Rodney Bonwell: How I Stay Positive

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Topics include: Patient Stories and Living Well

When Rodney Bonwell was diagnosed with myeloma in 2014, he found himself taking the same advice that he had given to motivate others as a coach and pastor.  Rodney shares his approach to dealing with cancer and explains how his relationship with his daughter has helped him stay “on point.”

Sponsored by the Patient Empowerment Network through educational grants from Onyx Pharmaceuticals and Takeda Oncology.  

Produced in association with

Transcript

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Rodney Bonwell:

My name is Rodney Bonwell, and I'm from Pasadena, California. 

My diagnosis is multiple myeloma, and I was diagnosed on I believe it was October the 9th. 

I'm a coach, I'm a pastor, and it's all about helping people do the right thing and be successful in life at whatever they achieve—or want to achieve to do. 

Well, one of the things that you have to do is you have to motivate people, and in motivating people you have to get rid of all the excuses.  And one of the things about excuses, excuses is like a virus.  I call it the EBC virus, explaining, blaming and complaining.  And as long as you're explaining, blaming and complaining, you'll never succeed. 

And, of course, in every sport, no matter what it is, there [are] winners and losers, and I had decided I didn't want to ever be a loser, never ever, whether I was coaching or whether I was playing.  And so I decided that to make this statement live you have to tell them, well, if I have the EBC virus and that's holding me back, what do I do, coach? 

Most of my players want to know, well, coach, if I have the EBC virus, what do I do to get rid of it?  And I tell my players there are two kinds of players. There are winners, and there are losers. And a loser cannot win, but a winner cannot lose. 

And they always ask me, well, coach, why is that a truality, and I'll tell them this:  that what does the—I'll ask them a question first.  What does the winner do that the loser does not do?  If the loser has the EBC virus, which is explaining, blaming and complaining, then the winner must do something that—that deletes that, negates that, makes it go away, makes it not affect his life.  And to do that you have to obviously not explain everything, blame someone else or always complain.  So what that person does, they make adjustments.  Every player on this planet—no matter who they are—if they want to win, they have to make adjustments. 

And that adjustment is take responsibility for your own goals.  I choose to win, I choose not to lose. And this is along the same lines.  I don't talk about it, I don't feel bad about it.  I'll find something to do that will bring something positive in my life and the life of others. 

My daughter has been my support system.  She's very, very positive, even though sometimes it doesn't seem like it because she's so strict. But what she does, she helps me stay on point.  She doesn't like a lot of excuses, so she makes sure that I don't fall into that, that dungeon of explaining, blaming and complaining.  It's just about getting up.  Dad, you have to do it.  If you need anything, let me know.  I'll always be there for you.  

And one of the reasons that I'm in Colorado today is because she decided I'd worked too long, too hard, it was time for me to retire.  And she said I need to come and be in a place where it's alive in living color, and so this is what I'm doing.  I am retired from the LA Unified School District, and I'm going to enjoy this everlasting vacation with the love of my life, my baby girl. 

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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Page last updated on June 17, 2015