By on October 23, 2010

Ur-Turn is your weekly opportunity to contribute to TTAC. Every Saturday we select a different piece submitted to our contact form, and publish it as a showcase for the diverse perspectives of TTAC’s readers. Today’s contribution comes from TTAC commenter Rob Finfrock, and it tells the story of how one car-buying decision might have made the difference in his battle with cancer.

I’d planned to buy a new car on August 26, 2006. A loaded Mazda6S Grand Touring with the 6-speed manual, Dark Cherry Red over beige leather, with in-dash CD changer and moonroof. I justified the extravagance as a reward to myself for getting through the last seven months following a health scare. Diagnosed with testicular cancer that January, I had been extremely fortunate in the time since the initial surgery. Monthly observation scans had shown no additional tumors, which meant no radiation or chemo.

The deal wasn’t done that Saturday, though. The dealer’s numbers were still a bit too high for my tastes, so I left that day in my Grand Am. I wasn’t too worried, as I expected the dealer to come around in a day or two. The plan changed two days later, during the monthly consult with my oncologist.

I was still a nervous patient, and sweated each CT, X-ray, blood test, and follow-up. Dr. Bhogaraju was extremely understanding of that fear, and it was his custom to greet me with the statement ”you’re OK.” He didn’t say it that day.

My latest CT revealed an 8 mm growth on my left lung, and inflamed lymph nodes nearby. ”We need to run some more tests,” said Dr. B. ”It’s rare for TC to spread to the lungs, but it’s possible. I’m recommending a PET scan, which will show us how ’hot’ the inflammations are. We’ll take it from there.”

In the middle of all this was that red Mazda. Sure enough, the dealer did call that afternoon to say essentially, ”you win.” But now I was in no condition at all to buy a new car. In a daze, I told the salesman it looked like my cancer had come back.

Days without action turned into weeks, as my insurance company was reluctant to approve the expensive PET scan. I was a nervous wreck. A second CT was approved, and it showed the lung nodule had grown to 10 mm. My oncologist pushed for a surgical biopsy, and starting talking about the likelihood of chemotherapy.

”But this could still be nothing,” he told me more than once. I didn’t believe him. I felt I had already used up my positive karma for the year.

Coming from an extremely close family, my mother planned to come to Dallas to stay with me during the surgery, and for however long after. This posed a problem; she couldn’t drive my 5-speed, and I certainly didn’t want her renting a car for what could be a months-long stay. So, in mid-September I called the Mazda dealership again, and asked about an automatic-equipped 6.

As it happened, there were several loaded models available with automatics. The dealer was even willing to ’split the difference’ for the additional cost of the auto. Fear about my medical situation, however, instilled a newfound frugality. I told my salesman I wanted only a base V6 with an automatic.

I drove off the dealership the evening of September 16 with a Pebble Ash Metallic 6S, and a sense of resignation. I looked back sadly at my still-pristine Grand Am as I left. It had been the first car I’d purchased with the exact equipment I wanted, versus the compromise I now owned.

But this story isn’t really about that.

My new license plates arrived at the dealership September 26. By that time, Blue Cross had finally approved the PET scan, for the first week in October. As I waited on the showroom floor for my car, one of the sales managers walked up to me.

”Hey, got a second?” We walked over to one of the sales booths.

”I went through what you’re now going through about 10 years ago,” he said. It took me a second to understand what he was talking about. ”TC. I had it, and had my last round of chemo right before my 35th birthday.”

He told me about his experience. How he discovered he had it, and how it affected him. ”And here it is 10 years later — I got testicular cancer before Lance Armstrong, before it was ’cool’ — and I’m doing fine. It’s never come back.” He gave me his number, ”call if you need to talk to someone who understands.”

He didn’t have to say anything; it’s not a story a lot of men would feel comfortable sharing with a stranger. Instead he chose to share his story, because he felt it would help me. And it did. I drove off the dealership lot that day more confident — more heartened — than I had felt since August 28.

All because I bought a car… three weeks later than I’d planned to. And from that day onward, things started looking up. The PET showed changes in the growths; they had either stayed the same, or shrunk. A surgical biopsy October 11 confirmed it wasn’t cancer; this was all due to a comparatively minor respiratory infection. Antibiotics cleared it up.

