Fuck Cancer

An acquaintance of mine was the guest of honor on a local radio station’s morning show this past Thursday. The DJ’s described the shirt he was wearing as having nothing but the title of this post on the front: Fuck Cancer. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen him wear it, though I’ve only met him a couple times. My wife has run with him at local events, and it was she who first told me about the shirt.

You see, this gentleman is living with cancer that will eventually take his life. It will give him nothing in return. No love, no gifts, no happy memories, no pat on the back. It will only take. It will take him. Paraphrasing him, cancer doesn’t deserve our respect because it has none for us, so fuck cancer.

Yesterday, I received an email from a friend of mine letting me know that a childhood friend of ours had passed away. My friend Joe was diagnosed with cancer in October of 2011. He passed away April 1, 2012, just a couple months past his 43rd birthday.

I met Joe in 1st grade. We rode bikes together and played football together. I remember riding to football practice together in the back of my dad’s pickup (you could do that back then…). He was our star tailback. We got our first motocross bikes for Christmas in 7th grade; matching 1981 YZ 80’s. We rode every chance we could. We went to our first Supercross race together. It was Anaheim, 1982. Shortly after that race, my family moved to Utah, and we kept in touch as best we could. Our lives grew apart, but we kept crossing paths off and on through the years, as I moved back and forth between California and Utah. It was always good to see him and we could pick up like we had just seen each other days ago.

One of the last times I saw him in person was again in Anaheim, at a Supercross race in 2002, or 2003. I was standing in the pits with a group of friends, when I got the urge to turn around and scan the crowd. Not 10 feet away from me was Joe. I got the chance to meet his kids, and see his older brother, who was also there. We exchanged cards for years after, but since I moved back to Utah in 2005, I haven’t had the opportunity to see him in person.

Cancer took his life years too soon. It is a heartless, cruel, miserable beast.

Rest in peace, Joe.