Cycling, Cancer & Life!

Last week I finished reading It’s not about the bike – by Lance Armstrong. For the uninitiated, Lance Armstrong is a cyclist who is diagnosed with stage 3 Testicular Cancer. He battles the deadly disease to come back and win the Tour De France, perhaps the most physically enduring race in competitive cycling. In fact, some of the raw physical acts described here remind me of The Ultra-Marathon Man by Dean Karnazes – another fabulous book!

The book provides a look into the trials and tribulations that embrace the mind of a cancer patient. Lance is a young, ambitious sportsman with a free spirit and cancer attempts to crush it. Lance fights, battles and breathes to the point of abusing “those damned cells” – quite literally until he gets rid of them completely. This is one man’s story of battling the negativity and staying on top when life takes one to the lowest. He is given a 50% chance of survival, has to undergo neuro-surgery and is asked to “store” his sperm in a sperm bank because he might not be able to produce it again!

As much as it is about battling cancer, the narration is interspersed with little snippets about the people he meets while battling the ordeal. The most profound, according to me, is the nurse who takes care of Lance while he undergoes “chemo.” The book shows that the people who stick by you through your worst are the ones you can call your own. Lance has a great set of friends and a mother with a heart of Gold!

I read this book at a time when a close relative of mine is battling cancer. All the same, I would whole-heartedly recommend this book to everyone reading this – irrespective of whether you know a cancer patient / survivor or not! There are things, instances and situations that you can relate to and this book can inspire, really! Without taking anything away form the book, I must say that the book is written with style and in a way that makes the taste linger days after you’ve finished reading it. Quite like the feeling I had after I read Tuesdays with Morrie!

Thanks Lance Armstrong.. and Sally Jenkins – she is a Sports Journalist co-authored the book!

11 thoughts on “Cycling, Cancer & Life!

  1. This sure seems to be a nice book. Battling problems and seeing who sticks through does teach us a lot about life and people. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. @ Amit

    Do that. I can bet my bottom dollar you will like it!

    @ dreamz

    Welcome to Talking Tails – Thanks a lot for your comment .. Do keep coming back! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I have read Tuesdays with Morrie. I was recently reminded of Lance Armstrong’s book when watching a movie called I, Me, and Dupree. Dupree eventually becomes motivational speaker after reading Lance’ biography. ๐Ÿ™‚ though movie does not say so, it has an interesting story.

  4. Hi Amyth ,
    nice little review.

    ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ has been in my Favorite list But haven’t read this one.Would surely pick it up.

    P.S. Have you read Albom’s ‘The Five people you meet in heaven’ ? Its another fascinating read.

  5. @ Poonam,

    Wow! … I didn’t know that.. I’ve got to get hold of that movie.. thanks for the tip-off! ๐Ÿ™‚

    @ Rahul,

    Nop… Been wanting to read ‘Five People’ … Had borrowed it from a friend.. Will get down to it.. I’ve heard lotsa good things about it ..

  6. I read this book an yr back ,but vividly remember how much lighter i felt about life’s problems in general .It makes one very emotional ,specially that part when his friends cycle slowly so that he might think he is still the most powerful.How he loses his spirit to win and decides to give up cycling and then again he gathers courage to start all over again – and ends up winning prestigious tour de France .This journey from hopelessness to life is what this book stands for-How Lance did not allow cancer to take away his life’s passion and life itself .

  7. @ Charu,

    Totally! We all are obsessed with the idea of how many problems we have or how deep our problems are. Reading this blasts all that! – and more importantly, it shows us HOW we can get back on top!

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