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Monday, February 21, 2005 

Who’s he kidding? It’s about the bike.

When I read books I know that I am supposed to write about I don’t wait until the end to figure out what I am going to say, I start constructing from the very first page. As a result I have three different topics that went through my thoughts as I read; cancer, in-vitro fertilization and biking.

My opinion on cancer now that I have read this book is that if I get cancer I need to be rich and I need to be famous so that I can get the best treatment available to me. If I am famous I will have fans who write me telling me that I need to seek out other opinions and which opinions those are. I will have fans that are willing to talk with me on the phone and willing to go over my blood count and really tell me what it all means. If I have money I will be able to fly all over the U.S. at the drop of a hat to get opinions from the best of the best and then make an educated decision based upon the many opinions I have been offered and able to choose a doctor who makes me the most comfortable and confident with the outcome of my grave situation. Don’t get me wrong, I think that Lance Armstrong has done many wonderful things for cancer research and cancer patients, I just don’t think it was his book.

Before reading this book my knowledge of in vitro fertilization (IVF) was limited. I appreciated the honesty with which Lance approached a subject that many people prefer not to discuss. After reading about the shots Lance’s ex-wife, Kik, had to administer to herself nightly and the surgery she had to undergo to remove the eggs from her womb for fertilization and then have the eggs re-implanted all the while doing much of this alone because her husband was on the road training, gave me a real respect for any woman that will go to this effort to have children, especially a wife that is later left by her husband so that he can ride on the back of a motorcycle with a rock star into the sunset.

But what the book is really about and what I learned the most about is cycling. I discovered it is not the solo sport I thought it was, but rather a complex, strategic team sport, a sport Lance admits he didn’t really fully grasp until after going through cancer, nearly dying and coming back with a new outlook on life, on cycling, on everything. I do believe that some of the most important lessons we can learn, the ones that make us over completely are taught through some of the most painful experiences, ones that we would never wish for, but once we’ve gone through would never take back. Cancer reconstructed Lances body, making him leaner, lighter, easier to carry up mountains on his bike. Cancer also reconstructed his mind. Lance had been humbled, he began to understand he can’t do it on his own, but that he needs to work as a team, he needs to rely on and help the ones he cycles with.

In the end I wouldn’t recommend this book because the only part I really enjoyed is the part about the bike and clearly this is not what Lance, or is it Sally Jenkins, wants us to get from the book and if they do, then the title doesn’t really fit, now does it? I believe that if you want to read a book from a cancer survivor’s perspective there is a better one out there, and if you want to read a book about the process of IVF there is also a better book out there, but if you want to read a book about racing bikes, not the “how to guide for dummies” but the book that tells you the story from a personal perspective then I think this is the one to read, the one written by the best cyclist, the book that isn’t about the bike.

I give the book a six out of ten, I am the guy sitting in the chair, not the one jumping up clapping. It’s just all right.

I have so much to say about this... and I will be saying much tomorrow... but I just wanted to tell you Right On Raisan! I kept having a similar thought of, "Well... If i get cancer I'm screwed because I am not rich." Let us all hope I can avoid the cancer. :D

I think you guys missed one of the big points. Even if you are not a super star with lots of money, you need to search out your options in these matters. He was not afraid to go out and find another opinion. I have had some medical issues in my life where I took the Dr’s word as the gospel, and that was it. I later realized after reading some articles, and having some other Dr’s read my test results, she was completely wrong. That was what he was saying; you have to study and research. It just happened that he was able to extend his options to other states, and the “best” Dr’s around. But you just can not settle. There is more then one oncologist in your state, and there are more hospitals. Of course it costs money, but if you have IHC then you are covered, oh wait no your not your SCREWED!
I take a lot of what was said in the entire book as you take what you have, and you do the best you can with it.

I agree with you Cameron. Lance is saying that you should do the best you can to find as many opinions as possible, to do your own research and all of that, but how easy is it for him to say this? I think I would prefer to hear the story from someone who had to actually do it on their own, that wasn’t able to just phone up a friend's secretary and have her book the next flight out of Austin to go see the number one doctor on testicular cancer in the U.S., who is only seeing him because he is Lance Armstrong.

The book is as much about the bike as it is about cancer, if not more. Sure Lance uses the cycling as a metaphor for continuing on, but if you say the point of the book is to do the best with what you have I feel bad that this book is the best he could produce. This being the case maybe he should leave writing books to people that don’t need to rely on a “Sally” to help them out, but to people that are actually good at it. What is this book anyway? A self-help book, a look at me book, a bring the problems of cancer to the forefront of society in order to make advancements in the medical field book? In my opinion it is just a load of crap waist my time book.

Plus, the guys a hypocrite. He talks about how he wants to be the best father and husband and son and blah blah blah… but what does he have to show for himself now? He has bought into stardom and left his wife with their three children. I think it would do him some good to go back and read his own book and figure out where and when it was that he lost site of the things that he claimed were most important to him, being a good father, being a good husband and being a good son.

But that’s just my opinion.



It's okay Cameron... Once I picked a bad book for book club too. You don't have to defend what you know deep down is not that great. =)

Why are you so catty?

Saucer of milk, table for two?

First of all...Rebecca and Cameron CRACK ME UP. Second of all, Lance's wife left him (as my bro in-law will defend to his grave.)

Will report on my review on Thursday, though...lol

I don't have insurance and EVERY adult in my Dad's family has had cancer...it's just a matter of time. I'm screwed...

I agree with Cameron. It took my years to figure out how to navigate good, really good health care, and even longer to figure out how to pay for it.

I enjoyed the book, but really didn't see much evolution of thought through out it. I actually think less of Mr. Armstrong, than I did prior to reading the book, which took me off guard a little bit.

I also wonder... through all of the pain and ...oh what is the word that I am looking for.. the heartache of IVF, it seems like a sad conclusion in the end. I am left wondering... "why" and with a lot of questions he obviously avoided.

It wasn't a bad read, but I too wouldn't give it more than a six.

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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