I am starting this blog today because I have written a book about my story and it has not yet attracted an agent or publisher but I think the story is valuable to some people so I am going to just get it out there piece by piece and see if indeed it does attract any attention. Besides, since I have made my career around the Internet and software companies, its seems like its about time I had a blog.
So what story am I talking about? Well I had Osteogenic sarcoma—a kind of cancer only young kids get—as a 16 year old kid. That required emergency surgery to amputate my right leg. I missed 3 weeks of high school after Christmas break for that and then the really difficult adjustments begin of trying to work my way back to some semblance of normalcy. Things did get better once I got the artificial leg. Then when I was a sophomore in college we found that the cancer had metastasized to my lung. That too was an emergency and I was then told at the age of 19 that no one had ever survived what just happened to me. But the miracle of chemotherapy was not yet understood—this was very early in its clinical use. Yes, I was sick as a dog for 5 days a month for 10 months to get through this. I was so "burned out" that I left college and became a ski bum in Utah for a whole season. I had an ulterior motive: to become a really good amputee skier. That worked. I also discovered that I was not dead when the snow had melted. That was 31 years ago. Since then I have done a lot of things that are hard. But about 7 years ago I started to see that if I did challenging things like long distance open water swims or long bike rides, that not only was it really good for me but I could make it really good for others.
As I said, I think this story might be able to help some people. People who have had or know someone who has had cancer (who hasn't?). People dealing with a disability (and I call most of you temporarity able-bodied so this will eventually be everyone too). And frankly, people dealing with some kind of life adversity. I've had all of that and more in my 35 years since the first diagnosis and over a series of months I intend to tell the story in detail to see if anyone cares.