Reminder: Uncertainty in Life

This blog post was written in September 15, 2016 and it’s another moment in life where we were reminded of how important it is to live life to the fullest.  We had a scare and that week was no fun.  We are grateful that it turned out with good news…


We had a bit of a scare this last two days…

Doug felt a lump on his chest.  We went to a doctor yesterday to have it checked.  He is okay, a benign cyst.  The doctor gave him prescription for an ultra sound and lab work for cancer markers just to make sure since we are in Chamonix for a while.  The doctor doesn’t think it’s a problem and the cyst could have been there for a while.

Doug’s father passed away from cancer and it was my first experience in life knowing someone close that was dying of cancer.  It was a life changing experience for us.  I hear and read about cancer all the time but it’s not as scary as experiencing it with someone you know and is a big part of your life.

In a family Thanksgiving with Doug’s family years ago, I met Doug’s aunt who lived with breast cancer for a few years.  I didn’t know her and that was the first time I met her.  She was on a wheelchair, partly paralyzed and had a hard time eating food.  She had bravely battle cancer for many years.

The night was long when I touched Doug’s cyst on his chest.  I know he was also scared but being Doug, he was strong for me.  He knows the medical situation and told me that it could be just a scar tissue from his surfing accident when he was young or just a bacteria infection.  I know he was trying to make me feel better but we both knew the possibility that it could be worse.  I cried on his shoulders without even knowing what it was.  I cried because I did not want to lose him.  He is my love and my life.

On stage 5 of the Manali-Khardungla race we did in India, I cried after we made it over the second hard pass that day.  Right as I approached the top of the pass, giving everything I got in my body and spirit I let it all out in tears.  My mind was with my friend who passed away with ovarian cancer just recently.  She was my age.  I followed her Facebook posts and felt her fears during the two years of chemo and all sorts of desperation to get better.  I felt the hope she had to live longer because she was not ready to give up.  The last few weeks of her life, I saw in her eyes the acceptance of being defeated by cancer.  I knew her strength and she was a fighter.

It started to hail and snow on our way down to Pang.  The hail was sticking to my skin and it felt like needles pricks.  She was on my mind and her pain is not as painful as the hail on my skin.  What she went through to try and survive cancer was more difficult than me riding through deep mud, rain, wind and rocks.  25 km of shit is nothing compared to what she went through.  It was a strange sensation as I pedaled hard and talked to myself…”you can do this…”  My thoughts went wild with her image on her last days at the hospital stuck in my head. “This is for you…”  I whispered.

Everything we have endured in our life is nothing compared to dying of cancer.  We aren’t scared to give up everything we have to experience life and travel.  It’s worth it.  We aren’t scared of having nothing as long as we have each other traveling through life because everything else means nothing without us being together.  It is that important to us.  You don’t get that perspective without experiencing people you love waiting on a hospital bed telling you that they aren’t ready to go.  Those who were not ready to go, do not deserve to go!

Today, we go to the local hospital to do what needs to be done and wait.  Even though the doctor said that it’s benign, in Doug’s case we have to be sure.  Doug’s dad had a benign cyst removed, but that is how he found out he had cancer through his blood work.  We will do whatever it takes to confirm.  Right now, nothing matters in life but life itself.

I sat at the doctor’s office yesterday with a big lump on my throat waiting for Doug to come out of the office.  He came out with good news that it is a benign cyst but a big part of me is very worried until we confirm through his blood work.

Life is very uncertain, we know that.  The question is, will we have the strength to weather the storm in every uncertainty.

We can only live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment of it until it ends not matter what happens.

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