Yesterday, July 24th, was the 16th anniversary of my final radiation session that marked the end of the treatment regimen from my 1st battle against cancer. A year ago, I was recovering from my 7th chemotherapy treatment. Both very different treatments, fraught with different side effects, but the end result of both was the remission of my cancer. Last week, I had another set of scans and blood work that confirmed that I am presently cancer-free.
Today, I am in preparation mode. The 2012 Pan-Mass Challenge is only 10 days away. I went for another training ride – one that is too short and was too hard for me to think that I am going to be able to complete the entire ride from Sturbridge to Bourne to Provincetown as I have done in the past. What I have learned is that one of the four chemo drugs that I received last year did some damage to my lungs and the inactivity and that toxicity has decreased my lung capacity. This means less oxygen to my heart, brain, and muscles. And I tire very very quickly. While it is getting incrementally better, I am still way behind.
So my commitment to all of those who have generously made donations to the PMC on my behalf is that I will do my best. I will pedal out of Sturbridge on Saturday, August 4th with the goal of getting to my team captain’s sister’s house in Rehoboth, MA for the team lunch. This is about 63 miles. Then, I hope to hop in a car to the famous Forza-G Pie Stop in Wareham, where I will meet up with my team, have some pie, and ride the final 10 miles to Bourne and the Mass Maritime Academy to celebrate with my teammates, see some old friends, and take a lot of pictures. The final act of the day, I hope, will be sitting with a group of about 300 fellow riders and volunteers in the annual Living Proof photo. I have been dreaming about this photo for about 16 months now, hoping that one day, I would be able to experience it again. Then, I will join my family at our rental house on Cape Cod, share the adventures of my day, and get an amazing night of sleep. Sunday, well, I am not sure what will happen on Sunday to be honest. Maybe I will ride some, maybe not.
Whenever I think about the PMC, I have 3 moments that I dream about – the LIving Proof picture, riding out of Sturbridge in the throngs of bikes and amidst the cheers of hundreds of onlookers up way too early for a Saturday morning, and finally, riding though the dunes and finishing in Provincetown. If I can do all 3 this year, it will be a successful weekend. I would be really happy with 2 out of 3. Either way, I know that I have never been more certain and secure in my reason for trying, for making this effort, for reaching beyond my means.
This is all about 1 thing.
FINDING A CURE FOR CANCER
This is going to happen. It could even happen in our lifetime. And at the forefront of this effort is the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Every day, hundreds of people are diagnosed and thousands more die from cancer. We must help pick up the pace of the amazing research because EACH DAY SAVES LIVES! You can directly 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.