This past Tuesday I finished my 10 straight days of radiation treatments. I am sure my technician was happy when I told her that I hope I never see her again. She said she gets that all the time. I came through it fine. No side effects – it was a low dose. I felt tired throughout but I think that was more a function of waking up early to get to the city first thing in order to work the full day afterward.
Next steps will be going to the lab for blood work sometime next week and then getting the results we are hoping for (remission.) Dr. B, the radiation oncologist, says the full effect of the treatment won’t be known for one to three months. Dr. J wants to do labs sooner as I am sure he is looking to get me on some kind of maintenance plan to elongate remission and prevent relapse for the longest time possible. Remember – Multiple Myeloma is incurable. We can only hope for a long, sustained remission but it will eventually come back again and again.
I have written a lot about how a Cancer diagnosis can change you. Change the way you live and think. I wrote awhile back about the little things. The things during your regular day that go by unnoticed or unappreciated that you no longer take for granted. Cancer makes you want to be a better person. A better husband, a better father, a better co-worker, a better friend. I just finished a three year term on the board of directors of the JCC. I need to get more involved with the Temple.
**gratuitous sentence for Rabbi Sagal above** – (but I do)
Cancer also makes you wonder what has gone by unfulfilled selfishly. In my life – what haven’t I done that I REALLY wanted to do? What were my dreams growing up? AND – what can I do about that now? As the great, insightful George Carlin once said, “Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that.” I don’t want to be that guy who doesn’t have time for all that. After all, time is short. Time is precious. After a Cancer diagnosis time is not forever.
For as long as I remember I always wanted to be a sportscaster. Whether it was keeping score of a White Sox game when I was 13 years old – watching from my black and white TV in my room or broadcasting that very same game into my cassette tape recorder this was my teenage dream. I remember growing up with the flamboyance of Chet Coppock, the steadiness of Johnny Morris and the irreverence of Bruce Wolf. I remember when I read Marv Albert’s book “Yessss! Marv Albert on Sportscasting” and I remember thinking – “Yeah, I could do that.”
For as long as I have written this blog I have gotten compliments on my writing. I am not sure if it because I have Cancer or it is actually people truly complimenting me but what the heck – if people really like this why can’t I put this skill to use somewhere else? So I started writing. It started on this very blog last fall. I started writing my opinions on football, the NFL and fantasy football (my addiction for those who know me well.)
I was on Twitter (@bradcoustan) one day and someone was looking for people to write on fantasy football. I submitted an article and was one of five people chosen to start writing about fantasy football for a website called faketeams.com (@faketeams) on Twitter. I have to say it has been a thrill. I have been digging into statistics, strategy, facts and figures and have written about six articles so far. For those who want to read my latest – here it is:
http://www.faketeams.com/2014/5/29/5760732/the-stevan-ridley-enigma please COMMENT on the site – it helps me out a lot!
Last weekend I got an email from a host on Sirius XM Fantasy Channel saying that he forwarded my stuff on to his producer and they were considering giving me a guest spot on their show. I have to send enormous thanks to my friend Brian Geltzeiler (@hoopscritic) a Sirius XM NBA Channel host for setting that up. I told him I have a sparkling personality so I hope that helps my cause. If it happens I will keep you all up to date. But whether or not it happens doesn’t matter much. I am writing about sports. For real. On a website. My name is on the masthead – “Staff Writer” – pretty darn cool. Dreams.
I am not quite ready to quit my day job yet. In fact, we are settling into a groove on that front so things are well all over. Now if we can get rid of this Cancer shit …
One last thought about dreams. I remember the scene in the movie Diner when Boogie turns down Bagel’s offer to become an aluminum siding salesman:
BOOGIE: You know, I got plans.
BAGEL: Always a dreamer, hey Boog?
BOOGIE: If you don’t got good dreams Bagel, you got nightmares.
How come our kids never wake us up when they have GOOD DREAMS? How come they only wake us up for the NIGHTMARES? Just sayin’