Also this weekend is, much to my wife’s dismay, the start of the 98th Tour de France. Being a cyclist and pro cycling fan this means 23 days of the most amazing performances of individuals and teams, epic battles steeped in a hundred years of tradition across 2,131 miles of the beautiful fields and mountains of France. And very dear to my heart is the greatest cyclist in the history of le Tour, seven-time winner Lance Armstrong. Especially so this week, pre-results, as I consider what my cancer diagnosis means to me. I believe in the bottom of my heart that we ultimately determine what things mean to us and that in turn determines our future. Life’s roadblocks, setbacks and failures have more of an impact on our lives than successes and bouts of contentment. This setback in my health has the potential to have an enormous effect on my life, and that can be a negative or positive. I’ve determined, and am committed, that it will be positive. I will come out the other end of this fight a better man, a stronger father and more loving husband. I'll come out a more complete human being with a new fire burning in my gut to try to prevent this from happening to others. In short, this will be a turning point for me, a lesson in life that I’ll take to heart to make my life – and hopefully that of others – better and more complete. And I’m not alone, studies show that most cancer survivors come away from cancer with a sense of blessing. Lance Armstrong was crystal clear on what cancer meant to him. He said:
“Without cancer I would have never won a single Tour de France. Cancer taught me a plan for purposeful living, even that in turn taught me how to train and win purposefully. It taught me that pain has a reason, and that sometimes the experience of losing things – whether health or a car or an old sense of self – has its own value in the scheme of life. Pain and loss are great enhancers.”
Whatever the results on Friday, I know – beyond a shadow of a doubt – that having cancer is going to make me a better person. Take that cancer, and stick it where the sun don’t shine.