Spring is gaining ground on being my favorite season (the weather is fickle enough that I can still wear flannel 😉). Last Wednesday gifted me a breezy beautiful two hours of “being” outdoors. Memories were whipping faster than the wind. Years at the ballpark hold countless fond memories-watching my dad play, us kids playing cup ball, moms staking spots in the stands, my games, and then, packing my kids to watch their dad. Later, for multiple years, attending my own sons’ games and our local Baby Bird’s farm team (Go, Cards!). Suddenly, the wind dashed and delivered dirt in my eyes faster than a blink -just like on the field. Happy tears washed them. My focus was suddenly clear. I had rounded 2nd.
I’m on 3rd base now. I’ll hang out here a bit as I’m monitored. The eight weeks between the second and third treatments were extended to twenty weeks due to low platelets/cell counts. Oddly, the 8th week was my worst. Your cheers in the stadium are music to my ears. Your signs of support, although I can’t always read them, are clear in my mind. My amazing Creator Coach has assembled a World Series team. The Coach patiently pulls me out of the game for hugs and new plays. Numerous bunts and stolen bases have gotten me this far in this game. Some days I’d rather “sit the bench.”
My sons, daughter-in-loves, and grandkids help keep my head in the game, Dad keeps me “shaking it off,” Momma puts ice on injuries, and sisters carry the burden like a bat. MANY family members and friends would like to pinch hit or run. Almost a year ago I stepped up to the plate in this new game. I’m working hard to create a resemblance to the life I had before. Wisdom has taught me that things can’t always be as they were. Using peaceful perimeters (I’ve come to despise the buzzword, “boundary,” so I’m personally replacing it with a more friendly-to-me term, lol) I’ll gain new strategies to make it to home base. Before cancer, each week held a day for writing, editing, reading, chores/bills, and nature. Then my popcorn bag spilled. Things aren’t the same. They CAN’T be the same. I’ll find new strategies to still do what I love and enjoy. Although I had grown accustomed to keeping my game semi-private, it’s become more seen.
The Coach and I discussed this at great length before my single hit. “Do you want to bring awareness so that others might not suffer?” HE asked. My neck hurts from the nods. I’ve followed every sign HE’S given at 3rd. It’s hard. Easy would be crossing home base early, changing out of uniform, and comfortably taking a seat in the stands. But what if another player is hurting? Or someone in the crowd has unexplainable symptoms?
No matter the remaining innings, I’ve won. I’ll keep the dirt out of my eyes, stay focused on the game, and, with good form, I might even slide into home plate.
How is your game? How can I support you? How can I relay information to the Coach for you? Feel free to email me @ email@example.com. Please know I might have some rainouts and delayed replies. I’m on YOUR TEAM just as you’re on mine. GO, TEAM!
“Shake it off!”Dad
“Never allow the circumstances of your life to become an excuse. People will allow you to do it. But we have a personal obligation to make the most of the abilities we have.”Jim Abbott
“Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand.” -Leo DurocherLeo Durocher
“I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me…all I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”Jackie Robinson
“You may glory in a team triumphant, but you fall in love with a team in defeat.” -Roger KahnRoger Kahn
“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”Babe Ruth
“Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too.”Yogi Berra
“You play ball like a GIRL!”Ham Porter (Sandlot)
“There’s no crying in baseball!”-Jimmy Dugan (yes, Jimmy, sometimes there is 😉)Jimmy Dugan
“You give me a uniform, you give me a number on my back, I’ll give you the guts.”Jackie Robinson
Have faith 💚
Have you heard of N.E.T., yet? 🦓
In layman’s terms, three out of four of these special radiation treatments (P.R.R.T.) are complete. Number four will be my last. This is not an easy cancer to explain; nor is the treatment. A special PET scan identifies receptors on tumors that must be present to receive this treatment. Tumors have different “grades”. The tumor biopsied in May ’22 was grade one. However, due to the sizes and numbers of tumors, it was explained that I have many different grades. Some tumors did not show receptors for this treatment. My oncologist specifically told us, “This isn’t a Grand Slam!” That’s fine! I can round the bases again as long as the tumors keep responding and the tumor burdens stay low.
Last week held fear. Although things turned out fine, there was pain. There are unknowns. The process of my treatment last Thursday went smoothly thanks to a dream team-a kind friend, a loving nurse, an amazing doctor and tech, and NO blown veins (first time!). My mom and twin stayed for two days. Yesterday I felt well enough to sit at my computer; but due to little sleep and struggles, I stopped. I’m listening. Sleep seems to be non-existent due to treatments. I’ll seek ways to improve this. Last night for two hours in the evening I had waves of pain. They’re familiar to me; pancreatic waves are what I call them. The pain moves around my abdomen and my bones. Some pain, I must feel. I tripped on my front step and my fingers bled and bruised (yep, I’m a clutz). I’m pretty sure I have a staph infection in my left nostril. Here I go again. It’s all in the blood! Amazingly, I keep moving. I’m wise. I know when to call my doctor! My body has adjusted to life with lower counts and energy. I’m finding true strength and joy in the Lord. Last weekend I met a couple of local hosts of a morning show that lifts my spirits each day. They’ve asked me to join them, along with the illustrator of my children’s book, to speak of my journey. I’m scared. My sister and a dear friend shared that I need to think of this as teaching. I’m still teaching; just to a bigger audience. If this helps ONE, then I feel I’m following the most recent play given to me by my Coach.
This morning I read the following from Rick Warren: “You and I have a variety of great abilities. For some of us, it’s the ability to do the math, fix computers, or sew. We all have abilities, even if, at times, we need others to point them out to us. But do you know what your greatest ability is? Responsibility. Responsibility is your ability to respond to life. It’s what makes you human and it’s a gift from God. Much of your life hasn’t been in your control. You didn’t choose where you were born. You didn’t choose who your parents would be. You didn’t choose how your parents would raise you. You didn’t choose the unique gifts or talents you brought into the world. Responsibility is how you handle everything else. God has given you the freedom to respond to what comes your way. How you respond to what life throws at you impacts life more than any other factor. In many ways, life is a test of how we handle responsibility. We spend only a fraction of our lives on this side of eternity. God doesn’t care about our achievements while we’re here on this earth. He cares about our character. Our lives are mere warm-up acts for what’s to come. God is testing your responsibility for what’s going to happen later on. God put you on this earth for primarily two reasons: to know him personally and to develop character. Many in our world live by the motto: “I’m not responsible for anything. It’s not my fault.” (boy, I admit I’ve screwed up at times). Responsible people make the most of the life they’ve been given.”
“Live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility, not as men who do not know the meaning and purpose of life but as those who do.”Ephesians 5:15
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