Cancer’s Give and Take

Many of you have heard me say in the past that cancer has created more opportunities than it has taken away opened more doors that it has closed. You’ve probably heard me say that and dismissed me as a crazy man with delusional perspectives on life. I won’t deny that crazy claim from time to time, but I do think I’ve got a pretty solid lock on the perspective angle. I tried to articulate a few of the examples of what cancer has given me or reminded me of.

Cancer reminded me how to do things when I’m afraid or uncertain.

It taught me that “today” means something completely different from “anymore”.

It restored my trust and my faith.

Through cancer, I learned what the human body is capable of doing, what it may want to do, and how the mind can influence both.

Cancer has introduced me to some amazing heroes, warriors, medical personnel, support crews, and organizations that showed me just how connected the world really is.

I learned that physical activity is like kryptonite to cancer.

I learned that even if cancer takes a physical life from this planet, it can’t take love. Love stays behind in the world in everything our lost ones touched and everyone they knew.

Cancer showed me that I am much bigger, deeper, and tougher than I ever realized I was.

Cancer taught me how to not swing at the first pitch and to be mindful in my physical and emotional existence.

Cancer taught me to practice patience as a patient.

Cancer reminded of the importance of words like “I love you”, “thank you”, “drive carefully”, and even “goodbye” and how they should be spoken with meaning and conviction.

Cancer showed me that it’s OK to apologize to someone for something stupid you may have done 30 years ago.

And cancer showed me that it’s not too late to thank someone for something they may have taught you 30 years ago.

Cancer reminded me that the guy who cut you off on the road doesn’t matter but the person who held the door for you does.

Cancer reminded me that I am happy, thankful, fortunate, blessed, and appreciative.

I have cancer, it doesn’t have me.

And every day I live above cancer, and not simply with it.

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7 Comments

  1. M.L. Sicoli
    Posted August 22, 2016 at | Permalink

    I like the I have cancer-it doesn’t have me. Great to not be defined by your illness and still maintain your sense of yourself. MLSicoli

  2. Posted August 22, 2016 at | Permalink

    F*CK CANCER. Please continue to kick its @ss for us. Love, Everyone Who Knows You.

  3. Carter Craigie
    Posted August 22, 2016 at | Permalink

    Stephen,
    I have always appreciated you and your written words. Both show the highest ideals of what all of us humans SHOULD try to be and to emulate.
    In three words, I appreciate YOU!.
    You continue to inspire me, day after day, week after week.
    It is I who is now thanking you, as student to teacher. You show me the places to go for research, for courage, for wisdom.
    Thank you so very much!!!
    One of your former Cabrini College friends/instructors
    Carter

  4. Danielle Brown
    Posted August 23, 2016 at | Permalink

    I’ve always known how big, deep and tough my dad is <3. Love you

  5. JoAnne
    Posted August 23, 2016 at | Permalink

    Truly inspirational words – love your attitude and perseverance – prayers are with you daily!

  6. Ernie Quatrani
    Posted August 24, 2016 at | Permalink

    Thanks for the insights!

  7. Rhonda Cohen
    Posted August 27, 2016 at | Permalink

    Who’s the most incredible guy? Why, it’s you! My hero!

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