Archive for June, 2011

Cancer conversation

Cancer conversation

June 6, 2011

ast May 28th , my wife and I ran the Soldier Field 10 mile race. Well, let me correct that: she finished the whole 10 miles and I did not. I was afraid to damage further my knees while on rehab. Jamie, my PT, did an amazing job of taping my right knee up but my confidence was not there.

It is all about the bigger picture, it is about the Chicago marathon in October 2011. That’s the goal. But I did enjoy the abbreviated run that I had. It was a cool morning and I was taking it easy on the way back when a runner passed me with a sign in her back “Suck It Cancer”.  She was wearing her American Cancer Society shirt.

That was Kristin, a cancer survivor like me.  She was diagnose with metastatic thyroid cancer in June 2003 (read her story here) and the consistent top fund raiser for ACS. I am so unworthy (joke). Her charity work for ACS is so huge that they named an award after her, the Kristin McQueen Award for outstanding contribution to ACS. This cancer survivor has so much determination in her that she is so inspiring. She is a registered Physical Therapist, who helps rehab athletes and others backs, runs marathons, and competes in triathlon, while battling her own cancer problems.

After the run, I caught up with her at the ACS tent. Our conversation went like;

“Hi Kristin. I thought that was you passing me up. How are you?” I said.

“I am fine. I am having surgery again soon. My doctors discovered this tumor growth in my neck again but hopefully it will be the last. How about you?” She asked.

“I am doing fine as well. I am still having my monthly chemo maintenance.  Just had one two weeks ago.”

That is how, we, cancer survivors talk. To somebody outside it must be weird hearing conversations like this. We are grounded to the realities of our disease that one of this day, our luck will run out. I sometimes wonder how it is when I grow old and other chronic diseases e.g. diabetes or heart problems, takes its hold on me. My wife does not like it when I talk like this. But Kristin knows. Lisa knows. Other cancer survivors know.

There is no cure for cancer. The medical technology available today e.g. chemo, radiation, hormone therapy, etc, only delays the recurrence of cancer.  It is inevitable.

So what do we do? I know what I will do. Kristin knows what to do. She and I will at the starting line of the 34th running of the Chicago marathon in October.  You got to believe.  Until then, I look forward to having our own conversation again.


P.S. I am currently in Manila on business.  Yes. I will see my mom but she does not know I am here it will be a surprise.  Shhhh…..secret!

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