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The Mission Is Remission: Hope for Battling Cancer [Kindle Edition]

Pat Williams , Jim Denney
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $14.95

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Book Description

In the scoreboard of life, Pat Williams has achieved some impressive numbers: he's run 58 marathons, is the father of 19 children, and has lead 23 teams to the NBA playoffs, taking the Philadelphia 76ers and the Orlando Magic to the finals five times. Yet in 2011, Williams added an unwanted statistic: He became one of the millions of people who learned he had cancer.

After a routine checkup, his doctor told Williams he had multiple myeloma, a rare and incurable blood cancer. Calling on his faith and fighting spirit, Pat's mantra became "The mission is remission." After a stem cell treatment and rounds of chemotherapy, he succeeded in the fight of his life: the myeloma can no longer be detected.

Williams shares his story and the six essential healing factors that helped him win his battle. He reveals how he was buoyed by faith, family, and a different kind of defensive team--his doctors. With pragmatic and motivating tips, plus advice from other cancer survivors, Playing to Win will be an empowering resource for anyone facing a cancer diagnosis. Today, in addition to his work with the Orlando Magic, Pat spends many hours on the board of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, responding to emails and taking calls from others affected by cancer. He is a master motivator, change agent, and champion at heart; this is his rallying cry to inspire, educate, and lead others on to victory.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pat Williams is the Senior Vice President of the NBA's Orlando Magic. He is also one of America's top motivational speakers and leadership authors. Pat and his wife, Ruth, are the parents of 19 children, including 14 adopted from four nations. In 2012, Pat received the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Pat teaches an adult Sunday school class at First Baptist Church of Orlando and hosts three weekly radio shows.

Jim Denney is the author of Answers to Satisfy the Soul and the four-book Timebenders science fantasy series for young readers (beginning with Battle Before Time). He has collaborated on numerous books with Pat Williams, including Go For the Magic, The Paradox of Power, Coaching Your Kids to Be Leaders, and Extreme Dreams Depend on Teams. He has co-written major books with Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Reggie White (In the Trenches: The Autobiography), Miami Dolphins quarterback Bob Griese (Undefeated), Supermodel Kim Alexis (A Model for a Better Future) and Star Trek actress Grace Lee Whitney (The Longest Trek).

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


A Shattering Diagnosis

My world changed on January 7, 2011.

I spent the entire day, from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm, undergoing an intensive physical assessment at Florida Hospital's Celebration Health Assessment Center. It was extremely thorough―the kind of going-over you'd receive at the Mayo Clinic. The Orlando Magic's human resources director, Audra Hollifield, had arranged for all the executives of the Magic organization to undergo this assessment. Though I was there for a complete physical, not for any specific problem or complaint, I hoped that the doctors at Celebration would uncover the reason for the nagging back pain that had plagued me for weeks.

After I'd been thoroughly poked, prodded, monitored, and sampled, Dr. Christine Edwards told me, 'Pat, it all looks good―except there's something in your blood work we're not sure about. You should get that checked by your primary physician.'

Something in your blood work we're not sure about. Those words didn't seem ominous at the time, and I hardly gave them any thought. I didn't know it then, but those words were about to completely upend my world.

Except for that seemingly insignificant detail in my blood work, I received a clean bill of health. Two days later, on ­Sunday, January 9, 2011, I ran in the eighteenth running of the Walt Disney World Marathon―my fifty-eighth marathon. At age seventy, I had been running marathons for fifteen years, and this was one of my best marathons ever. I felt good throughout the race. Sure, I had the usual soreness in my limbs afterward, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Three days after the marathon, I woke up with crippling pain radiating from my spine. I was in agony. I couldn't get out of bed, couldn't even move. I had never felt such pain, even after a marathon. I suspected a herniated disk, a pulled muscle, or a nerve problem, and I immediately made an appointment with a back specialist. After extensive x-rays and an MRI, the doctors said they could find no problem with my back.

On Thursday, January 13, I went to see my primary care physician, Dr. Vince Wilson. By that time, he had received the report on the blood work from my physical at Celebration. Dr. Wilson sat me down. His expression was troubled. He said, 'Why do bad things happen to all the good people?'

'What do you mean, Doc?'

'There's something in your blood work, Pat―an abnormal kind of protein called a paraprotein. I have a strong suspicion, though I hope I'm wrong. I'm going to refer you to a leading expert in this field, Dr. Robert Reynolds.'

Dr. Wilson made an appointment for me with Dr. ­Reynolds for the next Monday, January 17. Over the weekend, I began preparing myself mentally and emotionally for bad news.

Before my appointment with Dr. Reynolds, I wasn't even sure what his field of medical specialization was. Arriving at his office, I saw that he was an oncologist and hematologist―a specialist in cancer and diseases of the blood. When I met him, he told me he'd been an Orlando Magic fan and season-ticket holder for years. He knew who I was and he remembered those early days in the 1980s when I was working hard to bring an NBA franchise to Orlando.

At first, Dr. Reynolds thought I had come merely to rule out any serious illness. But after he saw my blood work, his tone became somber and he got right down to business.

'Pat,' he said, 'it looks like you have multiple myeloma―a cancer of the plasma cells in the blood and bone marrow.'

When he said that, both my blood and my bone marrow turned to ice, even though I didn't know what multiple myeloma was. To be honest, I didn't want to know. Yes, Dr. Reynolds had called it 'cancer.' But I quickly put the 'C word' out of my mind. I seized on Dr. Reynolds's phrase 'it looks like,' interpreting it as though he wasn't certain, the blood test might be wrong, and I might not have the C word after all.

'We'll do some tests right away,' Dr. Reynolds continued, 'and I'll let you know next week exactly what we're dealing with.' The tests involved a full-body x-ray of my skeleton and an extraction of bone marrow from my hip.

The fact that Dr. Reynolds was still doing tests gave me hope―even a sense of denial―that his initial impression might be wrong. Maybe this wasn't multiple myeloma after all. A blood test didn't prove anything, right? I told myself that when the x-ray and bone marrow tests were completed, Dr. Reynolds would say something like, 'Oops, that initial diagnosis was a mistake. Sorry I gave you a scare, Pat, but we needed to rule it out.' I was sure it would turn out to be nothing at all.

I went home that evening and didn't say a word to my wife, Ruth, about what Dr. Reynolds had told me. I said to myself, Why get Ruth worried and upset over a diagnosis that's going to turn out false anyway? But as the day of my next appointment with Dr. Reynolds approached, the thought nagged at me, What if it turns out to be true? Just in case this thing turned out to be multiple whatchamacallit, maybe it would be a good idea to have Ruth at my side when the doctor gave me the news.

I asked Ruth to go with me to my next appointment. She seemed baffled by my request. I had never asked her to go with me to a doctor's appointment before, but she agreed to go. On the day of the appointment, we got into the car and started off for Dr. Reynolds's office. As we drove, Ruth said, 'Now, where are we going?'

I handed her a letter I had received from Dr. Reynolds's office, confirming my appointment. She unfolded it and looked at the letterhead―Dr. Robert B. Reynolds, Oncology and Hematology.

'Pat,' she said, a look of shock on her face, 'he's an oncologist. This is cancer!'

'Oh, no,' I said, 'it's nothing like that. It's just something they found in my blood. Let's just go see what the doctor says. If there's a problem, we'll face it when the time comes.'

A few minutes later, we arrived at Dr. Reynolds's office and sat down to discuss my case with the doctor.

'It's definite, Pat,' Dr. Reynolds began, straight from the shoulder. 'It's cancer. You have multiple myeloma.'


©2014. PAT WILLIAMS. All rights reserved. Reprinted fromThe Mission Is Remission. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.


Product Details

  • File Size: 1179 KB
  • Print Length: 217 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0757317820
  • Publisher: HCI; 1 edition (March 4, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #502,669 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never Ever, Ever Give Up! March 11, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If any one lives by those words, it would be Pat Williams. This beautiful, heartfelt and emotional book is more than a book about cancer, it is about BEATING cancer as the author states. He shares his personal journey so that others can see how he too is fighting a battle--the six resources he explains will help anyone understand and cope with cancer; patient, family member, co-worker and friends. Great quote in the book, "Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier". Pat as he shows had his ups and downs, but his realistic hopeful approach to handling he has cancer, and changing the look of "why Me?" to WHY NOT ME!" helped him understand and grasp that cancer will effect 44.8% of men and that one out of two men will be hit with cancer. Pat then got up and followed the Doctors orders(for the most part) and today he has his cancer in remission. He is not 100%, but he feels like 80% and some days 90% and more because he chooses to not give up on his battle with cancer. Pat like all who are faced with cancer have goals; being around for children, grandchildren etc.... But, through this book we are given excellent advice on how we can increase our odds at beating cancer and moving it to remission and eventually wiping out cancer altogether.
"If you want to know how to wage a cancer battle, see how Pat does it. Then fight the way he does. Compete hard. Don't give up. Don't quit."-- Kathy Giusti, founder of Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.
What a excellent book, by a superb author--I thank him for sharing his story and for expressing his fight hard attitude, for cancer has hit my family many times--it is a hard road for the patient and for the family--but with a zest for life attitude, sitting around and waiting is not an option--getting on with a meaningful life is the best attitude, and this book will show you how.
"Cancer does not own me. Cancer hasn't defeated me."--Pat Williams
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! April 1, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a myeloma patient...8 yrs. now! This book is a fantastic, uplifting read and I hope many people will read it...they will be encouraged and blessed, as I have been. Praise God Pat Williams listened when God called him to write it and share.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up lifting April 8, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very up lifting's amazing how I had some of the very same feelings when I was first diagnosed....this was a very inspiring read..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mission is Remission March 31, 2014
By Paul E
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a patient with this disease! I found the book inspirational and full of good information, I recomend it to anyone who knows someone experiencing multiple myeloma.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A recommended book to read April 8, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My husband is going through this same diagnosis and it helped me to understand his needs and what I am feeling also.It was an upbeat challenging book to read
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Pat Williams seems like a great guy, and certainly has taken on a tough challenge with his Multiple Myeloma. I say this from experience: My 71 year-old father has got it too, and I have personally taken on the role of "care taker." I took a lot of notes on Williams's book, it will be helpful to me. My dad read it too, and says it inspired him.

The book is inspirational in that it describes how it feels to have this condition. It describes the mental outlook the patient should assume in order to best meet the challenge they are facing. For those reasons alone the book is worthy of purchase. I would say if you are an ardent, church-every-Sunday Christian, the book may be the most helpful written non-medical resource on this particular topic available. Since neither my dad nor I am particularly big fans of the Jesus-loves-you-Jesus-loves-you approach to things we tended to cringe a bit when Williams really got into that. But never mind: The book was worth the money and I will be reading parts of it again and again as the situation I am dealing with matures. 'Good stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book April 20, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My mom is going thru tx for multiple myeloma- this book was great- a big help. I read it passed it on to her and now all around our family.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hope March 16, 2015
Format:Kindle Edition
My dad was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma on February 16th.
After lots of research, i received Pat's book in the mail. I read it immediately- cover to cover. I found so much hope in his words, stories, advice, and his incredible WILL TO WIN. I immediately sent a copy to my dad. I know that he will find comfort in Pat's story and the work that is being done in this space.
This book lifted me in a way that I can't describe. It has changed my outlook and given me and my Dad hope, and reinforced the need to fight like hell.
I recommend this book to EVERYONE impacted by Multiple Myeloma - AND to everyone impacted by Cancer in some way.
Thank you Pat, you've changed our lives.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding method for fighting a lousy disease. Pat's belief ...
Outstanding method for fighting a lousy disease. Pat's belief is, as always, confron problems head on. He I a roll model for many.
Published 3 months ago by Phyllis Timm
5.0 out of 5 stars very good book for patients to read
wife is an oncology nurse administering chemo
outpatient and I donated a couple of these for the patience to read.
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great read. Very inspiring. My wife is a 5 year Multiple Myeloma survivor.
Published 8 months ago by Paul Hampshire
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful.
As ann MM survivor I enjoyed reading the plight of another survivor.
Published 10 months ago by Joseph W. Mccary
5.0 out of 5 stars Was sent as a gift of encouragement to my Son ...
Was sent as a gift of encouragement to my Son , Today he is praising the Lord as he is in full remission ,he is in a cancer hospital in full remission awaiting Stem Cell... Read more
Published 10 months ago by James Johnston
4.0 out of 5 stars I have Multiple Mylenoma or the cancer that Pat Willams has
I was very interested to read about the experiences that Pat Williams had battling the same cancer I have. Read more
Published 13 months ago by James. Backus
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational book!
This is an inspirational book for anyone dealing with multiple myeloma or cancer in general. Pat Williams touches the hearts of all people, caretakers, family, and cancer patients... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Andrea
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More About the Author

