Strength and Courage to Face Cancer
Celebrities and Cancer: Courage – Strength – Faith
“In God we trust. All others [must] have data. – Bernard Fisher”
Bernard Fisher was an eminent breast cancer surgeon and researcher who pioneered many innovative techniques in breast cancer.
The latter half of the last century has seen an unprecedented success of cancer treatment – thanks to extensive and innovative biomedical research! We have come a long way since radiation therapy almost a century ago – 1950s saw the first approved chemo regimen – this was followed by a boom in research bucks for expansive cancer research – 1990s actually witnessed a decline in cancer deaths for the first time in history – then at the turn of century we have biologics for cancer therapy that had almost changed the new landscape of cancer treatment. This has been made possible thanks to years and years of dedicated team of scientists and clinicians – nurses and caregivers – patients and advocates who had patiently and painstakingly churned out heaps and heaps of research and data – striving to end the elusive and dreaded plague called cancer – and how!
But one thought that has remained pervasive is that Cancer is non-selective – no on escapes from the unpredictable chaos of randomness called cancer! Sure one might possess a unique disposition (read genetic or even epigenetic susceptibility that we are beginning to appreciate) but having susceptibility is not enough! It can also be considered a disease of the “aging” due to the accumulation of mutations in the genome due to internal aberrations or environmental triggers – but not every aging is with cancer. When it comes to cancer –even the rich and the famous and the celebrated – the celebrity gets afflicted too!
You type “celebrity cancer” in the Google search bar and what you get are countless number of pages chronicling cancer celebrity survivors! The list is page 3 material and pretty versatile spanning celebrities from different spheres of celebritydom: entertainment, sports and politics!
They are rich – they are famous – AND most importantly they are brave – brave enough to fight and slay the “cancer” demon!
In today’s issue, we will start with politics: Below we list some of the note-worthy battles of eminent political figures along with their nemesis – the respective cancers that were ailing them.
Politicians, statesman and other dignitaries
When it comes to politics, you think about complexity and challenges! When you think about cancer, you also think about complexity and challenges! Despite the complex challenges – there are glorious survivors who have won both political duels and cancer!
Here is a select list of glorious soldiers who has battled not just political duels but cancer as well – our true heroes!
1) Former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist suffered from thyroid cancer. He worked full time even after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer and while being treated with chemotherapy and radiation.
|Thyroid cancerIncidence: The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for thyroid cancer in the United States for 2019 are: about 52,070 new cases of thyroid cancer (14,260 in men and 37,810 in women) and about 2,170 deaths from thyroid cancer (1,020 men and 1,150 women). The chances of dying from this cancer are relatively low compared to other cancers. Interestingly, women are more prone to this cancer than men.Molecular genetics: Malignant transformation of thyroid cells occurs through multiple genetic events encompassing both oncogenic activation (Ras, ret/ptc, braf, akt1) and tumor suppressor inactivation (p53, PTEN).|
2) US senator William R. Haine was suffering from multiple myeloma – a relatively rare cancer indication. He actually good-humoredly joked about his hair after losing it to extensive chemotherapy for the relatively rare indication multiple myeloma.
He said “I looked Yule Brenner last year and then I developed into Bruce Willis and now I'm back into an aging Buddy Holly. If the winds blowing, it's Jerry Lee Lewis!” (See ref. below).
It appears that he had gotten exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War!
|Multiple myeloma (blood cancer)Incidence: Multiple myeloma is a relatively uncommon cancer. In the United States, the lifetime risk of getting multiple myeloma is 1 in 132 (0.76%). The American Cancer Society’s estimates for multiple myeloma in the United States for 2019 are: About 32,110 new cases will be diagnosed (18,130 in men and 13,980 in women). About 12,960 deaths are expected to occur (6,990 in men and 5,970 in women).Molecular genetics: This deadly disease is a result of many different steps leading to accumulation of genetic abnormalities that in turn leads to dysregulation in different pathways. The plasma cells accompanied by the bone marrow microenvironment are responsible for clinical manifestations. It arises mainly by either chromosomal translocations or fusions (trisomies of multiple chromosomes). A unified feature is the dysregulated expression/activity of cyclin D gene. Secondary genetic events include multiple aberrations affecting Ras, Myc or even sustained activaton of pro-inflammatory NFKbeta.|
3) Rosa L. DeLauro – Congresswoman and US House of Representatives battled a long and tenacious ovarian cancer and was a constant champion for biomedical research.
