Focusing on my pancreatic cancer treatment helped me stay positive

Sometimes knowledge is not all it’s cracked up to be. So, when I was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer in July 2016, I told Dr. Robert Wolff I didn’t want to know anything. As an academic, I knew I had the means to understand the information. But I also knew that anything that went in my mind would stay there and bounce around. And if nothing was in there, then there was nothing to fear. So, I made my brother, sister and aunt listen to my prognosis, and I focused on what I had to do from one day to the next. I knew I had pancreatic cancer. And I knew it was bad, from the way my sister, Rose, rained little kisses on my forehead. I also knew people had died from it. But I chose not to know any other details, because the only way for me to remain optimistic was to keep my life very simple. I had to concentrate on the task at hand, and let God handle the rest. Hunkering down and limiting information Mostly, my response was instinctual. Animals in the wild hunker down when they’re ill. So I chose not to know anything until after I showed no evidence of disease in January 2017. Then I started educating myself. I’ve always lived a healthy lifestyle, and I know how to control my thoughts, so I figured if anybody was going to have a fighting chance against this, it was me. I also derived a lot of comfort from my faith, because I kept seeing one particular Biblical passage repeated over and...