On my way home

20 Mar

Today I am driving back from Phoenix, Arizona, a place that holds many fond memories for me. I joined five women for a weekend of baseball (it is Spring Training right now), sun and absolutely nothing to do with cancer.

I have looked forward to this trip for a year now. Last year at this time my girlfriends were in Phoenix for the Cactus League Spring Training. Still in the throes of cancer treatment and all that it visits upon you physically, I stayed home. I remember being excited for them, wishing I could go and I remember my friend telling me, “don’t worry, you will come with us next year”

I remember feeling a pit in the bottom of stomach because I really didn’t know if I would be able to go next year. Neither did she. But, we both spoke as though there was no other possibility . . . this cancer thing would just be a bump in the road.

My girlfriends are big Angels fans. I am an Angels fan too, but, mostly I am just a baseball fan. I love the game. I love the memories the game has provided me over the years (games with my Dad, a 40th Wedding Anniversary tailgate party for my parents one year, their name on the big screen and the cheers of the stadium crowd when “Bruce and Carol, married 40 years” was displayed, spring training games with a very dear friend, dragging a group of law school classmates to games and turning them into fans, working for the Angels baseball organization during college, and the many friends I have enjoyed games with over the years).

There is something special about sitting with a friend with nothing to do but watch the easy pace of a game and just spend time…things slow down for that little piece of time. Sometimes we talk about big things and sometimes we sit in silence and simply share the joy of the game, being outdoors, hearing the crowd, eating peanuts,appreciating a great play, I truly love the game).

Baseball has woven a thread of many good memories in my life (in a similar way that music has done . . . music is different, a bit all consuming when you are playing, but, it is another thing in my life, like baseball, that has tied me to certain people over the years). I was not able to attend many games or play music as often as I would have liked over the past two years. But, when I did get to a game or a gig, I felt the most normal, the most removed from the cancer.

The first game I attended post cancer was last year. It was a day game, it was very hot. I had a great time. But, I was still in treatment at the time. I left the game a little early and had difficulty walking back to my car after the game (chemo and hot weather did NOT mix well for me). I was so glad that my friends were still inside the stadium and did not see my slow and labored walk. On that day I wondered if it might be my last game.

So this trip, the trip I was too sick to make last year, and the trip I was not sure I would be around to make this year, has great meaning for me.

I know, it is just baseball. But, for me this trip was about being in another place. A place that has no connection to cancer or to being sick. I am making a drive that I have driven many times before, but, it feels better than I can express to have made this drive again. It feels really good and it feels good to be on my way home feeling like I reclaimed yet another piece of my former life 🙂

P.S. A fellow cancer colleague of mine (we met online through our shared cancer experience) took back a piece of her life today too. She ran a half marathon in New York today. I am so impressed. I can’t wait to get home and log into their website to see how she did. She was a runner before breast cancer and today she ran her first 1/2 marathon since cancer. I am ecstatic for her. You can check out her powerfully written blog at: http://www.chemobabe.com

4 Responses to “On my way home”

  1. nancyspoint March 22, 2011 at 8:16 AM #

    Thanks for sharing about your emotions here. I’m so glad you were able to make the trip this year! Isn’t it great to recapture at least some of the normalcy and do things that have absolutely nothing to do with cancer? And baseball, what could be more normal than that?
    Around here we cheer for the MN Twins (I know I live in WI but…) and we are also getting excited about the new season.
    Thanks for the great post.

    • cancerfree2b March 24, 2011 at 11:26 PM #

      Hi Nancy,
      YAY Minnesota Twins! 🙂
      Thank you for your comment. It truly was a great experience to get away, being in different surroundings, the opportunity to soak up some sun and for the most part be outside and to sew a few games was wonderful. It was very restorative for me. I really needed it.

      Energy wise and pain level wise, this week has been one of the best I have had in a long time. I am thrilled. I know that I took some steps (saw a doctor about the weekend before last) that may have helped all of that. But, I have to think that getting away on this little mini vacation played a big role in my feeling better this past week.

      In any case, it is a relief to be feeling better.

      Thank you again for your comment. I am really enjoying your blog posts!


  2. Teresa March 22, 2011 at 8:43 AM #

    I am also a huge Angels fan and one month before I finished breast cancer treatments (s0, still bald…still with 20 radiation treatments to go) my boyfriend and I celebrated 5 years together at an Angels game–which is also where we had our first date. Needless to say (but I will anyway!) I loved this post and can totally relate. Not even the snickering teenage girls in front of me at the game whom I overheard comment on how “totally fake” my hair and eyelashes were (um…duh!) dampened the joy of just being out at a baseball game that day! Go Angels!

  3. ron April 3, 2011 at 1:48 AM #

    “this cancer thing would just be a bump in the road”

    that’s the spirit! glad you got a chance to make the trip

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