”I told you it was probably nothing,” Dr. B said, grinning, at my next consultation. ”By the way, did you ever get that car?”

My ’Karma Kar’ just turned 40,000 miles last week. I don’t plan on getting rid of it any time soon. And, so far, I’m still cancer-free today.

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70 Comments on “Ur-Turn: The Karma Kar...”

  • avatar

    Thank-you, Rob. I too had a cancer scare a few years ago, and the waiting is the worst part of it.

    I’m glad that you were able to talk to somebody; it helps, more than I think most people realize. I’m lucky in that I have the world’s most awesome wife, who was willing to listen to me and be patient and ignore my bad days.

    I wish you the best and pray that you remain cancer free.

  • avatar

    I disagree, this is exactly the kind of story you’ll see only here. I thought the psychology behind the vehicle purchase decision very interesting, as well as how life steps into change the best laid plans, including the purchase of an automobile. While Rob and I don’t agree on much, car wise, I found this story touched me, and piqued my interest as to why he chose a Mazda! Good writing, Rob.

    • 0 avatar

      I think he described why he wanted to reward himself with a new fancy car. That he chose that specific model wasn’t really related to his health, more to his pocket book.
      I’m sure there are 1000s of websites dedicated to health stories. I doubt TTAC is the only one.
      Anyway, if there are 10% of the articles on TTAC that I personally don’t like, I can just skip them and shut my mouth.
      I know i have easy talking since i don’t have health issues (yet). but I would just let people know on a need-to know base. Again, to each his own and I can skip this article if i don’t like it. no offense intended.
      Obviously I wish him and everyone else in his situation the best. Let’s hope we don’t get sick ourselves.

      • 0 avatar

        No offense taken.
        My choice wasn’t specifically due to my health situation… but the fact I looked at the 6 at all was because my family rented a 2005 Mazda6i (four-cylinder) to come to Dallas for my first surgery, that January. (So, yeah, not ALL fleet sales are bad. Just GMs. I kid…)
        The type impressed me then, and I also researched the car online before looking. The biggest reason I went with a 6 (and a six-cylinder at that,) though, was mostly due to a huge rebate available on them at the time.

        • 0 avatar

          I purchased a 2007 “6” and had it factory ordered with GT trim, gray hatch back, I4 and MT. the 6-cylinders were available plenty (gas was over $ 3 at that time) and I for sure didn’t want to have a gas guzzler. We decided on the Mazda to begin with since it was the only car available with a hatch/wagon style, and MT. (I didn’t want to have a VW shop nightmare nor a Subaru headgasket mania). SUV or CUV wasn’t an option for us at all.
          The I4 2.3 l engine (at the time) was the largest engine offered in Germany. So I’m really not sure why people here (no autobahn!!!) think they need the 6-cylinder. But to each his own.
          I don’t understand why Mazda discontinued hatches and wagons in the US. Maybe those only sold 10-15% of the “6”. But 10-15% that didn’t have a competing alternative. My local Mazda dealer agrees with me on that one and doesn’t understand either.
          I understand your reasoning to have an AT to suit your family. I think my next car (in some years) will be some type of hybrid and with the planetary gears the MT will be gone and obsolete. the part i don’t like is the short gear ratio on MT in the US. It is as if manufacturers want to artificially reduce mileage on MT to sell more AT.

          • 0 avatar

            Today, if wishes were horses, I’d have that 6-speed manual (and the sunroof)… but the automatic isn’t terrible. The manumatic at least provides more actual “manual” control than others I’ve driven. It WILL let you make a mistake (like downshifting into second at 50, once) but from what I understand it won’t let you do anything to completely crater the transmission.
            I fully agree with your choice. The 2.3 I-4 is a great engine, and the Ford-sourced 3.0 doesn’t offer significantly more power to make the mileage penalty worth it. The absolute best mileage I’ve seen was an even 30 mpg, on a long-distance trip that included a 4,000-foot drop in elevation; I’m usually a lot closer to 22. The rebates were on the sixes, though.

  • avatar

    That was a really great story! 

  • avatar

    Very good tale. Congrats on the clean bill of health! Did you ever speak to the sales guy again?

    • 0 avatar

      I did not. I moved out of state the following July, and only had the 6 in to that dealer for service once in that time. I went looking for him on the sales floor, but he was off that day. I did leave a message for him, along the lines of “all good, and thanks again.”

