12/14 – A Few Words About My Opponent

As I finish my two week cycle of chemotherapy and continue on the path Dr. J has designed for my recovery, I have been thinking about the psychological aspects of Cancer and how to best confront my opponent in this massive battle.

The FIRST THING that comes through your mind is anger. I am healthy. I work out, eat right, don’t smoke – do all the things one is supposed to do. Why me? “Why me” is the worst thing to think. “Why me” is defeatist. Why me? Because. No other reason than because. I got picked. Now I have to deal with that. I got picked though for a reason. I don’t know what that reason is but I do know that all of these things have happened since I started battling Cancer:

1. I have an intense appreciation for all that is good in my life
2. I am much more aware of what I feel emotionally and how to express that
3. I have learned about the power – the healing power – of friends, family and community
4. My personal relationships throughout my life continue to deepen meaningfully

The little negatives don’t bother me anymore and the little positives simply ELATE me.

SECONDLY –

This opponent is not to be taunted. Never, NEVER SAY FUCK CANCER! Cancer can beat you in so many ways. I respect my opponent and its ability to grow, spread, possibly kill and mess with my head in all kinds of crazy ways. I will DEFEAT Cancer but I will not TAUNT Cancer.

The very worst part of this is that every time you go to the doctor there is information to be learned. It could be good. It could be bad. But SOMETHING has happened. How’s the blood work? How’s the bone scan? What’s this new pain?

Every time I have a new pain, I cough, I roll over, lose a pound, gain a pound I think to myself – “What does this mean?” There is so much unknown to this. This disease has the power to come back – even just as you think it’s getting better – and regenerate another way.

Cancer is the 2007 New England Patriots. So many ways to defeat you and it takes so much pleasure in doing so. Fortunately for me – I have all of you – THE NEW YORK GIANTS PASS RUSH – on my side when the game is on the line. When the stakes are the highest of all (AKA the Super Bowl) we will defeat our respected opponent. BUT – I promise you one thing – when we score the winning touchdown – when we put this beast into remission – we simply hand the ball to the ref and prepare for the next season.

Because Cancer will come back. It will draft new players, make a few trades for next season and try again to defeat me. I don’t ever say FUCK CANCER.

You see, there is no cure for Multiple Myeloma. You can put it into remission but as of now there is no cure. It will come back. It needs to be constantly monitored even after remission.

So in this SPORTSCENTER highlight reel day and age where the name on the front of the jersey far too often becomes more important than the name on the back, I fight with DIGNITY and RESPECT. I am grateful that I have all of you behind me. This blog gets nearly 450 hits every day! I don’t know who but I know how many. How many people in my life that have made a difference in my fight. How many people have stood up with me and said not FUCK CANCER but BEAT CANCER. We will win.

From the bottom of my heart. Thank you one and all. #bradstrong

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9 responses to “12/14 – A Few Words About My Opponent

  1. Wow. To further your analogy, I could not be more impressed with your game plan. I know I probably speak for a lot of us when I tell you that your perspective, words, and constant communication are our daily silver linings. Keep fighting, Big Cuz….BRADSTRONG!

  2. You truly amaze and inspire me…I love you And I know u will continue to fight this! You have such an amazing outlook on life and I believe that it crucial to overcome ANY obstacle that you are faced with! xoxoxo

  3. We think about you every single day and send our love and support. Thank you for reminding us to live with gratitude. Stay strong! XOXO

  4. We read and follow because we care for you deeply, and want to help you through this. But it’s by no means a one way street. We all have a lot of noise in our daily lives and crave to hear and see things more clearly. Experiences like this teach us — or rather remind us — of the perspective we lose on a daily basis, but that we so desperately need. Your comments about never underestimating your enemy and your football analogies immediately bring to mind so many great quotes from Vince Lombardi. There are at least a dozen that are appropriate. However, here is just one: “If you’re lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he’s never going to come off the field second.” You’re that guy Brad. Always have been. So much will and passion. So much head and heart. You will not come in second.

  5. Brad – your posting yesterday just floored me. Your eloquence and determination are truly awe-inspiring. You capture the essence of the disease which you are striving to get in check and yet make us laugh, cry and give us hope. I wish you (and others) never had to be touched by cancer but take some comfort in knowing that you are getting great care, have a deep and loving community surrounding you both near and far. None of us ever want to go through something like this yet your truly positive attitude is doing to do a lot to see you through this. You will emerge a new and enlightened person. That is your silver lining. The DC Block’s have your backs and of course that of your spectacular wife Helene and amazing, adorable children.

  6. Brad – I just found out about your diagnosis and am reading through your blog…I am a big believer in both the power of a positive attitude and the power of prayer…since you are exemplifiying the former with your indomitable spirit, I will endeavor to match that with as much prayer and encouragement as I can.

  7. Pingback: 1/17/14 – Recap (Day +9) | bradstrong·

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