Imagine you are standing among 22,000 people. It is 6 o’clock in the morning and you are waiting for a starting gun to fire so you can run 26.2 miles. On June 4, 2006, that is where I was and for me it was a dream come true. It had been almost four years since I received a phone call that forever changed my life. It was from my doctor telling me, “You have cancer.” It was as if someone reached down and pushed the pause button to my life. Over the next three years, I would go on a roller coaster ride of remissions and relapses. In January 2004, while waiting for a bone marrow transplant, the cancer came back a third time and spread to my brain. I slipped into a semi-coma and doctors did not think I would live.

Against all odds, I recovered. On Mother’s Day 2004, after a successful bone marrow transplant, I walked out of the hospital cancer free and have been in remission ever since. Surviving cancer has been like a marathon, it was an endurance event. Through that experience, I discovered three principles that helped me survive cancer. Maybe, like me, you are facing the dreaded “C” word or you may have a different challenge. These principles can help you through whatever you face

Visualize Your Victory
After being diagnosed with cancer, I had to picture myself being healthy again. At racecar driving schools, one of the things they teach you is what to do when you spin out of control. They instruct you not to focus on the wall but instead where you want to end up on the track. This is a great metaphor for life. In order to survive cancer you cannot focus on all the negative aspects or the odds. While laying in bed receiving treatment I pictured the day I would walk out of the hospital door. My vision was to be healthy and to prove it to myself I wanted to run a marathon.

Take Action
After delivering the news I had cancer, my doctor instructed me to check into the hospital. That was the last place I wanted to be. However if I did not take action and check into the hospital I would not be alive today. A bone marrow biopsy confirmed I had leukemia. Without treatment, it would become fatal within a few weeks to a few months. Throughout my marathon of cancer there were times I did not want to go through another treatment, take another pill, or see another doctor. In order to survive cancer you have to do things today you might not want to do, in order to have things tomorrow you do want.

Check Your Attitude
According to Charles Swindoll, “The single most significant decision we can make on a day to day basis is our choice of attitude.” It was necessary to have the belief it was possible to survive cancer. Daily I had to throw out the negative self-talk, the self-defeating inner dialogue and ignore the little voice saying it was not possible. As I was packing my bags to go to the hospital for the first time, a good friend of mine came over. He said, “Matt, you can beat this. There are over ten million cancer survivors and if they can do it you can do it.” My friend helped me to check my attitude. The words he said to me are true for you. The fact that others have survived cancer and overcome challenges they face proves it is possible for you. Once you have the attitude that your vision is possible, you will take the necessary action.

Surviving cancer like a marathon does not happen overnight, it is a series of action steps progressing to a worthwhile goal. Walking out of the hospital after a successful bone marrow transplant was one of the greatest victories in my life. Through Visualizing your Victory, Taking Action, and Checking your Attitude it is possible to become not only a cancer survivor but a Cancer Conqueror!

Author's Bio: 

Matt Jones is a 3x Cancer Conqueror, author three books and completed a marathon. Through his story, Matt inspires audiences to thrive in the midst of adversity and exceed present levels of success. For more information or contact him to speak visit