  • avatar

    It sounds like a good vibes car purchase to me.  Live long and prosper.

  • avatar

    Liked the story. Cars are purchased for a lot of reasons beyond horsepower and the ability to attract the opposite sex, I find this interesting.

  • avatar

    That was an awesome story and I am glad you are doing well. If you don’t mind me asking, how does one discover they have cancer? What are the warning signs or symptoms you noticed?

    • 0 avatar

      I’m hardly an expert, and different cancers present differently. Some are completely asymptomatic. Suffice to say I literally woke up one morning and realized something was seriously wrong “down there.”
      If you (or anyone else) have any other questions, feel free to PM me at “my name” (one word) on Gmail.

    • 0 avatar

      Frenchy and Rob,
      I’m a radiation oncologist, and would be happy to answer any’s my screen name at gmail also.
      Great story, and very well written. I have come across many patients who are “car guys,” and they seem to bond with me on a different level too.
      As you know, there are tons of subtypes of TC. Was yours a seminoma? Did you have elevated serum markers?
      Best of luck,

  • avatar

    Great story Rob, one of the main reasons I continue to return to TTAC.
    Unless you have been there, it’s hard to empathize. But your whole perspective on life and your future plans can change in a “blink of an eye”.

  • avatar

    I choked on this one.

    As you may (or not) have noticed, my contributions to TTAC have been very slow, almost non-existant. Well, it so happens my mother died a little over a month ago of lung cancer. The agonizing waits for exams…Waiting to get a room in hospital ERs… Didn’t have the mind or spirit really to be talking about cars.

    But life, being life, takes with the one hand and gives with the other. Two weeks ago my wife got pregnant (after a year and a half of “trying”). So, my mother dies, but now I’m expecting my first baby. So far so good, in spite of some trouble at the beginning of the week. The drama never stops.

    Thanks for sharing. It made me write this. I hope the people who read my posts undestand the emotional roller coaster my life’s been. Pray God everything goes ok, and I’ll write more soon. Though with a baby, I think I’ll be rather pressed for time!

    And may God allow you a long and fruitful time to enjoy your sweet Mazda.

    • 0 avatar

      Marcelo, I’m very sorry about your mother’s passing… and very, very happy to hear about your baby on the way! Good luck and godspeed.
      Life is indeed a cycle of such up-and-downs. Without sounding too schmaltzy, I believe life has a “rhythm” to it. I’m not religious at all or even very spiritual… but I do believe in that.

    • 0 avatar

      Amen brother! (with no religious over or undertones implied!)

      Thanks for the kind words.

      Be sure you are a winner and your generosity in  taking the time to write this piece and share it with us is invaluable.

      Thanks again.

    • 0 avatar

      Marcelo, my heart goes out to you.  I, too, just lost my mom to lung cancer two weeks ago.  Today I received a birthday card and only my dad’s name was on it.  I looked at it and cried.  The emptiness rears its ugly head way too often.  I hope it gets easier.  I extend my heartfelt sympathy to you.

    • 0 avatar

      Hello golden2husky:

      It’s odd isn’t it? The moments that remind one the most. And I understand you completely. My most particular moment (of many) was exactly when my wife came back and told me about the baby. She had gone out with my sister and in fact we were all staying at my dad’s home (used to call it mom’s house, funny how that changes…), since it was a holiday and we were there to support him and cheer ourselves up.

      Well, you can imagine the commotion. In the middle of that emotion, we started calling friends and family to share the good news and, caught up in the moment, the words, “now we have to get hold of mom and tell her, she’s the only one left”. Well, at the lasr sec I held my tongue and fought back the tears. Later, in bed with my wife, I told her the story and we cried together.

      I don’t know if it gets better my friend. I think the pain just somehow gets a little number as each day passes.

      My heart goes out to you and your family.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      Marcelo, you have one of the most kind hearted and fun loving personalities I have ever read on the web.
      If you ever find yourself in Atlanta, your time here is on me. My father died last year and there rarely is a day that goes by where I not only think of him. But realize that I am becoming more like him as time goes on.