Pat Williams is a basketball Hall-of-Famer, currently serving as co-founder and senior vice president of the NBA's Orlando Magic. As one of America's top motivational speakers, he has addressed thousands of executives in organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies and national associations to universities and nonprofits. Clients include AllState, American Express, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Disney, Honeywell, IBM, ING, Lockheed Martin, Nike, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Tyson Foods to name a few. Pat is also the author of over 80 books, his most recent title being COACH WOODEN'S GREATEST SECRET: The power of a lot of little things done well.

Since 1968, he has been in the NBA as general manager for teams in Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia--including the 1983 World Champion 76ers--and now the Orlando Magic, which he co-founded in 1987 and helped lead to the NBA finals in 1995 and 2009. Twenty-three of his teams have gone to the NBA playoffs and five have made the NBA finals. In 1996, Pat was named as one of the 50 most influential people in NBA history by a national publication. Pat is also a recipient of the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Pat has been an integral part of NBA history, including bringing the NBA to Orlando. He has traded Pete Maravich as well as traded for Julius Erving, Moses Malone, and Penny Hardaway, and he has won four NBA draft lotteries, including back-to-back winners in 1992 and 1993. He also drafted Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal, Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney and Darryl Dawkins. He signed Billy Cunningham, Chuck Daly, and Matt Guokas to their first professional coaching contracts. Nineteen of his former players have become NBA head coaches, nine have become college head coaches while seven have become assistant NBA coaches.

Additonally, Pat served for seven years in the United States Army, spent seven years in the Philadelphia Phillies organization--two as a minor league catcher and five in the front office--and has also spent three years in the Minnesota Twins organization.

Pat and his wife, Ruth, are the parents of 19 children, including 14 adopted from four nations, ranging in age from 23 to 36. For one year, 16 of his children were all teenagers at the same time. Pat and his family have been featured in Sports Illustrated, Readers Digest, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, The Wall Street Journal, Focus on the Family, New Man Magazine, plus all of the major television networks, The Maury Povich Show and Dr. Robert Schuller's Hour of Power.

Pat was diagnosed in February of 2011 with Multiple Myeloma. After several rounds of chemo treatments, Pat received a bone marrow transplant where the doctors injected him with almost 5 million of his own stem cells. Pat's recovery from the stem cell transplant has been remarkable and the doctors are extremely pleased. While Multiple Myeloma is incurable the goal is to get the cancer into remission (Pat's personal slogan has been "The Mission is Remission"); Pat's doctors have told him that they are unable to detect any myeloma in his body. Pat has accepted positions on several boards for different cancer groups, including an appointment on the Board of Directors for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Pat spends many hours each week responding to emails and phone calls of others affected by cancer, offering hope and words of encouragement.

Pat teaches an adult Sunday school class at First Baptist Church of Orlando and hosts three weekly radio shows. In the last 13 years, he has completed 53 marathons--including the Boston Marathon 12 times--and also climbed Mt. Rainier. He is a weightlifter, Civil War buff and serious baseball fan. Every winter he plays in Major League Fantasy Camps and has caught Hall of Famers Bob Feller, Bob Gibson, Fergie Jenkins, Rollie Fingers, Gaylord Perry, Phil Niekro, Tom Seaver and Goose Gossage.

Pat was raised in Wilmington, Delaware, earned his bachelors degree at Wake Forest University, and his master's degree at Indiana University. He is a member of the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame after catching for the Deacon baseball team, including the 1962 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship team. He is also a member of the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame.


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