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A Letter From The Man Who Was Supposed To Have Died

Updated on August 31, 2008

The most positive thing is that it has made me appreciate ...

An old friend of mine is battling cancer. I shared with him this email from a patient who was given only a few months to live. I was personally encouraged by this note and have been sharing it with friends and patients in need. Please feel free to forward or share with your friends battling cancer. Here it is:

Dear Dr Yeung

I have just noticed your name in my outlook "contact" folder and I thought I

would drop you a line to update you.

In February 2000 I was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, you operated and

removed the tumour and my left kidney. At the time, you advised me that I

now was in your record books on two counts, 1) largest scar, 2) largest

tumour. Unfortunately in July 2000 at a routine check, the cancer had

reappeared at the original site and spread to my lungs. The prognosis was

very bleak and I was given 6 to 12 months to live.

However, I returned to London, and have been helped by some remarkable

consultants. The recurrence at the original site turned out to be my spleen

that had moved into the space vacated by my kidney, the carcinoma in my

lungs was renal cell and has been kept in check with various chemo and

immuno therapy regimes. I remained clear for more than two years, but in

July 2003 the cancer appeared in my liver. I had further therapies and

surgery has successfully removed, the liver has regrown and is clear.

I am under no illusion that I will not eventually succumb to this horrible

disease, but I have always remained positive, and with the help of you and

the other remarkable doctors I fight on.

The most positive thing is that it has made me appreciate how precious life

is, and I enjoy every day to the full.

Regards and thanks,


May your friends (or you) derive strength and wisdom from NC's experience.


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    • Benson Yeung profile image

      Benson Yeung 8 years ago from Hong Kong

      Hi Rochelle,

      thanks for sharing about your friend. There are more heroes inside us than we can recognize.

      Warmest regards,

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks for sharing this. I recently lost a good friend who has fought the cancer battle for at least 15 years --on and off.

      She amazed her doctors many times, and could have given up many times, as well.

      In her case, she said that it was often the attitudes of the doctors and other medical people that was very important in giving her hope and the incentive to keep going.

      She lived long enough to go to the weddings of two grandsons.. and to enjoy the visits of three great-grand babies. She also helped her severely disabled husband until his death two months ago. That is another thing that kept her alive, she knew she had to outlast him.

    • Benson Yeung profile image

      Benson Yeung 8 years ago from Hong Kong

      Dear solarcaptain,

      thanks for sharing your kind response and experience.

    • solarcaptain profile image

      mike king 8 years ago from california


      I enjoyed this hub very much. I can see that you enjoy writing and what you have to say is important. I enjoy reading about those who have beat the odds and survived the worst prognosis by fighting and through prayer. As a retired psychologist, I have seen many on death's door return to the living, thrive and prosper, love and be loved.

      thanks for reminding me.

    • Benson Yeung profile image

      Benson Yeung 8 years ago from Hong Kong

      Hi hsofyan,

      thanks for commenting.

    • hsofyan profile image

      hsofyan 8 years ago from Indonesia

      People appreciate the (remaining) life is to know that life is precious. Every living will die, perhaps with a different way. Nothing can prevent death.

      Thanks for sharing, doc...

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 9 years ago from UK

      Thanks for this hub. It's encouraging to know that a positive attitude can shine a light on even the most bleak prognosis. I have a friend battling cancer at the moment who was given her terminal diagnosis three years ago. Although very poorly now, and despite the odds, she is still with us, and still has a smile and a joke for every visitor. Her remarkable attitude is surely what's kept her going, and is an example to us all.

    • ajcor profile image

      ajcor 9 years ago from NSW. Australia

      thank you for this hub - it always good know that there is light at the end of the tunnel - whether it is in hanging onto life a little longer or in the strengthening of moral fibre to enjoy what we have for however long. What a strong positive man your writer is. cheers