Sandy Beardsley
Living with a Brain Tumor
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03/14/07
“Alright then, let’s go…”
Filed under: General
Posted by: Dan @ 9:11 pm

Words that I heard Sandy say many times in the last months of her life… whenever a suggestion was made for something as ordinary as a walk, or more ambitious like going out dancing or a trip to the Oregon coast… or making the long journey to the LiveStrong Challenge one week before she died… she would always smile in a determined way, fighting the effects of chemo and cancer… and, when she had gathered her last bit of strength, just say “Alright then, let’s go.” I still hear her voice saying those simple words. And they hold so much power and inspiration for me. Because they were not just words… we got up and got going. Not all of the time, because some days her body would not let her, but most of the time she got us going.

And though recently that has been a tough thing for me to do, I’ve heard her voice… and keep going. Some days better than others. Even though the calendar and the longer days and the rapidly melting snow say spring is around the corner, the nights have been getting longer for me. The more time that passes without Sandy by my side does not ease the loss… it deepens beyond measure. But I hear her words and keep going… though I’m in the deep, I keep swimming. Some days I don’t know why. And then there are days when I need get a little kick in the pants to get going. Usually it’s a memory of her and something she would say.

And sometimes it’s an email from someone… like “D” - recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. And sometimes, like tonight, it’s an email from a friend at the Lance Armstrong Foundation….  Sandy is being honored on the home page of the LiveStrong Challenge…



[click the image above to go to the LiveStrong Challenge website]

And even though I have photos of that day framed on the wall, to see her on their website again… let’s just say I’ve gotten pretty good at typing with tears in my eyes… Thank you, Stephanie.

So “Team Friends of Sandy” and anyone else who who would like to join the team or donate to a cause that helps those with cancer, consider this a “let’s go” and click the link above, go to the Portland, Oregon page and search for Dan O’Connor / or the “LiveStrong Challenge 2007″ link in the left sidebar to go to directly our team website.

A side note to my cycling friends: despite the constant pain of severe knee and shoulder injuries from being hit by a truck 2 years ago, and despite the fact that it’s still officially winter and there’s snow on the ground - my sometimes manic desire to “get going” got me back on the bike in late January and I have 250 miles on the odometer for the year - not bad for mid-March and considering most of those miles were ridden in temps below 35-degrees, dodging patches of ice on the road. I’ve paid dearly for the pain of cold weather riding, but it has also kept me breathing… so I’m looking forward to riding the warmer weather of spring and summer, and Portland in September, and hopefully Austin in October. So get those bikes out…

Alright then, let’s go… Sandy is with us.

Good night,
Dan

8 Responses to ““Alright then, let’s go…””

  1. mary pat b Says:
    Good morning Dan- Just dropped in to say hi and saw the new posting- I think Sandy is telling everyone to ” just get moving”!!! Spring is Here. I’ve been at the computer for the last 2 hours - looking for deals to take the family to Vegas over the kids’ spring break — just to see the “Phantom of the Opera” and maybe “the Blue Man Group” ; Seeing that picture of you and sandy crossing the portland finish line - Two fantastic Heroes. With your family and friends all around you - The support that the Lance Armstrong Foundation sends to all the families and loved ones dealing with Cancer is such a Loving Gift - our family will again love to sponsor the Friends of Sandy’s. So Team keep pedaling - love mary pat
  2. HAM Says:
    Oh Man, that is so cool! Thank you DanO. My heart goes out to you all the time my friend. I was walking the hillside today, trying to break out of my crappy cold/flu (day #7) today. I was thinking what kind of pain Sandy lived with, and how it was probably like having the flu all the time, when she was in chemo. And then I thought, “she didn’t sit around staring at the walls”, so off I go. Yesterday I saw my first wildflowers of spring blooming March 14th - Spring Beauties and little Salt & Pepper lomatiums. Looking for the yellows, for Sandy, I saw blossom heads of Glacier Lillies - all this and we still are partially snowcovered. Thinking of you two, and Cameron too. With heeps of love, Heather
  3. Tracy Ismert Says:
    Dan, What a great honor on the LIVESTRONG website. I too am good at being on the computer and crying. I too sometimes think the loss of my brother is worse now than it was back in 2004. I don’t know how these things ever get “better”. To me it seems even more unbelievable as times goes on. I used to always worry that John would find out that he had passed away and would be scared on his own, that he wouldn’t know what to do. It haunted my thoughts for a whole year. I don’t have that intensity any more but it still hurts to be without a loved one. Sandy would be proud of you Dan. Much love and take care, Tracy. ( Burlingame / San Francisco Brain Tumor Walk 2006)
  4. Susie Steblina Says:
    What a great picture of you and Sandy crossing the finish line. I’m so glad to hear you are “going”. Dan, I worry about you, and I know Sandy does as well. Sandy will always be with us and I know she wants the best for us. Take care of yourself and keep going on the hard journey of living each day to the fullest.
  5. Megan O'Connor Says:
    Hello Brother Dan, I think about you throughout the day and pray you are at peace. I miss her too. Every day, when the birds sing at dawn and dusk, I feel she is sending a hug and a wink. I’ve shared your blog with several friends here in Kansas and they are so impressed with your writing and extremely touched by your journey. It gives me strength each day to know when my animals pass away, Sandy will be there with open arms to greet them on the other side.
  6. sue kleiman Says:
    I have been following your brain tumor journey for some years.first allow me to send you my heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your wife.my husband was diagnosed with a oligodendroglioma/astrocytoma in november 2000 .he had surgery with a 90% removal. regular mri scans showed no growth until two weeks ago,after almost 7 years the thing I feared most is now at hand. we are in the o s–t! mode and can only hope we handle it as gracefully as you and your wife did.I just wanted you to know how your story made me feel not so alone in this battle with such a relentless enemy .god bless you.
  7. Michael Maccaferri Says:
    Dan, I just learned of Sandy’s passing and I wish to pass on my MOST heartfelt condolences. You may not remember me, but I was with a group of touring musicians playing at Stanford when you were in town. We met in the hot tub at the hotel where we were all staying. I came across your card while sorting through some paperwork and immediately logged in to see the latest prognosis. I am sorry it was not a more joyful web-surf. My thoughts are with you and with the memory of our brief “ships passing in the night” acquaintance. I still vividly remember the strength and courage with which the two of you radiated. Sandy is not forgotten! Be well.
  8. Anonymous Says:
    God Bless you. Send his guardian angels around you. Be in peace that Sandy is with you and she is not in any more pain.

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