In Shining Brightly, Silicon Valley pioneer, cancer survivor and interfaith peacemaker Howard Brown shares keys to resilience for successful entrepreneurs, patient advocates and community leaders.
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Author Guest Post
I met death.
In fact, I met death twice. Against overwhelming odds both times, I lived to tell this story—which is why I won’t waste time telling you anything but the most essential truths in these pages. Meeting death shines a clarifying spotlight on one’s life. In actually confronting death, all the superfluous stuff that usually fills our days is burned away. What becomes clear as we grapple tooth and nail with death is a glimpse of the true purpose of the life we’ve been given in this world.
What is the purpose of a good life? First, a disclaimer: In answering this question, I am not pretending to be one of the world’s great sages. What I can do is the same thing you can do. I can tell you my story—with all of its laughter, warm embraces, crazy brainstorms, daring leaps of faith and cliffhangers. By the end, you will recognize how much our stories are connected. You may discover that all of us are part of a much bigger story—or, we might say, a much larger circle.
So, what is the purpose of a good life? What is the message you’ll find shining through all of the stories in this book? It’s a question I was forced to answer when I met death each time. Wrestling with death month after month was so bone-wearying that I had to answer this core question each morning just to climb out of bed: Against all odds, why should I go on living? Millions of cancer patients like me know this haunting question all too well. Some days, it feels easier to just lay back, surrender and give up.
When I faced that question the first time, I was surprised by my own answer. I realized how completely my confrontation with death was stripping away all of the inconsequential noise in my life. Why should I live? One easy answer to that question that I could have voiced is a cry of defiance mixed with regret: “Because there’s so much more I want to get!” But, no, I never said that. I never got lost in that trap, because that answer really is a first step toward letting cancer separate us from the people surrounding us—narrowing our focus to all that the disease may be taking away from us as individuals.
My honest answer always was: “Because there’s so much more I want to give.” On my worst day—and there were hundreds of worst days—that was always my answer.
Why should I live?
Because there is so much more I can give.
About the Book
by Howard Brown
Published 27 September 2022
Read the Spirit Books
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Page Count: 360
In Shining Brightly, Silicon Valley pioneer, cancer survivor and interfaith peacemaker Howard Brown shares keys to resilience for successful entrepreneurs, patient advocates and community leaders. He shows us how to reach out through our families, our communities and around the world to form truly supportive connections and friendships. From Howard’s career as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, to his conquering metastatic stage IV cancer twice, to his compassionate outreach as a peacemaker, to his love of sports—this ultimately is not one man’s story. Shining Brightly is a story shared by countless men and women—and may wind up changing your life as well. With each true story he tells in the pages, Howard invites readers to picture how they might join him in shining more light in our world.
Basketball is a lot more than just a game to me. Basketball is a cerebral sport, a community sport, a sport of relationships, respect, chemistry and teamwork. Each time I have been knocked down by a physical disability, a surgery or a chemo series, one of the goals that gets me out of the bed each morning is getting back onto the court as a milestone in the healing of my mind, body and soul. I’ve had a chemo port installed, neuropathy, chronic diarrhea and the fogginess that I call chemo brain—and I’ve played through all of that. I don’t know too many stage IV cancer patients who’ve kept playing before, during and after treatment.
It’s hard playing full-court basketball several times a week with all that running, zigging and zagging. It’s even risky. I sometimes worry that a hard hit to the chest might disturb my chemo port. This is simply a part of my healing journey. The blueprint to my own survivorship. Basketball was the light that got me through some of the darkest periods of my life. And that’s the story behind that little photo caption that keeps bouncing around the internet: “I, Howard Brown, Stage IV Colon Cancer and now No Evidence of Disease (NED), celebrate survivorship by going to my happy place: the basketball court!” No, I’m not trying to convince you that you have go out and shoot hoops. Maybe some people will be prompted to get out on the court again after reading this chapter. Most won’t. The whole point of this chapter is to tell you about my “happy place.” We each need to find at least one of those for ourselves. My happy place is anywhere I’m playing with my hoops with my boyz. What’s your happy place?
About the Author
Howard Brown is an author, Silicon Valley entrepreneur, interfaith peacemaker, two-time stage IV cancer survivor and healthcare advocate. For more than three decades, Howard’s business innovations, leadership principles, mentoring and his resilience in beating cancer against long odds have made him a sought-after speaker and consultant for businesses, nonprofits, congregations, and community groups. In his business career, Howard was a pioneer in helping to launch a series of technology startups before he co-founded two social networks that were the first to connect religious communities around the world. He served his alma matter—Babson College, ranked by US News as the nation’s top college for entrepreneurship—as a trustee and president of Babson’s worldwide alumni network. His hard-earned wisdom about resilience after beating cancer twice has led him to become a nationally known patient advocate and “cancer whisperer” to many families. Visit Howard at ShiningBrightly.com to learn more about his ongoing work and contact him. Through that website, you also will find resources to help you shine brightly in your own corner of the world. Howard, his wife Lisa and daughter Emily currently reside in Michigan.
The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter.a Rafflecopter giveaway
|Sept 26||All the Ups and Downs||Sept 26||The Avid Reader|
|Sept 27||Rogue’s Angels||Sept 27||Westveil Publishing|
|Sept 28||Jerry’s Circumlocution||Sept 28||Straight From the Library|
|Sept 29||Splashes of Joy||Sept 29||BooksChatter|
|Sept 30||Fabulous and Brunette||Sept 30||Literary Gold|
|Oct 3||B-Gina Review||Oct 3||Novels Alive|
|Oct 4||It’s Raining Books||Oct 4||Let me tell you a story|
|Oct 5||Long and Short Reviews||Oct 5||The Faerie Review|
|Oct 6||Gina Rae Mitchell||Oct 7||Hope. Dreams. Life… Love|
|Oct 7||Sandra’s Book Club||Oct 7||Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews|
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