The Secret to Surviving Cancer

10 years ago today, during a minor surgical procedure (comparable to a wisdom tooth extraction), I was diagnosed with stage IVc ‘terminal’ cancer. I was given 2-3 months to live before succumbing to the disease of carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma (a very rare head and neck cancer). Through a brutal treatment regimen over several months (which included a radical neck dissection, surgeries, various medical procedures, weekly chemotherapy, and daily radiation) God healed my body creating a completely unexpected and medically unexplainable miracle!

Over the past decade, I’ve been asked countless times “How did you survive cancer? What was the secret? What is the one thing that made the difference?” I wholeheartedly believe, based on my real experience, that the secret to surviving cancer or any trauma, drama, suffering, or tragedy is to be at peace in every situation. As we mature in faith, we can come to understand that with God’s help we can be completely satisfied, whether in-ease or disease.

Philippians 4:11-13 says “ I’m not saying this because I’m in any need. I’ve learned to be content in whatever situation I’m in. I know how to live in poverty or prosperity. No matter what the situation, I’ve learned the secret of how to live when I’m full or when I’m hungry, when I have too much or when I have too little. I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.”

Verse 9 of Philippians 4, gives the answer: “…God who gives this peace will be with you.” I pray that whoever is reading this, that you will seek and find this peace that is freely available to everyone.

Although a lot of “parts”, muscles, glands, nerves, and lymph nodes were surgically removed from my face, neck, and shoulder, my body is compensating and continues to heal. I am content and excited about life!

Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me and stood by me during this strange, horrible, wonderful, and incredible journey.

Love and press on, Rich & Nikki (and Clifford the Big Red Dog)

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