A Personal Favor for My Dad

Rich Zavadowski and Chris ZavadowskiChris here with a very personal update and favor for my Dad…

(FYI – a new article series and video training are in the works, so consider this post the calm before the next content storm. ) 🙂

Long-time subscribers may remember that years ago my Mom (Mary Ann) battled breast cancer.  Although it was difficult at the time, I pulled back the curtain to share that struggle with you in my email newsletter (back before blogs even existed).

With a great dose of humanity and understanding, my subscribers flooded her inbox with prayers, support and kind words that brought many smiles and helped her face the surgeries, treatment and the unknown.

Fortunately, she won that battle and has been cancer-free for 5+ years!  To celebrate, we held giveaways for you, tied in our sales events with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure charity foundation and much more.  I’m deeply grateful for the support you all gave her.

Now jumping ahead years later…

You may have realized that I’ve been “quieter” on the blog and with my emails for much of this year.  There’s a good reason for that.  And it’s time let you know why…

Toward the beginning of this year my Dad, Rich Zavadowski (one of my close friends, and also the creator of the “Government Contract Secrets” course my company publishes), became very ill…so bad that he had to stay home from work.

I’ll spare you all of the details, but the result was he looked like a pale ghost, with zero appetite or energy.

While the dozens of tests started to point toward a lymphoma, his lymph node biopsy continued to baffle the local pathologists and labs.  It took almost three months of chasing down doctors and labs (totally unacceptable when you’re dealing with someone’s life!) until we got everything over to the National Institutes of Health (NIH)…specifically the National Cancer Institute.

Then within days this top notch facility finally nailed things down and handed my Dad a confirmed diagnosis: Stage IV Peripheral T-cell Lymphoma, unspecified. 🙁

Basically his cancer was as advanced as it could be (appearing in his blood, lymph nodes, bone marrow and metastasized on his leg and a couple ribs).  While lymphoma is the fifth most common cancer among men and women in the USA (approximately 74,340 new cases in 2008 alone), the type my Dad has is very rare.

Because so few people have this, there’s not enough data in the medical community to suggest the ‘best’ treatment for this (heck, there’s not even a standard treatment for this).

—- SIDE NOTE —

If you know anyone with ANY type of cancer…get them to an NCI “Comprehensive Cancer Center“ — because as we’ve quickly come to learn, the quality of care and expertise in the cancer field is all over the map. There isn’t always one right treatment…but there are wrong ways to treat (our initial doctor had recommended a surgery and treatment that were TOTALLY unnecessary…and could have killed him!). When someone’s life is involved, don’t settle for only the local doc’s opinion…get an expert to weigh in.

—- SIDE NOTE —

National Cancer Institute

Well, after a few trying days and thinking long and hard about the options, my Dad decided to be part of a clinical trial (called a “protocol”) run by NIH’s NCI (a world-class, amazing facility that gets patients flying in from all over the place).

While it’s a much more aggressive treatment, with increased side effects and risks, it’s also something they are testing specifically for t-cell lymphomas.  It involves 5 days of steady chemotherapy…repeated every 3 weeks over a period of about 4 months.

Anyway, I promised him at the beginning of this journey that I’d be there for every doctor’s visit, test, treatment and more.   So that’s why I’ve been a little quieter this year — I’ve been helping Dad and Mom go through all of this, along with organizing all the test results, appointments and more.  (And MAJOR credit goes to Mom — Mary Ann — who helps him through this 24×7.  She’s an unsung hero in all of this!)

It’s times like these when you truly realize what a blessing having an online business is!

Now the National Cancer Institute estimates in January 2004 alone, there were 10.8 million Americans alive with a history of cancer.  And this year, 1,437,180 new cases are expected.  Survival rates have increased as detection *and* treatment methods have improved, but we’ve still got a long way to go.

Chances are you or a loved one have been touched by cancer, so you know first-hand how emotional and scary this journey is for an entire family.

That’s where YOU (and my personal favor) come in…

My Dad is going through chemotherapy as we speak, and soon he’ll receive follow-up test results showing how well treatment has worked so far.  (Regardless of the outcome, he still has several more months of getting knocked on his ass by the chemo.)

Just like I did with my Mom years ago, I’d like to ask you to leave a comment on this blog with an inspirational thought or ‘get well’ message for my Dad, Rich Zavadowski.

I’m going to print the comments off and put them in a “Happy Thoughts” binder I’ve created for him to chronicle the outpouring of support (and emails) we’ve been receiving from family and friends online.  Your kind words posted here will go directly into this special book for him.

With cancer and the drugs he’s on, there are some very tense, depressing days, so when he’s a little down or needs a “pick me up” to get his head back in the right place, he can just turn to any page and see how much positive energy is coming his way.  It’ll help give him strength for when he beats this cancer and returns back to a normal life!

