Hope can be the best medicine

December 21, 2012 5:19:40 PM PST
When a devastating illness is diagnosed at the holidays, it can be hard to face. But two people are facing the holidays with hope, despite fighting enormous odds.

"This is the tenth time for lymphoma, so we're going for a tenth TKO on this bad buddy," jokes Ken Lowrinmore.

Lowrimore has had cancer 10 times. Last week, he had surgery on the new cancer in his eye, but he's not angry. Instead, he's grateful to still have vision in that eye.

"Along this journey, you either get bitter or you get better," he said.

His choice -- to start a cancer support group called CanHope at First Baptist Church and he's helped some 300 other cancer patients.

"Cancer has been the bridge that's allowed me to share with people who don't have hope," he said.

When he was diagnosed the first time with stage 4 lymphoma, doctors gave him only two to five years. That was 16 years ago.

"I think you went through one day where he was down a little bit, but other than that, he's been great," said Ken's wife, Sara.

Ken believes staying positive helps him as much as medicine. And he's on to something.

"Hope and an optimistic spirit is something that really does impact a person's ability to ride through the treatment options and maybe affect the outcomes," said Methodist Hospital oncologist Dr. Jenny Chang.

Dr. Chang says Rev. Noel Denison's positive attitude has helped her fight an aggressive breast cancer, along with an experimental drug called super herceptin.

"God was present with me walking alongside me and that I was not alone in this," said Rev. Noel Denison, a retired Methodist minister and cancer patient.

"Mrs. Denison epitomizes the positive attitude it takes to actually beat cancer," said Dr. Change.

Neither Noel nor Ken know what their future holds. But they face that future with hope.

"I've come to the conclusion that prayer is one of the greatest gifts that I can give or receive," said Ken. "And it doesn't cost me anything."

Medical studies on the impact of a positive attitude on cancer survival rates are mixed. But Ken is confident that his attitude of hope is how he's survived cancer nine times, and that it will help him knock out his tenth cancer.

Load Comments