|Ovarian cancerIncidence: The American Cancer Society estimates for ovarian cancer in the United States for 2019 are: About 22,530 women will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer. About 13,980 women will die from ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women. A woman's risk of getting ovarian cancer during her lifetime is about 1 in 78 and the lifetime chance of dying from ovarian cancer is about 1 in 108. Molecular Genetics: Oncogenic activation of erb-1, erb-2, k-ras, beta-catenin while inhibition of tumor suppressors p53, PTEN, brca1, brca2 are the genes implicated in ovarian cancer.|
On the Indian turf, notable politicians who braved the cancer demon:
4) Sharad Pawar – thrice the Chief Minister of Indian state and held important central Government portfolios battled a bitter struggle with oral cancer.
|Oral CancerIncidence: The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers for 2019 are 53,000 people will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer while an estimated 10,860 people will die of these cancers. Especially it is prevalent in the Indian subcontinent, – among the top 3 of the cancers. This could be attributed to socio-economic risk factors such as tobacco chewing and lack of awareness to screening.Oral and oropharyngeal cancers occur most often in the following sites: the tongue, the tonsils and oropharynx and the gums, floor of the mouth, and other parts of the mouth.Molecular Genetics: Multi-pronged genetic processes cause an increase in growth factor TGF-alpha, TGF-beta, PDGF or cell surface receptors EGFR, GPCR-eventually leading to enhanced intracellular messenger signaling or enhanced transcription factors (ras, c-myc). Several oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes cyclin, ras, CDKI, p53 and RB1 might be involved in the etiology. Sometimes viral infections with human papilloma virus subtype and Epstein-Barr virus have cancerous effect on oral epithelia.|
5) Yashwant Sinha – another erstwhile politician and Central Government Minister of Finance – contracted lymphoid cancer but completely got cured as detected early on.
|Lymphoid cancerIncidence: The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are for 2019. About 74,200 people (41,090 males and 33,110 females) will be diagnosed with NHL. About 19,970 people will die from this cancer (11,510 males and 8,460 females). Overall, the chance that a man will develop NHL in his lifetime is about 1 in 42; for a woman, the risk is about 1 in 54. But each person’s risk can be affected by a number of risk factors.Molecular Diagnostics: Depends on the type of lymphoma (there are many types and subtypes of lymphoma) and is genetically complex including single gene anomalies and cytogenetic aberrations.|
Topics: BioGenex, Cancer research, molecular pathology, Pathology, Cancer diagnostics
Best 107 Inspirational Cancer Quotes (TOP LIST)
The following article is the most comprehensive list of the best inspiring, motivational and wise quotes on cancer: surviving, understanding, living with it.
The sayings are made by different people: doctors, survivors, celebrities. There are more than 100 quotes covering different aspects (e.g. cancer in general, breast cancer).
The list is divided into two sections: 1) Inspirational quotes; 2) Breast cancer quotes (in the bottom).
Top Inspirational Cancer Quotes
“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” – Kenji Miyazawa
“You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live.”
“Since I had cancer I’ve realised that every day is a bonus.” – Geoffrey Boycott
“I’m going to beat this cancer or die trying.” – Michael Landon
“Cancer opens many doors. One of the most important is your heart.” – Greg Anderson
“I think cancer is a hard battle to fight alone or with another person at your side, but I will say having someone to pick you up when you fall, stand by your side through every appointment and delivery of bad news, is priceless.” – Jenna Morasca
“The most important thing in illness is never to lose heart.” – Nikolai Lenin
“I’m in good shape. My cancer means I have lost a lot of organs and I’m a lot lighter. I have devoted myself to yoga and I’m doing handstands.” – Eve Ensler
“Hope is grief’s best music.”
“Cancer has shown me what family is. It showed me a love that I never knew really existed.” – Michael Douglas
“Working out is my way of saying to cancer, ‘You’re trying to invade my body; you’re trying to take me away from my daughters, but I’m stronger than you. And I’m going to hit harder than you.” – Stuart Scott
“Above all, cancer is a spiritual practice that teaches me about faith and resilience.” – Kris Carr
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and twice as beautiful as you’d ever imagined.”
“Beating cancer is personal battle. It was one of the toughest opponents I have faced so far, and I think I did reasonably well. Touch wood.” – Yuvraj Singh
“You know, once you’ve stood up to cancer, everything else feels a pretty easy fight.” – David H. Koch
“You can be a victim of cancer, or a survivor of cancer. It’s a mindset.” – Dave Pelzer
“Cancer may have started the fight, but I will finish it.”
“I’m battling cancer. It’s another battle I intend to win.” – Arlen Specter
“Movies are fun, but they are no cure for cancer.” – Clint Eastwood
“Cancer is a word, not a sentence.” – John Diamon
“I want to see cancer cured in my lifetime. It might be.” – James D. Watson
“Strength is born in the deep silence of long-suffering hearts; not amidst joy.” – Felicia Hemans
“We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up or fight hell.” – Lance Armstrong
“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: You haven’t.”
