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Cancer Moonshot can change our Cancer Conversation

I sat on the case of Syrah, breathing deeply to slow my racing heart, letting the dizziness pass in the cool silence of the industrial wine storage cooler. Sitting alone in the dark, I finally accepted that no amount of toughness, fight, positive thinking, survival spirit or resiliency was going to give me the prize I sought: to spectacularly defeat cancer. Before breast cancer, I biked across the US and India. Now, after a year of surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation, I set an audacious goal: to bike 10,000 miles over three months in Asia and spectacularly thumb my nose at the cancer that had stopped me cold and left my body broken. And why not? The media and the Internet promote glorious stories of cancer patients completing near-impossible physical feats. And I took this message to heart. I was a survivor. I had beat cancer. If they could do it, I would too. I trained for months, gradually increasing the miles and difficulty of each ride and slowly building strength and stamina. But now, after nearly passing out during a bike ride in front of a rural winery I had to face facts. My hard work, determination and positive attitude were not enough to restore my health or pedal my damaged body back to pre-cancer strength. Consultations with my doctors later - and their warnings to get to the emergency room if anything like that ever happened again - confirmed my fears. I had failed. The months after were the most depressing of my life. In hindsight I realize that trying to do that ride was completely unreasonable ... and probably dangerous. It certainly delayed my true healing, and led to a host of other painful, avoidable medical problems. I had listened to the hype and myth of cancer survival instead of listening to my

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