Stage 21 – Prelude

by Jeanne

Unity is strength. Knowledge is power. Attitude is everything.

      –from The Manifesto of the Lance Armstrong Foundation

And I have to be honest, I have finally acknowledged why I have such mixed emotions.  My Dad has multiple myeloma. He was diagnosed over a year ago. This is the second most common blood cancer. So in Lance I see hope. I see strength.  I see some one living strong. But I also see my Dad. And as painful it is for me, and for the rest of my family, it’s all we can do while my father endures the chemotherapy, the booster shots and the intense side effects of radiation is live strong. But it’s not easy seeing some one who has been your model of ideal weaken by a disease to which you have no control over.  But he has resolve and a positive attitude.

I have my own thoughts about what the "causes" of this cancer and other life threatening illness might be.  We have a epidemic of disease taking place throughout the world. We can no longer separate our environment from ourselves. There are many possible factors big and small, from the air we breathe, to the milk we drink, to the Teflon pan we eat from. We all need to pay closer attention. The volume needs to be raised about the role of environmental contaminants and many of the other environmental factors in many of the common diseases, disorders and conditions that are increasingly common. 

So while Lance has elevated the sport of professional cycling in America I can only anticipate what he will do for cancer research and raising awareness. I don’t know of any one figure with the celebrity and personal story that Lance possess. The LAF provides the practical information and tools people living with cancer need to be strong.  How could you even imagine that this is where your life would lead you? The words above are wise ones for those living with, or caring for loved ones with cancer. They are also worth heeding in general.