This past winter (back when I thought I would be riding in Little Red), I wrote a very short piece for submission to the Cancer Survivors section of Little Red.
I had no idea until today that they actually accepted my story (amongst 20 others) and published it to their website here. Wow! I was really touched. There are some amazing stories on the site. I'm the 9th story listed if you scroll down.
Or here's the whole piece to save time -
In 1980 my mother was diagnosed with a rare cancer, called leiomyosarcoma, involving a degenerative muscle in the muscular wall of the left ovarian artery. She had just given birth to her second child two weeks before the diagnosis. My family knew from the beginning there would be no possible treatment available – it was such a unique form, it was completely untreatable. She suffered for 3 years before the cancer took her in 1983. I was 7 when she passed away.
I think any family survivors of cancer victims can relate that as you grow older, the loss is more pressing and keenly felt as you reach milestones in your life where the loved one is greatly desired, but cannot attend. I’m now in my early 30s, and I still think of her daily.
Even as a child, you feel the need to do something to help the outcome, even if you’ve exhausted every possible option. A sense of helplessness never seems to dissipate with the passing of time.
This is why I race. I’m doing something, even though my mother is no longer here. I’m not sitting alone grieving. I’m working. It’s the physical “doing”, the exercise that is tremendously healing. It helps me feel closer to my mother and provides a positive outlet for my pain.
And what a tremendous resource to meet others who have suffered – in one way or another – from this painful disease and are now working just as hard to heal themselves and others. It’s a great association and I’m thrilled to be able to race with my family and friends in June.
Of course...it would have been even sweeter if I had raced.