Dr. Danny R. Welch, Professor and Chair of Cancer Biology, University of Kansas wrote this about my book, Chronic Pain: Finding Hope in the Midst of Suffering:
Chronic Pain: Finding Hope in the Midst of Suffering is Rob Prince’s personal story of his long-term struggle with an oft-debilitating health issue. While the book is mostly about dealing with migraine headaches, his frank and transparent description is a guidebook for how each of us should face difficult circumstances. Whether the difficulty is chronic, like his headaches, or acute, like losing a job, there are common elements with which all can relate. None of us likes tough situations. But our frailties can either destroy us or detonate our will to overcome them. Our circumstances can be faced with looking at the glass as half-full or half-empty.
Chronic Pain: Finding Hope in the Midst of Suffering reminds me that a positive attitude makes an incredible difference when facing a trial, especially a long trial where the end does not appear on the horizon. A positive outlook can help find contentment, even when seeking to change things. In other words, we make the most of every circumstance. With a wry sense of humor, recognition of irony, self-deprecation and a keen ability to tell poignant stories, Pastor Prince brings the reader into his world in order to share how God has helped him cope with a decades-long illness.
Unfortunately, Jehovah Rapha (The Healer of our troubles) has not healed him of his headaches. I, too, wish He had. Yet, Pastor Prince provides clear examples for how his ailment has been used to help others. He shows how he prays toward heaven while rowing toward shore – he seeks heavenly healing while not foregoing modern medicine, lifestyle changes and all-the-while living his hectic life. His example is an inspiration to others. God has indeed proven that in all things, He works for good.
I am a career cancer researcher. As one of my colleagues said, “Research is best characterized as good days and bad months.” Cancer research is simultaneously frustrating – every two steps forward is accompanied by one step back – and exhilarating – the thrill of discovery and potentially helping people is unparalleled. Those same emotions and challenges are what Pastor Prince describes in his journey. We both have faith that God will heal, but neither of us presumes that God will do it our way or following our time line. We both face life with optimism, but recognize that there are still more challenges ahead. We both struggle, but we persevere because we savor the victories – big and small – which make the challenging times bearable. We both know that there is really no other option but to keep going. As the former North Carolina State Basketball coach Jim Valvano exhorted as he was dying from cancer, “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up!”
Enduring a chronic disease isn’t easy. Like my friends who are wheelchair bound or fight cancer that has spread throughout their bodies, Pastor Rob reminds us that, even when weary, we should not give up. He provides lessons that can help anyone facing a disease, heartbreak, sadness, a difficult decision or challenging relationships.
First, we are not alone. God is with us.
Second, God still performs miracles, every day. Some miracles are in the form of physical healing. Sometimes those miracles do not come. Regardless, one of God’s greatest miracles comes from healing attitudes. Being positive does not mean being pollyanna. A positive attitude helps cope, even when the journey is long. We are never given more than we can handle, even if sometimes that is not what we feel. Focusing on the facts that God is with us and that His intervention allows us to experience joy, even times of struggle, help us finish put one foot in front of the other wherever we are in the long race.
Danny R. Welch, Ph.D.
Professor & Chair of Cancer Biology
Hall Family Professorship in Molecular Medicine
Kansas Bioscience Authority Eminent Scholar
The Kansas University Medical Center
Associate Director for Basic Sciences – The University of Kansas Cancer Center