Terry Tucker  The Motivational Check

I have reinvented myself frequently over my professional career. After I graduated from college at The Citadel (where I played NCAA Division I basketball), I was employed in the Marketing Department at the corporate headquarters of Wendy’s International in Dublin, Ohio. From there, I worked in hospital administration for Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. After getting married and moving to California, I became the Customer Service Manager for an academic publishing company in Santa Barbara. When our daughter was born and we moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, I became a police officer with the Cincinnati Police Department, where I was a SWAT Hostage Negotiator. In 2004, I obtained my Masters's degree from Boston University. Following a family relocation to Texas, I started a school security consulting business and coached high school girls basketball. Each time I took on a new job, I had to develop new skills and faced different challenges. 

But my greatest challenge began in 2012 when I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Acral Lentiginous Melanoma, which presented on the bottom of my foot. By the time the cancer was detected, it had metastasized to a lymph node in my groin. Because my disease is extremely rare I was treated at the world-renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center. I had two surgeries to remove the tumors, and after I healed, I was put on a weekly injection of the drug, Interferon, to help keep the disease from returning. 

I took those weekly injections for almost five years before the Interferon became so toxic to my body that I ended up in the Intensive Care Unit with a body temperature of 108 degrees. Fortunately, expert medical care saved my life.

The Interferon gave me severe flu-like symptoms for two to three days after each injection. I lost fifty pounds during my therapy, was constantly nauseous, fatigued, and chilled, my ability to taste food significantly diminished, and my body constantly ached. This misery went on for over 1,660 days!

One thing I learned during all my pain and discomfort is that you have two choices. You can succumb to the debilitating distress and misery, or you can learn to embrace it and use it to make you a stronger and better human being. I chose the latter.

Make no mistake, there were times I felt so poorly and was in so much agony that I prayed to die. Each day was a struggle to use my mind to override my body's apathy and distress.

I realize pain and discomfort can beat you to your knees and keep you there if you let it. But I also came to appreciate that I could use my hurting and anguish to make me stronger and more resolute.

I was no better at dealing with pain and discomfort than the next person. But every day, I found a way to survive, with the knowledge that I would need to do it again the following morning.

I wrote my book, Sustainable Excellence, Ten Principles to Leading Your Uncommon and Extraordinary Life to help people find and live their uncommon and extraordinary purpose. The ten principles outlined in the book will provide the bedrock necessary to form the foundation of unshakable beliefs and dedicated behaviors to reinforce your attitude, no matter how much pain you must endure or how many obstacles you must overcome. Sustainable Excellence is available on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08GLGVTVS), Barnes & Noble.com, (https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sustainable-excellence-terry-tucker/1137534840), or anywhere you can get a book online. 

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