I'm Russ Owen. I am a cancer survivor and Captain of Team LIVESTRONG's Band of Brothers. You never think something like cancer can ever happen to you. You think it's that other poor soul and when you hear their story it's often a fleeting thought then you go on with your daily life. I wasn't any different.
It's deflating news to hear those words "you've got cancer". I heard mine after a biopsy in June 2011 and all at once I felt hollow. How could I get to stage IIIc testicular cancer. After all, I was in the best shape of my life and I was eating right. There was just no way. However, cancer doesn't descriminate.
After my surgery followed four grueling months of chemo. Cisplatin, Etoposide and Bleomycin. When a drug has liquid platinum in it and the nurse has to wear rubber gloves to administer it, you know this is for real. Becoming sick at just the scent of something, not able to keep down water, frequent hospital stays for tachycardia and generally feeling like crap became part of my routine for several months.
But through all that I chose to take something positive away from the experience. I met several other patients and talked to them about their hopes and dreams. Although to the outside world they looked frail and weak I learned first hand just what incredible strength these people possessed. The time I spent in that infusion center changed my life forever. Oddly enough, it all made me a more complete and stronger person. During my chemotherapy I made a promise that I intended to keep. I would do what I could to give back in the fight against cancer. LIVESTRONG became my vehicle for giving back and to show that I had beaten this God forsaken disease on every level. Due to the incredible nurses (especially Shay Traylor) and amazing patients at Northwest Georgia Oncology I had an opportunity to get to know I'm dedicating my ride this year to them. See my patient story: (http://www .ngoc.com/for-patients/patient-stories/russell-owen/)