Fuck Cancer

When I did my Team In Training Marathon last month, I walked in honor of two people: one dead (Frank) & one alive (N). I wrote a bit about Frank’s life and death at my fundraising site. I didn’t mention N because, well, for a lot of reasons.   

I’ve known N and his wife for 14 years. We’ve lived in the same building; they have taken care of Lily nearly every time I’ve traveled. Their cat is actually Lily’s brother from the same litter. They call me “dear.”

N was diagnosed with leukemia fairly recently – within the last 12 months or so. When I signed up for Team, when I walked my training miles and especially when I made my 26.2 mile journey, I did so with hope for his recovery.

I never got the courage to tell him that I was walking with him in mind – or that I was raising money for LLS. It’s just that I didn’t want him to feel objectified. Does that sound crazy? The marathon seemed trivial compared to his daily challenges. Even when it came time to add his initials to my jersey, I inked the letters small. I guess what I’m trying to say is that his health belonged to him; it wasn’t mine to use or parade. So I kept the idea of him as my “honored teammate” (as they say) pretty much to myself and to Andy.  

Tonight I learned that he died last week.

I don’t need condolences, but if you’re inclined to pray, please take a moment to hold N’s family in your thoughts.

7 thoughts on “Fuck Cancer

  1. May N rest in eternal peace.
    Hugs, Ruth.

    I followed your Team in Training posts and have such admiration for you for doing something so unselfish.

  2. Ruth – Reading this has left me tearful. I’m thinking of N’s family and I’m thinking of the families of all the patients that I cared for and lost to this disease. I’m also thinking of all the good things the money raised from your marathon will do to put us one step closer to finding the cure for these horrible diseases that we call cancer. The title of this post is perfect! Fuck Cancer!

  3. I’m so sorry, Ruth. I feel your pain truly. It isn’t trivial what you did- it feels so good to know people like you care enough to seek out a cure – to help erase the pain of loss from cancer from this world. Every step you took in that marathon was a step toward wellness for all and for that we survivors are deeply appreciative.

    My thoughts are with you.

  4. it’s weird, this past weekend i’ve been thinking more deeply about my own underlying drive to complete the 26.2, and while it/they all seem “trivial” when compared to other, bigger things, its an incredible journey and a way to actively work our own stuff, and do something meaningul and important. it’s a brave, brave person who is willing to work (and walk) their own stuff. no one can take that away from you. and i’m so sorry to hear about your friend.

  5. Bless you and bless N’s family. You know, I hear of the setbacks of my TNT heros and my personal heros, and you realize that for them, this really is life or death. We have lost three of our LLS board members in the last many months, and we get those reports at our Mission Moment before training.

    I get all choked up… there is something about the drive to do this marathon that does not come from me, and it doesn’t really come from them. It comes from someplace else much Higher up. I totally don’t get it, what in the world does my effort do, really, for them? I don’t know. But then I hear how it cheers up little 5 year old Mason to hear how many miles people ran for him that day, and how it lifts the spirits of my personal hero to think that a friend of his parents would do this for him… whatever my running does, it does something and I’ll take it.


    Thank you so much, Teresa. Best of luck during your training. I’m enjoying reading about your adventures at your page.

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