This ride was for a lot of people. For me this ride was about taking on a personal challenge and accomplishing it but it was also a very big part of the recovery process for me. As a cancer survivor you can’t escape the constant concern that the cancer may come back or that you may not fully recover. This ride went a long long way to making me a believer that I have fully recovered. In many ways, I am better off now and in better shape than I was before my cancer diagnosis. Some of the benefit may be temporary but I believe the impact on my outlook on life will be permanent. I don’t know how much time I have, none of us do, but I intend to live every day.
Caregivers also go through a lot when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer. Their ordeal is in many ways more difficult than what the patient goes through. This was certainly the case for my wife Karen and I. Her support on this ride was important to me and I think the benefit to her was similar to what I got out of it. Seeing a loved one fully recover after all that fear, angquish, and dificult times is very rewarding. I wish we had been able to schedule the ride when Karen could go along. Next time she will join us.
The medical professionals who work with cancer patients have to deal with a lot of suffering and loss, I don’t know how they can do it. For them this ride was an inspiration, a reminder of how important their work is and why they must continue to work toward a brighter day when all cancer patients are survivors.
For other cancer patients this ride has provided some hope that they too may fully recover and resume the pursuit of their hopes and dreams. I understand that many of the current Winship patients followed along on the blog. In fact, I have already been approached by three fellow transplant survivors who are interested in going along on the next ride! Yes, there will be another ride. If you are reading this and you are interested in joining in, let me know, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, the money raised will help further the research to get us to that brighter day. Thank you so much to all of you who have made a contribution to cancer research at Winship. They are accomplishing some amazing things.