I found myself with some unexpected time on my hands today. Two out of three kids are sick. So that meant some time at home for me. Both kids are taking a little nap right now, probably the best medicine for an ear infection. Since they have each chosen a sofa to sleep on, I can excuse myself from vacuuming - don't want to wake a sleeping child. Watching the two of them, I think of this photo:
I miss those days. A lot.
But I digress. So before I start crying and wondering where the time has gone, let me return to the topic I intended to address.
Unless you have been living under a rock, there shouldn't be any reason for me to recap. It has been all over the news, the internet, Facebook. But, what hasn't been anywhere, and what I have been wondering, and what I have to imagine has crossed others minds is: Did he ever really have cancer? And if he in fact did, is it possible it was never as bad as he claimed it was?
Stage 4. Unless you are talking about the Tour de France, the very term can evoke fear and terror.
That's what stage we were told Lance Armstrong was in. His testicular cancer spread to his brain and lungs. Stage 4 survival rates are very low, although higher for some types of cancers than others.
And yet, within a year, Lance Armstrong was in remission and racing again. He goes on to win the Tour de France 2 years after returning to the sport. Amazing and inspiring to so many people, particularly those dealing with their own cancer diagnosis.
Now, as we find out more and more about the case, the years of lies and denials, about doctors who back dated prescriptions and fudged reports, about officials who drop allegations after large donations were made, about bullying team mates, managers and doctors, am I really the only person who wonders? Could this all have been faked, or the extent of his cancer exaggerated?
Faking cancer isn't rare. I googled it before starting this post and was amazed at the number of known cases that popped up. In almost every instance, money was the motivator. People pretended they had cancer, or their child had cancer for financial gain.
Clearly, Lance Armstrong had a lot of financial gain. He was a relatively unknown athlete before his cancer diagnosis. Much of his fame is due to the storyline of "biker beats cancer, wins races." Sure he would have gained some fame winning the Tour de France, but lets be real, how many other famous bicyclists are there in the US? Can you name even 1? Probably not.
After beating cancer, returning to his sport and winning, Lance Armstrong rose to heroic heights. He starts a foundation, he writes a book, everyone knows his name. Before long, he is earning $20 million a year in prizes and endorsements.
But what do I know?
I do know that if everything is as it seems, that perhaps some of the research money needs to go towards determining if blood doping is a cure for cancer. Imagine if after all this hullabaloo it is discovered that a cocktail of EPO, testosterone and blood transfusions is the cure for cancer.