Since I am a pancreatic cancer survivor, people often ask me if I am upset about the hand I’ve been dealt. Diagnosis with a very scary form of cancer. Surgery where I lost my gall bladder, all but a tiny amount of my pancreas, and two-thirds of my stomach. Followed by six months of difficult chemotherapy. And side effects that will continue for the rest of my life.

They typically don’t believe me when I say that I have NEVER asked why did I get cancer? And pancreatic cancer at that. Here’s why I never have and never will ask why.

As we enter 2019, I am approaching my fourth anniversary of the Whipple surgery that saved my life. It’s a date I won’t forget – February 12. I get to celebrate twice that week each year – first for my success as a survivor and then for Valentine’s Day. For the former, we go out each year for dinner – my wife Linda and my two daughters and their spouses. For the latter, Linda the LOML (love of my life) and I embrace our good fortune for still being together.

Over the past four years, we have traveled, gone to a lot of shows, been with our kids, and a done a whole lot more. And as of 2019, I am retired as a distinguished professor emeritus at Hofstra University’s Zarb School of Business. But my plan is to still work on my blogs and a sequel to Surviving Cancer and Embracing Life. That book will also be FREE at

I am so grateful for what I have, and how having cancer has changed my life philosophy for the better. My life is wonderful compared to what others have suffered and are suffering. I realize that more than 90 percent of pancreatic cancer victims die in pain and within five years. I grimace when I see pictures of children who have died due to conflicts in Yemen, Syria, and many other places. I am sorry that so many of our veterans have severe PTSD. I am saddened by the divisiveness now going on in our country and around the world. And there are many other events that make my life saga look like a piece of cake.

Consider this quote from It sums up how I strive to look at things: “It’s common knowledge that having a positive attitude feels better than having a negative one. But while the concept of positive thinking is something that is known to everyone, not all of us are aware of exactly how we can be optimistic every day and how to see the good in every situation.”


  • Joel Evans

    Professor, Author, Survivor

    Retired distinguished professor at Hofstra University’s Zarb School of Business.  There for forty-four years full time. And VERY LUCKY five-year survivor of pancreatic cancer. Joel has decided to share his journey with those who were struggling with any terrible disease; he wants to offer hope and support, and let them know that, “There is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if that light is not as bright as before.” In addition to his time as a professor, Dr. Evans is also a leading textbook author, published in multiple languages including English, Chinese and Russian, as well as an active blogger and frequent guest speaker. He lives on Long Island, New York. Free download of Surviving Cancer and Embracing Life book at