Embrace Life and Live Well in 2020

Live life every day!

As we look forward to the future, we need to be thankful for what we have. And not be unhappy for what we don’t have. Now, we offer our annual message. To embrace life and choose happiness in 2020. 

Why We Should Embrace Life and Live Well in 2020

As many of you may know, I am a VERY lucky survivor of pancreatic cancer. Thus, I am thankful each and every day to celebrate the blessing of life. On February 12, 2020, it will be five years since I had my successful Whipple surgery. My longevity is related to my embracing life and choosing happiness.

Only 7 percent of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive for 5 years. Thus, I am both happy and sad.

Embrace Life and Live Well in 2020

Today, I want to share some 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 to Better Embrace Life and Choose Happiness

Since 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.

Embrace Life and Choose Happiness in 2020

LIVING WELL While Surviving Cancer

During the summer of 2018, 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.

Embrace Life and Choose Happiness in 2020

Other Resources

Finally, check out these resources. and sign up to join me Welcome aboard!

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    • 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. 
            9. And to give back as much as I can, since July 2019, I am  volunteering twp days a week with United Cerebral Palsy of Long Island. I LOVE it and find it so rewarding. If you decide to volunteer, you’ll see that it’s a win-win!!!!!

Walking for Cancer Cures

Read about my journey with the Lustgarten annual pancreatic cancer research walk. With photos and videos.

October is a big month for cancer research walks, especially since it is breast cancer awareness month. It’s also a big month for me, as my family and friends participated with me in the Lustgarten Pancreatic Research Foundation Walk on this past Sunday (October 6).

WE CAN EACH MAKE A DIFFERENCE. It is up to us to support more cancer research.

The October walk is Lustgarten’s largest fundraiser of the year. With thousands of walkers and nearly $1 million raised. 100% of funds raised go to research because all of Lustgarten’s administrative costs are paid by a private donor.

Before sharing a few photos and video clips, let me describe my feelings about the walk.

    • Although my Whipple surgery was in February 2015, this was my first walk. So I was both excited and nervous.
    • My fundraising efforts were through Team Joel. Our team was supported by more than 70 donors. And we raised $5,400.
    • Team Joel  had 14 walkers.
    • Somehow or other, the cameras found me. I appeared in a News 12 Long Island TV  clip. And because I was asked to do the ribbon cutting, I got featured online by Newsday.
    • I was disappointed that I was only able to walk the 1 mile course rather than the 3 mile course.  Once again I am reminded of a Clint Eastwood quote: “A man has to know his limitations.” And I have to always accept my “new normal.” I gave myself a 15 minute pity party; and then I returned to my usual “live life every day” and “live as long as you as well as you can.”
    • Last, but not least, I want to thank all of the donors to Team Joel and those who walked with me.

The original Evans Four

Walking for Cancer Cures

THE EXTENDED FAMILY

Walking for Cancer Cures

TEAM JOEL

WHY I WALK

RIBBON CUTTING

 

Giving Back on Giving Tuesday

PLEASE give back.

In this blog, giving back is an important topic. For example, see Giving Back to Whom? Volunteering and LOVING It. And Embarking on the Next Stage of Life. Now we look at giving back on Giving Thursday. IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY to give back.

To honest, until recently, I was not familiar with Giving Tuesday. After learning about, I think it’s a great idea. And one that encourages giving back.

According to its Web site:

“Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.”

“One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community. We’ve created a directory to help you find organizations, charities, events and more in your own community. “

Click the image to visit the site and learn more

Giving Back on Giving Tuesday
 

Making Apple Juice from Sour Apples

Make alternate plans and still live well!

As I have noted before, I am a very fortunate pancreatic cancer survivor. With such self-mottoes as: Live Life Every Day. And Live as Long Well as You Can as Long as You can. To me, that means striving to have a positive and upbeat attitude. We can only control our own actions.

Sometimes, life can be more challenging than others. But we still need to fight our way through those challenges. And assume the best about tomorrow and the days thereafter. Read about my difficult adventures last summer. Sometimes the Road Is More Bumpy.

