Fanning the flames of your hope, optimism and fighting spirit

Photo by Goodmami (courtesy of Flickr and Creative Commons)

Photo by Goodmami (courtesy of Flickr and Creative Commons)

One of my wife’s most valuable assets is her natural optimism. She has never really let even a diagnosis of stage IV cancer get her down. Which is good. No use both of us worrying.

Some of us are not so lucky. I’m by nature a worrier. I tend to see the half empty part of the glass, the cloud instead of the silver lining and if someone handed me a gold bar I would probably complain about the dirt covering it. It’s a personality feature I have to guard against daily.

Not that there isn’t a point at which it makes sense to lay down your weapons. But that’s between you, your family and God. I’ve read of many cases of physicians giving cancer patients a terminal diagnosis with a short life expectancy only to have them survive years or decades longer.

Without some hope, optimism and a fighting spirit the fight becomes much more difficult.

In Beating Cancer With Nutrition, Dr. Patrick Quillin gives this advice:

Focus on the parts of your body that are working properly, not on the cancer. Since you are alive enough to read this book, then something and perhaps quite a bit are working in your body. Give thanks for everything that you can think of. Thanksgiving is a healing balm on the body and soul.

We are all going to die. The question is not “if”, but rather “when”. For cancer patients this “when” becomes a more immediate issue. But our finite lives should be an issue for all of, all of the time. Life is precious. Not to be wasted. Many of us cram our days with minutia, trivial details. We spend too much time worrying about insignificant events and lose sight of the real issues in life: be here now, value your mission, cherish your friends and family, savor sunsets and sunrises.

Following are some resources I hope will be of encouragement to others fighting their personal battles with cancer. These are links to books and websites filled with the true stories of difficult or hopeless cases that were able to recover.

Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul: 101 Healing Stories of Courage and Inspiration:

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cancer Book: 101 Stories of Courage, Support and Love:

Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor’s Soul: Stories to Inspire, Support and Heal:

Cancer Survivor’s Network (American Cancer Society’s):

London Daily Mail story about four women who survived despite being given terminal diagnoses by their doctors:

I’ll try to post more resources in the future as I find them. I hope this is a helpful start.



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2 responses to “Fanning the flames of your hope, optimism and fighting spirit

  1. Natasha Gogue

    Mr.Nelson, you have such a beautiful wife..i can only imagine what she has gone through as well as yourself fighting it with her…My thoughts and prayers to you and your wife….

    Cashier @ CUL

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