerpt from my FREE book on Surviving Cancer and Embracing Life: My Personal Journey:

I consider myself the luckiest man on the earth EVERY DAY. I have felt this way each day since February 12, 2015. That was the date of my Whipple surgery. Why am I the luckiest man alive?

* I have a great family that has been with me every step of the way.

* Because of my endocrinologist, Dr. Joseph Terrana, I was diagnosed very, very early and thus I was able to have surgery because the cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes.

* Through the prodigious skill of Dr. Gene Coppa and his team, my Whipple surgery was a great success.

* Due to my excellent oncology team headed by Dr. Jeffrey Vacirca and his right-hand person Diana Youngs, my chemotherapy was conducted with compassion and caring – even when the treatments were the toughest.

* My friends and fellow cancer survivors continue to be there for me.

* Despite the dire prognosis for those with pancreatic cancer, I was able to dance with my daughter and give a toast at her wedding.

* I have been able to continue working and doing what I love.

* I can exercise and keep myself in the best possible shape. (I actually went to the gym while undergoing chemo).

* And my wife Linda and I have traveled since my surgery, including a “restful” vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; a cruise from Amsterdam down to St. Petersburg, Russia; a visit to Curacao; and a family vacation in Eastern Mexico. With more to come!

Feeling Fortunate - Not Sorry for Oneself

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