Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ah, Sports


I've often talked about the challenges of watching and waiting, and about how the intervals between thinking about cancer, my cancer, are expanding. At first those spans of time were measured in seconds, then minutes, and, now finally hours.

I'd like to say that it'll get to days, but I have a hard time thinking it will ever happen. Still, there have been times when hours have been passed without a passing thought about cancer, symptoms, or anything of the sort. 

Most often that happens during some kind of sporting event. 

Running, unfortunately doesn't have that same effect, but still plays an important role in my mental health. Running gives me the ability to prove that I'm symptom free; that I'm fine. Sports for me give me such a total focus that I forget just about anything for the hours of the game.

 Last night, I had a softball game. This is an over-40 year-old men's league where 95% of the players know what they're doing, play well and hit well. It requires some level of concentration - particularly when you're playing in the field. But even in the dugout waiting to hit, my mind is zeroed in on the game - it's not straying out to other fields of thought. 

Last year, my first game was the same day as my biopsy so I could only sit and watch and feel the bandage on my neck. By the second game I had my diagnosis and I followed that by doing something I've never done before (or since) in a softball game -- I hit into a double play, two of them. Both times, step on third, throw to first. Done. I might have been trying to crush the ball. 

This year, things have been different. I'm hitting better, for one. Playing well in the outfield. I know the team more so enjoy hanging out after the game and having a few beers. And best of all, last night, from at least 7:45 till 11 pm when I got home, cancer wasn't even on my mind. 

--michael