bevanddara

Daily Inspirations and Adventures

It’s Not About the Bike

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Lance Armstrong may have cheated during the Tour de France races he won . . . but he also cheated death . . . something that only people who have gone through the same journey can relate to. For now, though, people are focused on the bad part of his story (of course, because that’s what media does) . . . but I hope that (after all of this dies down) he will always be thought of and remembered as a cancer survivor and advocate. He gives people, battling FOR THEIR LIFE, a hero and a reason to keep fighting and living each day. I know my friend, Mike O’Brien, feels the same way . . . for he is a cancer survivor and was deeply impacted by Lance’s efforts.  He wrote the following on his Facebook page last night and I had to share it with you.
 
Lance Armstrong won his seventh Tour de France on Sunday, July 24, 2005. I began chemotherapy the following day.
 
I remember watching highlights of his win in the hospital, an IV in my arm.I was disoriented. There was a real possibility I would die.

I was given Lance’s book “It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life” and I read it faster than I’ve ever read a book…

“You can’t know it yet,” a survivor told him, “but we are the lucky ones.”(It’s true, by the way).
 
The book provided the boost of motivation and determination I needed.Here was a guy who did it. He won. And then he won the Tour de France seven times.

He not only survived. He came back stronger.

I could.

I would.

His story inspired my fight.

Months later, after I had completed chemotherapy, there were indications some cancer was still in my body.

My oncologist wanted to operate. Invasively.

My incredible father took the initiative to call Larry Einhorn — because Einhorn was the oncologist who treated Lance Armstrong.

Larry Einhorn’s nurse spent hours reviewing my case and talking with us, ultimately advising me that the additional surgery my doctor wanted to perform was not yet necessary, and may turn out to not be necessary at all.

That second opinion changed the course of my life.

When I presented this opinion to my oncologist – she immediately changed her opinion to match it. “Einhorn said that? Okay.”

No surgery.

Over time, what they thought was remaining cancer in my body dissolved and eventually was not visible on the CT scans.

Within one year my oncologist stunned me with the word “cured.”

And I’m back.

Seven years on I haven’t won a Tour de France.

But I sometimes ride a bike.

And I sometimes run.

And I play soccer.

And mostly I try to appreciate my health.

To appreciate what I have and the fact that I’m alive.

It could have ended differently.

So, was his athletic accomplishment a fraud?

Perhaps.

Did his story change my life?

Yes. In no small way it may have saved it.

And my point?

For me, It Was Never About The Bike.

But really, it was never about him at all.

What he inspired in me was already there.

And that’s what sports do. That’s what athletes do.

They inspire.

Nothing more.

Written by bevanddara

October 23, 2012 at 8:33 am

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