a man smiles widely and looks at the sky

Be Positive at All Times

I must admit, I was a little more optimistic than I should have been when I was first diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer with extreme bone metastasis stage IV. All throughout my life I had little problem overcoming whatever obstacles were placed in my path. So when it came to my cancer diagnosis, I felt like I could easily overcome that also. Considering my father had the exact same disease you would have thought I would have known more about prostate cancer. However, I knew very little about the disease and even less when it came to fighting prostate cancer.

My father kept his prostate cancer quiet

You see, my father was very secretive about his diagnosis and for the first 5 years or so he did not seek any type of treatment. I have two brothers and one sister, we all questioned him about his cancer. I am not sure if he just did not want to worry us or he thought it was his business and no one else’s. It was very frustrating and sometimes infuriating, to put it mildly. It was like a national secret to be guarded at all costs.

Battling prostate cancer with positivity

If we never knew much about our father’s cancer, we knew one thing, he attacked it with a great deal of positivity. Dad would never utter a negative comment concerning his fight with cancer. He refused to allow anyone he was associated with to make negative comments. He prayed a lot and trusted in the Lord, Jesus Christ.

When father was first diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer with bone metastasis, he was told by his doctors that he had two and a half years maybe three years at most to live. Dad absolutely refused to acknowledge this diagnosis and he fashioned himself with positivity as his armor. He continued to do all the things he had done prior to his cancer diagnosis.

By continued prayer and positivity, Dad turned his two and a half years into 11 1/2 well spent years. His doctors were amazed at his resilience and determination. I remember on two occasions the entire family was called in because they believed father to be in his last hours. However, during both instances, he made a rapid recovery and went back to doing the things he enjoyed.

Steer clear of negativity

As I began my battle with cancer, I tried to call into effect all the things my father had done to prolong his life. Prayer and trust in the Lord along with healthy doses of positivity would also be my shield and sword. My wife, Cristy is my caretaker and she simply will not allow myself or anyone we are around to come across with any form of negativity. If it is negative, then you need to stay away from us.

Drawing support from people around me

Being a former educator and coach, I had many, many people to draw upon for support. In 2011, I was the head coach of a Class AAA state championship softball team for the state of West Virginia. As soon as my former players learned of my diagnosis they organized a benefit softball contest in my honor. Numerous former athletes turned out for the special event and a great time was had by all. I was in full chemo at the time and had lost 41 pounds, therefore I remained in the press box and performed play-by-play.

Following the completion of my chemo infusions, I returned to coaching to serve as my youngest son’s volunteer assistant soccer coach. Prior to my cancer diagnosis, I had been the first-ever head middle soccer coach in our school’s history. We broke even that first season, however, from that point on we have played for or been champions. We even turned in an undefeated championship season in only our second year of competition.

Surround yourself with positive people

In that season with my son, I was able to last out the entire season as we went 11-1 overall and won the championship again. I was named our county’s coach of the year and my son, Shane was named Southern West Virginia’s Middle School Soccer Coach of the Year. If not for prayer and a ton of positivity, none of that may have been possible.

In short, I urge you to remain positive and keep positive people in your life. After all, it is your life, do not let negative people or negativity end it sooner than it has to end.

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