Truly ‘Shining Brightly’—Howard Brown’s doctor pulls his chemo port, the hope of so many cancer patients and their families

Author of Shining Brightly

If you are reading this story, today, and wondering why this is such a big deal, then clearly your life hasn’t been touched by a form of cancer that requires the implantation of a medical “port.” I’m happy for you, but “ports” now are a common part of the cancer world.

Millions of men and women now live with these ports inside their chests. And—every one of them wants to reach this milestone that I’ve just crossed!

Sad to say, many cancer patients never have their ports removed. They die with those ports still in place. Sorry, that’s somber to hear, but it’s true.

When my port was removed recently, I was so thrilled that I posted on my social media:

“Sharing some HOPE with all of you! After over 7 years, I had my Chemo Medi-Port removed. One big step forward! I feel like I got unplugged from the MATRIX! NED 4 years on September 20!” (NED means “No Evidence of Disease.”)

When that post went live—I was showered with “likes” and encouraging comments. It was such a happy day for me and for so many who care about me!

That’s why I’m also going to add:

Care to learn more about these ports that folks you know have in their chests? Here’s the Wikipedia overview of ports. If you do have a loved one living with a port right now, you may want to read the Cleveland Clinic’s helpful Q-and-A about how to successfully live with a port in place. Then, here’s one more helpful link: The CDC provides a free brochure about “Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients” that includes information about the care of ports.

So, right there are three helpful links (and there’s one more very helpful link to my own website below after the podcast). I’ve tried to make this column a helpful message that you can send with good wishes—and solid information—to friends and loved ones who are caring for cancer patients with ports.

If you’ve read this far, then you’re a reader who will understand the importance of this message—and hopefully the inspiration I’m conveying—in an unusual new podcast.



Here’s what you can do to spark hope for yourself, your friends and family

Click on this cover to visit the book’s Amazon page.

Share this column with friends and family members. It’s easy to send a link to this column via social media or email—along with your own best wishes. A simple, caring note like that can make a big difference—perhaps a big smile for the folks you care about, perhaps a boost in their spirits on a tough day.

Download my “Survivorship” discussion guide. It’s a free, inspiring list of ideas for health and wellbeing when struggling with cancer—and, yes, it’s free to download if you visit my website and type in your email. This is one of the most popular resources I have offered to audiences when I speak about resilience in workshops and conferences nationwide. If you’re confronting cancer—or know someone who is—you’ll get a boost from reading that free download. I know that’s true because so many readers have told me so.

Get a copy of my hope-filled memoir, Shining Brightly. And, want to brighten someone’s week? Consider ordering a copy of my memoir from Amazon and having it shipped to a relative or friend who is facing challenges in life.


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