Cancer Sucks Balls

My friend Kari and her family.
 Badass Survivor in my book. 
Life can be a challenge sometimes. With as many days as I have where I feel like I'm being strangled by a thousand monkeys who've just eaten a pound of crack each I have to constantly remind myself that life is a blessing. And I hate that word blessing. I feel like cherubs are going to fly out of my ass and trumpet fucking rainbows from horizon to horizon every time I say it. But it is. Life truly is a blessing. Life is a fucking miracle and a fucking blessing. That's all there is to it. Who knows? Maybe there's a zillion billion trillion lives living on thousands (maybe millions) of planets we don't know about in this universe and they've all been blessed with the same amazing miracle. Life.


Its not something one can really appreciate on the deepest of levels until its very existence is being taunted in front of you by mother nature in a cruel game of keep-away. And sometimes that reality never has a chance to dangle in front of you because its taken away in one tenth of a fucking second. Like in a car accident. Or when you are attacked on your motor bike by a flock of sheep who push you over a 100 foot cliff. Ok so maybe you would have a little bit of time to reflect on that one. And by the way, not to make total light of death, but that actually happened to a woman in England who actually survived the fall, but was crushed by the bike. (I will admit I giggled when I read about this. It reminded me of a Monty Python episode.)

OK. I not only have a dirty mind, but a very dark sense of humor as well. Sorry.


In all seriousness... moving on...

Then there's death that stares you down in a long, slow, deep stare.

Yup. If you've ever been stared down by death (or even life disguised as death - I know... that made shit for sense) slowly or even briefly it can be a pretty terrifying experience. It can also be awe inspiring, deeply moving and enlightening. Some people have been stared down by death, fought death like the superhuman ninjas they are and walked away to breathe another day. Others fought the most brutal of battles to the bitter end until their physical bodies lost but their souls won peace.

As for myself, I have never had to take on the challenge to fight for my life, but I've been smacked upside the head by a couple biopsies which made me stand up and take notice of the life I have. I've often wondered how I would handle a challenge like that.

I'm amazed by the people around me who have or are currently experiencing the long, deep stare of death and have fought (or are fighting) to stay alive.

Sadly, my cousin Rhonda was in her early 50s when her body succumbed to ovarian cancer last fall. A truly bright and beautiful woman who owned her own business and lived life the way she wanted.

My high school friend Juliet was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer at the age of 30. She was a newlywed at the time of diagnosis and had both breasts, uterus and ovaries removed so that she could live another day and have her future back. Not only was her wish granted, but she earned my deepest respect for her gutsy decisions and strength.

My cousin, Nola (a mom of two very small children) was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer while in her mid 30s. She's a highly competitive athlete at heart (a runner like myself) and she swore she wouldn't let it take her. She doesn't like to lose. In fact, after having both breasts and 19 lymph nodes removed she is cancer free. She even celebrated with a hike to the top of a local mountain top to scream her thankfullness aloud.

She's not the only one I know who's escaped "the stare."

My friend and neighbor Kari Hamilton has also had to be the anti-cancer ninja and fight for her life. Another young athlete diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma at the age of 21. She kicks ass. I can tell you this because I've ridden with her on a couple rides. While I'm sucking air on the verge of serious what-the-fuck-did-I-do-to-deserve-this-punishment physical breakdown the girl is barely breathing hard on the uphills. Seriously. Cancer didn't have a chance with this badass. She is also now cancer-free and will be riding the Young Survivor Coalition's Tour de Pink in October here in California. This is a 220 mile ride over three days to help support young women who have or are going through breast cancer. Young women like my cousin Nola and friend Juliet.

And if you're looking for a really wonderful charitable cause, this would be it. Kari is trying to raise $2500 in donations to help young women fight breast cancer. Cancer knows no age, but for a young woman facing cancer head-on its a hard pill to swallow to think you may never know the rest of your life or to even see your children grow-up (or even have children if that's your dream). I get teary just thinking about that. This video nearly did me in - and I'm not a weepy, teary, emotional type.

So help a sistah out if you have the means. By helping Kari meet her fundraising goal you will give a young mother like the woman in the video a fighting chance to see her baby girl grow up.

And I'm curious... anyone else out there had to fight for your life? What's your story?
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  1. The courageousness of some people is just amazing. I really hope I never have to experience cancer, but if I do I hope I can be like these ladies. Amazing!


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