“Now I’m fighting cancer, everybody knows that. People ask me all the time about how you go through your life and how’s your day, and nothing is changed for me.” – Jim Valvano
“Beat cancer. Small steps every day.”
“Once cancer happens it changes the way you live for the rest of your life.” – Hayley Mills
“When someone has cancer, the whole family and everyone who loves them does, too.” – Terri Clark
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at a time of challenge and controversy.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Time is shortening. But every day that I challenge this cancer and survive is a victory for me.” – Ingrid Bergman
“I want men to know that things really do get better — and they get better fairly rapidly. Don’t get discouraged.” – George Campbell, prostate cancer survivor
“Scars are tattoos with better stories.” – Unknown
“Hope is the physician of each misery.” – Irish proverb
“Cancer is a journey, but you walk the road alone. There are many places to stop along the way and get nourishment – you just have to be willing to take it.” – Emily Hollenberg, cancer survivor
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” – Winston Churchill
“Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.” – Emory Austin
“What Cancer Cannot Do: Cancer is so limited. It cannot cripple LOVE. It cannot shatter HOPE. It cannot corrode FAITH. It cannot destroy PEACE. It cannot kill FRIENDSHIP. It cannot suppress MEMORIES. It cannot silence COURAGE. It cannot invade the SOUL. It cannot steal eternal LIFE. It cannot conquer the APIRIT.”
“Cancer didn’t bring me to my knees, it brought me to my feet.” – Michael Douglas
“Never give up. Life is worth living. There is life after cancer.”
“Oh, my friend, it’s not what they take away from you that counts – it’s what you do with what you have left.” – Hubert Humphrey, after cancer surgery in 1978
“Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination. The best is yet to come.”
“Cancer affects all of us, whether you’re a daughter, mother, sister, friend, coworker, doctor, or patient.” – Jennifer Aniston
“More than 10 million Americans are living with cancer, and they demonstrate the ever-increasing possibility of living beyond cancer.” – Sheryl Crow
“Do not give up, the beginning is always the hardest.”
“Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.” – Hippocrates
“There is no hope unmingled with fear, no fear unmingled with hope.” – Baruch Spinoza
“Cricket is my life. Before the cancer, I was happy-go-lucky. I used to think about my career and worry about the future. But post it, my thinking has completely changed. I’m happy to eat and breathe normally. I’m happy to have my life back.” – Yuvraj Singh
“Optimism is the foundation of courage.” – Nicholas Murray Butler
“A cancer diagnosis changes you forever. You always remember the moment it came.”
“The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it.” – C.C. Scott
“Never, never, never give up.” – Winston Churchill
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” – Ambrose Redmoon
“Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.”
“Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul.” – Jim Valvano
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” – Cayla Mills
“Life is mostly froth and bubble, but two things stand stone: friendship in another’s trials and courage in your own.” – Princess Diana
“Cancer is that awful word we all fear when we go to the doctor for a physical exam, but in that brief dark moment we hear it the world we live in and the people we share it with begin to illuminate things we did not even pay attention to.” – BD Phillips
“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me.” – Dr. Seuss
“We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.”
“Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.”
“Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles.” – Alex Karras
“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.” – Maori Proverb
“Don’t count the days, make the days count.” – Muhammad Ali
“Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning.” – Joseph Campbell
“Now I’ve thought of another: Never give up. Never surrender.” – Jason Nesmit
“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” – Scott Hamilton
“Anywhere is paradise; it’s up to you.”
“Sometimes you have to go through things and not around them.”
“In terms of fitness and battling through cancer, exercise helps you stay strong physically and mentally.” – Grete Waitz
“More men die of jealousy than of cancer.” – Joseph P. Kennedy
“Yes, I have cancer and it might not go away, but I can still have a future because life goes on.” – Kris Carr
“My cancer scare changed my life. I’m grateful for every new, healthy day I have. It has helped me prioritize my life.” – Olivia Newton-John
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
“We acquire the strength we have overcome.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The important thing is not how many years in your life but how much life in your years.” – Edward J. Stieglitz
“It is sometimes too difficult to put into words.”
“Physical strength is measured by what we can carry; spiritual by what we can bear.”
“Disease is somatic; the suffering from it, psychic.”
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault
“You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.” – Male Cancer
“Cancer is not a straight line. It’s up and down.” – Elizabeth Edwards
“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” – Herm Albright
“Cancer is messy and scary. You throw everything at it, but don’t forget to throw love at it. It turns out that might be the best weapon of all.” – Regina Brett
“Cancer, any type of cancer is terrible. We don’t realize what it actually feels until it happens to ourselves, and it is terrible. All the emotion we go through and the strength we need to build up, is hard. We don’t understand how bad it really is.”
