Ten years ago ...maybe more, while I was still on the radio, a woman wrote me a letter.
She wrote it anonymously because she was upset. She was trying to run a fundraiser for autism at a Waterloo school. That school was well known for it's support of the Poster Boy campaign for the Cancer Center. The end result was disappointing for this woman, who felt her campaign had suffered as a result of the work we were doing.
In that letter, which I have kept over the years, she expressed her frustration, and then some anger, hoping my children would be hit by a drunk driver, and that I would be diagnosed with cancer.
To be honest, it bothered me. Mostly because while I could understand the frustration, why would you wish anything like that on anyone? It particularly bothered my wife as well...which hurt me more than anything else ever could.
It's the nature of the beast, I suppose, when you are a public figure. Some people won't like what you say,or what you do, or in my current position, what you decide. I have no issue with that. It's difficult enough to find consensus on simple issues. Never mind the complex ones.
So what does all that have to do with anything? Simply put, I have been diagnosed with skin cancer. It's not the worst kind....it's basal cell carcinoma. It tends not to spread to other organs. It's certainly an indication someone has spent too much time in the sun.
I'll have some outpatient surgery in the next week or so, and after that, from what I understand, it will be an issue of monitoring...and making sure this old man takes care of himself in the sun (something my wife has been preaching for a long time)
Maybe that woman who wrote the letter will be happy to read the news.
I don't really care.
But I do hope if you have something on your body which seems a little weird, like I did, that you'll take every opportunity to get it checked. I know it's scary. I know you don't want to think about it. There's a history of cancer in my family. It was always in the back of my mind. Now...at 56 years of age, it's here.
I intend to be around for a long time yet. And I'd like you to come along with me.