How QBQ! Is Helping One Man Face Cancer

An email from a reader of our QBQ! QuickNote blogs …

Hey, John!

I just read your blog titled “Why I’ll Never Go Into the Woods Again!” You wrote, “Sometimes our fears hold us back from ‘climbing that mountain,’ ‘reaching the summit,’ and ‘being our best.’”

Prior to getting into my “fear” story, I should tell you that wherever I go, I carry your QBQ! book. A little tattered and torn now, but by reading a chapter each day, I am able to stay on track. I’ve learned that personal accountability is what I need to practice at work and at home.

My story is about a “fear” that just became part of my life in the last few weeks and how I am managing it.

At 62, I’m a pretty fit guy. But recently, I went to see my doctor for a sore throat that had been bothering me for several weeks—and I got quite a surprise.

I was diagnosed with throat cancer.

My first thoughts were, What!?! Not me! I’ve never smoked or chewed tobacco! I run half marathons, I’m not supposed to get sick!

But, it was true. After many tests and lots of poking and prodding, the docs had concluded my cancer is in “stage 2” and I’ll need eight weeks of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

So here’s how I’m handling it all:

Having read QBQ! over and over and worked hard to live your message of personal accountability day after day, year after year, I find I’m able to deal with my situation more as a “task to be completed” than a “woe is me” thing. I refuse to let fear seep in.

Over the past few years, an attitude of personal accountability has become my natural response to any challenge, whether at work or in my home life. I can’t tell you exactly when my “QBQ! transformation” took place, but it did. As I’ve used QBQ! more and more, I’ve learned this:

When you practice personal accountability until it’s second nature, you become oblivious that you are practicing personal accountability.

You see, John, the self-awareness I’ve gained and the positive attitude I’ve developed by embracing the spirit of QBQ! and making personal accountability part of my life, make this cancer thing “just another challenge.” In fact, the treatment for and the recovery from this are—to use the words from your blog—my “mountain to climb.”

And I will climb it. My wife and I have seven grandkids to enjoy!

Is it daunting? Yep. Is it doable? Yep!

So, as I head off for my chemotherapy and radiation therapy sessions tomorrow, you can bet my trusty QBQ! book will be by my side.

Thanks for listening, John!

Discussion Question:

We all have our “mountains to climb”—some bigger than others. What challenge has QBQ! helped you face? We’d love to hear about it!

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12 Responses

  1. Quite a story in this post. It’s a wonderful reminder of the fact that we can never know the impact we have on people.

    I’ve never had this kind of mountain facing me. “What” and “How” questions are pretty second nature to me after working with Brian Tracy’s Phoenix Seminar and learning about feeling best when I feel in control of my life and worst when I don’t and that immaturity is all about making excuses.

    Sometimes it’s a drag to be accountable. About 10 years ago I promised to be ‘coachable.’ Sometimes, I really hate having made the promise. But, it has stood me in VERY good stead.

    Speaking more closely to this person’s story, I have a friend who supplies oncology certified nurses to work with families in Florida who are experiencing cancer. (

    I’m going to share this with her. Might be interesting for her to consider giving each of her clients a copy of QBQ.

  2. What an inspiring post to put things into perspective. Regardless of the situation we can and should utilize QBQ! whether we realize it or not. This weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada and its a great reminder to be grateful for every moment we get – whether its 62 years or 6 (I am using the word ‘accountability’ a lot with my kids!).Thanks to the poster for the great attitude towards his circumstances.

  3. Thanks for sharing this email John. As an early adopter of QBQ! and a change agent using the training with many organizations I am always handing out books to people on planes, friends, and acquaintances. I think having you share stories like this gives me more content to spread around …

    As a cancer survivor diagnosed on October 14, 1994 (hey today’s my 20th anniversary!), I remember how the “why me”, “why now”, “who did this to me”, and other questions were consuming me. Only when my doctor helped with the better question “What am I going to do now to beat this?” and “What is the treatment protocol I need to use?” was I able to get refocused and make myself into the 20 year survivor I am today!

    I am truly blessed to have been associated with great people who have helped me stay on track – my doctor, my wife Renee, and Doctor Castro to name a few – and for your friendship to help put this feeling into words like QBQ!. Thanks my friend and please pass on my best to this new survivor who will fight the battle in front of them.



  4. Interesting metaphore as I just came off mt rainier. After the medical things I am over coming along with son i made it to 6800 (he to 7200). We have made commitment to go to 10000 (base camp) next spring, then summit that mountain on next trip. Love to see and hear these great reminders to keep living forward . Thanks

  5. A friend of ours, also a very fit man was diagnosed with throat cancer many years ago. He, too, took it on as a challenge to beat and he won! 🙂 Stay strong and I’m sure you have all of John’s “friends” rooting for your speedy recovery. I know I’m!! 🙂

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