      We never can escape our DNA… and thankfully we can always pass it on.
      My condolences and my congratuations…

    • 0 avatar

      Stephen, DNA perhaps, but that is just “blueprints for the hardware”, you, like everybody who had good parents and misses them once they are gone, can be thankful for the “software”, namely the examples (good and bad), training, education and love that were both demonstrated and given by those parents.

      Marcello, It doesn’t become more numb, it changes – from raw sadness and pain, to, if you get into the right frame of mind, into a kind of gratitude (for having known and been raised by that person) crossed with longing.  Both the early pain and later longing are the barometers of how special that person was.

      And remember, they are not really gone, the better part of them lives in your cells and in your memories and mannerisms.

    • 0 avatar

      Steven, yeah, as time goes by I recognize more and more of my parents in me, too. I hope now that with the baby coming along that I’ll be able to do for him or her, half of what my parents did for me. If I can do that, I’m sure I’ll be a very good father.

      And I’m honored and privileged by the invite. Who knows? Both me and my wife would love to visit the States once again. I love visiting there.

      Robert.Walter, thanks for your words. The pain isn’t so desperate anymore, but the longing has already started. And is growing. Knowing my mother was sick, made me want to “get pregnant” before her inevitable end. It didn’t happen that way. But maybe she had to go to send us our little angel (at least that’s what I tell myself).

    • 0 avatar


      Congratulations on the new arrival! Your life will change in ways you can’t even imagine. And my deepest sympathies on the passing of your mother.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks for sharing your story, Marcelo.  I was wondering what happened to our intrepid Brazilian reporter, best to you and your family.

    • 0 avatar

      Rob, thank you for sharing a very emotional car-related story, sometimes, a car, or any other sizable purchase can carry a certain amount of positive force with it. perhaps the Automatic Mazda had that special something to give, and you were just the person it was waiting for.
      Just like Bernie mac says in the first transformers, the car choosesits drivers… or something like that…
      Marcello, my deepest condolences on your mother’s passing, and my congratulations (Parabens) on your wife’s pregnancy. I hope that you two have a smooth pregnancy, and that your baby brings you wealth, health and nothing but good times, and not give you a hard mental time to find and choose the right car to fit your new flourishing family…

  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    Wonderful story Rob And you can’t go wrong with a Mazda.I wish you many many years of happy motoring.

  • avatar

    Apparently someone took exception to my comment and chose to hold it back for possible censorship action (only when dealing with right-wing wingnuts do I ever get censored, LOL).
    But really, all I meant was that I’d rather read about cars than peoples’ health battles. I’ve been in a very intense health battle myself for several years, and frankly it’s boring as hell. I would never think of writing about it here. And ok I get most of you are male but testicular cancer is just too much information! Imagine if Cammy started writing about “female problems”, you guys would crucify her.

    • 0 avatar

      Imagine if Cammy started writing about “female problems”, you guys would crucify her.

      Not necessarily.  I won’t speak for anyone but myself, but I wouldn’t have a problem with it – as long as it was tied in, in some way, to a car, like this article is.  That’s what makes TTAC interesting as hell and keeps me coming back.  I DO have a problem with anyone that comes across as arrogant, insulting, and belittling to the readers – like BB was.  My problem with BB wasn’t because she is female (if she really existed), but rather with her attitude.  As long as the contributors tie in their stories with cars, bring it on, regardless of gender.

    • 0 avatar

      Ur-turn is about pushing the envelope a little each week in order to show the vast range of ways in which TTAC readers relate to cars. We will take some risks with it… if you don’t like it this week, it will probably be completely different next week.
      That having been said, this is a case which calls for a certain amount of sensitivity, and a few comments were moderated. You might not understand Rob’s experience, but the car angle here is genuine and unique. That’s what we’re looking for, and regardless of how often we agree with his other comments, Rob deserves some respect for sharing his story.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks Ed. I understand beelezub’s point, and respect it. It’s an awkward subject — The first thing you lose with TC (okay, the second) is modesty. And you gain an appreciation for the redundancy of the human body.

      I decided early on I could either be embarrassed by what had happened, or embrace it. The fact a total stranger approached me about the subject is what sticks out about this experience. And the whole experience gave me a sense of perspective I’d never had before.
      It also taught me to not mince words, or hide my feelings on a given subject. Admittedly the verdict’s still out on whether that’s a good thing or not. mikey and Silvy would likely object to that.
      (And beelzebub, you’re not alone on seeing your comments moderated. Sometimes it’s good when cooler, impartial heads prevail.)

