Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mission Moment for the Spring Cycle Teams

I wrote this mission moment for our Century Cycle teams doing the Fletcher Flyer and Lake Tahoe races on June 7...

Dear Fletcher Flyer and Lake Tahoe Teams,

I haven’t had a chance to meet your teams this season, but wanted to let you know how much I, and cancer survivors everywhere, appreciate all of the hard word that you are doing to prepare for the race and do your fund-raising. You are saving lives.

I can’t really imagine cycling for 100 miles. The longest distance I have ever ridden a bike, which was a battered one speed with coaster brakes, was about 15 miles down at the beach. Man, did my butt hurt at the end of that! So I am in awe of what you are preparing to do on June 7.

Some of my memories from dealing with Hodgkin lymphoma 7 years ago are getting a bit fuzzy, but my memories of my first week on chemotherapy are still pretty clear. Seven years before the date of your race, I was preparing to go get chemo for the 5th consecutive day. I remember feeling so ill and exhausted that day, and I had to drive about 25 minutes to the oncology center, get chemo, and drive home. My wife had taken me the first couple of times but could not miss work every day. I remember getting in the car and thinking “I can’t do this. I just cannot make it there again today.” But I knew that I had to, and so I forced myself to get there. I drove home afterwards, feeling pretty awful. But later in the afternoon, it hit me – I had survived my first week of chemo and now had 9 consecutive days where I didn’t have to get chemo. I felt sick and elated at the same time. I could do this! I knew that there would be some rough times ahead, and there were, but I was going to get through it.

I am guessing that you perhaps will have some similar emotions during that race. Maybe when you hit that first long hill and get partway up, you will think “I can’t do this.” But in the same way that I got over the crest of that first “chemotherapy hill”, you will do it. And even though there will be other hills ahead of you, you will know that you will climb them all, one at a time, and prevail.

Wherever I am and whatever I am doing on June 7, I will pause and think of you and your ride, and be thankful that there are people like you out there who are working on this very difficult problem that we call cancer. I guarantee you that people in the future will have thoughts of gratitude about all of you, because the money that you raised will become part of future cures and saving future lives – their lives.

Thanks for all you do, and have a great ride in the North Carolina mountains and around the big lake!



Hopesrising said...

Thanks Art for your messages and specially the Mothers Day one.
Thanks so much to for taking me with you on to the Country Music Marathon what an honor . As sharing how things were was awesome.

I know I remember last year reading a journal of a friend who road in Lake Tahoe. Last several years. 100 miles to me is incredible. I am lucky if I can ride several miles. Darn lucky if I can do that much. Thanks to rehab last year that's the only reason.

Anyways Just wanted to say Hello.

Have a great evening.

Racn4acure said...

It was my honor to "take you along to Nashville" Kerry. I am glad you enjoyed reading about it.

Yep, hard for me to picture riding 100 miles. Those gals and guys are troopers. One of them doing the Fletcher Flyer is a great friend who is earning her TNT Triple Crown, meaning she has completed at least one marathon, triathlon, and 100 mile bike ride. In Susan's case, she has done dozens of the first two but this is her first century ride. I am very proud of her.

thanks for stopping by!