Well, it seems as if tomorrow was a long time coming. I had fully intended to write a little something about my battle with cancer…the truth is, I don’t know how I feel about it yet. I know that my doctors tell me it’s gone. I’ve had three clear scans and I don’t need another follow up until nearly summer. I’m able to eat most anything, though my palate is forever changed. I lost quite a bit of muscle mass during the process, but I am feeling stronger every day and I plan to play in a few major tournaments this year.
I’m not going to bore my readers (both of them!) with all of the gory details, but good gravy the treatment is a real bitch. They basically microwave you for 35 days and pump Agent Orange into your bloodstream once a week for six weeks. It’s rough. It’s terrifying. I know there are many people going through this, some of whom do not have the wonderful people I had around me. The Primary Wife is a rock. She knows a thing or two about this process and my doctors learned to shut up and do what she says. She had my back…always does. My daughter Cricket spent a ton of time with me through this whole ordeal, I will be forever grateful for the love and care she provided while I was down. She put her plans on hold after college to help me and her mother get through this uncertain time. Noah was and is away at college but he checked in and helped keep my spirits up. I also had many friends not only check in, but actually visit and help.
I’m a very lucky man.
Some things they don’t tell you: There is a mental aspect to this that you are not at all prepared for, and for me at least, this was as hard if not harder to deal with than the physical toll it extracts. At first, it was rage, but not in the “why me?” sort. I had 62 years of pretty good health, even though I taxed my body at every opportunity. No, the rage was a reaction to feeling vulnerable. I was just not equipped to deal with the feeling that if something required me to be present, strong and confident I would not have been up to it. I was not accustomed to being dependent on others. As I got stronger, this mostly passed. Now, the mental challenge is dealing with the guilt. I was around some very sick people on a daily basis while undergoing treatment. Some of them are no longer around. Others had next to nothing by way of a support system, and I can’t imagine I would have survived had that been my plight. I had pretty decent insurance. I received a level of care that others did not. Yes, we took a big financial hit but thankfully our coverage has limits as to personal liability. Knowing that other people went through this without similar coverage really bothered me. Still does.
So, while the worst appears to be in my rear-view mirror, I am mindful that the road ahead is still a bit uncertain. I feel grateful that I am not alone.