This showed up on My Yahoo page when I checked today. It's a wonderful remembrance from Chris Carmichael on just how bad things had gotten for Lance when he attempted to come back to the professional peloton after cancer. Coach remembers when Armstrong almost retired in 1998
When Lance Armstrong asked for a microphone on the Champs-Elysees on Sunday to say goodbye to millions of cycling fans around the world, I suddenly remembered that his whole journey began with a discussion about retirement in the spring of 1998.
This just makes it all the more incredible that he persevered and went on to win seven Tours de France. Even with his renewed energy for cycling, the stories I've read suggested he would not have gone to the Tour de France had it not been for Johan Bruneel calling Lance in the fall of 1998 and telling him he could win. But then, looking at Lance's palmares (race results) in 1998, and you can see that something was in the works. He won several races, including the Tour of Luxembourg. He was 4th in several big races, including the world championships and the Vuelta a EspaÃ±a. And he finished the year ranked 25th overall. (Found at the Lance Armstrong website -> about Lance -> Career. It's Flash, so I can't give you a direct link.)