Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We can't all be Lance

My return to road racing didn't match Lance's triumph in the Tour de France, but it was deeply satisfying just the same. I ran the Eastern Oregon Half-Marathon along the John Day River on Saturday in 1:47, finishing second in my age class (55-59, if you must know). That's only my fourth half-marathon, and was three minutes off my PR, which I set when I was 30. The whole weekend in the high desert was a blast. It came a little more than six months after the end of my treatment last fall, and represented an emotional watershed. The John Day helped to drain away some of the re-entry stress I deal with daily.

This article in Cure magazine puts plainly what most people who survive cancer must cope with. We all gradually pass through a gray zone in which we're no longer being treated, but still live with doubts over whether our malignancies have really been eradicated or not. I just learned this week that the brother of a friend diagnosed with melanoma a year ago now has brain cancer. He'll start radiation soon. You don't need to hear many stories like that to know we can't all be Lance Armstrong, who only started winning Tours after he'd been treated for metastaic testicular cancer. The rest of us are mere mortals.

I'm happy to have re-entered a life that resembles the one we lived B.C. (before cancer). I'm blessed to be able to run, to work and to plan things at least a few weeks ahead. That seriously abherrent--and abhorent--chapter of my life last year was actually pretty brief: about eight months. As the memories recede, I hold my breath as I try to ace my quarterly CT scans. Unlike the woman cited in the magazine article, I wasn't living exactly a full-throttle life to begin with. What passes for normal in my life has been pretty easy to resume. I could get used to it.

That's me under the blue arrow in the photo above. To view a slideshow of my trip to eastern Oregon, click here.


wags said...

How come they write articles in People magazine about Brooke Shields' pre-basil cell carcinoma lesion, and all you get is a private blog? Glad the run went well and that life is now creeping back to normal. The pics looked great--makes me want to do a road trip when we're up there. Time to ratchet up our prayers for the next scan. Take care Peter,

Anonymous said...

Fantastic Peter, what a great time and I'm sure an even better overall feeling of being "back". Keep Well,
Tom (from the somewhat far east)

doug said...

Did you see the Rimrock Room tavern? Wonder if it is still in Spray. Congrats on the race. Loved the photos. Love the photos. The historic hotel in Condon reminds me of the old one in Shaniko. Did you stay there and the motel in Service Creek? Am off to Phoenix tonight to see family. Back Sunday. Maybe a run together soon after.