Success is an Attitude

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Success is an Attitude

  • succes is an attitude

« Kay Yow: Successful Coach, Positive Person | Main | Success and Your Web Presence »

January 26, 2009


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Steve Errey - The Confidence Guy

I love this post Bud, and am thrilled you have the all clear.

I completely agree with you when you say "The important thing is how you react to the stuff that happens to you" - if I was agree with you any more I'd have to wear a tshirt saying "I agree with Bud" and camp out on your front yard.

I've battled with depression in the past, and without making deliberate, slow choices who knows where I'd be and who I'd be, or even whether I'd be.

Always be willing to make a choice.

The Common Sense Guy

Thanks for the comment Steve.
I really appreciate your kind words and support.
It sounds as if you embody the concept of choosing to react to what happends to you in a positive way. Good for you.
All the best,

Withheld to protect worriers from themselves

My cancer story turned out not to be a cancer story at all, but after reading yours, I decided to share anyway. I'll give you the short version :)

A few odd occurrences in life made it that while checking for one medical condition, a CT scan of my abdomen revealed a tumor on the right kidney. Due to the odd occurrences mentioned earlier, I was not near my home at the time of the diagnosis and was sent to a specialist for a consultation who would not really be treating me. The urological surgeons and the radiologists concurred that the tumor was of a kind that was not good news and although the lawyers wouldn't let them say for sure, there was a 90% chance it was cancer. With those kinds of odds, you don't spend a lot of time wishing it weren't, you just prepare. Two weeks later, I had found a urological surgeon where I lived who took his own set of tests and concurred that it was not the kind of tumor you leave in. Kidney cancers do not respond to radiation or chemotherapy, so out they must come as soon as possible.

Now the real story is that I come from a long genealogy of worriers, catastrophizers and people who just enjoy having a terrible, unpleasant or unkind story to tell (happy stories just don't interest them :). After much soul searching and many hours of physiotherapy, I have overcome the learned behavior of worrying and chose to address my tumor with my n ew-found skills. That meant that I was only going to take actions that would lead to helpfulness or positiveness. Translation, many of the people I have known my whole life don't know a thing about my tumor. They are incapable of being helpful or soothing, so they had to be excluded from access to my psyche while I processed it all.

You see, kidney cancer can't be biopsied because disturbing the tumor could cause it to metastasize, so they take out the kidney and then they tell you whether you had cancer. So, I really wasn't going to have to deal with a confirmation of cancer until after I was technically a survivor already. I did have to prepare "as if" with the odds that I was given, but mostly, I just had to have the patience to take each day's events as they came. My challenge was to just Be and stay in the moment. There was little to plan for except choosing surgery options and it would take at least a week after that to know whether I would know what I'd had.

I hand picked a circle of people who would be supportive of my approach, positive in their outlook and keep me laughing. Truthfully, I had more to be grateful for than I did to be worried about. The tumor was found very early which is rare in the case of kidney cancers. Most folks have the same experience you hear about pancreatic cancer. You find out and then you choose your box. I wasn't facing anything like that. After the initial discomfort and inconvenience of having a kidney removed, I would be cancer free with a 90% chance of never having to worry about a relapse. That was a pretty good deal. Of all the people that were told they needed to prepare for cancer, I wouldn't trade my conversation with anyone. I really was very fortunate. There wasn't anything to complain about. So, I wasn't wasting any time shutting down people's attempt to create fear and trauma. It was my turn to be self-centered :)

The surgery went blissfully uneventfully however I wasn't able to check myself out the next day. Had to learn to use my sutured flank well enough to sit and walk, so it took me a day or two :) A week after they took the kidney, the results of the pathology was inconclusive and the kidney had to be sent to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. The surgeon was convinced it was a type of malignancy that resides in pockets of a larger tumor rather than being a solid mass of cancer. He still thought I was among the 90% and was planning a pre-opt cancer protocol. So, I was ready for whatever came next.

Three weeks later, the kidney was released from the military with a report that it was cancer free. The doctor called me to tell me that he and the radiologists were "totally befuddled." Nothing in their professional experience would have indicated that this was possible. The CT scans should have look ed totally different than they did in order to be the type of tumor it turned out to be. Since the first set of doctors thought the same thing from the CT scans, I know we did the right thing with our choice for surgery and was happy with the results.

I took away four things from this experience.
* All that hard work to unlearn worry paid off. I had a really good experience with a very bad set of circumstances. While the situation was intense, it involved no fear for me. That was proven to me when I was told it wasn't cancer. I felt many things.....surprise, gratitude, joy...but not relief. In order to have relief, I would have had to have had fear. That was a very cool revelation.
* Miracles really can happen if you create a bubble of positive energy. No one will ever really know if the kidney never had cancer or whether the power that made the cells in my body changed them more than once.
* Sometimes creating boundaries has to go to lengths you never imagined and when it involves your peace of mind, that's OK.
* Finding gratitude and practicing it consistently really is important.

Brenda Colleen Leyland

Hi Bud, I haven't been by for a while, so I'm enjoying reading some of your posts. Had to leave a comment about your positive response to the report you received once about having thyroid cancer. Good for you!

Both my dad and young nephew dealt with cancer during the same time period a few years ago. I remember working hard to stay positive and not succumb to fear. And with God's help I found a lot of peace in the midst of the storms.

I also remember a time years ago when a colleague was diagnosed with cancer -- our whole office went into a state of depression because of it. It was a horrible place to work at the time because there was this heavy darkness that seemed to settle on the whole group. The individual seemed to lose all sense of hope or joy in the midst of it.

Though the time with my family was one of the darkest seasons we'd ever faced, I refused to let it 'rule'.... and it truly made a difference in my life. Together we found the funny side of things... and could still laugh. Everything does not have to be dark and gloomy even if it's the 'c' word. We grew closer. As I say, I found that peace that truly passes all understanding.

So I had to stop and say thanks for the post.

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