Thanks in advance for this favor — and stay tuned for some new surprises coming to the blog as a big thank you!

Chris 🙂

P.S. – Let’s not forget..my Dad is now a part of the “solution” for cancer – he’s on the cutting edge of research helping them learn more about this crazy disease. And some day down the road when they cure it, he’ll have played his part in that.  You go, Dad. 🙂

P.P.S. — If you feel comfortable doing it, please leave him a positive note below on this blog post as he continues to battle this.  It would mean the world to him (and my Mom and me).

He’s facing a very aggressive, rare cancer and can use all the positive energy, prayers and good thoughts you can send.  We all know a smile and good thought can go a long way…and the right thoughts can change a life for the better!

Comments

  1. Waseem Imran says:

    Hi Rich

    I’m sorry to hear about your health challenge. I’m praying for your full recovery. Let me share with you a poem.
    Get Well Soon!

    Sending good thoughts your way
    To brighten up your day!

    I heard you were feeling yucky
    Down & out and not quite plucky
    So I send good thoughts to you
    And Get Well wishes too!!

    I hope you Get Well real quick
    cuz it ain’t no fun being sick!

    Some chicken soup, plenty of tea
    Soon you will be well and fancy free!

    Start feeling better and Get Well quick,

    Dear Rich, I hope these words can comfort you in times of despair. From everything I read from your son Chris, I KNOW that you have achieved great success in your life.

    Best wishes, many prayers and happy thoughts!
    Waseem Imran (India).

  2. Jawahar says:

    Hi Rich,

    Believe in a word… “LIVE THE MOMENT”. Keep yourself busy and don’t think about the disease.

    Live with full Belief, Happiness, Love, Hope and Faith. Have complete faith in GOD. He can do miracles and you are going to be another example for his endless MERCY.

    Our prayers for you.

    Warm Wishes,

    Jawahar, Jose, Augustin, Rafiq, Anil, Dileep and GetFriday

  3. Brenda Roe says:

    Always remember:
    ” The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God cannot protect you.” All of you are in my prayers, and best wishes for a full recovery!

  4. Shashank says:

    Hi Rich,

    Wishing you a quick and complete recovery.

    -Shashank 🙂

  5. Revathi says:

    Dear Rich,

    Don’t lose hope..

    The rose is fairest when ‘t is budding new,
    and hope is brightest when it dawns from fears…

    Get well soon…

    Revathi

  6. jacques says:

    Dear Rich,
    there are many kinds of cancer but they are all due to an imune system inbalance- when we are healthy our body takes care of destroying bad cells that appear constantly and we don´t even know it. I know you are using very toxic stuff to battle the ” bad guys” but do not forget that there are other things you can do on your own to help: eating a balanced diet of organic food, exercising, and meditation have all been medically proven to have a huge effect on the body´s imune system and on fighting cancer.

    from your family name I have a hunch:
    nazdrowie!
    Jacques

  7. Raju.B says:

    Hi Rich,
    I would like to dedicate the following poem – God Heals to you. Rich, this poem comes to you with all our love and support.

    God Heals

    Remember when you heard the words –
    and your mind went blank – you were in another world
    God heals

    Remember in your darkest hours –
    when all that surrounds you is pain and sorrow
    God heals

    Remember friends’ prayers – your family’s encouragement
    – glimmers of hope from everyday angels
    God heals

    Quiet…you can hear Him now –
    always there – yet never this close
    God heals
    It’s just another day –
    yet everything has changed – and you hear yourself say
    God heals

    Birds are singing –
    the sky is a beautiful blue – flowers are blooming…
    God heals

    Truths that you knew as a child –
    awakened again with new understanding
    God heals

    Remember when others can’t –
    that life is a gift – each day to treasure
    God Has Healed

    Don’t Worry. Keep Smiling: )

    Cheers
    Raju.B

  8. Faisal says:

    Cancer may just be a disease, whereas Mother Teresa said “One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.” But, you are not alone, you have a son; great, caring, and loving son. He has been there with you and you will always be there in our prayers as well. If hope is there, anything is possible. I hope you will get well soon….

    God bless you.
    Faisal

  9. Jacque G says:

    Dear Rich,

    I just finished reading the book “The Secret”. I highly recommend you pick it up and read it. What is being said is nothing new, but written in a way that helped me very much and my life is better and better every day because of it.
    You are in my prayers, I too was in your shoes back in 1997. My mother passed on my birthday in June and two hours later I was diagnosed with a blood disease and was told I had on the outside two years. I decided to drive from TX to PA instead of flying because I needed time to think. What I did on my trip was cry, laugh, praise and worship, gave God the Glory for all that I had and just prayed, prayed and prayed. By the time I reached PA I knew, that I knew, that I knew I would be alright. Well here it is 2008 and I am still around so now you know the rest of the story……..I know I still have work to do here and that is to give you words of encouragement for hope and healing and for Gods will to be done in your life. We have not because we ask not…….

