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The strength you need is always with you

I was diagnosed with colon cancer in the fall of 2013. The call from the doctor on a sunny afternoon a few days following a routine colonoscopy hit me like a punch in the gut. How could this be? How dare life interrupt my quiet, relatively peaceful existence in this way? Fear arose, and the realization that it was going to take all the courage I had to handle this new situation.

But as I seek to share in the revised edition of my book, The Upside of Cancer, my brush with cancer and mortality—which of course continues—I’m almost 84--has helped me change and grow. I have discovered that the strength we need to handle difficult circumstances is always present with us: We simply have to listen to the wisdom of our own heart and trust the unconquerable power of our own spirit.

Strange though it may sound, I have become a new and happier person.  My wife, a shrewd lady, remarked the other day that there are smile lines on my face that were simply not there when we first met 20 years ago.

I have become more conscious of the strange, paradoxical, magical truth that governs our lives.  Yes, we are mortal. You can count on it. I can count on it. But we are also spirit, ageless, unconquerable, and pure, untouched by any of the outer events of our lives.

Eben Alexander, MD, author of The Map of Heaven, has a beautiful quote at the beginning of his book. It’s from an ancient Greek text, and goes like this: ‘I am the child of earth and starry heaven, but my real race is of heaven.”

We are human beings--with the usual human foibles and failings—but we are also spiritual beings, perfect and entire, who have come to express love into this world, and create whatever we choose to create, and give the gift that us ours to give.

My passion is writing. I’ve been writing since I wrote my first story as a child in the early days of the Blitz on London. But I have another passion now. I want to do all I can to give courage and hope to other cancer patients and anyone who is facing a major affliction. This is why I wrote The Upside of Cancer in the first place.

I’m happy to announce a giveaway beginning March 14

I’m happy to announce a giveaway for The Upside of Cancer at Goodreads beginning Monday March 14 and ending Monday April 11. Ten signed copies will be available. Please consider entering this giveaway, I'd love to send you a signed copy if you are one of the lucky winners! Please note I plan to add a widget to this blog on March 14 to make it easier to enter this event. You do need to be a member of Goodreads to participate in the giveaway.

Finally, March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. I wanted to support this event—especially since it was a routine colonoscopy that saved my life--and recently released a press release entitled: “How to Find Joy while Facing Cancer: Author’s Story of courage and hope emphasizes importance of Colon Cancer Awareness Month.”

Here’s a link to the article:  http://tinyurl.com/jk56ndn

I send love and best wishes and would welcome any thoughts you may have on the above.


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Bobbi March 12, 2016 at 4:42 pm

I really admire you for your ability to really affect people in such a positive way. Getting diagnosed with cancer at 81 must have been awful. But you turned it inside out and gave freely to others. This made me wonder why my gastroenterologist told me at 75 I was all done with colonoscopies. I used to go every 3-5 years because I always had polyps. As a loving expert in this, what would you recommend?


Christopher Foster March 13, 2016 at 12:14 pm

Bobbi, thank you so much for your very touching words. I’m very happy that you read my blog and chose to comment on this post. What a difficult question you ask. Honestly, I don’t think it’s my place to give you a recommendation on this matter, but I do have two thoughts. First, I suggest you get a second opinion from a different doctor. Second, here is some of my own experience. I had a colonoscopy when I was 76. There were some polyps, and I was advised to have a follow-up colonoscopy in five years, which I did, at age 81…luckily for me. I had surgery soon after the colonoscopy and was placed under the care of an oncologist for five years.
I send you love and blessings and I’m sure you’ll make the right decision.


Elizabeth Nunn March 12, 2016 at 11:59 pm

What a warm and loving thought to know the grandest part of us is untouched by any of the outer events of our lives. Life, as we know it, is in great uproar right now in America. How powerful to focus on the untouched and yet, very touchable, identity of our true selves.
This is great news especially for cancer patients that brings a kind of peace in the midst of uproar of illness in their lives.
Thank you for standing with them…and with us all.
Best wishes for healthy longevity.


Christopher Foster March 13, 2016 at 12:36 pm

Thank you for your strong and beautiful words, Elizabeth. America and indeed the whole world are in an uproar, and the uproar may get even louder. How grateful we can be for the stillness and peace that calls to us in each moment in the stillness of our own heart. Love and blessings to you and keep up the good work.


anastasia March 13, 2016 at 9:10 am

I send you love, light, and a BIG smile!
Always happy, always seeker!


Christopher Foster March 20, 2016 at 8:23 pm

Dear Anastasia,
I am so very sorry. I was sure I had answered your lovely, uplifting comment, but I just had a nudge to check, and I see that I didn’t answer you. So here I am. Thank you for your comment, and I send Love, light and a BIG SMILE to you too.


Carina April 2, 2016 at 10:46 am

Thanks for your inspiring words, Christopher.


Christopher Foster May 22, 2016 at 9:38 am

Thank you Carina. It’s always great to hear from you.


Startup Arena November 10, 2017 at 12:03 am

Fantastic post and so much to learn. It’s incredible! I think there was something from each article that deeply impressed me about each one.


Christopher Foster December 5, 2017 at 11:39 am

Your words are very encouraging to me. Thanks and good luck.


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