Person riding motorcycle on road during a sunset in the foreground. Behind them are vignettes of life milestones peaking through the hills in the distance. Memories, markers, life events.


Last updated: August 2022

Markers - the milestones we use to measure our progression through life. Cancer is a big one. The diagnosis, the treatment discussions, and the weighing of the options. Even the aftermath and all of the baggage associated with the disease in general.

Yes, cancer is a major marker in anyone's life. That said, I suggest choosing to focus on other markers.

I have written about and lamented the intrusive thoughts I have when I near my annual checkups. I have discussed the impact cancer has had on my mental health and my overall well-being. But today, I had an epiphany - enlightenment.

I want to share it with any who ventures here and reads this. Buckle up readers, this is epic!

Cancer doesn't always cross my mind

I have never thought about my cancer while playing with my two-year-old grandson. I have not had one thought about disease or treatment or remission or even recurrence while riding my motorcycle with the wind in my face and the sun shining.

Not a flash while building a truck with my son or playing cribbage with my eldest. When my daughter and I discuss a book we read or a recipe we want to try or a trip we would love to take.

Cancer is never in the mix.

A beautiful day for a ride

I got home from work today, the sun was shining and the breeze was gentle. I tossed my lunch bucket on the table, and grabbed my wallet out of my bag. I drive a truck and hate sitting on my wallet all day so I have a backpack.

Wallet in my pocket and some earbuds for a bit of music and I straddled my 1994 Harley Softail and fired her up. I added a sidecar this year. I have never had a sidecar on a bike but always wanted one and the opportunity arose so now I have a sidecar.

After a bit of a warm-up, I pushed her back out of the garage and rolled into the driveway. I cleared the wife's car and cut the bars so I rolled back into the grass. Adjusting my sunglasses, I gripped the bars and dropped her into gear. An easy release of the clutch and I was away.

Freedom from bladder cancer

Right at the stop sign and I was out on the big road. Throttle, clutch, shift, throttle clutch, shift. Repeat until I reached 5th gear and now it was time to relax and feel the wind. The earbuds played something or other and the exhaust pipes screamed in the background. Nor a single thought about bladder cancer. Freedom!

What did I think about?

I thought about the fact that this year marks 40 years of riding. Four decades and only 2 accidents, early on when I was reckless and impetuous.

I have ridden in every imaginable weather. Literally, snow, rain, hail (that hurts!), scorching sun, and even road through a tornado. My brother has yet to forgive me for not pulling over. All of that and I still get giddy as a child when I can run through the gears and open up a motorcycle. Thousands of miles.

Choose wisely your markers

Breakdowns and near misses. A lifetime of stories and memories and not a single one of them revolves around cancer.

Cancer can be all eclipsing. It can be a dark hole, an abyss. But there is a lifetime of markers that don't even acknowledge the existence of cancer. Change your focus and you change your path and your destination.

Be well my friends and choose wisely your markers.

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