FARGO When he hung up the cellphone after listening to a litany of complaints from an irate buyer, Kip Harris skilled a second of pure readability.
In a single click on, my mind informed me: chemotherapy was extra fascinating than this job,” he says.
With that epiphany, Harris stepped down from the demanding company government place he’d been climbing the ladder in for the previous 10 years.
Once more, the Fargo-Moorhead actual property agent has an extended historical past of accepting even life’s most painful realities slightly than discovering inherent classes and unbelievable pleasure in them.
Harris returned to North Dakota to be nearer to his household. Exhausted by the trials and forms of company life, he grew to become a realtor, solely to quickly be taught that he had one other type of most cancers. Ultimately, Harris efficiently battled most cancers not a few times, however thrice.
Now Harris can add one other accomplishment to his listing of expertise: creator.
He has revealed a self-published e book, Unbelievable Pleasure: A Most cancers Affected person’s 3-Step Journey to Overcoming Concern and Ache, accessible at Ferguson Books in West Fargo, Grand Forks or Bismarck and on Amazon.
The 144-page paperback chronicles Harris’ life all through his most cancers journey, however can be crammed with recommendation on coping with the unintended effects of chemotherapy, his unconventional view that most cancers was not his enemy, and the knowledge and perspective that follows from this expertise.
Immediately, Harris makes use of this attitude in enterprise and life. Together with his lengthy hair, laid-back vibe and love of sporting flip flops whereas displaying houses within the summertime, he exudes a Zen that may be calming within the typically intense world of actual property.
However do not be fooled: Harris is aware of the enterprise and the native housing market inside out.
He particularly enjoys working with first-time owners and holds dwelling shopping for courses at Fargo’s doorstep for potential dwelling consumers.
The truth is, Joshua and Rachel Schroeter met Harris at one in all these courses and have been impressed sufficient to make him their realtor.
He appeared very down-to-earth, outgoing and open in regards to the course of, says Joshua, a 31-year-old IT main at NDSU. We felt he actually cared about us and our course of.
With Harris’ steering, the Schroeters discovered a two-bedroom, two-bathroom bungalow with a pleasant yard in north Fargo.
They developed such a superb relationship with Harris that they nonetheless meet him each few months for espresso.
That was one of many predominant causes we selected him, says Joshua. He appeared like somebody who actually needed to get to know you. However he additionally appeared to actually perceive the market.
Additionally over espresso, Discussion board reporter Tammy Swift sat down with Harris to speak about his most cancers journey, his e book and the way his expertise has formed him. Solutions have been edited for brevity.
Swift: I’ve identified you for a few years and have at all times admired your resilience and perspective. What formed you and made you who you’re right this moment?
Harris: “I spotted a very long time in the past that remorse is a silly factor that in itself formed me. As a result of all the pieces I’m and all the pieces I do know and all the pieces I imagine is due to some silly issues I’ve executed in my life. And so if you look again in your life and remorse one thing, it means you would like it hadn’t occurred. And if that hadn’t occurred, I would not know what I do know right this moment.”
So what helped you understand this?
“I suppose you lastly realized that you would be able to both beat your self up for the remainder of your life, or you’ll be able to forgive your self and transfer on. And that is most likely because of remedy.
“I additionally grew up in a small city in Kenmore, North Carolina, which was very conservative. I knew I used to be homosexual since I used to be possibly 6 years outdated. However the church I belonged to informed me I used to be going to hell, and the church was a giant a part of my life.
“And so I suppressed all these emotions and internal disgrace and went to a Christian (Lutheran ELCA) school to strengthen my religion in God. And I knew that if I prayed sufficient, I may do it. Properly, and I believe that is probably the most ironic half that my pastor at this personal Christian school helped me be taught to simply accept myself for who I actually was. My freshman 12 months I went to her and informed her I did not need to be homosexual. I mentioned that I wanted assist to beat the sentiments of attraction that I had.
“However she was the one who helped me understand that God loves me irrespective of who I’m.”
What did you research in school?
“Arithmetic and chemistry. Then I went to pharmacy faculty and did not graduate (as a result of) I ended up working in a pharmacy and managing two pharmacies, after which I left and labored for a pharmaceutical software program firm in Minneapolis, South Carolina.
