A Call to Arms

I don’t know how to do this, so I’m just going to come out and say it: one of my very good friends was diagnosed with breast cancer yesterday afternoon.

I came home from a dinner with Sal and checked my email and there it was in my inbox.

Electronic sucker punch take down. Bam. Gut blow.

This is how it works. You know this shit is out there. It gets close to you and then fades away a little bit. Then it comes back and gets all up in your face.

My aunt died of breast cancer when I was in high school. Until now, that’s the closest I’ve been to the disease in my life. I saw things then that I never want to see again in my lifetime. I can still remember the way the light was coming into the house during the last time that we visited. Everything white and bright and still. Her hospice bed with a view out the window toward Mt. Rainier. Hardest was watching her family stand by in those final days.

That wasn’t my battle and it’s not my story, but it taught me a lot of things about living. It taught me a lot of things about courage and tenacity and fight.

Now Cancer is here again. Right next to me. Going after a girl I love. A girl my age. A girl who has ridden me (and most of the Oregon women’s peloton) into the ground. My Vegas accomplice, a bourbon aficionado, my fellow dump truck.

Thing is? Cancer picked the wrong fight this time.

Because you just don’t fuck with LK.

If there’s anyone feisty, plucky and cantankerous enough to beat the crap out of a disease like this, it’s her.

Today she’s in waiting rooms and offices – meeting with doctors and specialists. While she does the recon, I’m sitting at a computer in Tucson – seething and plotting. Planning a counterstrike.

The troops are mobilizing now. Large armies rolling in to action. The main battle is hers and hers alone, but a few good wingmen and an out-of-nowhere flank attack never hurt any battle plan, did it?

We’re going to take this fucker down.

Standby for updates and attack strategy.

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  1. Heidi, Best of luck to LK – she’s lucky to have someone like you to go through something like this!

  2. Where do I sign up? I’m ready for a fight.
    Give LK a big hug from me – 3 time cancer survivor. I’m in it to win it with you.

    Call, tweet, text, email, smoke signal — send it out, I will respond and share all my battle knowledge…

    I’m in it with all of you. BRING IT ON!

  3. I am sorry to hear this news. All my best wishes and hopes to you and yours.

  4. Cancer chose the wrong woman this time… LK is a tenacious fighter and will kick cancers ass. And she plenty of support behind her. Hoping for the best, keep us updated.


  5. Just got word that it’s Stage One. Whew!
    Will know more after an MRI on Sunday, then treatment decisions will be made.

  6. great column peep!

  7. I’ll join your army….enlisted women prepare to fight.

  8. I am currently 5 treatments to go after 30 treatments for cancer. Before this started i knew I could have help from a few friends and family but didn’t think I’d need a lot of help.
    Now i know that the wingmen/ women often carry, and always help.
    Good luck to your friend and get the squadron on standby and ready for duty.

  9. where do I sign up??? Im ready to give it a big kick in the cnacer ass!!!

  10. I love that you used that Banana Belt picture. It does look sort of bad ass.

    Thank you to everyone, especially those of you I don’t even know, for your words of support. Every word of advice, referral, anecdote helps me build back up my infamous confidence/arrogance. Pretty sure I’ll need some reserves of that in the next few months.

    I keep a blog, not nearly as eloquent as Heidi’s, but I will try and keep it up to date with my progress. Warning: It’ll probably use the F word a lot.


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