“It’s Like Déjà Vu All Over Again.”

Recent events in my life remind me of a famous quote from baseball Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra:

It’s like déjà vu all over again.”

Since 2014, I’ve kept my readers informed about my battle with a very rare form of cancer, Appendiceal Carcinoma with Pseudomyxoma Peritonei (PMP). My last post on the subject shared the great news that I was in remission despite how advanced the disease was at the time of diagnosis.

Enter Yogi Berra.Yogi Berra Baseball Collection via Flickr

Well, the cancer has returned.

At some point, I’ll require another surgery to remove as much of the disease as possible. Meantime, my medical team has recommended chemotherapy in the hope that it will beat back the cancer and delay the day when surgery will be necessary, by months or even years.

After four rounds of chemo, my two blood cancer markers are on the decline. The chemo is working! So, I will continue with chemo treatments for as long as they are effective.

I’m sharing my news with you for a number of reasons:

  1. Because I’ve been open about my health situation from the beginning, I’ve had a number of readers contact me for an update. So, I felt it appropriate to share my latest news with all of my readers.
  2. Others who also have PMP have contacted me after reading my posts, and as they begin their own fight against this rare disease. I’ve been willing to serve as a resource for these people, and I’m committed to continuing to be a resource because PMP is so rare and finding good information is challenging.
  3. Sharing my story gives me an opportunity to encourage you to be your own healthcare advocate. If you have a doctor who is only interested in treating symptoms rather than looking for and treating underlying causes, fire him or her. Work with doctors who will look for causes. It could save your life.
  4. I want to explain how my health situation affects my work life. Because I cannot predict what condition I’ll be in on a specific date months ahead, I am not accepting conference speaking invitations for 2016. While I’m disappointed to be off of the speaking circuit, the upside is that this will free me up to present more webinars, write more (including a new book), and serve more clients.

While cancer has re-entered my life, I’ve got too much to do to give in to it. So, I’m not. My journey is not an easy one. However, it is one that I am managing.

My work-life focus, throughout my ups and downs, will remain on helping charities raise more money through ethical donor-centered fundraising. I will do this through my work with clients, through teaching opportunities, through media interviews, and through my blog.

Here are some things you can consider doing for me, if the spirit moves you:

  • Buy my book, Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing. If you already own a copy, get a copy for colleague, board member, or your favorite charity.
  • Keep reading my blog. If you haven’t already, please subscribe. Also, encourage others to visit here as well.
  • Contact me if you’d like to have me do a webinar for your organization or association. I’m also available for in-person trainings and seminars that have flexible dates.
  • If you’d like to improve your planned giving results, donor-retention performance, or annual fund numbers, let me know so we can discuss how I can help you achieve your goals.
  • Include me in your thoughts and prayers.

Thank you for your good wishes, prayers, patience, and support.

That’s what Michael Rosen says… What do you say?

44 Responses to ““It’s Like Déjà Vu All Over Again.””

  1. You are indeed in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Your courage and generosity are a true inspiration. I wish you joy and healing. Thank you for all you have shared with all of us.

  3. Michael, I’m so sorry to hear this cancer has re-entered your life. It’s great to hear you are fighting it on all fronts, and looking after yourself. Of course, you’re also giving of yourself, as you always do. Keep up the fight, and thank you for sharing what’s happening.

  4. So sorry to hear this news, thoughts and prayers to you from a land down under… NZ 🙂

  5. Praying earnestly for you, Michael. Right now!


  6. Michael, I love your posts about our NPO sector and giving because they are always useful. I frequently send them on or share with others and appreciate your generosity. I am so sorry to learn about your need to return to the battlefield of the big C. I am coming on 5 years survival myself. It is something that changes one. Know that there are fellow warriors wishing you the very best, and that your nurses and doctors are doing all they can to support you. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  7. Michael, you are so brave and have such a spirit of optimism. Be assured our prayers and thoughts are with you. I will email you off a list to talk about some areas we might collaborate on. Like you, my health issues and Marty’s prevent me from traveling, and so I’ve also focused on webinars and virtual consulting.