“To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.” – Katherine Paterson
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein
“I cried a baby. When no one could see me or hear me. Not because I feared what cancer would do, but because I didn’t want the disease. I wanted my life to be normal, which it could no longer be.” – Yuvraj Singh
“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Having cancer gave me membership in an elite club I’d rather not belong to.” – Gilda Radner
“Cancer didn’t change me at all. I know lots of people talk about the life revelation. I didn’t have that.” – Randy Pausch
“During chemo, you’re more tired than you’ve ever been. It’s a cloud passing over the sun, and suddenly you’re out. You don’t know how you’ll answer the door when your groceries are delivered. But you also find that you’re stronger than you’ve ever been. You’re clear.
Your mortality is at optimal distance, not up so close that it obscures everything else, but close enough to give you depth perception. Previously, it has taken you weeks, months, or years to discover the meaning of an experience. Now it’s instantaneous.
” – Melissa Bank
“I was a vegetarian first. I had high blood pressure at 27, everybody in my family died of cancer, and I knew it was in the food, so I changed my diet.” – John Salley
“If you have a friend or family member with breast cancer, try not to look at her with ‘sad eyes.’ Treat her you always did; just show a little extra love.” – Hoda Kotb
“Cancer is awful. It took 10 years until I didn’t think about it every day. Nobody should go through this. Nobody.” – Hans Rosling
“Cancer is such a ruthless adversary because it behaves as if it has its own fiendishly cunning agenda.” – Paul Davies
“You don’t have free will when you have lung cancer.” – Bill O’Reilly
Breast Cancer Quotes
“Once I overcame breast cancer, I wasn’t afraid of anything anymore.” – Melissa Etheridge
“There can be life after breast cancer. The prerequisite is early detection.” – Ann Jillian
“Every woman needs to know the facts. And the fact is, when it comes to breast cancer, every woman is at risk.” – Debbie Wasserman Schultz
“Whether you’re a mother or father, or a husband or a son, or a niece or a nephew or uncle, breast cancer doesn’t discriminate.’ – Stephanie McMahon
“Breast cancer, whether I it or not, is part of my family’s story. That’s why I am so passionate about raising awareness, because I have seen firsthand how it can impact others.” – DeAngelo Williams
“Breast cancer deaths in America have been declining for more than a decade. Much of that success is due to early detection and better treatments for women. I strongly encourage women to get a mammogram.” – Larry Craig
“Breast cancer is being detected at an earlier, more treatable stage these days, largely because women are taking more preventive measures, self-exams and regular mammograms. And treatment is getting better too.” – Elizabeth Hurley
“Breast cancer is scary and no one understands that another woman who has gone through it too.” – Mindy Sterling
“I personally know women who are breast cancer survivors and will do all I can to support the cause. Besides, I love boobies!” – Jane Wiedlin
“With breast cancer, it’s all about detection. You have to educate young women and encourage them to do everything they have to do.” – Bill Rancic
“I didn’t know anything about breast cancer when I got it.” – Rue McClanahan
Cancer Survivors Face the Future with Courage
Dealing with cancer requires more than a good healthcare team and quality medical treatment – it requires emotional strength and courage.
Very often, the strength cancer survivors develop during their fight changes their lives forever.
In this interview, four cancer survivors from different walks of life share the lessons they learned from cancer and tell us how those lessons have changed them.
First the Honeymoon Then the Chemo
I was 32 years old, and I was planning my wedding. My fiancé noticed a sort of flat area around my nipple, and I really blew it off. I could really only notice it when I raised my arm over my head. So I sort of put it off and we went for our wedding and it was beautiful, and we went on our honeymoon.
And while we were on our honeymoon, I could feel a lump. So we got home from our honeymoon, I called my OB/GYN, and she sent me in for an ultrasound and a mammogram and ultimately a biopsy – basically all within the same day.
About five days after we got home from our honeymoon, I was told I had breast cancer.I didn't even think that that's what it would be when I had the lump or even just the flattening spot. I really thought it was just some sort of weird hormone thing – I just didn't even think it would be cancer. Everybody that I'd known that had cancer was always older, they were great aunts or my grandmother.
Our plan was that after a couple of years of working I would try to get pregnant and hopefully be able to be a stay-at-home mom. We'd even talked about opening our own restaurant because we'd worked in restaurants for so long. We sort of had it all figured out. And having cancer really changed all of that.
