Lance Armstrong

I've tried to avoid talking about it, but people know my story and what I've been through, and keep asking me what I think about Lance Armstrong.

At the lowest point in my life, when I had just been laid off from my previous job and then realized a few months later that I had cancer, I had the fear of losing everything.  It was literally like being kicked when you're down.  I experienced the horrible fear of leaving my two awesome children behind without their father, the fear of leaving my wife behind without her husband and soulmate, and the fear of leaving my parents without their son.  I thought about making video messages for my kids, of things I might like to say to them at various ages in the future, because I seriously thought I was going to die and that my life was over.  I never could do it.  The mere thought of it brought me to my knees each and every time I tried to even think about it.  It's extremely painful for me to remember these fears and experiences even today, and drags me to a very deep and dark place filled with a lot of insecurity and doubt that I prefer not to visit.  I would not wish these fears and experiences upon even my worst enemy.  

Enter Lance Armstrong.

Lance and his story is the one that gave me the hope and encouragement and inspiration that I so badly needed, to know that not only would I likely beat my cancer, but that I could thrive and kick ass in the aftermath.  His story helped to give me so much confidence that I was going to kick cancer's ass that I went out for a job interview after my first round of chemotherapy, still a bit uneasy on my feet from the after effects and with clumps of hair falling out of my head, and got the job.  Sharing his own personal battle with cancer in such vivid detail helped make my own fight so much easier by removing a lot of the unknowns and uncertainty.  He's given this same hope and encouragement to many more and touched the lives of millions, helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars towards cancer research and support, and put every bit of his star power to a good and positive use.  The world needs more Lance Armstrongs.  Lots more.

Testicular cancer is usually a highly curable cancer, but Lance had Stage III with mostly choriocarcinoma and had ignored the symptoms for 6 months to a year which is, with very few exceptions, almost always a death sentence.  People know the hell I've been through, but what Lance was up against made my own battle look like amateur night.  He's seriously lucky to even be alive today.  I know more than a few people that have died from this.  I know some people who are alive right now whom I think about and pray for everyday, but whose cancers have been declared incurable by the same doctors who treated Lance Armstrong, and who will be lucky to live even a few more months.  But Lance lived.  Yes, Lance Armstrong is human, he's imperfect, and has had moral failings both on and off the bike, but I believe that his life was touched and spared by God in order to do the good that he's done in this world for the cancer community, and that all of that is far bigger than and vastly outweighs a sports doping scandal.  Like many, I'm very sad and disappointed about what happened, and I know people and sponsors and donors and fans are very angry with him right now.  I am too.  But I think and hope that in the long term, people will forgive him.  

I forgive him.