Today is World Cancer Day and I thought it was appropriate that I share a review on a book I just finished reading.


Title: The Mission Is Remission: Hope for Battling Cancer
Author: Pat Williams
ISBN-10: 0757317820 ISBN-13: 9780757317828
Publisher: HCI Books
Publication Date: 3/4/2014
Category: Memoir/Cancer/Inspiration


When a man who has run 58 marathons and is actively involved in sports and sports management is told that he has a rare and incurable blood cancer, myeloma, he doesn’t take this news lying down!

Pat Williams who serves as senior vice president of the NBA’s Orlando Magic and has in the past led the Philadelphia 76ers too to the finals is also a motivational speaker. When Pat was given his diagnosis of multiple myeloma , in 2011, he called on his faith and inner reserves and decided that his mantra would be ‘the mission is remission’.

When the doctor gave Pat his diagnosis, he told him that the cancer was incurable but treatable and outlined how he thought Pat would be able to manage this. After stem cell treatment and rounds of chemotherapy, the myeloma could no longer be detected. The book is based on the factors that the doctor mentioned and the author shares how these gave him hope and helped him to fight against the disease. These factors are:

1. A Positive Outlook – Pat outlines how he moved from denial to be realistically optimistic. Using quotes and examples from other cancer survivors, the author gave a lot of ways of how one can maintain a positive outlook post-diagnosis.

2. Keeping Fit – Although Pat was always fit with his marathon background, it was now difficult for him to exercise because myeloma causes the bones to be brittle. However, his advice to use diet, exercise based on doctors’ advice etc is priceless. I found this chapter could apply to anyone.

3. A Durable Faith – The author talks about his Christian faith helping him to be grateful and hopeful and how prayer helped him and others cancer patients to grow strong.

4. A Loving Family – Pat has a 18 children – five biological and fourteen adopted! He pulled his family together – wife, children, grandchildren and siblings to help him fight this. I liked some of the very valid points about forgiveness and healing of families, as well as the very useful tips for families of cancer sufferers.

5. Caring Friends – Again some very useful ideas of how friends can offer support, including things like ‘what not to say’! 🙂

6. A Supportive community – The author encourages those suffering from cancer to connect to organizations and groups that fight cancer and that fund-raise and attempt to share information and work with them.

I like the way the book is written in many voices, as Pat pulled in his family, friends, colleagues, other cancer survivors to share their experiences of his fight against cancer and their own.

I found the book informative and inspiring.



PS: When you read my review in conjunction with this post from my blogger friend, Kathy Combs, you realize just how important Pat’s book is. Thanks for sharing, Kathy.