How Banishing Negative Thoughts Helped Me Beat Pancreatic Cancer, Twice


The power of positivity: How banishing negative thoughts helped me beat pancreatic cancer, twice

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal human diseases known to man. Each year, more than 40,000 Americans are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and 95 percent die within the next 12 months. Steve Jobs, Patrick Swayze, opera singer Luciano Pavarotti: These celebrities all died from pancreatic cancer.

Because survival rates are low, and treatment options are limited and usually ineffective, pancreatic cancer can be deadly to the body and spirit, and considered tantamount to a death sentence. But that doesn’t have to be the case: I survived the most lethal type of this disease— not once, but twice.

Persevering through that second bout— a spread of this cancer to my liver after a long period of remission— is virtually miraculous and defies clear explanation. I have been physically fit and active my entire life, and was treated by superbly trained doctors at one of the best hospitals in America, but so have many others whose lives have been claimed by this horrible ailment.

Those factors undoubtedly helped me beat another round of pancreatic cancer, but, equally important, so did my attitude.

Instead of succumbing to defeat, I made a deliberate decision to stay upbeat during my illness, which was a life-altering challenge amidst my diagnosis and all the brutal treatment, including two major surgeries— one more complex than a heart transplant— experimental radiation, conventional radiation and chemotherapy. I detailed my choice to remain positive while battling cancer in my recently published book, “The Ripple Effect: How a Positive Attitude and a Caring Community Helped Save My Life.”

My wife, Karen, was instrumental in this attitude change. Right before my second diagnosis was confirmed, she reminded me how much we’d been through and how important it was to be as positive as we could to get through everything together with grace. I made it my priority to survive— next, I had to figure out how to move toward this goal.

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*credit verbatim via and Steven Lewis*


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