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The Every Cancer Story Counts Cycling challenge is well underway , ok only really 4 days in but it has started and I’ve been able to stay ahead of my daily cycling goal. Let’s just hope that Hurricane Mathew doesn’t impact my ability to ride but the cycling challenge is less about the riding and more about sharing why Every Cancer Story is important by introducing you to some of the toughest cancer fighters I have come to know over the years who battled this horrible disease.
I timed the Every Cancer Story Counts cycling challenge to start off in October to align with Breast Cancer Awareness Month by design. I would be remiss if I didn’t start off by honoring my wife Deb and her battle with Breast Cancer in 2007. She battled the disease like a true trooper that she is. We were extremely lucky in the sense that we had the support of family, friends and some of the most compassionate and knowledgeable medical staff to help and guide us through her treatment and it is something that, to this day, we feel we can never truly pay back.
In 2007 Patient Navigation services were still unheard of. We worked together to figure out what the “next” step would be and there were many “next” steps that we had to navigate through. Many of our questions were answered by the medical staff but yet many questions were left unanswered and only by working together were we able to navigate our own journey the cancer maze. This is one of the major reasons I support the LiveStrong Foundation as they provide some of the best patient navigation services available.
In addition, we had the most supportive navy shipmates to help me fulfill my Navy duties as well as my responsibilities to Deb. On more than one occasion numerous shipmates stood up and volunteered to take my watch in order so that I could be home or to in order that we could attend a medical appointment together. Many of those shipmates remain my closest and trusted friends to this day. It truly says a lot about an individual when they contact you without any prompting and volunteer to stand the watch.
It is critical for anyone battling cancer to have a support structure and we had the very best. I was able to attend all but 1 of her chemo treatment and I witnessed firsthand the impact chemo radiation has on the body from one week to another. I am fairly confident in saying that no one ever ends their chemo treatment in better physical health then when they started, and every day is battle of both the mind and the body.
As all cancer fighters are warriors each cancer battle is unique but above all cancer stories are deserving to be heard and respected.
Cancer Sucks and We will continue to do something about it.
Thanks for checking in and stay tuned for more updates…