... I'll be sedated, sliced, and somewhat saved.
But let's back up, I'm writing to you on Wednesday Nov. 14 as I sit at gate D18 at Washington-Dulles International Airport. I'm currently enjoying my two-hour layover on my way from Denver to Columbus, Ohio.
My name is Woody Roseland and I'm a 22-year-old who currently has three approximately-1.5 cm tumors in my lungs (that we know about). This isn't my first bout with cancer. I am now in my seventh iteration of the most crucial battle of my life. Through my failed attempts at remission I've lost limbs, lung tissue and too many friends to list. Being the most popular guy at the hospital is a lot like being the coolest guy in prison; a hard earned position you would rather not be in.
I'm currently headed to Ohio for a party that's being thrown by Pelotonia, a grassroots bike event that raises money for cancer research. The actual bike ride took place in mid-August but tomorrow, Pelotonia will reveal a big giant check and the total amount raised this year. Over the past four years they have come together for One Goal: ending cancer.
On the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 20, as this article comes out and you're reading it, I'll be back in Denver to pursue a more personal and selfish goal: ending my own cancer. I'll be enjoying the majesty of modern medicine as I have my trio of tumors carefully plucked from my lungs. Luckily (and I use the term 'luckily' loosely), this is my fifth lung surgery, so I know what I'm getting myself into. My fifth time trying to cut out what my chemo couldn't kill. Once I recover from surgery it will be back to the drawing board once again. In search of some elusive elixir that will be the missing piece in the riddle of my remission.
The last time I was in Columbus I departed early to fulfill the final leg of a serendipitous journey that began in a microbrewery in Denver, Colo. While grabbing some beers with my pal who works at Livestrong, we ran into a couple of lovely ladies who were with First Descents. I don't know how all attractive young people who work in nonprofits know each other, but they always do.
These philanthropic vixens told me that First Descents provides free outdoor adventure experiences for young adults, and 80 percent of the participants are women; uhh, sold! I couldn't sign the safety release fast enough. And it just so happened that the day after Pelotonia ended in Columbus, First Descents had a rock climbing camp in upstate New York. Obviously this was meant to be!
When I arrived in LaGuardia I was scooped out of the smog and concrete by Sweet-D and Derf, two incredibly cheery guys in cargo shorts with tanned weathered skin, and wide inviting smiles. The kind of guys you could listen to forever as they tell their tales about the times they've had on the river. They were each so comfortable in their own skin that there was no need for all the harsh social constructs that prevent genuine human interaction. Sweet-D and Derf were your buddies from the moment you met them, and you knew it.
The lady at the United desk is calling for boarding group five, so it looks like I'll leave you all here. Thanks so much for reading, I'll keep you all posted as I recover from surgery. It will be a fun experiment to see how an infusion of oxycodone and morphine affect my writing style.