It gave us a big, huge bump in the road, and we had to change directions. Now we're on a new road, and we have a new journey to do but we're doing it. My husband and I really enjoy our lives. It just wasn't what we planned.
So now I really find that it's more important that we live for the day. We live year to year. We plan things maybe to do next year, but that's about as far as we go.
I just don't to have all these great huge plans, 10 years from now.
Second Opinion Reveals Testicular Cancer
Well, I went to the doctor in 2002. I wasn't feeling well, and I had lost about 10 pounds. The doctor told me I may have strep throat, and he handed me a bottle of penicillin and told me to go home.
Well, at that same visit, I actually scheduled my physical. And in between the time of this visit and the physical, I noticed a hardness and a growing in my testicle. I didn't think much of it.
I thought, “Okay, I'll mention it to the doctor at my physical.”
So I mentioned it to him, and he sort of blew it off saying it was probably a varicose- vein. He actually told me the good thing was it's not cancer. He said I'm too old for that.
So I went home thinking of my past visit with him, and I said to myself, “You know, I don't feel comfortable with this diagnosis,” and I asked him what else I could do to verify his findings. So he suggested I get an ultrasound, which I did the following day.
And the following Monday, he called me up and told me that, yes, indeed I had a tumor.
Right at that visit, I said “Let's schedule the surgery,” the orchiectomy [removal of the testicle]. So I had that two days later. And I thought it was over right there.
I thought I was done, but then I had the pathology looked at by doctors down at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (in New York), and the pathology they recommended an RPLND, which is a retro-peritoneal lymph node dissection.Basically, they wanted to remove the lymph nodes that rest on the inside of my spine. So I had that done.
That was a little bit rough. I spent a week in the hospital and several weeks recovering from that operation. But after that, everything was fairly normal. I would just go down to Sloan[-Kettering Cancer Center] every month or every two months for checkups, blood tests, X-rays and an occasional CAT scan.
Steve's Testicular Cancer Returns
In 2007 in January, my daughter and I were wrestling, and she kicked me in the groin. And it hurt all men know that hurts, but it was a little different. And I noticed it seemed to be larger than it should, my testicle.
So I told my wife, who actually became an oncologist after my first experience, so she would have some insight into this. So she suggested that I go see the doctor, which I did – a different doctor, by the way.
The first doctor was fired after the first ordeal.
This doctor said he didn't feel anything remarkable, but he said I could go get an ultrasound. He totally understood my situation, and he was very accommodating. So I had the ultrasound that day, and lo and behold, a tumor. So again we scheduled the orchiectomy for that week.
I obviously don't make my own testosterone anymore, but I do replace. I have a patch that I put on every night. But I actually feel fine. I work out every day. I'm in pretty good shape. So it hasn't really affected me that way at all.
After my first ordeal, I heard about Sean Kimerling [an Emmy Award-winning anchor of WB11 sports in New York and pre-game announcer for the New York Mets] and what happened. Sean actually died of testicular cancer in 2003.
But his family was starting the Sean Kimerling Testicular Cancer Foundation to help raise awareness, to help spread the word to young men, college, high school age boys.So I figured if I can help these guys feel comfortable with checking themselves and going to see a doctor if something seems different, then I could possibly save a life or two.
I've talked to a few colleges here that are local. And my wife, while she was going to school to be a nurse, she did a testicular cancer awareness campaign on campus. And I got to go there, and I spoke to the football team with her.
Stunned to Find Leukemia During a Routine Physical
Well, the diagnosis [of chronic myeloid leukemia, CML] came as quite a surprise. I had finally agreed with my wife that I was long overdue for a physical, so I called for one. The first thing they did was a blood test. That very evening I got a call from the doctor who, even though Margarite and I were both on the phone, just wouldn't acknowledge me. He kept talking to her.
He was very upset and said, “This is probably very unprofessional doing this by telephone, but your husband has the highest white blood cell counts I've ever seen in my life. I think he has leukemia, and I think he should go to the hospital tonight.”
That, of course, stunned both of us. I knew something was going on, but it seemed little somethings: fatigue, some gout attacks, cases of the hives, some weight loss. I now know those were all symptoms of chronic myeloid leukemia, but I didn't know it then.
At any rate, I did not go to the hospital. I went to a different lab the next day to have another blood test done just in case, but unfortunately it came back with the same results.
Well, they said that the life expectancy was one to four years from diagnosis. But because I had obviously had the disease for quite a while and because of what they called my advanced age [61 years], they said it would more ly be one year than four.
I just kept laying awake in bed thinking, “Is that it? Is that all there is?” And it just seemed somehow life was incomplete, I should have done more or I needed to do more before the end came.
