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On the Other Side of TERMINAL

On the Other Side of TERMINAL

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On the Other Side of TERMINAL

Length:
229 pages
2 hours
Released:
Apr 22, 2022
ISBN:
9781777917807
Format:
Book

Description

The doctor's message was clear: "Your cancer is now terminal."

 

Echoing an enduring message of rare vulnerability and uplifting positivity, On the Other Side of TERMINAL is a powerful book that shares author Allen Chankowsky's inspiring and deeply authentic account of his 30-year relationship with cancer. Shattering all expectations, Allen bravely exposes the depths in which he struggled to overcome his rare form of stage-4 cancer. With a palpable sense of unmistakeable urgency, his unique style skilfully illuminates the emotional strength it takes to manage the realities of living with a world-crushing diagnosis.

 

First appearing as an interview in the best-selling book, I Survived Cancer and Here is How I Did it, this highly anticipated memoir further expands with personal anecdotes and insightful reflections. It serves to help readers with their own cancer struggles by expertly combining earnest advice, research, and statistics. While learning how to carry the burden of his illness in a healthier way, On the Other Side of TERMINAL enshrines Allen's journey, revealing how he transcended his harrowing diagnosis, made peace with his vulnerability, and put everything on the line to reclaim his life.

 

On the Other Side of TERMINAL will resonate with your heart and soul, making it a must-read for anybody struggling with cancer or other life-threatening health issues, including medical professionals who care for these patients. Through Allen's riveting story, friends and family will also be better equipped to care for their loved one with more compassion and effectiveness. Allen's book is an emotional work of art that serves as a roadmap to an elusive destination containing beautiful lessons and a life-affirming perspective from a man whose grit, vulnerability, determination, and passion for life allowed him to beat the overwhelming odds and live to the fullest.

 

Scroll up and grab your copy now to discover Allen's incredible story of inspiration.

Released:
Apr 22, 2022
ISBN:
9781777917807
Format:
Book

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On the Other Side of TERMINAL - Allen Chankowsky

On the Other Side of TERMINAL

Take Back Your Life from Cancer NOW

An Incredible Human Journey of Hope

Allen Chankowsky

Contents

About the Author

Letter to the Reader

Introduction

1. How I Met Cancer

2. Cleaning Out My Car

3. Alone in a Crowd

4. Understanding Cancer

5. Becoming the Patient

6. A Solitary Tear

7. Downplaying for Dinner

8. The Heavy News Bearer

9. Helpless Without a Cause

10. Life Imitating Life

11. The Next Phase

12. Understanding Cancer Staging

13. My Treatment Choice and Motivation

14. Understanding Cancer Treatments

15. Haunted By My Future

16. And the Beat Goes On

17. The Second Coming

18. Higher Stakes

19. Being the One in Five

20. Taking My Life into My Own Hands

21. Treating a Rare Cancer

22. Turning Inward

23. Playing the Game to Win

24. Understanding Remission

25. Hindsight is Always 20/20

Some Final Thoughts

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Acknowledgments

References

On the Other Side of TERMINAL


© Copyright 2022 Allen Chankowsky. All Rights Reserved.

eBook ISBN: 978-1-7779178-0-7

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-7779178-1-4

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the prior written permission of the publisher. Recording of this publication is strictly prohibited and any storage of this document is not allowed unless with written permission from the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

This book contains views and perspectives of its author as a peer of the reader and as a layperson, not as an expert or an authority in any capacity, medical or otherwise. Neither its author nor its publisher is rendering medical, legal or other advice that is reasonably considered to fall within the realm of such experts within their given professions. Readers should consult the advice of medical, legal and other experts in regard to the matters touched upon in this book. The author and publisher disclaim any responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk which may result from the use or application of any of its contents.

The publisher is not responsible for websites (or their content) that are not owned by the publisher.

On the Other Side of TERMINAL ® is a trademark of Allen Chankowsky.

Independently published by Allen Chankowsky. For information about this title or to order other books and/or electronic media, contact the publisher:

Allen Chankowsky

www.OnTheOtherSideofTERMINAL.com

Media@AllenChankowsky.com


To Ethan and Hila, Mom and Dad, Cynthia, Dr. Madeline Li, and the Princess Margaret Hospital: Each of you contributed to my 5-year survival in a profoundly significant way. I would not be here without you. Thank you.


