“Cancer”.. I have cancer.. are you sure??
He asked the doctor.. I am just 25 – why would I have cancer?
But his cancer was confirmed.. the doctors were sure of the diagnosis – he felt a sudden vacuum in his stomach, he felt like someone had pulled the ground below his feet, he felt as if he was sinking in the abysss with nothing to hold on to.. Death did not scare him.. What bothered him was.. he would never be able to accomplish his dream .. his dream , the one thing that he had lived his entire life for.. the one thing that distinguished him from others.. the one thing that determined his very identity..
And with cancer.. his this very identity was at stake..
He still couldn’t believe his ears.. but as he joined the dots .. he realized that the big red stains in his cough, the frequent excruciating headaches which felt they would burst open his head ,his septic sore throat, the chest x-ray that looked like a snow storm were all an indication…his cancer was true; this cancer was a long time guest not a short term visitor in his body system
Cancer further progressed in his body like the invader all set to conquer. It had already occupied the lungs, now it had also made an entry into the Capital of human land, his brain. Cancer even threatened the future of his next generation and he had to store his sperms to secure their future before he started his fight against cancer.
Cancer had allies too, in form of bad news that followed – his sponsors had backed off, he had no insurance, and his chances of survival were given as 40%. Cancer was set to devoid him of career, money and Life .. all at once
Cancer was becoming a tougher opponent to surmount –Should he still fight?
He had every reason to give up… his body had no strength.. but he fought.. his peers did not believe he would be able to make it.. but he fought.. His sponsors had lost their faith in him.. but he fought. And to support him in his fight was his mother, his girlfriend and his friends
In a fight, strategy is important – it’s very important to know your strengths and the weakness of the opponent and accordingly strategize when and where to attack. To gain this knowledge he became a voracious reader, reading everything on cancer and its treatment. He devoured all the material available on internet, libraries, bookstalls everywhere. Knowledge gave him hope. Knowledge made him “self aware”. Knowledge gave him the strategy to fight. He also teamed up with the other co-fighters, his doctors, to implement the strategy.
Cancer made him weak, chemo treatment reduced him to a log of wood breathing chemical, cancer scared him to death but being afraid felt like a priceless practical education – it made him look at his life like he had never before
His priority had earlier always been accomplishing his dream –but now.. life took over; this disease made him ask of himself more as a person than he had ever before. Marriage, being a father, living a happy life with a small family became more important.
He was a simply a cyclist before, but Cancer added new purpose to his life – to be a Cancer Survivor
He not only survived the deadly disease but won over it…any guesses who he was… yes, he was Lance Armstrong
And he accomplished his dream of winning Tour de France not just once, twice or thrice but record seven consecutive times
He hadn’t won it even once earlier before Cancer– he was physically much stronger then, but cancer made him mentally strong – cancer helped him drive his aggression – the worst tragedy of his life, Cancer actually helped him to accomplish his dream , Cancer was lucky for him
So do we have any cancer that has crippled us – that is preventing us from progressing in our jobs, careers, relationships.. its time to have a check and to fight out this cancer.. don’t give up for this cancer is there to make you stronger.. Cancer is lucky for you!
This was my 4th speech at Toastmaster – Praised for its structure, so posting it here. Inspired by Lance Armstrong’s book – ‘Its not about the Bike’.