Doesn’t that smile say it all?
I should also mention that the way our boys (or probably most 12 year old boys) play the game of baseball is the way Cancer patients ought to face the disease.
First – Fight the disease with ferocity. 12 year old boys are goofy. They love to good off. They love to tease each other, their siblings and their teammates but when they step between the base lines all effort is directed toward winning THAT game at THAT time. The competitive juices flow. That’s the way we need to fight Cancer. With EVERY OUNCE OF STRENGTH WE CAN MUSTER. With CONFIDENCE. With FEROCITY.
Second – Have a short memory. As I said in Cooperstown Part 1. Win, lose or draw the memories of the game’s statistics fade but the memory of the experience never will. Numbers can go up or down. A Cancer patient can’t pay attention to the day to day. A Cancer patient has to pay attention to the trend. To the long haul. To the experience. Even when my numbers suck (and sometimes they suck) I have to take a positive experience away from them. I have to stay positive and forward looking to keep my hope alive and give me strength to fight on. Bad numbers? Fuck it. The next set will be better. Short memories. If I forget about the bad stuff and only remember the good stuff it makes it much easier. Like I said before – I don’t even believe I HAVE Cancer.
Last – Enjoy every moment. As a Cancer patient you face your own mortality every single day. I have – over the last 18 months – enjoyed every moment of life from work, to my writing, my radio appearance(s), and my family. I live for every hit, every runner thrown out and even every time he strikes out. I live for my daughter to hit that back handspring round off and I live for her every soccer goal. I live for nights home with my wife – even if some of them are spent watching the Real Housewives of Somewhere. I live for being together. I live for every moment I am with my family. Take it all in because you never know when it all gets taken away.
Shouldn’t life be like that for everyone? But with Cancer patients especially. The key to success – I am convinced – is PMA, positive mental attitude. I will beat this (that is…if I really have it) and anyone who tells me differently can go “f” themselves as far as I am concerned. I fight ferociously. I have a really short memory. AND – I live for every moment.
Stan Musial – Victor told me after he read the plaque – played in 24 all star games. I’ve got at least 24 all star years of fighting Cancer left in me. And 24 years of hall of fame moments to embrace.