With the end of 2017, let’s say: Bye 2017, Hello 2018: Live Life Every Day. As I noted last year, this represents a meaningful post for me. And a very personal one:
“Since beginning more than four years ago [now more than five years ago], Evans on Marketing has always presented posts in a professional and informative way on a wide range of business topics. Before this post, we (Joel Evans) have never written about ourselves on a personal level. As we usher in the New Year, this is a special post.”
Let’s begin with a Nialogique infographic on how to improve your life. Then, on to my story. 🙂
Today only, we cover a topic of extreme personal and societal importance. In this post, I again go public on a private matter (being a cancer survivor) with the intent of helping others to deal with the ramifications of this insidious disease. The post is to dedicated to my family, my friends, and my wonderful group of doctors Thank you!
Bye 2017, Hello 2018: Live Life Every Day
To quote the great Yankee Lou Gehrig, when honored at Yankee Stadium shortly before his death from ALS: “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” Here’s why.
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, 2018, I celebrate THREE 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
- Do not avoid the doctor because you are afraid of what he/she may find.
- Early detection is the best way to mitigate your health problems. Have regular checkups and blood tests.
- Listen to the medical professionals!
- Surround yourself with family and friends who are supportive.
- 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.”]
- 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).
- Be active. [I went to the gym while undergoing chemotherapy.]
- Live for tomorrow and the time thereafter. [In my case, that has meant getting involved with the Lustgarten Foundation, which engages in PC research. Click here to donate. Please!!]
If you’re down to this point, thanks for reading. Next is a podcast from a radio show on which I appeared with two other cancer survivors:
“Wishing You a New Year of Hope and Resilience — The New Year’s Podcast 2017 on Psych Up Live is one that will invite you to embrace your own resilience and underscore the power of connection, gratitude and hope.”
“Surviving Cancer: Personal Glimpses of Resilience: In this episode Professor Joel Evans, Patricia Malone, and Dave Berger will share personal glimpses of their diagnosis, treatment and survival from cancer. You will hear about the impact of diagnosis, the role of family and friends. The question of stigma and the response of colleagues. You will hear about the expected and unexpected, the trust in medical teams and the personal factors that each drew upon to keep on going at the roughest of times. These are stories of pain, persistence, fear, gratitude and possibility.”