Fighting to Even Receive Treatment for CML
My wife and I did a lot of research, of course, I think many patients do, and came back to the doctors with various options for treatment. They refused to check the national donor base, saying I was too old.
There's a 40 percent mortality rate for bone marrow transplant at my age, and, of course, I would come back with comments , “Well, I think 40 percent is better odds than 100 percent. Because if I don't get treatment, I will die.
” But they wouldn't check the registry.
They wouldn't give me interferon-alpha, which was then the gold standard treatment, stating I would feel bad the whole time so they were making a quality-of-life decision for me. And I said, “No, you're making the decision I'll have no life.” But they wouldn't let me have it.Finally, Margarite and I found information on the Internet about an experimental drug that was showing astonishingly good results for my type of leukemia. I very excitedly asked my doctors to help me get in the clinical trial, and they refused.
And the lead doctor, after a bit of back and forth discussion, looked me in the eye and had a big sigh and said, “Look, Mr. Rowe, you don't understand.
That drug is very scarce, it's hard to manufacture, it's in short supply and they're not going to waste it on you.”
So when they said that Margarite and I just looked at each other and without saying a word we both knew we were there. So we went and got all of my medical records and through some more research found out who was manufacturing that drug. I called the drug company.
They said there were just three slots in the United States that would accept people of my age. And because I already had all of my records, I applied for a slot at the nearest location to me, which is in Baltimore, and I got accepted. Not only did I get accepted to the clinical trial, but I got randomized to the experimental drug.
And that doggone stuff worked. It’s been seven years, six of them in full remission.
I'm seeing my kids and grandkids a lot more often than I used to, and that of course is a real joy. I've been doing a lot of volunteer work for various health advocacy agencies, including, of course, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America.
A friend of mine, Congressman Dan Burton of Indiana heard of my situation and called and asked me to come to work for him for a while, and I spent three years assigned to the health unit of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.That's the committee that deals with the Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health and the Center for Disease Control.
So trying to, you might say, look over their shoulder and see that they were doing the right thing for the American public was very satisfying.
Serendipity: Lung Cancer Discovered by Accident
I needed a hip replacement at age 50 and two weeks later was feeling really, really great, but during the night I had a dizzy spell. I thought it was just from the narcotics that they had me on for the replacement. But my husband, who is a radiation oncologist, said, “I think you need to go to the ER, and I think you might be throwing a blood clot.”
I didn't want to go to the emergency room.
However, I listened to his better judgment and at 4 in the morning the doctor just came back and he said, “You know, Gayle, I don't know what caused the dizzy spell, but you do have lung cancer.” And I was just , “Oh, no, wait a minute.
I know you're tired, and you've read a lot of reports. Could you kind of go back again?” He said, “No, I'm sorry, but you do have lung cancer, and we do need to do a biopsy ASAP.”
So they rushed me to do a biopsy, and within a week I was having a left lower lobe removal. Everything happened so quickly. I was very blessed. By the grace of God, it was caught early.
It was in very, very early stages, so they were able to remove the lobe, the left lower lobe, and everything happened so fast I didn't really have time to think about the repercussions of everything. It was actually found on a CT scan.
It had nothing to do with anything that I was even in there for.
They caught it so early, and I did not have to do chemotherapy or radiation. The prognosis for me has been very good.
Fighting for Early Lung Cancer Screening
When I found out I had this, I was in the healthcare field for 10 years with breast cancer survivors, and I had no idea how many people were diagnosed each year with lung cancer. I had no idea that it was the leading cause of cancer death in America.
It just never even registered with me. When I found out that I was diagnosed because of a CT screening and yet they're not recommended by a lot of the medical population, I was just dumbfounded.
Because the test is about $150, takes about 10 minutes, and it is the only thing they have right now to detect lung cancer.There are literally thousands of people dying each year from this disease. So for me, I say if CT will pick it up for the high-risk population, then I'm all for it. And I was a smoker when I was in my 20s.
I was a social smoker, and did it for about 10 years. But there's a myth that if you quit smoking that you're going to be cancer-free, and that's totally not true.
You still remain at high and elevated risk forever.
I had just come out with my first book, which has nothing to do with lung cancer. Ironically, it's about breast cancer.
We [my son and I] were just about ready to do the tour for that, but we have been able to use it as a tour across America to make people more aware about lung cancer and how deadly a disease it is.
We need to be asking our physicians, when we go for other testing if you're at high risk, meaning you've smoked, you've lived with smokers for a long time, ask your doctor what he's going to do for your lungs.
For More Information on Lessons Learned from Cancer
To hear more from our guests about what they learned during their struggles with cancer, including their advice to audience members, listen to the HealthTalk webcast, Life Lessons from Cancer.
