Hello, I am Michael McKinney and I want to share with you my life-changing experience that changed my life forever and how I use the techniques and created Quantum Leap Your Success. 

A Life-Changing Experience that Changed my Life Forever

Life-changing events happen to all of us. Important events change the course of life from that day forward. The ones we choose are usually exciting and filled with anticipation: a wedding, a new career, a family started, a move made. All change the course of events in our lives from that day on and we step willingly into them. It’s the other events that haunt us … the life-changing events that we are plunged into without choice or warning. The individual crisis that most everyone eventually gets a turn at. The call that a loved one is dying, an accident that changes a life forever, diagnose, a breakup, a job loss all change the course of life from that moment on and we find individuals going on in places they have not stepped willingly. 

I was raised by loving and supportive parents, they have always been referred to as the Cleavers the perfect parents according to my friends.  They always took time out of their lives to listen to us and were involved in our daily lives and activities. I have a sister and two brothers growing up.  Our first house was a two-room cabin and the bathroom was outside, on my dad’s mother’s property. My dad worked for the local milk company delivering milk door to door and my mother was a stay-at-home parent, so we were just getting by.  My dad had a sister and two brothers that both had muscular dystrophy and were in wheelchairs at ages 13 and 15 (I feel this is important as my journey continues).

 I had been struggling in life through relationships, my career, and health issues. I have been having numbness and tingling in my right arm to my fingers for several years, been seeing several doctors for ten years, and having many tests performed with no luck until 1987. I was seeing a chiropractor with no luck and he referred me to a neurologist and I was miss diagnosed again with thoracic outlet syndrome. Still in pain and on a pain pill and muscle relaxers with no relief. I was referred to a chest surgeon that referred me to another neurologist that determined I had something affecting the nerves on my right arm. The surgeon requested an MRI scan that revealed a lump in my neck on the spinal cord.  I was referred to a neurosurgeon that explained the lump could possibly be cancer and a biopsy needed to be performed to determine if the lump was benign or malignant.  The neurosurgeon also told me this procedure will be extremely dangerous and the outcome could be one of three. The first could be that nothing would happen with no complications, the second I would be paralyzed and the third the biopsy could result in death.  I needed the biopsy to be performed to know how to treat the tumor. I was scared and asked myself why me, am I going to be paralyzed or die. I know what cancer is and know a lot of people get cancer. 

It was September 1987 and I decided to have the biopsy performed it was scheduled for ten days.  The neurosurgeon put me to sleep and started to perform the biopsy. After twelve hours of surgery, the neurosurgeon removed a sample of the tumor and sent it off to the University of California San Francisco to the pathology department to determine what type of tumor and if the tumor was benign or malignant.   I was kept asleep and paralyzed for three days waiting for the results. I do remember my mother talking but I could not move or talk back. I was trying to open my eyes and talk to her, but she was not responding to what I was saying so I thought I might have died. After three days of waiting for the results, the doctor finally woke me up.  I could see and talk but could not move any of my arms or legs, I was paralyzed from the shoulders down and my body was numb and tingles as if I slept on it wrong. The neurosurgeon finally came in to deliver the results with an oncologist the tumor was malignant, inoperable, and incurable. My life expectancy was six to twelve months. The tumor is an astrocytoma, the oncologist was in contact with UCSF to determine the plan for my treatment.  Later that day Hospice came to assist with my care, and recommend how to keep me as comfortable as possible. With a high dose of Percocet a pain-killer, they also got me in touch with the American Cancer Society which helped and supported me tremendously. Now I was extremely terrified, didn’t want to die, and fell into depression asking why me and is my life is over. I did not want to be in a wheelchair for the final days of my life. Why couldn’t I have died during the biopsy?  The Oncologist came to discuss the plan of attack with a high dose of radiation for seven weeks then a two-week break and another seven weeks of a high dose of radiation. I started my radiation treatment three days later and I was transported by ambulance daily for four weeks of treatment until I was released to go home, my family continued transporting me for the remainder of my radiation treatment and that was all the radiation I can ever have. The second part of the plan is a high dose of steroids to help reduce the swelling of the neck from the surgery. The steroids blew me up tremendously and fortunately, I did not gain any weight. Furthermore, the neurosurgeon did not fuse my vertebra in my neck because if the tumor was benign, he was going to go back in and remove the benign tumor.  With no bone to protect my spinal cord that was not a very comfortable feeling. I needed to be careful and wore a neck brace to support my neck and protect my spinal cord. The third part of the plan was a high dose of chemotherapy but I had to wait for the next MRI scan in February of 1988. 

I had been receiving some physical therapy while in the hospital and more after my release in late October.  It seemed to be not worth it, physical therapy was dipping my hands in paraffin wax and applying it to my shoulders as well along with stretching my limbs.  I would be there for three to four hours, so it felt like I was not a priority, again just trying to keep me comfortable. 

Now in February 1988 an MRI scan was performed in Yuba City and my father drove me to UCSF for the results and to visit the head of the Neuro-oncology Doctor Wilson.   Dr. Wilson had determined the tumor had grown or was still swollen from the biopsy. To be prepared he recommended having a Port-a-Cath put in my chest because the third phase of my treatment is going to require an extremely high dose of chemotherapy treatment.  All the treatment this far was to keep me as comfortable as possible. I hated what has happened to me, fortunately, my family and friends were extremely supportive and positive, even in my hateful way. I hated what life has dealt me put me in a wheelchair and told I was going to die within a year.  I was terrified, scared, and hated life. 