    God Bless you today, tomorrow, and always…..

  10. Ravi says:

    Dear Rich,

    My father passed away two months ago after battling cancer for only 2 months. I wrote about it at rnjayagopal.com/blog/2008/05/26/my-father-my-hero

    We found out at an early stage, but he also had a stroke.

    But the good news is that I’m now praying to him that he and God together help you heal and get better! 🙂

    Good luck. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    – Ravi Jayagopal

  11. Dear Rich, Chris, and family,

    My hopes and prayers go out to all of you. May God be kind to you. I can empathize with you as my wife (Mary Ann) passed away in January with lung cancer after suffering several years with other physical problems. While she was in the nursing home for several months and then in intensive care in the hospital I was able to spend most of my spare time with her. The last several weeks I stayed almost 24 hours a day with her. This was a big comfort to her (and me) so she was able to go in peace. The doctors also kept her from the pain from her other problems. Rich, I pray that the treatment is successful and you are able to enjoy your loving family for many years.

    Walter

  12. Dear Rich, from Holland I want to wish you the very best in your struggle. We will have you in our prayers. I’ve been reading some of the heart warming comments on Chrise’s blog and I am sure this amazig overflow of love and support will be there with you all along. God bless you and your family.

    Ernesto Verdugo

  13. SAM RONDAS says:

    Hi Chris and Rich… Having had cancer few years ago I can understand what you all must be going thru.. Mine and my family’s prayers go out to you all… Diet and excercise is extremely helpful and of course are love and prayers… May God bless you and help to a successful and speedy recovery… Keep us posted…/sam

  14. Samuel Mendez says:

    Hello Sir,
    Not to get into my situation but to ask why things happen, who knows, one thing I know is, that there is good to be found in all situations. And that there is good to come out of it.
    It is the hand we have been dealt. But know this you are loved and you have people to love. LOVE CONQUERS ALL FEAR. LOVE CONQUERS EVERY THING.

    GOD BLESS YOU,

    Sam

  15. Daniel and Cecilia Zwanzig says:

    Dear Chris & Mr. Zavadowski:

    Dan and I know what a difficult time this must be as we both have physical disabilities that get in the way of life sometimes. Dan who has become disabled, and I who am disabled since birth.

    Focus on the love that you have in your life and draw from the strength in that love. Know that people who don’t even know you will be praying for you. Can you see the perfection in that alone? You are cared for by those around you. When you focus on these things in your life that have been wonderful, it will be much easier to get through the hard stuff. Dan and I wish for you and your family every bit of peace and goodness that the universe has to offer you.

    You will be in our prayers along with your family, Mr. Zavadowski!

    With Love,

    Daniel McAvoy & Cecilia Zwanzig

  16. Bill & Jessica from England says:

    Dear Rich, Mary Ann and Chris Zavadowski
    We are sorry to hear about it, we do understand very well what you are all going through as we have personal experience. We were introduced to an amercian product that has helped many of people with seemingly hopeless cancer. These products boost the immune system and help fight the cancer cells. We have also
    been privileged to listen to many storys of how these products have helped people
    to fight the disease. There is always hope.

    [ADMIN EDIT – Personal Contact Information Removed. Our company and sites need to stay generic as we train for all different companies and products/services. We don’t want to set a precedent for blatant advertising in blog comments. The URL field should be used for putting your site, etc. Thanks for understanding and for your support and kind words from the UK!]

    Rich, you need to pray and put your trust in God. We will be thinking of you and pray for you. Please get well soon and we will love to show you our bit of England.
    With love from the United Kingdom
    Bill&Jessica

  17. Patricia Sharp says:

    Dear Rich.

    I am so sorry to hear about your illness,but I know for sure with your loving and caring family and all of us as your friends loving you and praying for you, that you will grow stronger with every passing day.
    Rich , may a serene stillness arise within you ,with a blessed sense of peace.
    May this peace be filled with great joy and within this joy there will be sacred LOVE .
    With love and prayers from Australia
    Patricia

  18. Kimberly Edwards says:

    Dear Rich,

    I am sending the warmest thoughts, the most positive prayers and hopes the size of the atmosphere that you will finish your cancer treatments with flying colors and that they’ll be easier than expected.

    My mother is a 2 1/2 yr breast cancer survivor now, and just finished her treatments in January! My father also had cancer, so you going through treatments is near and dear to my heart!

    I am running 5 km in the BRIGHT Breast Cancer Run on September 6th, not just for breast cancer survivors, but for all cancer patients and survivors alike!

    God Bless you and I pray that he puts His loving arms around you in this difficult time dealing with your treatments! Smile…There are a lot of people rooting for you!