“I began with them as a coach as a result of I knew the software program. I then moved into gross sales for 3 years after which I moved into administration the place I labored for 5 years managing three workplaces on the west coast. And it was enjoyable. It was a very long time, after which he obtained sick.”
Satirically, you have been coaching for a marathon on the time, proper?
(Creator’s word: Within the e book, Harris recounts how he was mountain biking in a California state park in September 2004 in an effort to organize for a marathon. He skilled such extreme and lingering ache in his aspect that he needed to ask a stranger to assist him carry bicycle on prime of a automotive. What medical doctors initially thought was appendicitis turned out to be most cancers, resulting in surgical procedure and 6 months of chemotherapy. He then returned to work, after which had the epiphany that he would slightly undergo chemo once more than keep at this job .)
What’s fascinating in regards to the epiphany I had is what number of different individuals would have the identical epiphany if they’d the possibility to outlive most cancers like I did? As a result of if it weren’t for my most cancers, I may need stayed in a job I not loved and not loved.
This brings me to your fascinating principle in regards to the widespread phrase that we have to “combat” most cancers.
I believe this combat towards most cancers is a pointless thought as a result of if you combat towards one thing, all it does is push again more durable. That is the legislation of the universe, proper?
“I perceive that we do not need to simply give in and provides in to the river and let it kill us. I perceive. That is not what I am suggesting. However I am saying do not cease dwelling your life as a result of you could have most cancers or since you’re in a nasty relationship or since you’re affected by an habit. Do not cease dwelling. Discover the great in it. And that is what my e book is about: seeing the joyous moments that exist alongside all the opposite crap now we have to undergo.
One factor that stunned me in regards to the e book was how shortly you have been in a position to settle for that you just had most cancers with out asking why me? or to grieve over it endlessly.
“A part of it was that I by no means thought I used to be going to die. And even from the start they informed me on the first analysis that I had a 50/50 shot.
“Perhaps as a result of one of many issues I excel on the most is denial. (Laughs.) So I am undecided it is a optimistic, but when I am not going to die, I have a look at it as an issue. You must keep in mind, my company life, my job was to resolve issues. And for me, I simply checked out it the identical means. I’ve most cancers. He’s in my physique. How do I eliminate it? What ought to I do to eliminate it?
So how have been you in a position to preserve that willpower when the most cancers got here again?
“I keep in mind going to go to my pals in Belize, possibly in mid-2007. I had recovered sufficient from the second surgical procedure and was kayaking with my good friend Wayne. And I mentioned to Wayne, “Once I get dwelling, I must get an MRI to see if my most cancers has come again. And I keep in mind telling him, “When he comes again, I’ll come again right here as a result of I am unable to do that anymore.”
“And so I got here dwelling and the most cancers got here again. However lengthy story brief, I could not have a look at my mother and say, “I am not going to try this.” I could not inform the individuals who love me, “I hand over.” And so I did it. And the third operation was worse than the second. As a result of at my lowest weight, I used to be all the way down to 89 kilos. At Christmas I needed to go to the ER and was put again within the hospital as a result of it was so onerous to eat.
What you’re actually speaking about is a radical acceptance of actuality, irrespective of how troublesome it might be.
“We need to management all the pieces. On the finish of the day, the one factor you’ll be able to management is the way you react and the way you react to what occurs to you. Sure, so that you is usually a sufferer of chemotherapy. can select to undergo ache, and typically it hurts. I perceive. Or you’ll be able to simply tilt your head to the fitting or left or up or down or anyplace and you will see one thing good. I assure it.”
At what level did you understand you needed to put in writing a e book about this expertise?
This was after my second surgical procedure. It began with me merely sitting down and making an inventory of all of the moments of pleasure I skilled amidst the ache and worry. And that is why I knew then that it in some way needed to be translated right into a e book. It simply took me a extremely very long time to get there after which I needed to discover the fitting individuals to assist me get there.
How did these early experiences form who you’re right this moment?
“I believe the enterprise for me just isn’t a lot about earning money as it’s in regards to the relationships that I have been in a position to create. Do not get me improper. All of us must generate income, proper? However I believe I can say that there are two several types of actual property. There’s transactional actual property, which focuses on doing many kinds of transactions a 12 months and doing no matter it takes to shut numerous offers a 12 months. After which there’s relational actual property. I am an actual property individual. I not outline my life by what I’ve, slightly by the standard of relationships. And I believe that is a direct results of what I have been by means of.”