To my fellow cancer survivors: This book is dedicated to you and your families. Regardless of how poor you perceive your situation to be, this book and my experiences serve as a loud wake-up call to tell you that hope exists until your last breath. New research emerges each day, so keep a watchful and constant eye. Life isn’t a practice run, so get out there and live!

About the Author

Allen Chankowsky is a sales promotion marketing expert specializing in contest promotion strategy and execution. 2021 marked his 30-year celebration of surviving two types of cancer, including his stage-4 terminal diagnosis in 2016, where the chances of him surviving five years was less than 20 percent. Against all odds, through Allen’s hands-on approach, fuelled by his two children and the love of his life Cynthia, Allen actively researched and managed his cancer, resulting in outliving his prognosis. His personal commitment to himself was that if he lived past five years, he would write a book about how he became an exceptional survivor by achieving a state of radical remission.

Allen is committed to raising awareness about cancer—and, in particular, rare cancers—through helping other survivors find the strength they need to reclaim their lives. He is a staunch believer that one needs to be in command of their emotional health if one is to carry the burden of their disease in healthy ways.

Born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Allen currently resides in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In his spare time, he can be found winning backgammon tournaments at the United States Backgammon Federation, where he won the Intermediate Division at the 2021 US Open.

For more information about Allen and his work, visit his website at AllenChankowsky.com.

Letter to the Reader

When I was issued a terminal cancer diagnosis in 2016, I had only a 20 percent chance of surviving five years—and statistically, I wasn’t likely to survive more than three. I promised myself then that if I lived past five years, I would write a book to share how I defied my diagnosis.

Well, it’s 2022, and as an exceptional cancer survivor, here I am, fulfilling that promise.

I’m an ordinary man with a not-so-ordinary life story. And while I am beyond fortunate to be able to continue adding more experiences to my life each day, I know all too well that the terminal nature of my cancer is likely to take my life at some point: that means I’m living on borrowed time.

But what good is an extraordinary story if it’s not captured in some way, preserved so that it doesn’t fade into the darkness of time but is a keepsake for those I loved and who loved me back? What good is a story rich with life lessons if those lessons can’t be shared with others in hopes of helping them with their own life struggles?

To that end, On the Other Side of TERMINAL is an honest retelling of my journey receiving, living with, and ultimately coming to a state of remission after a terminal diagnosis of cancer. It has at times been difficult to write my story, to relive some of these memories. Mine is a harrowing story, which I’ve supplemented with statistics and research about the collection of diseases we know as cancer—especially rare cancers—and what it means to reach remission.

To my children, Ethan and Hila:

Your arrivals in the world in 2004 and 2007 weren’t just blessings; they were the fuel that supercharged and propelled me forward each time life knocked me down. I showed you that getting up is the only way to move forward.

It’s not fair that you had to endure my terminal illness this early in your lives. I tried to conceal the impact of my difficulties the best I could and for as long as I could. Every day, I put on my jovial facade so that you wouldn’t have to worry about me as I navigated a myriad of emotional and physical struggles. But if I was to get up and move forward with my final struggle, I needed to let you in. This meant exposing you to the harsh reality of my failing health early in your lives.

This book is for you to hold as closely to your hearts as you wish, whenever you wish. When you reach major milestones in your lives or when life inevitably knocks you down, you can always turn to this book, to your own colourful memories, and know that the love and care I offered you when I was alive doesn’t end when my life does. Rather, it is my wish that the love, devotion, and support I offered and the lessons I taught through our shared experiences continue and become even more profound as you advance with your own lives.

To the many people who have just met cancer for the first time or are in the midst of treatment and scared about the uncertainty of your future; to those people who are just curious or want to read an interesting story, and to those who, like me, are living on borrowed time:

This is a scary and, for some, paralyzing experience. Cancer appears to have the power to affect your life, the way you live, to whom you gravitate, and from whom you pull away. Cancer seems to take control. I get it. I lived it. I’ve been there.

