Its official, Lance Armstrong is a cheat and a liar. His recent interview with Oprah wasn't particularly surprising, if you have been following the story at all over the past several years. Yet, while not surprising I still find it incredibly disappointing.
I don't really care about the impact of the cycling world, they'll recover. Or about the fact that Lance was rude and mean to his accusers, they'll recover too. What I care about is that I spent time looking up to Mr. Armstrong as a cancer survivor. I held him up to a higher standard because he had done something as incredible as beating cancer and then gone on to impress people. I looked up to him for the things he has accomplished in the cancer community and the countless lives that have been touched by a simple yellow bracelet (A livestrong story). For ages I held on to the belief that no cancer survivor would mess with their new, healthier body with steroids or blood doping.
Today, I feel angry. Angry at having been duped. Angry that all cancer survivors aren't saints. Angry that Lance Armstrong, the liar and the cheat, can easily get a stage with Oprah Winfrey. I am angry that Lance can no longer be the good guy who changed cancer. He will always be tainted.
I may be angry but the angrier I begin to feel the more I slow myself down and remember the good. I remember the heroes....not the lying and cheating heroes but the real heroes.
The daughter who loves me even though I was "so silly to let the hair stylist shave my head".
The husband who loves me bald and hairy, cancer-ful and cancer-free.
The family who keeps me grounded. (You must always have someone in your life to remind you of what a dork you were in middle school)
The doctors who saved my life even when they were unsure if that was a possibility.
The dear friend who turned her home over to complete strangers so that we could be settled while in Maryland.
The nurses who took care of me each step of the way.
The fellow cancer survivors who were also fighting a fierce uphill climb.
This list goes on and on and on....
Today, and everyday, when you are faced with the onslaught of liars and cheats, step back and remember the heroes. As Mr. Rodgers so eloquently put it "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are
helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my
mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are
still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world."