It is now mid-March 1988 and my Port-a-Cath had been put in my chest and ready for chemotherapy, I believe it was once a week for a month, then two weeks off and repeated once a week for a month and continue for three months then an MRI scan to determine how much and often chemotherapy treatment would be required.  Unfortunately, three days after Port-a-Cath was installed I got a fever, contacted my oncologist and she had me come in immediately. My temperature was one-hundred and four, I was rushed immediately to the hospital by ambulance from her office that was on the next street by the hospital. After getting to the hospital the first thing they did was draw my blood, it was all white pus, I had a blood staph infection.  There were no operating rooms available to remove the Port-a-Cath, so the doctor removed it while I was in the hallway on the gurney. They immediately began me on antibiotics and blood transfusions. About a week later white pus bumps were showing up on my back, they ordered an air bed and drew as much blood from me as possible, and sent it to Sacramento to add nuclear radiation to my blood. It was sent back and put back into my blood system to help kill the infection.  I was being fed intravenously at this time and a high dose of morphine to keep me comfortable with no pain. Several weeks had gone by when the doctor told my family they need to come and pay their respect and I probably would not make it until the morning due to my body is shutting down. I recall several family members and friends coming to visit. One of my friends I remember had laid his hands on me and began praying, later I saw reflections of my life and everything was in a cloud and all white.  I began imagining and clearing my mind that my tumor was shrinking and going away. The next morning when my doctor came in to check on me I told her I was hungry and wanted something to eat, I wanted solid food, so she started me on a liquid and soft food diet. I wasn’t sure what had happened overnight all I knew for sure I felt better than I had felt in months. I still had some remorse because I had read how people get better and a burst of energy before they pass. I had a feeling that’s what maybe what’s happening to me.  My parents and family have supported me and guided me through this tragedy. I was still mad and hated everyone and every known being. Wondering why me, I had worked hard and played hard but made some terrible mistakes in life, hurt people, and made bad choices. I thought this must be my punishment and I wouldn’t hurt anyone else anymore or make bad choices again in life. I recall my dad telling me your life may be shortened son, but it is not over and to make the most of it you must accept change. My dad reminded me of his two brothers that had muscular dystrophy and were in wheelchairs at the ages of thirteen and fifteen and accomplishments in their short lives.

The Ultimate Goal Setting

My father said remember you control your mind, you need to have a goal write them down set them daily, weekly, monthly yearly, and long-term goals. I recall my dad and mom writing their goal down in a notebook. Make your goals attainable, measurable, and reward yourself no matter how small (we all need to be rewarded and get praised for what we accomplish). Have a plan for your goals in life and your career and write them down. Live your life to the fullest no matter what the outcome will be because you never know how your life will change or be struck with tragedy. 

A year had finally come and my tumor MRI had shown no growth my cobra medical plan had been canceled due to my previous employer and myself agreeing I would not be returning to work anytime soon.  I had Medicare Insurance, so I was able to continue some therapy but not much due to my copay, the insurance only pays 80% and only allowed so much therapy 

Taking 100% Responsibility for My Life and Choices

One day the hospice counselor and I was discussing my future and said they were releasing me because I had been in the program for a year, I was still alive, and the doctors had no explanation and to contact them if things changed. 

Therapy continued for the next year, I was finally able to get rid of the wheelchair but was dragging my right leg while walking. Two years have gone by I was still here I had not died and still no chemotherapy treatment.  I started feeling there was hope and I was walking. Still numbness and tingly from shoulders down and pain I needed to get on with my life and take control and work on my life. I decided to go to the local community college and found out they have an adaptive Physical Education class and I thought I would give it a try.  I am so glad I did the instructor was great he worked with me to accomplish my goal of not dragging my leg when I walked and helped me stand more upright. By the time I finished two years of class I was jogging, and could not run though. Now wondering what do I do now with my life. I have a lot to figure out and wonder what is my life’s purpose what I am going to do?   I started writing all kinds of things down actually scribbling as my handwriting was terrible. I then started prioritizing my scribbling and created an action plan with deadlines. I was so grateful that my father reminded me how to set goals. It was my reading and listening to Jim Rohm in my youth that taught me S.M.A.R.T. goals. I began meditating and self-hypnotizing myself to deal with the pain.  Finally, after two and a half years I was no longer on pain meds and replaced them with self-hypnosis and meditation and continue using them today.

Five years later I went back to work, walking with a limp and still a weakness on my right side.  I was selling B2B door to door with success and moved into management a year and a half later.  The company I was working for sold and I went back selling door to door to residential for five years and then moved into management again. Using my philosophy of consultative selling approach and selling the value of my products and services gave me a six-figure income.  As a manager, I learned to be a coach instead of a manager and continued my six-figure income. I retired in December of 2015 and took a year off, getting bored so now time to do something to pass my time. I was successful at selling and coaching, so decided to become a successful life transformation coach for success and created the Quantum Leap Your Success Coaching Program I have been using these techniques and principles for over 35 years. I felt I needed professional coaching and mentoring if I wanted to change the lives of others. I went online, took several courses, and received a Master Coach certification, an NLP Master Practitioner, and other certifications to understand the business and process.  Then I started Michael W. McKinney Success Life Coaching.