Saturday, July 25, 2009
While this does & doesn't have it's place in a "weight loss" blog, I have to share. It's a part of me. Yeah, btw, I'm very "EMO" lately. Thank God for PMS!?
For those who don't know me, while this doesn't sum me up, it tells a lot about me in one sentence. "I am a cancer survivor, five times, 4 different types". Cancer will never BE who I am, but it is and always will be part of what has helped MAKE me.
Knowing my surviving, you will understand my undying love for Lance Armstrong.
I recall the 4th time I was told I had cancer. It was actually the 3rd time for surgery but the 4th cancer as they found lympnodes hiding the nasty shit while they were in there for the thyroid cancer too. I'd been thru it 2x before. You tire of it, in case you don't know. I had 3 kids, an idiot sperm donor that got the title "Father" to them but never knew how to keep up to the title he should have been so proud of, and once again would have zero income. I was alone, had to be the strong one, had to make them all know it was going to be ok. "No big deal" became my outside face. I had already been diagnosed with MS years before the 2nd cancer bout. I call the MS my "in between" battle. Unfortunately it hasn't decided to just leave me alone even though I won't let it win. But I digress. My work was now "angry" at me that I had to leave yet again for cancer. The nerve of me. My boss actually called the day of my surgery, to my room, in Pittsburgh (2 hours from where I live) to ask me about something at work & ask me when I'd be back. (Boy I bet I gave him one hell of an answer because I was still out of it from the anesthesia!)
I remember the day I went to the hospital, after wearing my strong face for the family, hugging kids, parents, telling the it would all be ok, I'd be fine, it was no big deal... I broke down. I remember stopping, and truly wondering if I wanted to do this, thought long, thought hard... did I want to ask God for what I was about to ask? Would he know if I truly meant it in my heart or was just feeling sorry for myself. My mind kept the words moving "God, just take me. I can't do it again. I just can't. Please make sure my kids are okay, know I loved them, but please God just take me. I can't do it.... I can't do it."
The next part people will probably think I'm crazy, lying, insane or a mixture of the three.. but it's the truth.
Lance Armstrong had created the Livestrong Foundation, what seemed like just recently then. It could have been longer, but I recall the craze of everyone wearing the "yellow" bracelets as a "trend" because all the celebs did it, it was so cool. My family wore them because after looking high and low & finally finding enough for each of us, we had a reason. We KNEW why he made them. It wasn't a fashion trend. If he wanted a fashion trend he could have designed the newest look in cycling clothing, t-shirts or work out gear. Lance created those bracelets to bring cancer to the front lines, so WE could shoot it down. Every person who ever experienced cancer in any way, shape or form knew this. It wasn't a fashion statement, it was a statement of Lance Armstrong's strength, faith & desire to beat the odds.
I laid there that moment and oddly enough his image popped into my head. I recalled the moment he stood, after winning "The Tour de France" yet again, only this time after being told he'd be dead instead. AFTER cancer.
I realized, THIS was the person I was supposed to be. If he could do it, what the hell right did I have to sit here and feel sorry for myself & ask God to give me the easy way out? NONE!
I remember just before I "went out" I spoke to God. I hoped he heard me because I screamed it in my head "GOD! GOD?! I want you to know, I DESERVE to make it, to beat it and my kids DESERVE to have me. Don't you take me GOD, I'm not finished here yet." Then I remember meekly saying in my mind "Ok?". As I went to sleep to be operated on once again I remember them wiping a tear from my cheek & telling me it was all ok. I smiled and said "I know".
I've NEVER written about my cancer. Oh sure, in blurbs, clips, quick responses. But I've NEVER poured it all out there. Even my kids have no clue what the last bouts were all about in my heart. I watched this video of Lance Armstrong today (embedded above), and it was all kewl until the pics of the cancer images & his x-rays came up. At that point I lost it, I cried like a baby. Yeah, "EMO", but also because I realized WHY he is so very much my hero. Say what you want about him. A lot of people love to hate him. Of course they do, he's not only a survivor but a leader. A lot of people can't stand to see that. It makes those who are weak realize how weak they are. A lot of people say he's "arrogant" or "mean". Hell yeah he is. You ever fight cancer? You don't do it by being nice to it. You beat the shit out of it & toss it to the curb for a proper stomping.
While I may never be as strong as Lance Armstrong, I hope that some day... when the Good Lord does take us all & we all meet in heaven.... I get my chance to stand next to him. To smile at him and tell him what an inspiration he was to me. How much of a difference he's made in my life and in the lives of so many others.
And for those of you out there still hating him..... please don't stop. It's what keeps people like him going. He needs to prove you wrong, just like he needed to prove cancer wrong, just like he continues to prove cancer wrong. Oddly enough the things that try to hurt him the most are the things that make him stronger every day and a true CONQUEROR.
So that's my story. Only been told in 140 characters or less on twitter for the most part before. Never shared with the world, for sure. But now out there for everyone to see. I've never been ashamed to tell it, but always been scared. Because you see, every time I say I'm cancer free that bastard comes back. Every time I say I've beat it once again, it takes me for another battle. And all I can say is, if it does... if it rears its ugly head again... I will have this video to watch... to inspire me... to make me know I can do it.
Thanks Lance for making cancer seem like the weakest link sometimes. And for when it does beat us, it only inspires people like you to step up the battle. You and your entire foundation deserve to not only be recognized but applauded, thanked and dammit if I ever meet ya... kissed one big huge wet one! (I hope there aren't THAT many employees at the foundation... my lips can't take THAT many big wet ones! LOL)