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Cancer Sucks

Is it enough to say that?

Is it enough to feel physically ill when I see someone suffering from cancer, to admire the strength that keeps them fighting a sometime losing battle?

Is it enough to be angry and feel every protective urge I have fire when I see or hear about someone fighting?

Almost three years ago I lost arguably the most important person in my life to cancer.  In just over a month it will be three years exactly.  I am still dealing with the pain of that loss, and I still have many days where I wish he were here for me to talk to.  That loss was so personal, so devastating, and it changed me.  My grandpa was one of the greatest men I have ever known, and losing him to cancer made personal that which I already knew: cancer sucks.  That’s a mild epithet which doesn’t convey the degree of anger I feel toward cancer.  Not solely because it took my grandpa, but because I absolutely hate seeing others suffer.

When I took my first steps as a triathlon rookie (just a year and a half ago) I did so with Team in Training.  The fighter in me, the optimist, knew that there was a way to combine passion with purpose, to let my health endeavors be a fuel to advance worthy causes.  It’s that same optimism that refuses to admit impotency.  I’m not angry because I couldn’t save grandpa.  I’m not angry at God for taking grandpa.  I don’t have blame in my heart, only a firm belief that the strongest part of who we are is who we are together.

In the cloud of the past year, I lost a little of that focus.  Fortunately, I am surrounded by men and women for whom giving is the fundamental aspect of their character.  My “cloud” is filled with people who are raising money for various causes, TNT included, and I can’t go 30 minutes without seeing someone somewhere tweet or update facebook about what they are doing to help.  Team Trakkers and the Rev3 races are partnered with The Ulman Cancer Fund, which is dedicated to helping young adults with cancer.  I wish I could share with you the conversations that have gone around the team, but suffice it to say that I am humbled every time I think about being counted among the men and women on this team.

With that spirit, with the loss of grandpa, and the knowledge that we are strong enough to make a difference, I have decided it is time to step back in the ring.  This year I have joined Swim Across America.  I am raising money to support cancer research by swimming.  A group of us here in Dallas will be swimming at White Rock Lake on June 11.  I have committed to raising $500 dollars.  If you can give, I would certainly appreciate it.  $500 is my minimum, but I would love to raise more.  If you would like to give, you can do so here.

Cancer sucks, but I believe and will continue to believe that it’s not as strong as us.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 22, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Good for you for diving into these great causes. I’m sorry to hear about your Grandfather.

  2. March 24, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Yes, cancer sucks.

    My grandfather is fighting cancer now, and I have lost 2 grandparents and a few friends to this disease. I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather.

    I hate cancer. I really do. I agree, we are stronger than it is, but it does like to try to chip away at our resolve.

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