Now that I recognize more fully what my travel limitations are, my wife Linda and I plan for quieter time. But we have managed to do THREE great trips this year: Costa Rica, Bermuda, and Antigua. We had a blast on each of these trips. Here is a fun picture from Antigua.

 

And a couple of weeks ago, we got to see the Rolling Stones in concert. This was a makeup date due to 76-year-old lead singer Mick Jagger having a heart procedure just a few months ago. He and the rest of the band were GREAT. And Mick was energetic and fully engaged in the show.

Life is fantastic!

 

Let’s Win! Pancreatic Cancer

Re: An article I wrote on my pancreatic cancer journey.

As noted several times on this blog, it has been quite a personal journey for me since learning in January 2015 that I had pancreatic cancer. And undergoing Whipple surgery in February 2015. I count my blessings every single day!! 🙂

Yesterday, it was my honor to be featured on the Let’s Win! Pancreatic Cancer page, an affiliate of the Lustgarten Foundation. Click on the photo of my terrific family to read the article.

And, if you are able, please donate to Team Joel. We are raising money for the October 2019 Lustgarten Foundation Walk. You can donate as little as a few dollars by filling in the amount on the team page. Thanks.

From the left: son-in-law Adam, daughter Stacey, wife Linda, me, daughter Jennifer, and son-in-law Phil.

Happy Father’s Day — Be Well!

We love you dads!

Father’s Day is a special time for many of us. I lost my father Joseph and father-in-law Murray quite a while ago. But this is when I think of them the most. It is also special for me because I always get to celebrate with my wife Linda and daughters Jennifer and Stacey, and their spouses Phil and Adam. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

My wish on this day is for all of us, including you dear readers, to be as well as you can for as long you can.

And remember …..

Happy Father's Day -- Be Well!
from https://i1.wp.com/momydady.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/love-u-dad-quotes.png

 

Happy Father’s Day — Be Well!

Did you know that this past week was National Men’s Health Week? As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes:

“National Men’s Health Week is observed each year leading up to Father’s Day. This week is a reminder for men to take steps to be healthier. But they don’t have to do it alone! Whether it’s your husband, partner, dad, brother, son, or friend you can help support the health and safety of the men in your life.”

Here’s how:

“You can support the men in your life by having healthy habits yourself and by making healthy choices. Eat healthy and include a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Regular physical activity has many benefits. It can help control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers, and can improve your mental health and mood. Find fun ways to be active together. Set an example by choosing not to smoke and encourage the men in your life to quit smoking.  Help the men in your life recognize and reduce stress. Learn ways to manage stress including finding support, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and avoiding drugs and alcohol.”

“Encourage men to see a doctor or health professional for regular checkups and to learn about their family health history. Every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. has a heart attack. Know the signs of a heart attack and if you think you or someone you know is having a heart attack call 911 immediately.”

Depression is one of the leading causes of disease or injury worldwide for both men and women. Learn to recognize the signs and how to help the men in your life. Signs of depression include persistent sadness, grumpiness, feelings of hopelessness, tiredness and decreased energy, and thoughts of suicide.”

Happy Father's Day -- Be Well!

 

Life-Enhancing Questions

32 questions for YOUR self-reflection.

At this blog, we devote a large portion of our posts to tips for enhancing our lives. See, for example. Improve Your PositivityLife Too Short to Hold GrudgesGetting a Better Night’s SleepImproving Your MemoryMaking Hope Long-Lasting.

Clearer Thinking offers an interesting free resource for self-reflection:

“Could the act of answering open-ended questions about yourself give you new, important insights? It turns out the answer is ‘yes,’ if those questions are selected in just the right way!”

“After running a series of five scientific studies, we’ve discovered a specific set of practical, yet rarely-asked questions that 83% of people reported were valuable for them to answer. And 78% said they would recommend them to others. A remarkably high 88% of people even reported that they enjoyed answering these questions. We’re now making these questions available to you free of charge online so that you can benefit from them too! We think you’ll be surprised at just how valuable answering these open-ended questions about yourself can be!”

Click the image and then scroll down to “Answer the questions.” Thirty-two open-ended questions are provided by Clearer Thinking.

Life-Enhancing Questions