What I try to convey in this book is that more people are living longer—and sometimes better—with a disease that sometimes carries with it a terminal diagnosis. If this is you or someone you love, you likely need help and fast. Wherever you find yourself on your cancer journey—whether you are just beginning your battle or are in the darkest midst of the fight and need support; whether you are suffering through treatment or have received news of remission; whether you are the patient or you are watching a loved one fight—this book can help you find the support and positivity you need to get through to the next phase.

I should warn you that what you will find inside these pages is not for the faint of heart—nor will your journey be. But that doesn’t mean you can’t face it. Taking this journey with me here will better prepare you for what is to come and hopefully lead you to the place that many individuals, including myself, find ourselves in now: a state of remission and new-found appreciation and determination to live the life you want and deserve—a life with continued purpose and profound meaning.

Regardless of the reason you’re reading this book, I’m going to assume that you’re in need of something that my story offers—whether that’s inspiration, basic cancer education, or just curiosity about how the hell I outlived my best-before-date from a rare and notoriously deadly cancer. My goal is to deliver the motivation you need to approach the possibility of cancer remission with confidence and to equip you with information that could help you achieve it. If you feel that I’ve succeeded, there is only one thing I request in return, and that is to share these messages with others with the view of helping more people live longer and better lives, despite having cancer.

If you have any questions, thoughts, or comments, or if you just want to share your story with me, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to send an email to survivor@AllenChankowsky.com.

Even during my own struggles with cancer, there were moments when I felt completely alone and moments when I felt more supported than ever before. I know I would have benefitted from reading an inspirational story similar to the one found in these pages.

I invite you into my personal story of facing and surviving a terminal diagnosis of cancer. Together, we will find solace, support, and everything else you need to hopefully join me and the growing number of people who have battled hard to achieve remission.

Sincerely,

Allen

Introduction

Cancer has proven to be one of the largest medical strains and challenges in societies worldwide for decades. In 2018, just over 18 million individuals all over the world were diagnosed with cancer. Two years later, in 2020, that number grew to over 19 million. ¹

As the number of individuals diagnosed with cancer continues to rise, the strain of such an illness on our public health resources climbs, as well. In amounts surpassing anything we have seen before, money and medical resources are being used to help treat and find cures for the diseases we call cancer.

In addition to the financial burden cancer has brought on the world, the number of people suffering from mental health issues directly connected to cancer has become an epidemic. A staggering 25 percent of cancer patients have also been diagnosed with mild to severe depression due to their diagnosis—not to mention the multitude of other mental health issues that can come from fighting the disease, in turn making the diagnosis and treatment of cancer more complex than simply healing the physical body. ²

The statistics surrounding cancer and cancer diagnosis are not all negative in their nature and conclusions. The number of deaths caused by cancer has decreased significantly—albeit slowly—and for many, a cancer diagnosis is no longer the death sentence it was once known to be. ³ For many cancers, but not all, this bright light of hope at the end of the tunnel is largely due to the incredible amount of research that has gone into treating and healing the body and mind of the patient.

While, over time, scientists and cancer specialists have improved the way different cancers are treated, there has been little advancement in helping the individual cope with the emotional and personal challenges that such a diagnosis erupts. Children are generally not taught in school how to cope with such devastating news, either for themselves or someone else. Even in our forward-thinking and progressive society, school curricula still do not have modules that teach children the importance of active and open communication when coping with difficult life events, particularly when facing one’s own mortality or that of a loved one. Even with school-aged kids suffering the emotional effects during the COVID-19 pandemic, short of locking down our cities, school systems around the world still have not incorporated processes to help their communities and kids cope with the impact of widespread disease and the threat of infection. If kids aren’t taught the basic principles of emotional regulation in the age of COVID-19, how can we expect them to properly manage disease later in life?

That’s why I wrote this book.

So many individuals do not truly understand what it means for someone to have cancer, let alone how it is caused—nor do they truly understand what it means for someone to be treated for cancer, let alone the different kinds of treatments. And too many individuals do not truly understand what it means to be in remission from these diseases, let alone understand the work and drive it takes to get there. For this reason, I have also included chapters that will focus on the details of cancer to help you better understand what is happening to you or to someone you love.

The story’s emotional weight naturally calls for some relief and levity. Therefore, I have also included some positive (and, at times, humorous) stories and creative self-reflections. After all, even with a terminal diagnosis, your life does not have to revolve around your illness. In fact, an

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