Friday, December 10, 2004

Of Baseball and Cancer

Since I've moved to Indiana I found that baseball is not the popular sport I thought it was in the heartland. It's mostly Basketball, followed by Football, and that goes from Professional down to High School. There are High School Fields here larger than College fields in New York. One school just paid several MILLION dollars for an upgraded JV Football Field. Unreal. So I was a little shocked when I found out that a majority of baseball fans here cheer it as their "Secondary" sport and that even worse, they are, gasp, National League Fans. Drawing a little travel circle around Indy and within a 4 hour drive you have the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs (and unmentioned White Sox), and St. Louis Cardinals. Plus our AAA team was the Brewers affiliate, now the Pirates.

Needless to say while we speak the same language, theirs is with a strange dialect. Plus they have no real basis for True Rivalry when it comes to baseball teams, ie Yankees-Red Sox. They couldn't understand my depression over the 3-0 ALCS history making defeat, they couldn't fathom my struggles to actually cheer on the Red Sox (AL) over Cardinals (NL), and look at me strangely when I mention I might have to buy a Sox cap to wear to my fantasy draft and how I will lose a little of my soul (Sidenote: Saw a Sox cap on sale and was going to buy it and the wife told me she would not have her husband buying a Red Sox Hat!!!!)

So I turned to the only man I knew who would understand the hell I was in, A Red Sox Fan. I called my friend and congratulated him on actually seeing his Boston Red Sox actually win the World Series in his lifetime. He responded with: "My feet haven't touched the floor, the dream is a reality, my children can say they were alive when the Sox broke the curse, oh and I have cancer."

God works in mysterious ways and in order for my friend, the Red Sox fan, to enjoy the pride, the euphoria, the in-your-face feelings that Yankee fans have felt at least 6 times in my life, He gave him cancer. Is it a fair trade, my friend might argue yes. Is it too high a price to pay, most definitely. I forget the actual type of cancer but it is not good. The only way to treat it is to remove it, no "Kemmo" or radiation therapy, plain old surgery is the trick. Problem was it was on his collarbone, near the lung and wrapped amid major arteries. He was more likely to die from the surgery than the cancer and was having two surgeons work on him at the same time, the one to cut out the cancer the other to move the blood vessels and keep him alive. I was worried for him, his wife and two young daughters. His doctor said on the freak scale between 0-10 she would be at a 6! He felt good but unsure of the future. We spoke and e-mailed and he readied himself for the worse and went into surgery several weeks after first finding the lump.

Yesterday I received the e-mail I was waiting for. He was in recovery and seeing his family!!!! He came through with flying colors and while he has a lifetime of precaution and preventively measures in front of him, he has that lifetime to do it.

Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus!! (PS For Christmas I would like a World Series Ring for my 2005 New York Yankees, Thanks)


At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice post. :)


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