For more information about cancer, check out these HealthTalk.com resources:
Inspirational Messages for Cancer Patient
We all know people who have or are suffering from cancer of one kind or the other. They could be friends, family, colleagues or even neighbors. When someone has cancer they are filled with anxiety and fear of the future. And what is worse is the pain they are in most times.
It is not easy being around a cancer patient because many times we do not know what to say. But the truth is that everyone needs words of encouragement when they are going through tough times. You do not need to use elaborate words, just a kind and thoughtful word spoken from the heart will be truly appreciated.
To inspire you, we’ve compiled some inspirational messages for cancer patient. Take a look.
Inspirational Messages for Cancer Patient:
When someone you know is going through a tough time, cancer, a few words can go a long way in making them feel better. So take time to send a message of inspiration to a friend, family member or colleague and let them know that you are thinking about them. Here are some inspirational messages for cancer patient.
You have faced many challenges in life and I have seen you fight and come out on top. This cancer is no different. You are a fighter and I know you will come out on top as always.
Even through theses dark times that cancer is trying to bring upon you I see you shining the sun. Keep shining, keep hoping and keep praying. This too shall pass.Your strong faith inspires me. I am blessed by being with you and seeing you cope with this cancer. This darkness shall not overwhelm you, nothing, not even cancer can keep a good person down. You will come shining through one day.
When I see how strong you are as you lie there in pain fills me with hope. Many of us are praying for your quick recovery. Your smile is truly an inspiration.
No matter how frightening cancer sounds and is, I believe you and I can pull through. You have been through other situations that you conquered and you can conquer this illness also. We are praying for your quick recovery.
You are my inspiration because even as this illness ravages you I can see your strength in how you strengthen others and how you are holding on. I am praying for you, and I am also here for you.
Most Inspirational Quotes for Cancer Patient
If you’re looking for some inspiration quotes for cancer patient, go through our list below. You can include these quotations in your greeting cards.
“Cancer is a word, not a sentence.”
– John Diamond
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
“Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.”
– Emory Austin
“You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.”
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”
– Cayla Mills
“At any given moment you have the power to say this is NOT how the story is going to end.”
“Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.”
Inspirational Words of Comfort for Cancer Patient
Comfort is what people need at this difficult stage of their life. So share a few words of comfort with anyone suffering from this diseases to give them happiness. Below are some inspirational words and messages for cancer patient.
Each and every morning I know that you wake up with anxiety. Cancer is scary and no one can truly understand what you are feeling. In all this I want you to know that you can count on me. Whenever you need me and for whatever reason I am here for you. Just lean on me.
Through the pain and despair please entrust yourself into God’s hands. I do not have answers nor do I know what to say but one thing that I know is that God cares and He will strengthen you.
Sometimes I do not know what to say as I see you being brave through your pain, but I want to assure you that you will never be alone. I am here for you and please just let me sit with you and maybe hold your hand once in a while. Whenever you need me just let me know.
Cancer is a terrible disease and through your pain I want you to know that I am praying for you. May God of all comfort hold you up and give you strength to go through each day. I love you and care for you.
Losing strength and being in pain day after day is difficult and I do not know what to say to make you feel better, but I want you to know that I am here for you whenever you need me.
I can only imagine what you are going through. I am here for you my friend and whatever you need me for I am right here for you.I know that often times you have so many questions in your heart and in your mind. I have no answers but I have love to share with you and my hands to hold you as you go through this illness. You can always count on me to be here for you.
Cancer is painful and I know that it is sometimes overwhelming. My heart goes out to you and I am here for you. Please allow me to be your friend at this time and to hold you. Please lean on me.
I know that it is alright to cry, moan, wail and grieve as you go through this illness. Whatever you feel it is alright to feel that way, and through it all please know that I am right here to go through it with you. Hold on to me. I am here for you.
What can I say? I don’t know. But what I do know is that I have love to share with you during this difficult time that you are suffering from cancer. For now I can only offer my love and my arms.
Please allow me to hug you, hold you and comfort you when you need me to.
The pain that you are feeling is something I cannot begin to comprehend. Cancer is painful and my heart goes out to you. I want you to know that if there is anything at all that I can do for you at all, anything, please let me know. I am standing with you.
I know that you have been praying and hoping for healing from this cancer and it seems as though things get tougher each day. Please do not despair. I may not have any answers for you but you can count on my support in every way. I am here for you and you also have the support of loved ones.
Inspirational Words of Hope for Cancer Patient
Hope is the only thing that keeps everyone going, especially during such a tough time. So here are some inspirational words of hope for cancer patients.
