Oprah Talks to Lance Armstrong
Oprah: From the beginning, you appeared never to have a moment of self-pity. You seemed to go on the attack: "I'm going to lick this."
Lance: I had moments when I wondered whether I'd make it. But I was confident I could take a shot at beating it.
Oprah: Didn't the doctors think you had almost no chance?
Lance: I found out later that I had only about a 20 percent chance of surviving. I was diagnosed on October 2, and I was done with treatment by December 13. But then the monthly checkups began, and that's the bummer. That's the fear.
Oprah: In the book, you describe a nurse, LaTrice, as a pure angel.
Lance: When you're in the hospital, doctors are busy, but I figured out real fast the nurses were the key. LaTrice was the head chemotherapy nurse and a beautiful lady. We bonded immediately. She remembers my time in the hospital better than I do—I was given so many drugs that I was cooked. I slept 20 hours a day. But one day, I asked LaTrice whether I was going to live. She said, "Yes, you're going to make it."
Oprah: You mentioned that she said, "Years from now, I want this time to be like a distant dream, a memory for you. I don't want to be in your life forever. The only place I want to see you is on TV, winning the Tour de France." That's so endearing.
Lance: And of course, LaTrice is going to be in my life forever. We still see each other once or twice a year.
Oprah: I'll bet you really find out who your friends are when you're in chemo, trying not to throw up.
Lance: I had great support from a core group of friends and family.
Oprah: Did you think you'd be able to come back as a cyclist, stronger than ever?
Lance: Of course not.
Oprah: All your energy was spent on getting well.
Lance: Right. I didn't care about biking. I just wanted to get my life back.
Oprah: Did you ever ask, "Why me?"
Oprah: If you did, what would the answer be?
Lance: I wouldn't have an answer. We don't know what causes testicular cancer. Is it environmental, is it hereditary? No one can say for sure.