• RichardH's Avatar

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    April 12, 2015

    Dear Friends and Family,

    Today is my 11th anniversary since being diagnosed with lung cancer. I dedicate today to the other 15 million cancer survivors in the United States. A person is regarded as a cancer survivor at the moment their disease is detected.

    I am proud to be a survivor. One thing you accept as a cancer survivor is the realization you can never return to life as it was before the cancer diagnosis. Now, I am Richard with lung cancer. I can never go back to being just Richard again.

    But being a cancer survivor doesn’t have to define my life. I choose to live a little each day than die a little each day. In the book, Seabiscuit, Laura Hillenbrand wrote, “You do not throw a whole lifetime away because it is banged up a bit.”

    This was a difficult health year as I was diagnosed with four new tumors. Fortunately, I started a new personal medicine, Zykadia from Novartis. Three of the tumors responded well to the new medicine; two died and one is shrinking. My radiation oncologist was able to kill the fourth tumor with pin point radiation. But the tumors and treatment reduced my pulmonary function. I am now exercising every day to increase my lung capacity and am thankful to have recovered 50% of the loss so far. And as Arthur Ashe said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

    When you have a diagnosis of cancer, you do think about your mortality but I will not let cancer break my positive spirit. As I continue to live with cancer, I continue to live a full life. I saw a poem once that said “The tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goals. The tragedy of life lies in not having goals to reach for.” I have lots of plans and hopefully nothing will interfere with them. I want to live my life like everyone else. What cancer has done for my life is to just make me pedal faster.

    The sportscaster, Stuart Scott, who recently passed away from cancer said “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and the manner in which you live. So live. Fight like XXX and when you get too tired to fight, lay down and rest and let someone else fight for you.” I am so fortunate to have my fiancé, Chris in my life. Some days I do not feel good and when I see Chris come through the front door my spirits are instantly lifted. He makes me feel safe and happy because I have someone wonderful to share good times, to survive the hard times and to keep me company all the time. Most importantly, he accepts who I am and who I am not.

    Finally, I am thrilled to announce our video, “Richard’s Rays of Hope” has exceeded all expectations. It has been viewed over 6,700 times around the world from the United States to Canada to Australia to Pakistan to Singapore. I believe we accomplished our goal of turning a negative diagnosis into a positive way of life by raising awareness and hope for people impacted by lung cancer.

    In honor of my 11th Anniversary, please tell someone you love that you love them.

    For the eleventh straight year, I will end my letter by saying:
    Life goes on…….thankfully.

    Here’s hoping for many more!

    Love,
    Richard

    Ps. Please “share”
    My Facebook page, Lung Cancer-Richards Rays of Hope at https://www.facebook.com/richardsraysofhope

    My video, Richard’s Rays of Hope at http://youtu.be/Yb_yULgxaJ0

    My Playbill.com story about my theater dates with Rachel at http://www.playbill.com/news/article/defying-the-odds-living-with-cancer-and-loving-broadway-with-my-daughter-a-readers-story-343202

    4 Comments
    • RichardH's Avatar
      RichardH

      Thank you GregP_WN for your good wishes!

      over 1 year ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      WONDERFUL!!!! It is great news and very encouraging to see someone celebrating 11 years as a cancer survivor!!!

      Congratulations!!!!

      over 1 year ago
    • RichardH's Avatar
      RichardH

      Thank you, LiveWithCancer. I wish you well. Richard

      over 1 year ago
  • RichardH's Avatar

    RichardH started following

    User: CancerNews

  • RichardH's Avatar

    RichardH shared a video

    After almost five months of production, I am thrilled and proud to announce the launch of our documentary, “Richard’s Rays of Hope.” The documentary shares my ten year lung cancer journey, and that of my family and loved ones, to create greater awareness and hope for people impacted by lung cancer.

    Please like and share our documentary with your friends and family (and ask them to do the same) on all social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), as well as, e-mail contacts, so our message of hope can bring inspiration to lung cancer patients and their families all around the world.

    Please also visit my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/richardsraysofhope

    Richard

    2 Comments
  • RichardH's Avatar

    RichardH wrote on GregP_WN's wall

    Hi Greg,
    Were you able to see the documentary?
    Thank you.
    Richard

    1 Comment
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I couldn't get it last night, but I see you posted another link, I will take a look this morning. Thanks for posting.

      over 2 years ago
  • RichardH's Avatar

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    It is with much pride that I introduce my short documentary, “Richard’s Rays of Hope.” The 7 minute documentary shares my ten year lung cancer journey, and that of my family and loved ones, to create greater awareness and hope for people impacted by lung cancer. My wish is to turn a negative diagnosis into a positive way of life.

    I know there is someone out there that just received a lung cancer diagnosis and experienced their world stopping moment. Please like and share my documentary with your friends and family so my message of hope can bring inspiration to that person and all lung cancer patients and their families around the world.

    I have faith that someday someone will find something that will put a stop to the unbelievable number of lung cancer deaths each year so that my fellow lung cancer survivors and I may look forward to celebrating many more birthdays and anniversaries. I know lung cancer is not curable (yet) but it is treatable and wonderfully livable.

    Ten years later, my life goes on….thankfully.
    Richard

    4 Comments
    • RichardH's Avatar
      RichardH

      Hi Greg,
      I just posted the video. How do I delete duplicate posts? I do not see an edit or delete button?
      Thanks,
      Richard

      over 2 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      I haven't watched your video yet (not sure where to find it), but am just so happy that you are 10 years living after your lung cancer diagnosis! Big congrats! I will try to find and watch your video ASAP.

      over 2 years ago
    • RichardH's Avatar
      RichardH

      Thank you! Here is the link to my video-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yb_yULgxaJ0

      over 2 years ago
  • RichardH's Avatar

    RichardH posted an update

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yb_yULgxaJ0

    It is with much pride that I introduce my documentary, “Richard’s Rays of Hope.” The documentary shares my ten year lung cancer journey, and that of my family and loved ones, to create greater awareness and hope for people impacted by lung cancer. My wish is to turn a negative diagnosis into a positive way of life.

    I know there is someone out there that just received a lung cancer diagnosis and experienced their world stopping moment. Please like and share my documentary with your friends and family so my message of hope can bring inspiration to that person, and all lung cancer patients and their families around the world.

    I have faith that someday someone will find something that will put a stop to the unbelievable number of lung cancer deaths each year so that my fellow lung cancer survivors and I may look forward to celebrating many more birthdays and anniversaries. I know lung cancer is not curable (yet) but it is treatable and wonderfully livable.

    Ten years later, my life goes on….thankfully.
    Richard