Day in day out you have gone through pain, anxiety and at times despair. I feel for you and I want you to know that through all this I am standing with you. And not only me, but many others who love you. We are praying for you.
It is easy to say we know what you are feeling but only you know that. Through this illness I have seen your strength and my prayer is for your quick recovery. God bless you and we love you.Waiting and hoping for healing can be tough and sometimes it is easy to despair. Lean on me when you need strength to face tomorrow. I may not have any answers for you but my love is here to hold you.
Tough people endure tough times, and you are probably feeling very weak and helpless. You may not feel tough but I want you to know that to me you are a hero. Even through the pain of this disease you have managed to come this far. Let us keep praying and holding on to hope.
My heart goes out to you during this painful moment as you battle with this cancer. Through it all you are my inspiration because of your uncomplaining attitude. Please let me hold you and comfort you and be your strength when you need me.
Going through the pain of fighting cancer is tough I know, and you are tough. I am here for you through it and will help you every step of the way.
Through this difficult illness I am praying for your quick recovery. May God give you the strength to fight this disease and come out shining. I am here for you.
Our compilation of inspirational messages for cancer patient will surely comfort them in such a difficult time.
45 Words of Encouragement for Cancer Patients – Uplifting to the Soul!
- iBelieve Contributors
- 2017Mar 21
Take courage dear friends who are facing the battle of cancer. Jesus is greater than any enemy we face in this life. We overcome because He has overcome, and our lives are hidden in Christ. May God cover you with peace. May He bring healing in the face of hard news.
May He give deep, abiding joy that makes no sense to the world. May he provide comfort and care as He wraps you in His arms.
Use these words to bring hope and healing, and to remind your friends and family that cancer cannot touch your soul – for it has victory through Christ Jesus.
25 heartfelt affirmations and words of encouragement for your suffering friend:
- Nothing I can say will make this better but I’m here for you always.
- I am so sorry you are going through this.
- I am praying for you every morning when I get up.
- I would to bring your family a meal this week. Would that be okay?
- You are so brave and so strong.
- What is one specific way I can be praying for you?
- I’m sending positive thoughts your way today.
- I’d love to watch your kiddos for a night if you’d to get some extra rest.
- I am so proud to call you my friend.
- I love you.
- I don’t know what these next few months will be for you, but I’ll always be here for you.
- I’d love to take you out somewhere and talk about whatever you’d ! When can I come by?
- Is there a certain website or book I can read to learn more about what you’re going through?
- Can I hug you?
- God will NEVER leave you!
- You are my hero.
- You’re a warrior, and warriors don’t quit!
- Cancer is just one chapter in your life, not the whole story.
- It’s okay to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.
- You’re stronger than you know, braver than you think, more loved than you can imagine.
- Your illness does not define you.
- The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about.
- I wish I could take all of this pain and sorrow from you, but for now I will offer my hand to hold and my shoulder to lean upon.
- Cancer may have started the fight, but you are going to finish it!
- God loves you, and so do I!
Quotes to Inspire Cancer Patients:
- “Take one day at a time. Today, after all, is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.”– Billy Graham
- “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.” – Corrie ten Boom
- “It does not matter how long you live, but how well you do it.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “My home is in Heaven.
I'm just traveling through this world.” – Billy Graham
- “Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” – Mother Teresa
- “Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.
” – Elisabeth Elliot
- Outside of the cross of Jesus Christ, there is no hope in this world. That cross and resurrection at the core of the Gospel is the only hope for humanity. Wherever you go, ask God for wisdom on how to get that Gospel in, even in the toughest situations of life.
– Ravi Zacharias
- Only when our greatest love is God, a love that we cannot lose even in death, can we face all things with peace. Grief was not to be eliminated but seasoned and buoyed up with love and hope.
” – John Piper
- “What gives me the most hope every day is God's grace; knowing that his grace is going to give me the strength for whatever I face, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.” – Rick Warren
- “Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances that we know to be desperate.” – G. K. Chesterton
Inspiring Scripture for Cancer Patients:
- So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
- “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
– Matthew 11:28
- “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19
- Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.” – Psalm 107:19-21
- LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. – Psalm 30:2
- Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
– Isaiah 53:4-5
- Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.” – Psalm 103:2-4
- He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
– Psalm 147:3
- ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” – Revelation 21:4
- “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2:24
Image Credit: Thinkstock.com
This article is part of our Words of Encouragement series. It is our prayer that these words will bring you blessings while you use the affirmations, quotes, and Bible verses to inspire others to life their life fully alive!
Words of Encouragement for Men
Words of Encouragement for Women
Words of Encouragement for Kids
Words of Encouragement for Friends
Words of Encouragement for Cancer Patients
Words of Encouragement for Teachers