“You have cancer.”
Those three words create a maelstrom of emotions. I know. I was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2009.
Thanks to a conversation with Michael Leonczyk, who was Konica Minolta’s Chief Financial Officer at the time, I knew that my back pain and other symptoms needed immediate attention, despite the fact that I was getting on a plane in the morning for a family golf vacation. Michael had been battling kidney cancer for three months when I walked in to that Las Vegas emergency room. Doctors would remove my left kidney and a malignant tumor the size of a fist.
Kidney cancer is a pass/fail disease. Caught early enough, it has a 97 percent cure rate. I was lucky. And, this past June, I marked five years of being cancer free. Mike was not lucky. He lost his battle after my diagnosis.
Not a day goes by that I don’t thank him for that conversation back in 2009. I have a different perspective on the world. Having cancer changes what’s important.