Today I have a guest post.  Readers of this blog may wonder why I support the Young Survival Coalition.  The YSC introduced me to and help’s women such as this one.
 Below is a letter that a woman I am honored to call my friend Natasha Wieschenberg wrote.  Call it a personal F YOU to cancer.  Cancer actually made Natasha a stronger person.  Look deep inside your self and ask if it would have done the same for you.  
Just so no one get’s the wrong mental picture here.  Natasha is not a “big” girl that competes in the Athena class.  Natasha is a tall girl and skinny as a rail.   Not that this should effect this story, I just want you to have a clear picture of the women writing this passage.
Natasha is a beautiful glamorous Cancer Ass Kicking Woman. 

 This was written as a note on Facebook.





Dear Cancer: When I was a little girl and thought about what my life would be like when I was 40, I always saw myself married, living in that American-dream country house with the white picket fence, with a handsome husband working in the city, a trio of children keeping us busy with all their activities, and at least two dogs running around in the backyard. My father would have walked me down the aisle at my wedding and he and I would have danced to “The Lady is a Tramp” by Frank Sinatra (okay, maybe not that song but it sure would have been fun to tease the Queen Mother with that one). When I was a little girl, I didn’t even know what cancer was so I had no reason to fear you or to think that you would ever cross my path. I honestly don’t even remember when I first learned about you and the pain and devastation you bring into people’s lives, and now I see and hear about you every single day. I had a lot of plans and you, cancer, were never ever in any of them. But as the great John Lennon said, life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. And sure enough, that’s what happened to me. I had my plans but life had other plans for me and next thing I knew, I was turning 40 without the house and fence, without the handsome husband and children – and without my father there to congratulate me on the important milestone. Then five months later, you show up and kick me and my family in the face when we’re already down. The thing I want to know, cancer, is did you have plans for me? Did you plan on breaking me down, making me suffer, and then taking me at a young age? I think it would be kind of funny if you did because as we’ve learned, life happened again and I chose it with every nerve, bone, cell and tissue I have. Life happened, maybe not as I planned when I was a little girl but it happened in a way that is so brilliant that I never could have even dreamed this up if I tried. You woke me up cancer – you happened and life started. On July 22nd, I wrote to you to tell you that I was undertaking seven triathlons to celebrate the seven years I’ve distanced myself from you. I let you know that I was not in it for the medals, for the accolades, for the win – that for me, finishing was going to be winning. In fact, just showing up was winning in my book. With each event I learned, I grew, I celebrated – I overcame huge fears and doubts – and I basked in the warmth of the support and encouragement of so many friends who made me feel like the happiest and luckiest person in the world. On October 2nd, I finished my Sevendeavor with the most challenging event of all, a Half Ironman (which because of the weather, became just a bike-run). It emotionally and physically drained me and I literally sobbed my way through the finisher’s shoot, shedding tears of loss, frustration, fear but mostly, tears of absolute elation at beating you, at putting you in your place, at saying “F You” to you and “Yes” to life. And the icing on the cake cancer is that I didn’t do half bad with my Sevendeavor and tonight, came home to an Ironman 70.3 2nd Place Athena Category finisher’s trophy in my mailbox. “Hot damn!” I screamed in the car when I opened it. Hot damn indeed cancer, hot damn. When I was a little girl, I never dreamed of riding my bike 100 miles in a day, of riding my bike 220 miles in three days, of running a marathon, of completing a triathlon, of encouraging others to take one more pedal stroke to make it up a hill and seeing them make it up that hill and more. And thanks to you, cancer, these don’t have to be dreams now either because they are my reality and I couldn’t be happier. Well I suppose that’s not a true statement because the only thing that would make me happier right now would be a world without you. So today, that’s what I dream about – a world without cancer. Today, I’m a big girl, a big proud and happy girl that has achieved more than I ever imagined possible, and today, I dream about something that I have to belief is possible no matter what else is planned for – a life without cancer. And ironically cancer, I have you to thank for showing me that yes, dreams can and do come true.Love, Natasha



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