    • 0 avatar
      H Man

      Hell, my mom died in my first Ur-Turn, so please don’t read it.
      Great submission, Mr. Finfrock.  Thanks for writing it.  And Ed for publishing it.

    • 0 avatar

      Imagine if Cammy started writing about “female problems”, you guys would crucify her.
      Seriously?  I don’t think so.  I don’t even think most of the wingnuts would :)
      To Rob: good story, better outcome!

    • 0 avatar

      Cars are a part of life TBT, and Rob’s story was a nice bit of context behind how some of us buy what we need instead of what we want. 

      I very much enjoyed the story and wish Rob many years of good motoring! 

      Re. what you flagged as TMI, I like to think I am mature enough to read and/or discuss such a topic regardless of whether the cancer be found in the brain, mouth, larnyx, lungs, stomach, skin, intestine, bladder, testicles, uterus or vagina … and, in this context, to recognize each of them as the organic and trouble-prone structures they are with equal parts of maturity, interest and equanimity.  (So Cammy, it may be a guy-biased car site, but some of us don’t mind a woman’s perspective, so please don’t feel inhibited if there is something out of a woman’s experience which helps tell an interesting tale, or illustrate a point at hand.)

    • 0 avatar

      @ H Man — I just made the connection that article was yours. The frankness and heart behind what you wrote are what provoked me to submit this to Ur-Turn last month.
      And if anyone hasn’t seen Mike’s story, it’s worth reading.

    • 0 avatar


      When I read that comment, I felt moved to write some snarky response. I mean, a whole wonderful and touching story and a person gets hung up on a word.

      Thanks for putting it the way you did. Much classier than what I’d originally thought to write.

      +1 million.

    • 0 avatar

      If your car isn’t connected to the rest of your life in a significant way, I don’t see how you can be a car person. Compelling writing isn’t going to just be about every day stuff – in fact, it usually isn’t.
      Rob has written something that, like some of Jack Baruth’s pieces, transcends cars and becomes something a born-and-bred carphobe Manhattanite would read. That’s exactly why I come to TTAC in the first place.
      Also, just because something has ‘testicle’ in it doesn’t mean it’s TMI. It’s a body part, dude. What’s he going to say – “I had somewhere-really-bad cancer”? We’re not in sixth grade.

    • 0 avatar

      “just because something has ‘testicle’ in it doesn’t mean it’s TMI.”, sometimes it means it’s an expensive delicacy!  ;O) 

      Full disclosure:  I never had the “balls” to try testicles** as an accoutrement to a fine meal.  (“Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”)

      But knowing what goes into other things we eat – without a second thought – and given some of the other strange, but tasty, things one can eat in S. America, Asia, and even “down on the farm” in the U.S., I wouldn’t be against the experience.

      **EDIT** Of the bovine variety.

    • 0 avatar

      Full disclosure:  I never had the “balls” to try testicles** as an accoutrement to a fine meal.  (“Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”)

      We call them Rocky Mountain Oysters around here in NW New Mexico.  I’ve never had the balls to try them either.

    • 0 avatar
      H Man

      @Rob Finfrock:  Wow, I’m touched!  It was good therapy writing that article and now reading yours.
      All the best,

  • avatar

    Great story. The only thing I don’t understand is how come you haven’t spent the car money to do the PET scan yourself while the insurance bastards were holding back? With cancer and the possibility it may have spread to lungs, each day is crucial.
    I am not an American but it seems to me a car, any car sounds absolutely irrelevant to such a scare, walking a thinking what is that growing on my lungs.

    • 0 avatar

      The PET was $5,500. I didn’t have that available in one lump sum. Between equity in the GA and a healthy rebate on the 6, I didn’t put anything down on the Mazda.

      Though the time frame was maddening as a patient, the consensus from my doctor and other specialists I dealt with during this time was that, on a scale of severity, this wasn’t immediately life-threatening. Even if it had been cancer, the size of the lung growth and lymph nodes was such everyone felt a two-month wait didn’t necessarily put undue risk on things. Had the second CT shown significant growth — or growths elsewhere — everything probably would have happened a lot quicker.