  8. Michael, thank you for letting us know so we can pray for you, your family and your medical team. Prayer is a privilege and you are gracious to suggest that we do that for you.

    I so appreciated your suggestions regarding medical care (work with doctors who will look for causes) and for your attitude. Don’t give up; don’t ever give up.

    • Richard, I thank you for your thoughtful support. I definitely believe in the power prayer. I also believe in the power of positive thinking. Your closing comment reminded me of one of my favorite quotes that I came across when beginning my fight. The actress Ruth Gordon once said, “Never give up. And never, under any circumstances, face the facts.” I’ve come across other great quotes, but I particularly like this one for its sound advice and use of humor.

  9. Hi Michael,

    Thank you for speaking so openly. I wish you all the best with your fight and offer you my thoughts and best wishes. I am not a religious man but I do believe that positive thoughts and actions can do wonders.

    I look forward to hearing much more from you.

    a UK charity worker

  10. Hi, I’m very sorry to hear about this but please note that I’ll be indeed thinking of you and praying for you…. and I can’t wait for your next book!
    thanks for all you do for the fundraising community! love, Erica

  11. Michael, I appreciate your NPO wisdom and advice. I am the ED of a NP cancer support center in MI. I wonder if you have heard of Imerman’s Angels in Chicago? They match people who have the same cancer for one-to-one support. I think their work is especially significant for those who have rare cancers, and you might be a fantastic addition to their team. Prayers for you and your loved ones during this segment of your cancer journey. Thanks for your openness and honesty.

    • Madeline, thank you for your support and suggestion. I have not heard of Imerman’s. I’ll check them out. There are also some dedicated PMP support groups. One such group is called PMP Pals. However, I haven’t been involved with any of them. Maybe I should be.

  12. Michael, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Keep up the good work and your chin. Thank you for sharing your journey, your trust is appreciated. Go Michael Go. – a fan.

  13. As difficult as it is to find words that match the moment, it is even worse to say nothing at all.

    Thank you for finding exemplary teaching moments everywhere, especially in the midst of dealing with unimaginable (but all too real) challenges. Above all else, it makes me wonder whether I would be able to rise to such a challenge with such courage and grace.

    Viktor Frankl showed us that a life without purpose is a life without meaning. You have certainly showed us how to live a life with purpose and meaning.

    • Rick, thank you for your kind words of encouragement. When we are faced with life’s challenges, I believe most of us somehow find the internal strength we need to deal with the situation in our own way. I think it has something to do with not really having a choice. 🙂

  14. Always happy to get these updates! I appreciate your advice about working with Doctors. In Haiti, I work with a hollistic practitioner, we call them “dokteu fèy,” or leaf doctor. I’ll try to bring all natural goodies for you next time I’m in Philly. I’m thinking of you and Lisa!

  15. Take good care of yourself. High spirits are an important part of the battle.

  16. I’m sorry to hear this, Michael. I admire your courage during this difficult time for you and your family. I’ll keep you in my thoughts. Take care.

  17. Wishing you all the best on this journey. Sending prayers to you and your family.

    Joanne Stewart
    Development Officer, Planned Giving
    University of Waterloo

  18. Thanks for sharing, Michael. I’m so sorry to hear this is again a challenge that you face. My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you.

  19. Hi Michael,

    I’m very hopeful for your recovery. Thank you for sharing your story! Although we haven’t met, I’ve read your book as someone new in gift planning and heard you speak in webinars. Sending you lots of positive thoughts and energy your way 🙂

  20. Michael,

    May the healing energy of all of our prayers surround you and your family at this time.

  21. Hello,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! My mother was just diagnosed with PMP and I have been on a rampage to find information. While apparently her doctor was able to diagnose her (which is difficult form my understanding), he was not able to give her any information or even a referral to someone who can. I was wondering if you could share some resources and perhaps how you were able to find a specialist in the field. I would greatly appreciate an email if you are able.

    Thanks so much!

    • Malina, thank you for your kind message about my post. I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s situation. Unfortunately, because PMP is so rare, it is a bit difficult to find good resources. I’ll follow-up with you via email to see how I can help you and mother find the information you need.


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