To all souls fighting the daunting war on cancer and other major life challenges: This 'book of affirmations' were my wife, Charlotte Sproul's, tether on this gift of life we've all been granted. These sayings and quotes fueled her optimism, hope, and strength to overcome every piece of bad news she received in her quest to regain her health and beat neuroendocrine cancer.
Neuroendocrine cancer can be described as the alien in the spaceship. Just when you think you have it beat, it turns up in another section of the spacecraft. When Charlotte was diagnosed, 80 percent of her liver was consumed by a tumor. After numerous chemo treatments, the tumor vanished. A month later, spots appeared on her brain. She went through radiation and those spots also disappeared. Then we got the bad news that the spots and tumors had returned to her brain, liver, and lungs.
She continued to grow weaker and weaker, traveling the world to places like her beloved South Africa while always remaining positive in the face of death. On her last trip to Botswana, we were in the Chobe Game Reserve when a portion our group discovered a new female leopard. Charlotte was dismayed that she hadn't been in the group who spotted this new beautiful animal. That night, the guides told us that they had named this leopard Charlotte, in honor of her spirit and tenacity. The next morning before we left the reserve by single prop plane, we took one last early-morning safari. We approached the spot where the leopard had been sighted the day before, and miracle of miracles, the leopard was still there in a tree. Charlotte could have sat in the Land Rover all day looking at this magnificent animal named after her.
Every day we'd wake up and she'd say, "RG, you know you owe me a quote for today." After a year of pulling every positive quote I could find, I turned to our guides and overseas friends for quotes from their own cultures that elicited hope and strength. One of the best quotes we received was from a friend, David Pearce, who was also fighting neuroendocrine cancer—a t-shirt with the words, Keep Pounding, printed on the front. Keep Pounding has become the mantra of the Carolina Panthers in honor of the late Panther's coach and player, Sam Mills. Mills first used the phrase Keep Pounding as a coach, in an emotional speech to his team prior to the Panther's playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys on January 2, 2004.
The spirit of Keep Pounding and all the quotes in the book encourages cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones to always Keep Pounding to overcome obstacles in their lives, just as we hope that someday a cure will be found and cancer will be eradicated. It was Charlotte's dream, consulting with her artist friend, Hillery Paterson, that this book become a reality and a means to raise money for research to find a cure for neuroendocrine cancer.
With Love and Hope,
RG Sproul & Family