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!