Motivation & Personal Growth: I'm Thankful for Being a Stubborn Survivor

November 1, 1997

In 1990 I was a successful real estate practitioner closing transactions at a rate of about 150 a year. One day I started having pain in my right shoulder blade and neck. The next thing I knew, I was diagnosed as having cancer.

Despite several surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, my condition worsened. The doctors said I had less than a 20 percent chance of recovery. One day, after some months, doctors told my wife that I probably wouldn't live through the night.

Lying there in the intensive care unit, I knew it wasn't true. I knew it wasn't time for me to go, but I had a heck of a time convincing my wife not to call the relatives. Now, seven years later, she understands that it’s still not time yet.

No, it’s not time yet, even though I'm writing this article in the hospital while receiving chemotherapy. It’s my fourth bout with cancer in seven years. Again, they’ve told me I'm going to die. This time, at least, they’ve given me a few months. Using the calculation from 1990, when “not living through the night” translated into seven years, I figure I may still be living longer than many of you reading this testimony.

My attitude and my sense of humor are two of the things I'm most thankful for. Having a good attitude rather than a defeatist “Woe is me” or “Why me, Lord?” outlook is truly a blessing.

Also, I'm very thankful that God blessed me with a supportive family and circle of friends, including two successful businesses filled with colleagues who are friends.

The third area of my life I'm so thankful for is the loyal clients and customers I've worked with over the past 20 years. They too give me the strength to be a survivor.

One Saturday morning I was sitting at home after a week of chemotherapy, too weak to walk without help, when I received a phone call. Mr. Taylor wanted me to sell his $150,000–$175,000 house in Aurora and sell him a $350,000 house in Highland Ranch.

Ordinarily, it would have been a practitioner's dream call, a call from heaven; however, it was more like a call from hell. I couldn't do it. I couldn't even walk. Mr. Taylor asked me whether my mind was clear. He was interested in my mind, not my body. I told him yes.

He came to my home, and we wrote up the listing contract. Then he and his wife helped me to his car, and we went to the new-home sales office and wrote the sales contract for his new home. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor even helped me find the buyer for their house.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that double-heading a $150,000-plus house and a 3 percent co-op fee on a $350,000 home is a large commission. That’s not what I'm thankful for. I'm thankful for the people's trust and loyalty that compelled them to stick with me. How could I let them down?

My immediate family and my extended real estate family have given me the confidence and strength to survive. I thank God and them for making me feel blessed instead of cursed.

Jim Myers, CRS®, is broker-owner of Metro Brokers of Aurora and Jim Myers Realty in Aurora, Colo.

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