March 17, 2017 – Present Day
After the over 40 days in the ICU and 53 days in the hospital, my physical and occupational therapists cleared me to leave, exactly one year from the day Lauren and I met! Dr. Stephenson my surgeon for all 5 surgeries took it upon himself to drive me home personally from the hospital. That evening, Lauren and I celebrated not only my homecoming but also our anniversary.
As I arrived how I weighed in at 115 lbs. For a 185 lb 5’10″ male who once lifted six days a week, I was unrecognizable. As I arrived home Nurses visited three days a week to care for my exposed wound, and a physical therapist came over twice a week to keep my rehab moving forward. That first month home was just as draining as being in the hospital. I still required round-the-clock care, was completely dependent and felt like I was being overworked. I lost motivation and began feeling sorry for myself, causing me to make excuses to not follow through with my rehab and checkups. Until one day I made a massive shift knowing I would not make it very long if I kept this negative mindset for much longer. In hindsight, I should have been appreciative I was even alive.
As weeks went by, I took a step back and looked at how much I had over-come and realized cancer wasn’t just about me, I had a purpose to help others when I was finally recovered. Right then I stopped feeling sorry for myself and gradually started progressing in my workouts and incorporating nutrition back into my life. This aided in my ability to grow stronger and gain healthy weight back.
Through many years of recovery, I am now healthy and back to my original weight, while committed to helping others find their own path and purpose throughout their road to recovery with cancer. With that said I created a Cancer Facebook Group back in October of 2020 dedicated to helping cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers. The group is growing fast and gaining prominence with 3k members already. This group is unique because it is not just a support group. As a mentor, I am helping individuals overcome the mental, emotional, and physical aspects of cancer so they can use their setbacks as setups to discover their path and purpose in life after cancer while helping others along the way.
In addition, cancer has allowed me to share my journey as a key keynote motivational speaker, telling my story of resilience and perseverance to take any audience on an emotional rollercoaster while at the same time helping them overcome their current setbacks and use their experiences as a point of growth.
After recovering from cancer I feel I have been given a second chance in life to give back to the world by showing them that your setbacks no longer define you. Instead, they help you grow into the best version of yourself. That’s why I want to help individuals through life’s most difficult challenges with a preface on mental health and show them what is possible in life. By sharing my story and lessons I have learned to overcome adversity, I hope to help others break the mould and ﬁnd what they love in life while making a huge contribution to society.
Let my story serve as a testament to faith and perseverance. Never doubt yourself. You are meant for great things in this world and it is up to you whether you pursue them or not.
Tips on growing through life with cancer
- Surround yourself with likeminded people if you want to achieve your dreams. If you are still spending majority of your time with old friends that don’t have any ambitions you need to find others who will uplift and guide you along your path of finding what you love to do in life.
- Keep the promises you make to yourself day in and day out. This will help you build unwavering confidence in your life and breakthrough almost any obstacle that comes your way!
- Be proud but never satisfied. The moment we become complacent in life is the moment we begin to die. Learn that the most valuable assets in your life are your time and energy. Stop wasting your time and energy on people and tasks that don’t serve you and stay consistent on becoming a better version of yourself and giving back in the best way you can.