I had not been feeling just right and after a series of quick exams decided to change physicians. The first physical with the new doc was to be a two part affair. I returned to my office after the first half to see my message light blinking. It was my new doctor and he wanted to see right away. He would wait until I could get back no matter the time. This visit lead to a referral to an oncologist he already set up while waiting for me to return for the next day. At the end of day two I was told I had stage 4B Hodgkins. I was told to go home tell my family, contact my lawyer to get my affairs in order and contact my minister and plan my funeral. Then he looked me square in the eye and said, then I want to admit you to hospital tomorrow at __a.m. for some more tests, drain your lung and start curing the cancer. This was the beginning of 18 months of chemo followed by a month of radiation.

I had ridden to the first assessment appointment. At one point early on in treatment my oncologist told me to stop riding. My immune system was nonexistent and road rash was a greater risk to me than the cancer. I told him I had already sold the bike as part of ?getting my affairs in order.? Hmmm was his response as he made a note in his papers.

Roughly two years later we were talking about test results as part of my remission follow up. The results were good. He was pleased with the stamina I was showing as I recovered from the side effects of radiation. As the exam ended he began writing and telling me; ?This is not a prescription but it is your doctors advice at this point.? He put it in an envelope and handed it to me. I read it in the car during the drive home. The note read: Find your helmet and buy a motorcycle.

This was twenty two years ago. My medical record since then is a disaster. I rarely get sick in the normal way of colds or flu, instead opting for two more bouts of different forms of cancer and a quadruple bypass. Part of my recovery plan made up with my doctor in all of them was a return to riding and other activities I enjoy at the appropriate time. Life is the treatment. Chemo, radiation, recovery and riding are events in that treatment.

I wish many more riding events for you in the future of your life. Good luck.