  • avatar

    Wonderful story.  Thanks, EN, for seeing fit to publish Rob’s tale.

  • avatar

    Congratulations on 40,000 cancer-free miles!  Here’s to hundreds of thousands more, no matter what car you drive.   Though if I was in your situation, I would probably have a hard time moving on from that car.  It’s the memories that I associate with my cars that make me attached to them.

    • 0 avatar

      Before the 6, the longest I’d owned a car was 2 1/2 years. That was a bad habit, and one I’m glad I “broke” with the Mazda. I definitely don’t foresee getting rid of this one any time soon; hopefully it holds up (that it’s now out of warranty makes me a bit nervous.)

  • avatar

    Good grief, Rob, that was quite an awful experience you shared with this bunch, congratulations from me on doing this. Very pleased you are O.K.

    As far as those who felt it may have been “TMI”, well, not necessarily, because it was vital to the story and how the purchase of an automobile intertwined with the experience. Yes, TTAC may feel it is out on a limb sometimes, but that’s the reason I joined the site – you will not find this type of article in any other auto publication. So, let’s maintain our sense of healthy skepticism, biting, sometimes acerbic dialog, even praise and no-holds-barred reporting and have fun.

    Rob, here’s to you – knowing we’ll have your comments to read and enjoy for untold years to come! Have a great weekend!

  • avatar

    Great story. Well written, inspiring, entertaining.  Good luck in your continued fight with TC.  Take care!

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    My brother Michael loved cars. When I was a freshman in high school he actually ghostwrote my very first car article.
    We had gone to the New York Car Show and the vehicles there just didn’t interest me one bit. He L-I-V-E-D for cars. During the day he was a computer programmer. But rarely did I ever see a scrap piece of paper at his apartment that didn’t have some type of car design on it. Exteriors… interiors… steering wheels… dashboards… he was as much an artist as he was a computer programmer.
    He passed away when I was 16. He was 27. The experimental cancer drugs he took at that time made him completely lose his mind and along with that, his body simply couldn’t withstand all the nastiness it inflicted on him. I lost my brother well before he died.
    My thanks to you Rob for sharing a story that reminds us all how our passions and our families can sometimes intermingle and shape the very life we have today.  I miss him and I am grateful for your recovery.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    I for one love it when people have the courage to share their automotive stories in the broader context of life. Thank you Rob!

  • avatar

    Testicular cancer tends to afflict younger men. My recollection is that the best way to check for it is to feel the testicles on a monthly basis to see if there are any unusual lumps (I’m long past the age of having to worry about this). It is a very low mortality cancer. The following is more info from the National Cancer Institute:
    Re the story, it certainly is heartwarming when people help others the way that sales manager did in the story. And Rob, glad you’re all better. I suspect your prognosis is excellent.
    Robert Walter’s post above is a wonderful expression of the way I feel about this stuff. Including the interest in whatever women have to say about these subjects.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks for the comments, David (and the “prognosis” — it’s appreciated!)
      The way my current oncologist summarizes TC is that it spends most of its energy spreading, but relatively little in staying around. That’s why it is (relatively) easy to kill with conventional chemo and radiation therapies.
      There are certainly worse cancers to get. Truly awful TC cases do exist — Lance Armstrong’s is the most-cited example, where it attacked his brain and lungs — but if it’s caught early the cure rate is around 96% even if it has spread into the lymphatic system.
      Thanks for that link, too. Another good source of information is the Testicular Cancer Resource Center.
      P.S. I was considered “old” to get TC at 30; however, as I wrote the salesman said he was diagnosed at 35. I’ve also heard anecdotally of men as old as 50+ being diagnosed.


  • avatar

    I’m really glad you’re okay, man. My grandmother passed from lung cancer that metastasized to her brain about two years ago. It does seem to come up, even now, at odd times. I’ll just be thinking about something, and suddenly Gramma will pop into my head. Chokes me up every time.
    I loved the story, mostly for the reason some others were citing, in the fact that it’s interesting to see the context in which people made even mundane decisions. My advice is HOLD ON TO THAT CAR. I firmly believe in “good vibes,” and it seems like you’ve got a good one in that little Mazda :) Bravo.

  • avatar

    I am glad he is doing ok.

    God be with you!

    Steve D.

