In about a month, on Saturday, August 6th, 5,000 plus cyclists will put on their helmets and start pedaling from Sturbridge and Wellesley, MA towards Bourne on the first day of the 2011 Pan-Mass Challenge. If you are reading this blog, you most likely know about the PMC. You know about the fundraising and the cause, ending cancer in our day. You know that I am committed to this cause. You most likely have been one of the nearly 200 people who have donated to my effort in the past 5 years.
When the calendar turned to 2011, I planned on training and fundraising more than I ever had before. This year is the 15th anniversary of, what is now, my first battle with cancer. Right after my birthday in March, the second battle began. This has had monumental effects on my life, obviously.
Tomorrow (July 5th), I will reach the halfway point of my chemotherapy treatments, which has stopped my training for the 2011 PMC before it really started. I will not be riding from Sturbridge to Bourne to Provincetown in early August. I hope to make it to Cape Cod on the weekend of the ride to see my teammates and cheer on the cyclists as they head toward their goal on Sunday.
I recently was interviewed by the PMC for their blog. During the interview, I talked about being more dedicated to the PMC and the cause. I spend a lot of time these days sitting or lying on the couch, having no energy, trying to eat, trying to drink more water, hoping that the side effects (nausea, constipation, random aches and pains, neutropenia) can be kept away by the daily regimen of pills and herbs that I take. During these times, I think a lot about the PMC. About all of the people standing on the side of the road, cheering the riders, holding signs that say “Thank You for Riding” or “I have a dad because you ride” or “I am 14. Thank You!”. I think of the millions of dollars that this event has raised in 32 years and the millions more that it will raise this year and beyond. I marvel at how this event has grown from its humble beginnings to something that thousands dedicate themselves to every year.
And I think about how I might not be winning my 2nd battle with Hodgkins Lymphoma right now without the PMC. How fortunate I am to have the doctors, nurses, and drugs that I have to take care of me and my cancer. What if the PMC did not exist? And the Breast Cancer Walks? And the ACS Relay for Life? And all of the other great fundraising events that are raising millions upon millions of dollars for cancer research, treatments, and care. What if we, all along, had just relied on the government, hospitals, and universities to make the investments that lead to ground-breaking and life-saving discoveries without all of the extra funds? Where would we be? How would my battle be going?
Thankfully, I don’t live in that world. And you don’t live in that world.
Now, think about your friends and family and how many times it has been hit by cancer. We know that in some cases, like mine and over 250 PMC Living Proof cyclists, it can be beaten. And in others, like my aunt and countless others, it cannot. I believe that we need to make it so that “cannots” of the future are “cans”. Because of this second round, I am now more dedicated to the PMC and its mission. To finish the fight and score the ultimate knockout, making cancer history in our lifetime.
I am not riding in the 2011 PMC. At this time, my energy is not best spent on a bicycle. I will miss and yearn to see all those signs again next year. What I can do now is ask you to help the cause by making a donation to the PMC and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. 100% of the money that you donate will go to provide Dana-Farber’s doctors and researchers the necessary resources to discover cures for all cancers. Thank you!
Tomorrow, Round 6…..
- Finally, Some Good News (andyridesagainstcancer.wordpress.com)
- Treatments Planned (andyridesagainstcancer.wordpress.com)
- Waiting for Tomorrow to Become Today (andyridesagainstcancer.wordpress.com)
- Sitting in the chair (andyridesagainstcancer.wordpress.com)