Bob's Story: Spirituality and Happiness

Bob's Story: Spirituality and Happiness

By Bob Molavi (originally featured in BC Cancer Agency’s spring 2015 newsletter, Headlines)

Life was going well… Then it happened. 
On September 13, 2013 I was admitted to Vancouver General Hospital with a brain tumour which, according to the surgeon, was the largest he had operated on to date. The size and location of my disease within the brain left me with significant permanent problems.
How was I affected and what happens when you get hit with everything all at once?
My brain cancer, grade three, required chemo and radiation. My thinking and memory have been affected and I have difficulty telling time. I have lost 50% vision in each eye. This has introduced limitations to previously valued activities like driving, chess and running. Fortunately, my cane allows me to be somewhat mobile.
I have problems reading and understanding words, including simple words and numbers. My reading ability has for the most part been taken away. As a voracious reader, this was challenging for me to accept. What might seem surprising is how my disease affected my writing abilities. I can comfortably type or write a thought, but if I come back to see what I have written, it’s very difficult to read it. 
Through this, however, I still believe that inner freedom is not just a gift for a privileged few, it’s accessible to everyone. The remarkable compassion, love and support from close family and friends pulled me through this challenging period in my life. Nurses, doctors, teachers, and other practitioners remind us of our higher calling. The seeds of empathy open up to kindness and compassion.
Having helped others find joy in life in my work as a happiness coach, I was now personally faced with disabilities beyond anything I had imagined. A positive attitude and willpower may help in some situations, but mine felt so complex and overwhelming that it required a different approach and a deeper investigation. As a society, we tend to be driven by work, rushing from one thing to the next. Sometimes it is helpful to engage qualities such as stillness, empathy and compassion, for ourselves and others, in order to find meaning in life’s challenges and to discover who we really are. This deep introspection has helped me to find my path to a new real life adventure and I hope it will continue to guide me in the days ahead.
Thank you Bob for sharing your story!


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