Saturday, July 19, 2008

Breakfast of Champions

You're probably thinking Wheaties. It was better than Wheaties. Marty and I drove to a remote section of Rhode Island this morning to mark the 20th anniversary of LLS's Team In Training. Remote in the sense that we had no idea where we were, and it seemed a bit--how shall I put this?--Faulknerian. Maybe it was the weather (hazy, hot & humid), or the tired-looking buildings, but we felt we'd entered a time & space warp. All the breakfast guests were TNT alumni. We'd been invited because (1) my son ran a TNT marathon last year, (2) my daughter is interning at the local Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Office and helped plan the event, and (3) I'm a former honored patient.

I had a chance to catch up with some TNT folks I haven't seen in a long time. Their current honored patient is a Lymphoma survivor who has participated in a number of TNT biking fundraisers. He spoke eloquently to the rapt crowd about his illness, touching on the special hell which cancer patients (and their loved ones) inhabit while waiting to hear test results. I introduced myself to this man at the end of the speeches and told him I was a fellow survivor. Turns out he too had had a transplant at Dana-Farber, some four years ago. A year ago, feeling terrific, he discovered he'd relapsed. After completing a TNT Century Ride (that's 100 miles on a bike), he once again entered treatment. His latest scans prove him to be in complete remission.

The breakfast was yummy; the champions, superb.


Marie said...

Long, long broom handle required to push back the thoughts for regressing four years after transplant! Ugh! I can't immagine how tough that would be to hear. It was hard enough to hear 6 months after remission. It gives me the chills. I'm glad to see he's such a strong roll model.

Ronni Gordon said...

I too am an athlete and like your honored lymphoma survivor, I relapsed after nearly four years. I am now recovering from a transplant that I received on June 10. I am doing well and am glad that you are. I enjoyed reading your blog and hearing some of your concerns about the restrictions. They certainly are challenging! Keep up the good work.