Monday, February 20, 2012

Cycle for Survival

I don't really know where to begin as I sit here reflecting on this years Cycle for Survival. As much as I want to say that it was a transformative experience, I hesitate. One way that I have tried to pay tribute to Jen Linn is by resisting the urge to write empty phrases. But the cliche keeps hammering my brain..transformative experience....I just can't shake it.
There's the monumental sum of money that was raised which will actually transform the seeds of ideas, that are already germinating in the minds of the scientists at Sloan, into tangible results. These results will transform the treatment modalities that determine whether people live, die or struggle somewhere in between.
These transformations are built into the fiber of cycle, they drive us to donate, ride and raise awareness for the need to fund rare cancer research. But when I sit here thinking of the past couple of months and all that led up to the culmination of the events, I am brought to tears by the transformations I saw in the hearts of my friends who had no idea that people loved them so much. They reached out with shaky hands, unsure of how they'd be received and were greeted by such generosity that they no longer felt helpless, or hopeless in their lives.
I watched as people flew in from all over the world to sit on those bikes, I watched as people embraced other survivors for the first time in their lives, I watched as people reached out for and received closure from long open wounds that never healed, I watched as people smoked themselves for the entire 4 hour ride in honor of their loved one. I just can't shake it, our bodies, our minds, our hearts, our lives were transformed.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The little drummer boy

People often use war analogies when describing their experiences with cancer. I've never been to war, but I have CNN. As for whether cancer comes close? We battle, We fight, we win, we loose. We loose body parts, we loose friends, we loose our sanity.
I feel like my role in this war is more akin to the little drummer boy than any warrior that might have a real weapon. I walk through tragedies trying to give focus to the battle. I am defenseless, but move forward through the carnage hoping that I will be able to keep my rhythm without falling.
I have CNN, NBC, google news and access to all the worlds information at my disposal every second of every day. I think it's time to bring the cameras a little closer to this war of ours...maybe we'd at least get a better soundtrack than me on a drum.


Why have we evolved the capacity to feel so deeply the pain of others?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Too many thank you's are a good thing

It's cycle for survival time and I'm heading down to DC today to take part in the event in Bethesda. This year is going to be bittersweet, thinking of all the people we lost in one year alone. Faces that I want to see and voices that I want to hear are alive and well in our collective memories, so walking into the gym, I'm fully expecting to see them there... How can cycle happen without Jen and Alyssa? My entire mental framework for this is wrapped up in still framed images, Jen at the podium expressing her infinite gratitude, Alyssa dancing with zeal in her infamous tiara.
Then there will be the faces of old friends. The memories I have with them extend back to my childhood, long before any of this cancer nonsense. To see them come out in the context of this fight will force my worlds to collide a little. But the universe is big, and there's plenty of space for creative entanglements like these.
I am grateful beyond words to everyone who has participated in our many angiosarcoma teams and for every penny that's been raised. I try to stay on top of things, but if I missed anyone in my many thank you's, I am sorry. Whether you shared 10 or 10000 dollars, every penny is going toward the cure that WILL be found. Every one of you is in the lab, working with those precious samples to try and understand what's causing this disease. You are all supporting the hands of the technicians who are processing the data, in the minds of the researchers who are writing up the manuscripts, on the scripts of the clinicians who will be prescribing new drugs to fight this disease. Many many thanks to all of you who get why we have to do this and who have jumped in with unwavering support.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

ahhh, nigh night time

In each 24 hour chunk of time, there are 30 minutes or so that are always the most night, in bed, snuggling and reading books with my babies. I love every second in each of those minutes. I pull my children so close to me that I can feel every little breath that they take. Yeah, there are words and pictures, but they're really just excuses for me to get my magic from those girls. Have you ever felt the radiating warmth of a child's love? Words become ridiculous when trying to describe it. I think I'll stop this attempt, walk upstairs and kiss their sleeping little heads.