My March with Heroes
Yesterday was National Cancer Survivor Day.
Jen and the girls and I went to a York Revolution game (for those of you not from my neck of the woods, that’s the York, Pa. minor league baseball team) where we were honored guests. Jen and I got in for free, I received an “I’m a Survivor” t-shirt, and the best part (hear drum roll here) . . . I got to march in a survivor’s “parade.”
Before the game, some 500-plus cancer survivors, clad in green shirts, walked the perimeter of the ball field while the fans in the stands gave us a standing ovation. I got to use my best Miss America wave. I even got to shake the mayor’s hand (note: it was sweaty from shaking about 450 other hands before mine).
Now, honestly, at first I wasn’t going to march in the parade. I thought it was kind of corny (shame on me), but Jen urged me to and, of course, I caved. And boy was I glad I did. There was something about walking with over 500 folk who either were currently or had been in my shoes, who had walked this same road I’m plodding along, who had looked cancer in the eyes and told it to bug off. Yes, this whole cancer thing is no fun; it’s a nuisance, it’s disturbing my life, it’s an emotional roller coaster, and the treatment is uncomfortable. But if I learned one thing yesterday it’s this: it’s doable.
And when our little parade made it’s way down the first base line and I saw Jen and the girls leaning over the wall rooting for me, the girls shouting, “Go, Daddy!” it reminded me why I’m putting up with all this, why I’m fighting, why it has to be doable. It’s not just about me, is it?
Of course it isn’t. It never is. It’s about them. It’s about growing old with Jen and watching our girls finish school, meet Mr. Right (he better be, anyway), and start their own family. It’s about future family vacations and celebrations and anniversaries, about picnics and day-trips. It’s about playing ball in the backyard and being silly at bedtime.
Yes, one thing that was hammered home yesterday was that this thing has to be doable.
Oh, I also got to eat hot dogs and see the Revolution win 9-5. Not a bad way to spend an evening.