When fear grows in me at the least unexpected time (now concerning CV-19), I go to my secret place, my secret garden. This is where imaginary flowers of all colors grow and the sound of flowing waters ebb my concerns.

Yes, I do have concerns. And, yes, this is my Crowell personal confession: In the last 10 years, I have visited a cancer clinic over 240 times. At first, my blood pressure rose off the charts due to fear. For days I lived in dread of the blood test results and hated the monthly injections of poison that damaged my body. In time, I began to see what I had not seen earlier. Eventually, it became clear cancer was not my enemy. Instead, it was my teacher, albeit a mean yet effective one!

What? You have to be joking! No, I am not insane. I am not deluded. I am in my right mind. I am the best mentally and spiritually I have been in 78 years.

Drink deeply from this next statement told to me by more than one medical oncologist, (these words may change your life). A positive attitude gives a cancer patient a 15-20% better chance of beating their disease. BOOM! I want this 20% working for me. Makes sense! A negative attitude gives as much as a 20% greater possibility of death.

For these reasons, I look at CV-19 differently than most people. I see CV-19 as two problems, not just one. Cancer taught me this phenomenon. The first problem cancer presents is physical; the second problem cancer presents is mental, the attitude one has in facing the first problem. Therefore, I see CV-19 as two problems, both physical and mental. CV-19 is a gigantic, worldwide monster problem. I guarantee you individual cancer victims will tell you their problem is as destructive as CV-19.

A close friend once asked me, “Fred, how do you do it? You don’t fear cancer. You welcome it. I have given up because cancer is killing me.” The answer to my friend was: “Imagine a soldier going to Afghanistan on 7 deployments. Do you think after the first couple deployments he might be better prepared to fight without fear? I have had cancer all these years. You are a cancer rookie. I am a cancer vet.”

Just as I cannot be cancer-free under my own volition, it is also impossible for me to eradicate CV-19 and the damage it causes. However, all of us can control our mindset, our attitude, our resolve. It is our choice to rise, fight, and find new ways to not only survive but to thrive.

Step up, my brothers and sisters! POSP is my motto (piss on self-pity). Get your big-boy pants on each day; expect to win that day. Live life, love people, serve others. Sounds easy, but no way is it easy when it is the narrow, rocky road with hills and gullies. Yet, it is life at its best!

If you have the talent to win life under your own power, have at it. Congratulations. I salute and admire you. However, if you don’t have the physical, mental and emotional tools to win life, please follow my lead. This means turning to the One who is ultimate HOPE, the Lord Jesus Christ. Seek Him with all your mind, heart and soul. He has said: “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” This means with complete integrity, sincerity, and eagerness. You will not be disappointed! 

Cancer and CV-19 are sissies in God’s eyes. And in mine too. I suggest the action step is naming the “fiery trial” you are facing today, confining it to one, not two problems. Attitude is king; Jesus Christ is the King of kings. Make your positive attitude your 20% advantage today!