Surviving Stage IV Cancer

August 2009

As far as my own situation is concerned, I feel very fortunate to be alive. All people can survive a great personal tragedy, recovery is attainable and miracles do occur.

I became quite concerned one day in late July 2001, when out of the blue, a number of fleshy bumps appeared all over my body. The bumps were firm to the touch, but without pain. After a biopsy, my doctor said, “You have cancerous Mantle cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stage IV tumors quickly growing and rapidly spreading throughout your body.”
In stunned disbelief, I stammered, “How can that be! I feel fine!” 
Totally serious, he replied, “Soon, you won’t feel fine!”
 He was right, because shortly after that I became violently ill from the cancer and from four sickening cycles of chemotherapy followed by numerous radiation treatments, which led to a successful bone marrow transplant.

A bone marrow transplant is one of the most serious operations that a person can have because the patient’s immune system is literally destroyed and is then replaced by a donated immature immune system. For the longest time there’s no defense from infection so the common cold, nick, cut, scratch or even a bruise, can spell disaster for the bone marrow transplant patient. This was a very dark and discouraging time for me, but I found that when people survive through gloomy and disheartening moments, their true character is often revealed.

The secret to subdue great obstacles exists in the manner in which a person views his or her life. If after waking people are grateful for one more day and they’re eager to discover what new experiences await them, then fulfillment and satisfaction will be their constant allies. However, when people begin their day dreading future events and/or agonizing over past failures, then worry, indecision, and insecurity will be their never-ending adversaries. I fully realize, though, that trying to maintain a positive point of view may at times be extremely difficult, especially when the good points appear to be far outweighed by the bad. No matter how dark and desperate the situation may invariably appear, it’s important that you understand that this is where your source of inner strength, fortitude and unswerving determination are born.

Another secret to being successful in the wake of overwhelming odds is to take on one problem at a time. In no way should you look at the entire picture because if this is allowed to take place it will surely trap you in waves of despair and then put you through hopeless fits of self-pity. Instead try to break down each difficulty into smaller, manageable parts and conquer each one before you move on to the next. At first all that’s been achieved may appear to be really nothing at all, but you must be firm in your beliefs and commitments. Have no doubt about your recovery because doubt is like cancer, an infection that quickly spreads to consume a person’s mind, body, and soul. Overcome the very thing that would hold you back and prevail over all that would stand in your way. You’ll then be amazed by your progress. Above everything else understand that, “All things are possible if you have the fight, the fire, the will and desire.”

THE 7 KEYS TO SURVIVING CANCER

1. Believe with all of your heart and soul that you can defeat this awful affliction.

2. Never allow a cloud of despair to overwhelm the light of hope.

3. Try to maintain a positive point of view especially during moments of extreme anxiety and people will eagerly respond to your courage and determination. Humanity has always liked a fighter.

4. Express true concern for others, it will have an amazing healing effect on you.

5. Never worry too much about the situation at hand because if this is allowed to take place it will surely trap you in waves of despair and then put you through hopeless fits of self-pity. Instead, try to break down each difficulty into smaller manageable parts and conquer each one before you move onto the next… At first it may seem that everything you’ve overcome may appear to be really nothing at all, but you must be firm in your beliefs and convictions.

6. Have no doubt about your recovery because doubt is like cancer, an infection that quickly spreads to consume a person’s mind, body, and soul.

7. Bring under control everything that would hold you back and prevail over all things that would stand in your way. You’ll then be amazed by your progress. Strive to keep this in mind: “All things are possible if you have the fight, the fire, the will and desire.”

Best wishes to you and little Kayla

Paul Brian Newman 
A Stage 4 cancer survivor 
Diagnosed on August 1, 2001

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