• Mike

A Constant Battle Within

Millions of people were diagnosed with cancer last year.

Hopefully this helps put your recent job or startup troubles into perspective. Just in case you are skimming and think you are having a bad week at work, please pause, and read this figure again aloud at your desk.

To make matters worse, half a million cancer patients will pass away this year. Think about the millions of families, friends, and loved ones that annually have their world turned upside down in a matter of three simple words, “You have Cancer.”

For many, “Cancer” is a strange word. Most people who have never been touched by this disease hear someone say “Cancer,” and it usually goes in one ear and out the other without much deep consideration. I was one of those people. I didn’t fully understand what cancer was until it literally hit me so hard in the stomach that it made me physically stop in my tracks and threw me into the fight of my life. I went from lugging water filters in Guatemala to lying in a hospital bed in Colorado Springs preparing for surgery followed by chemotherapy the next week. Luckily now, with stuff like After Cancer Club you can find back in numbers.

My old dog Koden and me pre and post treatment

Fast forward ten years, I am luckily cancer-free. People often ask if I enjoy each day to the fullest or have a positive attitude with everything I do. The truth is that I am no different than anyone else — I just happened to have had cancer. Over the years, I have also realized that I am just as guilty of worrying about daily “stuff” such as a work project. I find myself having a constant battle within and sometimes even feeling like a hypocrite because I forget to take my own advice on failure and value what is most important. That is why I decided to write.

Writing helps me put thoughts on paper as I meet great people, build relationships, and try to figure out what this whole life thing is really about. What is most clear to me after something like “Cancer” is that time and health are too often taken for granted,. I encourage everyone to write because it has helped me to slow down and process new and past thoughts, and I’ve learned that everyone has a story. Your insights might not be about startups nor “Cancer,” but I ask you to share your thoughts and stories because it might just give someone else the strength to do the same.

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