To my indefatigable foe,
I know that most letters begin with Dear, but you can understand that in this circumstance I truly don't share those feelings. For nearly 6 years you have played much too large a role in my life. Yes the first surgery scared the hell out of me, but after that I was confident that the worst was behind me. You truly sent me reeling when you reared your ugly head only 9 months later. That was truly the turning point, nothing is more chilling than hearing the word metastasism.
Somehow over the years I learned to live and even more joke about my increasingly scarred body.
I learned to endure the looks of despair and pain in the eyes of my parents, family and friends, and together we found comfort in our tears. Thanks to you I joined a community of amazing people soldiering through diverse yet similar experiences, and formed bonds of friendship and camaraderie.
In the last few months I realized that despite my seeming optimism you did manage to shake my resolve. You made me question my future, my ability to dream, to make plans.
Will I celebrate 50? Can we even discuss retirement? Will I dance at Edan's wedding, Lenore's, Sivan's? Do I still have the courage, the guts to undertake another challenge?
Last May with the scars still fresh and the pain too real a rumour surfaced in town that you had won. Yes, through the grapevine, I heard that it was said that I wouldn't ride this year because my health was failing....things weren't going well.
How dare you. No one will say it's over until I say it's over, and so I rode.
Tentatively at first but with increasing strength. I rode alone because I needed the time to think, to cry and breathe the air of life, but I was never really alone. With me were all my family and friends. They powered my soul and my legs, yes those very tired almost 50 year old legs. The hills and the challenge of Tremblant await. On Friday I will ride in a peloton focused not only on the ride or the task at hand, but with your ultimate defeat.
I don't know what the future holds, but neither do you. What I do know is that Lance was right, It's not about the bike. It's about the road we take and our experiences on the ride.
It may be bumpy but this boy is strapped in and ready to go.
On your mark, get set...see you at the finish line.