    Kimberly Edwards 🙂

  19. Carol G. says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this challenging time. I remember my own suddenly moment over 30 years ago when my two kids, under 5, were sleeping in bed, and my husband had an epileptic seizure without warning or symptoms prior to this time. With educated choices he recovered with only 10 days of drugs while I searched for alternatives. I am passionate about alternative health.

    I will continue reading your updates. Thanks for allowing us to be part of your “family.” Together there is power so it is very appreciated. I wish your family the best in the health challenge at hand. All things are possible to those believe!

    Amazing health to you all,

    Carol G.

  20. Richie says:

    Hi Rich
    Sorry to hear about you illness, I am sure it is a big lift to hear from all the people that have sent their wishes for you to do well after your treatment. I also send my best to you and your family during this time.

    Richie

  21. Alison says:

    Hi Rich and Chris

    I am on Chris email list cos I started recently to do internet marketing. I was catching up my email when I chance upon his email of 16 Aug hence the belated comments.

    [ADMIN EDIT – Personal MLM Referral Links/Blatant Advertising Removed. Our company and sites need to stay generic as we train for all different companies and products/services. We don’t want to set a precedent for blatant, hardcore advertising in blog comments. We’ll let Rich know about the resource you mentioned, but the long ‘sales letter’ is not appropriate for the comment field. The URL field should be used for putting your site. Thanks for understanding and for your support and kind words!]

    Be positive , you will get well. Ask that God will heal you and believe that the solution will come. Will pray for you that you will recover.

    Regards
    Alison

  22. Keith Adam says:

    My throughts are with you Rich. I read some of the messages left for you and came over all misty eyed. I sent a prayer up for you and your family. Get well soon and think about getting well, not the C word.
    yours Keith

  23. KHALIL says:

    Hi Mr. Z. I pray that you find peace and comfort during this time of trial.

    Here is a prayer I utilize with great success:

    Thank You god for everything. You ar My Strength, My Energy, My Clarity and Perfect Health.
    I relax and let your ever present flowing Love and Vibrations flow into and through m Now.
    Amen, Amen, and Amen. Thank you Father.

    Mr. Z, May Peace and Blesings be upon you always

    Love to You,,,Khalil Abdul-Rahim

  24. Victor says:

    Check this article – mybe this honey can help –
    Article published in “Medical Oncology” – http://zufglobus.com/UserFiles/File/lifemel.pdf
    It is available in Israel – sure you can get it

    God Bless You …

  25. Kelly says:

    Oprah has a fantastic interview on her “Soul Series” website regarding the power of prayer (which includes scientific studies proving the genuineness of the power of prayer to heal). Definitely worth a listen.
    http://www.oprah.com/article/spirit/inspiration/pkgoprahssoulserieswebcast/20080721_oaf_oss_ldossey

    If you don’t already, you will then appreciate how important it is for us to send “good vibrations” and prayers for healing and full recovery for Chris’ dad, Rich.

  26. Andy says:

    First of all, I want you to know that you are definitely in our thoughts and prayers. Continue to look to God for peace through this challenging time, and He will see you through.

    As a father of 4 sons, I realize how special it is anytime someone has something nice to say about one of my boys, so to help cheer you up, I thought I’d let you know something about your son that you are currently unaware of (it may not be a big deal to someone reading this, but I know, as a Dad, it means EVERYTHING).

    I attended my first Internet marketing seminar back in April ’02, and one of the very first friends I made in this industry was your son, Chris. Although we’ve hardly kept in touch over the years, I still remember how during the lunch break that first day of the seminar, how I happened to sit near Chris and another marketer by the name of Joe Garris. We instantly started talking, and we continued to meet throughout the weekend for dinner, “networking” in the bar, etc.

    At the time, I was a postal clerk, and I almost didn’t go to that seminar because I wasn’t sure I “belonged”. Well, because of people like your son, Chris, I realized that there were other young, ambitious people in the world who I could truly connect with, and this is what propelled me to a successful career in Internet marketing.

    When I look back on the start of my career, your son is one of those people who stands out as one of those beacons of light that gave me the confidence to succeed – and he probably has no idea, because I don’t think I’ve shared that with him.

    Anyway, hang in there through your treatments the best you can, and when you go to sleep each night, do so knowing that you not only have a GREAT son, but one who has made a positive influence on many people, including myself.

    God bless,

    Andy Hussong

  27. TheCynergist2010 says:

    I lost my mother to cancer 11 years ago. I want to encourage your dad to stay positive and control his thoughts. Continually have fun and do positive things. Keep stress out and focus on his healing.

  28. Dear Rich, Mary Ann and Chris
    I`m praying, to St. Jude, that you`ll have a full recovery. Remember that all things are possible with God.
    God bless you and your family,
    St Jude pray for us,
    Love
    Jilian

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