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Why we are here...

GSRon's picture
Posts: 1304
Joined: Jan 2013

I pursposely baited you to read this... no apology here... this is a story...and not Cancer related per se... but...

OK, many decades ago, I live outside of Detroit.. I worked in a motorcycle shop... which means in the winter time you had snowmobiles to financially survive..

One day a big black pick up truck comes up to the store... wait, no surprize this is Michigan.. lots of big black pick up trucks... but this one was a bit different... there were 2 guys inside...oh that is pretty basic as well... but they get out... the one guy reaches in to the back of his truck and pulls out a wheel chair and they enter the shop...  Yes the guy in the wheel chair BEAT the other guy to the door... Oh and I should mention that guy in the wheel chair was the driver of the truck.!!  This guy (John) was pretty nible in that wheel chair.. he maneuvered it in and around all the bikes and snowmobiles like a surgeon... I was amazed and of cours curious as why he was there....

That is when I had my first meeting with this guy.. about 40 years ago.. we talked.. he was looking for a new snowmobile to replace the one he had...!  OK..  Then I found out he really missed riding a motorcycle in the summer.... sigh... poor guy...

Well, not sure when, but John gave me his story... you see John was a Vietnam Vet... and he went on to tell me about how he never really slept over there.. he kind of kept one eye open all night... every night  for almost 18 months...  This part of the story I had heard before from other Vets... except he went on to say that he came home without a scratch..!!  So.. I ask about his legs.. or lack there of...   John starts to smle a bit.. almost ready to break out in a laugh..  He goes on...

He said he was SO SCARED he would die in Nam.. he came home all OK, then one day about 6 months later, he went to cross a street and a car took his legs out... he is now laughing... and shaking his head...  he goes on...  he said he worried about the wrong things in life... and he is now living life like he should.. having fun doing what ever he wanted to do... 

So, I ask him... How can you take it all so lightly, laughing and all....  He corrected me...  He said, when something really bad happens in life you have basically three choices... You can go Woe is Me and cry all day... you can laugh and go on, or put a bullet in to your head...  He (obviously) chose to laugh and go on...

I think you all know....  I have a hunch we all question at times... but John was an inspiration to me then... and today he still is... I hope this story helps someone out there...  No one ever dared say he was handicapped in any way..!

I did lose track of this guy a long time ago.. but I bet he is still out there active...  Oh yes, that next summer a bunch of pals helped rig up a chariott style side car... John could ride his wheel chair on to the chariott, and ride a motorcycle again... more smiles..!

Bless all of you... hope you find a way to live...

Ron - I don't want a pickle... just wanna ride my motor-sickle....

NomadicMike's picture
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2013

I found myself going through all kinds of emotions when I was first diagnosed.  Shock, dispair, depression, anger. 

Let me give you a little background: My handle name is derived from my lifestyle.  I sold my house in Florida two years ago and I've been traveling around the country ever since.  In January of this year, I decided to spend the winter in a motorhome park in Palm Springs.  The average age of people here is probably 65.  I was diagnosed right after I got here.  I'm still young (45) and got so angry that all of these people around me were going to live longer than I was.  It just seemed so unfair.  What did I do to deserve to get this disease?  I gave up hope when I thought it had metastasized to my brain because I was having frequent headaches.

When I looked back on my life before being diagnosed, everything seemed so perfect and I went from living this incredible, carefree life to feeling like I was staring death in the face.

Then, somehow I turned my anger into a fight.  Dammit - I've got a lot more living to do.  I have a lot more places I want to see and people to meet.  So, now I'm fighting for it - for the life that I had before being diagnosed.  I'm going back to the path that I was on.  This cancer thing was just a little diversion in the road for me.  It's not my time to go...not yet.

angec's picture
Posts: 924
Joined: Mar 2012

Two very inspirational stories! Thank you Ron and Nomad.... Keep up the positive attitude, it goes a long way and actually makes you feel better!   I read one story where the woman was 22 and was very depressed...said the why me for a while and wasn't feeling good.  She decided to say the not me, not my time speech to herself and she just told herself she didn't have cancer and acted like it never happened.   Sure enough her cancer resolved by itself.  So who knows how far a positive attitude can take us. 

alice124's picture
Posts: 898
Joined: Mar 2012

Thanks for sharing Ron. Great reminder to "be a warrior, not a worrier." And, yes, we all occasionally need to be reminded.

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