[NCSD guest blog post by Richard Fabozzi]
After the initial shock of being diagnosed with throat cancer, I began to focus on developing some qualities I felt would get me through my cancer journey. I realized sometime later that six of those qualities comprised an acronym for the word “cancer” and could get someone through virtually any crisis.
I had 35 radiation treatments and eight chemo treatments during my cancer journey. My journey lasted for over a year before I was back speaking, singing, emceeing, and even dancing. My survival was truly a miraculous blessing. Here is my acronym:
Clarity—I focused on who I really am and what’s important to me. I decided to surrender to my throat cancer, but I did not give up on living. I have no fear of dying, and this made it so much easier to achieve clarity about my willingness to accept what might happen. I didn’t want to die, but I accepted it as a possibility. This gave me peace of mind.
Anchored in faith—This is self-explanatory, and my acronym for Faith is Father Always Is There Holding us up.
Now power—I focused on being intensely present in the “now” and enjoying it as much as possible. My acronym for Now is Nosing Out Worry. Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now, was at my bedside throughout my entire journey.
Courage—I focused on all the courage I had developed over my lifetime and willed myself through the painful times that lasted for months. I knew that maintaining a positive outlook fueled my courage; I knew I was stronger than my throat cancer.
Empowerment—I did everything I could to empower myself. I meditated, prayed, posted daily in my Gratitude Journal, and had wonderful conversations with my dependable wife (I would not have come through this challenge without her). When asked how I was doing, I would say, “I’m keeping my spirits up.” I always referred to my illness as a temporary health challenge. My wife and I would sit on our front porch that overlooked Mt. Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts, and we would be amazed by its beauty. I would feel healing power and peace as I absorbed the beauty of the surrounding Berkshire Mountains while I perused my book, The Joy Quotient. I would listen to the instrumental version of Dean Martin’s “Sway” and, in my mind, sing it. When I got strong enough, my wife and I would take short walks that became longer over time.
Resilience—As you may know, the definition of resilience regarding a human quality is the ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversities, etc. I continued developing my resilience by consistently affirming and visualizing my recovery from cancer. The foremost concern in my mind and heart was to move forward on the premise that I was going to survive.
Some quotations I included in my book, The Joy Quotient:
Helen Keller: “The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse.”
Jim Rohn: “The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keep out the joy.”
Henry Ward Beecher: “The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.”
Thich Nhat Hahn: “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile and sometimes your smile is the source of your joy.”
Alan Cohen: “Don’t postpone joy until you have learned all your lessons. Joy is your lesson.”
Richard Fabozzi is a motivational speaker, emcee, entertainer, and author of The Joy Quotient. He has given over 3,500 presentations where he connects with his audiences through interactive keynotes, workshops, seminars, retreats, and musical programs. Visit richardfabozzi.com for more information.