One of the local radio stations where I live switches over to a Christmas music only format around the middle part of November each year. I enjoy listening to the station, although it seems like some songs get much more airplay than others.
For example, one song I hear frequently is "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" sung by Andy Williams. It's a great upbeat song, extolling the excitement of the Christmas season. It is also sung splendidly by Andy Williams and is certainly a holiday favorite.
However, this year the song has a special meaning or significance. If you recall, Andy Williams died this year of bladder cancer, the same illness that I fought and overcame. As a matter of fact, when I heard Mr. Williams had bladder cancer, I tried to contact him directly through one of his fan sites but never heard back. Nevertheless, this song and, in particular, his singing voice are now part of his legacy. Although I'm not very familiar with much of his music, it seems like the songs I have heard are fairly positive and uplifting. His songs are his legacy.
On the other hand, I am saddened to hear of the failures of Lance Armstrong. He is a cancer survivor with many Tour de France victories. His catchphrase, "Live Strong", can be seen on bracelets and other sports items. Yet, due to his drug usage, his Tour de France victories and his commercial sponsorships have been removed. He has gone from hero to zero in a short period of time. His legacy is now the image of one who took substances to secure his Tour de France wins. In other words, he cheated. Not the best way to be remembered.
When dealing with cancer, I am faced with a choice regarding my legacy. Do I want to be known as someone who fought cancer bravely and tried to help as many people as possible cope with the disease or do I simply want to get by? To me, the choice is clear. I choose to write, to speak, to encourage, to do whatever I can to help others. Although I fall short in so many ways, being able to assist others with cancer or major illness is certainly a good way to be remembered at the end of my days.
I mention more about my cancer battle and subsequent victory in my book, "A Place I Didn't Want To Go: My Victory Over Cancer". Check it out at: