Can I be friends with someone I have never really met? Can I meaningfully support this friend despite the fact that I don’t know if we have ever even shaken hands? Does Facebook, Twitter, and reading a blog here and there count as friendship? Normally I would answer no to all these questions. Cancer, however, is not normal.
5 weeks ago I read Wendy’s blog and was crushed! I have heard her name constantly since I first got involved in LiveSTRONG 7 years ago. I have seen her at the annual Ride for the Roses event. Everyone seems to know Wendy and she seems to be everywhere, but as I started riding with her flag I realized that I could not remember ever talking to her myself.
Part of Wendy’s (at least a 2 time survivor already) blog from August 27, 2014, “Three weeks ago, everything was fine. Today, I’m looking for a Hail Mary pass.”
How could I feel this sad about someone I have never even talked to? Almost every night since that post my wife Jeri has asked me, “Any news on Wendy getting into that clinical trial?” She doesn’t know Wendy either! I usually only ride with a flag for a week. For the last five weeks I just could not take this flag off my bike.
Just a couple days ago, October 1, 2014 Wendy’s blog title was, “I’m in”. The Hail Mary pass was caught! I did absolutely nothing to help Wendy get into this trial. I also know that this does not mean the game has been won. But it was time to celebrate. (I don’t like beer and wine so it was off the the grocery store for my own quart of Ben&Jerrys – all 1,280 calories!) As I went to bed my stomic was not happy but my heart was.
Next week we will head to Austin, TX for the annual LiveSTRONG Ride for the Roses event. For the last 7 years I have always had some big goal that culminated at this event – just get invited, ride with Lance, make a presentation, ride the 100 miles, etc. This year if I’m successful will be my biggest challenge. My #1 goal is to meet (maybe for the first time) my friend Wendy and if she will let me give her a hug.