In the latest of our "Fighting Spirit" series, Trader1 Whiplash of T1 Radio and Relay Rockers came and talked to cancer survivors and caregivers in Second Life about his personal fight with leukemia.
Trader is often called "the Voice Of Relay" in Second Life, and I have often heard him speak, but never before quite so passionately and personally.
He was diagnosed nearly five years ago. An enthusiastic golfer, he was diagnosed as a result of a routine sports medical when he signed on at a gym. After being given the scary news he was then told that it wasn't treatable... because it was too early... he lost his drive at work, his appetite, his girlfriend... and became seriously depressed.
The turning point was when other friends and family were touched by cancer. "We all have to find a source for our strength and mine comes from knowing that no matter how lousy I feel someone feels worse, that no matter how bad my cancer is someone else's is worse. When people offer me their prayers I ask them to send them to someone who needs 'em more than me." It was also around that time that he joined Relay For Life in Second Life and found a way to channel his energies into fighting back. When his white blood cell count got into the range that it needed to be treated, he was ready for his own personal battle, claiming that "...Chemo Sucks but its a lot better than the alternative. and hell, i have had worse hangovers!" (I HATE to think what those hangovers were like!)
Trader is in remission now, but he knows the importance of being surrounded by people who are there to support him through treatment. The nature of his leukemia is that in a few years he'll need treatment again. But he has learned to live with his cancer and is meanwhile back in pursuit of that one-digit golf handicap. "While I don't embrace it we have an agreement.. DON'T stop me from being me and I won't bitch about having it."
He ended with these words: "It's NOT easy to live with cancer.. and it's even harder to fight it, but as long as you have the ability to do so then damn it do it! JUST DO IT! the grass is a whole lot prettier when you are lookin down at it!"