Hooper Leadership Coaching
Accelerating Leaders


Thoughts on Leadership

Six Weeks with Cancer

On July 5, 2016, the doctor said, “It could be cancer.” My heart stopped, and my mind began to race. As a result of a snow skiing accident in January, I got a DVT blood clot in my leg. While getting an ultrasound a month later, they also found multiple enlarged lymph nodes in my groin. The doctor said that I would need to get a biopsy to find out what is happening.

Six Weeks with Cancer
Six Weeks with Cancer

The weeks following would turn out to be very clarifying for me.

What I Learned During My Six Weeks with Cancer

  1. I hate cancer. My mom, good friend Tom, and many others I love have died from cancer. Jill, my wife, had breast cancer and thankfully is doing well. A few years ago, I had basal carcinoma on my nose. Being in the people business, I have heard too many tell me, “I just found out I have cancer.”
  2. Life is short. I wondered to myself, “I may have a few years or months left if I have cancer.” Instantly, my perspective about life became clear.  I thought of the projects I am involved in which really make a difference.  I thought how I want to use my limited time left on earth.
  3. Imagining Heaven. “I’ll be dying soon so I want to reflect on the place I will be going.”  I read Heaven by Randy Alcorn, Saints Everlasting Rest by Richard Baxter, and Heaven is a Place on Earth by Michael E. Wittmer. Imagining what life will be like, when heaven comes down to a renewed earth, brings more joy that I am used to experiencing.  I am daily captured by the thought of “What would life on a renewed earth be like without sin?"
  4. Increased intimacy with God. Spending time with God by reading the Bible and talking to Him is a joyful habit since I was in high school. With the possibility of dying of cancer, it makes my conversations with God so much more personal and intimate.  As I think about being in the presence of my Father, my joy and anticipation explodes.
  5. People who I love and who love me are a treasure. I think of the people I love the most. I thank God for the people who love me well. Family and friends are a valuable gift. Cancer has a way of causing me to let go of hurts and bitterness. It makes me desire to spend time with people in such a way that it may be the last time.
  6. Healthy lifestyle choices matter. I drink more water and less of Milo’s tea. I’m eating more protein and less carbs. Now that the blood clot is gone, I have have started back with workouts and exercise. A positive mental attitude is doing wonders for my perspective.
  7. Time use is more focused. When I consider how I use my time, I have become more focused on things which matter the most. Time is a limited currency just like the days we have left on earth. Investing time wisely is much more on the fore front of my mind and calendar. The books which I read last year, Essentialism and The ONE Thing, focused my time, but cancer will make it truly essential.

"You Don't Have Cancer"

I am writing this blog on Wednesday August 17, 2016 and just got back from the doctor.

He walked into the room and handed me the lab results.

I read, “Comment: There is no morphologic or flow cytometric evidence of lymphoma.”

He said, “Good news, Charles, you don’t have cancer!"

I am thankful for my six weeks of “I could have cancer,” and what I have learned. It is my intention to live this way the rest of my life. As you know, we all are dying.

God has prepared a place for us. He will bring heaven down to a renewed earth. I’m thankful that I don’t have cancer.  I am more thankful to be God’s beloved child deeply loved by Jesus!

How would a cancer diagnosis change your perspective?

WisdomCharles Hooper, Jr.