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Goodbye and Good Riddance to 2018

In order to end this difficult year, please allow me to provide an overall summary of how it all went, and I apologize in advance on all of the negative events. But please, allow me to explain.

It started at the beginning of the winter season, where major seizures were returning to my presence. However, these seizures were a bit different than last time. They were physically abusing, yes, but the difference was more of a mental state. Why, you ask? Because this time, I was living with my fiancée. For the first time in our adult relationship, she was seeing this cancer’s brutal strength against me. Once these seizures were becoming a daily routine, my doctors gave me two options. The first would be to simply strengthen my prescription medications and just attempt in dealing with the guaranteed seizures as best as I could. However, this was not the recommended medical option. The second option was to have brain surgery in order to remove as much of the tumor as possible. After the operation, the next step was to go through 30 days straight of radiation and chemo. After a month’s worth of recovery from that, the final step would be to repeat the 12 months of chemo similar to the 2014-2015 attempt. As you all know, I am now post-op, post-radiation, and mid-chemo. These events were spread out from the spring to the year-end of 2018.

What else happened this year? Was that not enough? Well good, because I was not finished. Leah and I canceled our wedding in order to focus on my health. I missed months of work from the employer that I show great passion towards. I spent these months at home, where my days consisted of waking up in the morning, walking down to my couch, and then going back to bed at night. MONTHS. I went on my father’s boat ONCE this summer. I missed the St. Peter’s Fiesta. I am unsure if I can even cry anymore because the year 2018 has emptied my faucets.

What is the point of this blog post? To vent to my readers? Perhaps a bit. On top of this, however, I write this blog post because 2019 represents my fifth year of this cancer diagnosis, and you know what? I am still here and it is going to be the best year of my life. Cancer is yet to finish it’s desire. My fiancée still loves me, and plans to take my last name in this upcoming year. My family and friends still have my back, and they believe/remind, when I struggle to believe/remind, that I am still here, and cancer is currently losing.

I wrote a Facebook post earlier this month, while I laid in bed on a Thursday afternoon. It had to do with that particular chemo week feeling as if it was penetrating my soul. I was so depressed that everyone else got to be at work and deal with work stress, and relationship (or lack thereof) stress, whilst I dealt with cancer stress, and the fact that I have introduced this cancer stress to Leah.

But as I mentioned earlier, I am still here. I wake up every morning to a new day. Please read this blog and try to understand my point. I am in and out of the hospital. I am on several medications that I depend on in order to help me get through the day. I desperately need my fiancée, family, and friends in my life – I am truly dependent on them. But at the end of the day I, myself, am the patient in that doctors office. I am the one inside the MRI machine every two months. I am the one taking these pills. Battling this cancer means leaning on your team, and at the same time, using your own skills to contribute to living a long life.

Find your balance. Find your passion. Find your teammates. So…why would you believe in incorporating this own mindset into your own life? Here’s why. If you read the end of that Facebook post, here is the summary of every word that I just typed within this blog post and perhaps this entire Mindful Sight website…

“Why am I writing [these posts] about all of this? Because I am trying to battle cancer, for the second time, in order to love as passionately as possible…


So tell me…what’s your excuse?”


  1. Michelle Michelle

    Paul you continue to impress the hell out of me, We have never met, but you inspire me, and I pray you continue on your journey with your love Leah 💕

  2. Dean Salah Dean Salah

    Awesome Paul, continue to battle as you have so valiantly to this point!! You are winning this fight and the hard work and struggles are so worth it!!
    Secondly continue to inspire us all as your words touch everyone that reads them but more importantly they give hope to others dealing with cancer diagnoses!
    2019 is your breakout year and we are all pulling for you!!!

  3. Jeanine M. Harris, M Ed Jeanine M. Harris, M Ed

    Paul, Your honesty, your courage, is so inspiring. As we are taught in Mindfulness… We let the feelings and thoughts drift in and out. Not latching onto the the negative and allowing it to take root… Just focusing on the breath… As long as there is life there is infinite HOPE

  4. Aunt Cassie Aunt Cassie

    Paul, your courage and attitude is an inspiration for the rest of us. You are beating this disease with strenght, grace and dignity. You are a true hero. And you are right, we are always there and we will always have your back. Love you so much.

  5. Tracey Tracey

    I don’t know why the gods pick people like you to go through what you have. It’s not fair and I curse them when I think about it. I will continue to pray and put as many positive thoughts your way as I can.
    I have known you since you were a kid and I can’t thing of anyone else I want to succeed more in life due to your attitude and perseverance.
    I have not been the patient but I have seen the miracle with my brother. Stay strong.
    Tracey Sousa

  6. Cathy Doe Cathy Doe

    You are a inspiration to us all. Keep fighting! I will keep praying for you.

  7. Katie vittands Katie vittands

    2019 will be a great year! The best yet. Love you

  8. AnnMarie Brooks AnnMarie Brooks

    You are my hero Paul. I look up to your strength and perseverance every day. I am overwhelmed by you’re drive and passion. You are an overcomer and Cancer picked the wrong man to mess with. Can’t wait to see you married this year and living your best life! Many blessings are coming your way in 2019. #russostrong 💪🏼

  9. Jeff Muise Jeff Muise

    Paul, you are my roll model. Your words are spot on. I can not imagine the struggles you go through, but I know this, it puts all my petty complaints in check. Be strong my godson, feed off all the love and positive vibes your family and friends send your way.

  10. Michelle Philpott Michelle Philpott

    This is your year Paul! Continue to lean on all those who are there for you, they know you would do the same, continue your positive attitude, continue to stay strong, continue to believe you will and are beating this and most of all hold onto your faith…don’t ever lose that for that’s what is driving you! You are able to inspire us all because of your faith!! 🙏❤🙏

  11. Jane Cahill Jane Cahill

    The guy above us picked you because he knew you were going to fight this nasty disease to the fullest and by god you are …….. with the help family and friends that love you. You are “Paul Strong”. Very, very proud of you. I will continue to pray for you and Leah …… and before you know it, you’ll have your special day, in deed!

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