  • avatar


     I once E mailed RF and asked him to ban the use of the word “cancer”. I was offended at the use of that word as an adverb to describie lousy management,unions etc. I still am.

    Cancer has touched many lives. Rich,poor,black,white or blue collar. cancer doesn’t recognize any socio economic borders.

     Rob….You fought it and you won. May you live long, and prosper.


  • avatar

    Beautiful story, Rob. Thank you for sharing it with us.  If its one thing I’ve seen from cancer patients, it’s important to live your life to its fullest…so I suggest you find a nice used Speed6 and really have a blast.
    Come to think of it, I saw a couple for sale in Houston last week…one was the same dark cherry red as mentioned in the story.  Now that’s Karma v2.0. :)

  • avatar

    Beautiful story, Rob. Thank you for sharing it with us.  If its one thing I’ve seen from cancer patients, it’s important to live your life to its fullest…so I suggest you find a nice used Speed6 and really have a blast.
    Come to think of it, I saw a couple for sale in Houston last week…one was the same dark cherry red as mentioned in the story.  Now that’s Karma v2.0. :)

  • avatar

    A beautiful story there Rob and it is interesting how a situation like what you went through can affect buying decisions, such as what may not have been on the radar, suddenly comes into sight due the situation and you just need to get it due to the circumstances.
    This story touched me as well as cancer runs in my family. My Mom was diagnosed with cancer in her maximus sinus in the mid 1990’s, survived and is still alive and kicking in her late 70’s, my Dad died of pancreatic cancer at 70, that will be 12 years ago tomorrow if memory serves. He was diagnosed late summer of 98, gone by that Oct and had just turned 70 that June.
    I have a sister who’s in her early 50’s get diagnosed with brain cancer and it’s terminal due to how it grew in and around her frontal lobe, she’s so far has defied all prognosis from her doctors and is still around to enjoy life as best she can, she can now drive again and is I think still in Orlando with her good friend as they went down to be with her younger daughter who’s had surgery (hernia I think), and it was this SAME daughter and her father who found my sister unconscious on the side of the road where her van rolled into the bushes back in 2002 on a back road coming home to meet her as they had an appointment somewhere.
    And that is just some of the cancer that has struck our family and out of my Dad’s death, I got his 1988 Honda Accord to replace the 83 Civic that I had been driving for 6 years previously as it was rear ended the year before and leaked water inside and had about 182K miles on the clock. I would drive that Accord 7 years, getting rear ended in that car in August of 2005, sold it about 6 months later to a guy via Craig’s list for $900 still running but in poor shape as it was in dire need of TLC, let alone the body work it needed.
    Glad to hear all is well now and that you are still enjoying your Mazda 6 all these years later. :-)

  • avatar

    My eyes?  Watery?  I think someone let a cat in here.  Yeah, its my allergies, thats it.

  • avatar

    Since this is the “Truth” about cars and I am a very happy Mazda6s owner…I have to state – the Mazda6s was never offered with a six speed manual transmission.  It was offered with a five speed manual.  I know…I have one.  Now, you could get a six speed manual on the Mazda6Speed model – that had the turbo I4 and all wheel drive…but that was a different animal all together.

    We have a 2004 Mazda6s with the 3.0L V6 and 5-speed manual transmission.  We now have 60,000 trouble free and very enjoyable miles on it.  Had Mazda offered the next generation Mazda6 with a manual transmission we probably would have purchased another one.  But now all they offer is the six speed automatic with the “manual shift” mode – which is a joke.  An automatic is an automatic unless it has a third clutch…no matter what type of lable is attached.  If it has a torque converter…there isn’t anything manual about it!
    As to the cancer – glad to hear you are cancer free.  Hope it stays that way.

    • 0 avatar

      Whoops! It would indeed appear you’re right about the 6-speed manual. I had one too many “sixes” in my thought process.

      (That’s gonna bug the crap outta me now…)
      Thanks for the well wishes… and happy to hear about your experiences with your 6! I agree, Mazda should not have dropped the stick… no matter how many gears.

  • avatar

    A great story that brought back memories for me.  I had the same experience in 1995, though the car came a month before my diagnosis.  The object of my desire then was a Dodge Stratus ES.
    I have been cancer-free for 15 years and Stratus-free (mercifully) for 13 years.

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