The following is a Team LIVESTRONG story from Chicago Marathon participant, Carlos Fragoso. Join Carlos at the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 7th. Can?t make it to Chicago? There are many events you can take part in with Team LIVESTRONG. Go to www.teamlivestrong.org to learn more about our run, walk, ride and tri events.
What is your name and where are you from?
Carlos Fragoso from Lombard, IL
How have you been affected by cancer?
It?s a life changer that?s for sure. No matter how big or small the situation is, cancer is quite simply a word that scares everyone. It?s the boogie man. On January 18th it was really hard to feel emotions, after several hours of talking to doctors and getting ultrasounds, diagnosis info, procedures, surgeries and chemo info, my brain had gone into a tail spin. It all boiled down to one thing, it was all happening to me and I had to control it. The weeks to come were a constant mental frenzy and I could not concentrate on anything. I wanted this invader out of my body and I wanted to feel normal again. On March 13th I took control and had a major RPLND surgery to remove any potential invaders that would otherwise cause any additional problems in my life. Family/Friends were a huge support in the whole event and my mother, father and wife played a leading role with taking care of 99% everything. I could not have asked for a better team!
Putting all of the negative aspects of cancer aside, I knew I wanted to do something better, something that not only inspired me but others in the process. Sure I was dealing with cancer but so are thousands of others. Running the Chicago Marathon has been a fun event for my family for just about 10 plus years and figured if I?m gonna run this bad boy again then I want to do it under a Foundation that inspired me. Where there is a negative, there is a positive and I wanted to turn this cancer experience of mine into a positive event. When I was diagnosed I immediately read Lance?s book and was inspired by his courage and determination to beat cancer and get back on the bike. Without that inspiration I don?t think I would have made some of the decision that I did. I probably would have let myself fall into a huge funk and not looked at the positive aspects that I could have created. I wasn?t gonna let fear win.
Have you used LIVESTRONG services?
I ordered the LIVESTRONG Guidebook. It was actually quite helpful to read much of the information and understand that others had similar feelings and concerns about their future living with and fighting cancer. It gave me questions to ask, things to consider, people you can talk to and better ways to understand the type of cancer. Knowledge is power. I can?t say that I became an expert but certainly WAY more knowledgeable than when i started.
What does LIVESTRONG mean to you?
It?s an attitude..It?s like being part of an elite team of survivors. I am a cancer survivor and I Live strong, feel strong and will Win strong.
Name one piece of advice you would give to someone affected by cancer.
?Fear is the mind killer? – Frank Herbert