As you read this, I’m checked in at the Holden Cancer Center at the University of Iowa. I came here with a positive plan to improve my health. I was full of optimism and my spirits were high. The plan was to have my stomach removed, but things do not always go according to plan. When they went in, they found that my cancer had spread and inoperable.
As I’ve mentioned before, I have Stage 4 Stomach Cancer. There is no cure and I didn’t want to lay around waiting for the inevitable end, so I found a doctor who’s a fighter and we are working to defy the odds and extend my life.
In February, I was given 9-12 months to live by a doctor that was convinced I was dying. So, I fired Negative Doctor and began searching for an optimist and found him.
Dr. Kasi walked into the exam room with his entire team and said, “I hear you want to fight this diagnosis?” I said that I did, and he said with enthusiasm, “We are your team!”
I had undergone eight rounds of chemo and on Friday, my stomach was supposed to be removed. Yeah, it’s not a cure but our hopes were that it can extend my life up to five years and in that extra time, we’d find a way to extend it five more. That was the plan, but plans change when presented with new information. Now we have a new plan we are optimistically pursuing.
Why am I sharing this personal health info?
Because there is no such thing as darkness. What we call darkness is absence of light. As such, there is no such thing as an insurmountable problem, but only the absence of an idea that creates a solution.
I refuse to give up on my life. I want you to also, not give up on your goals, dreams, and yes, life. Life’s short. Go for it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve your goals and dreams. I have goals. I plan on seeing my eight and ten-year-old grandsons graduate from high school. I suspect I have grandchildren that are not yet conceived or born that I want to meet and hold in my arms.
My books, “Playing with the Enemy” and “The Final Service” are both now in negotiation to become major motion pictures. I plan on living to see their premier. My book, “Fragrance of Lilacs” is sitting with a publisher now. I plan on seeing it in print and on shelves. I can go on and on ... the point is that I have plans, dreams, and goals that I’m not willing to give up on. I’m stubborn this way. I plan on writing this column ten years from today,
I’m not going to let anyone, other than my creator tell me when it’s time to go.
Being optimistic doesn’t mean that everything turns out magically perfect. It never does, but being an optimist means you look beyond your problems in search of the solution that makes your dreams come true. In my case, I’m looking beyond a negative diagnosis to find the solution that gives me more life. Without optimism, I’d have given up already ... and I’m just not willing to quit.
What about you? What about your dreams? What was your passion before you gave up and said it was just too hard to achieve?
In the movie, “League of their Own,” there is a scene where the star catcher, Dottie Hinson, played by Geena Davis, decides she is quitting and going home before the championship game. The manager, Jimmy Dugan, played by Tom Hanks stops her and has a discussion.
“(Baseball) It just got too hard,” Dottie says.
Hinson responds, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.”
Achieving your goals and dreams isn’t easy. Not giving up on your life when someone says its over is ridiculously hard. Not everyone succeeds. Most people are not optimistic.
It’s hard being an optimist … but it’s the hard that makes it great.
Never give up. Never give in.
Always look beyond the problem and find the solution.
— Gary W. Moore is a freelance columnist, speaker, and author of three books including the award-winning, critically acclaimed, “Playing with the Enemy.” Follow Gary on Twitter @GaryWMoore721 and at garywmoore.com.
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