I have been blown away by the outreach of folks since I decided to go public with my health issues. I had Horizon League basketball coaches reach out personally to share their well wishes. I had conversations with people I haven’t talked with (sadly) in years. And, most unexpected, I had several people share their appreciation for my message of positivity and perspective.
First, an update: My doctors are still highly confident that the tumor in my jaw is benign. We won’t know for sure until my next surgery. I have almost healed 100% from my first procedure, with mild side effects to my speech and eating, mostly stuff that nobody can notice, including those listening to broadcasts.
We are going in to remove it in early December. We won’t know until we are in progress (which means I will have ZERO clue; thank you anesthesia!) about how extensive (to plate or not to plate, that is the question) the work will need to be and if the tumor is malignant. Either way, I’ll lose a part of my jaw, it will heal, and I will keep on keeping on. And that means you will see my ugly face on camera for my comeback on January 2nd when UIC travels to Valparaiso to kick off the Horizon League’s various TV packages.
I am humbled by the love and support. Frankly, I don’t think I deserve it. I am merely a person who was delivered a diagnosis that is not ideal for a given profession. I am the victim of a nuisance. That’s it.
However, my blogging about my situation and the perspective life has given me has resonated with several people, and if that provides value, I am proud of that. If anything, this tumor has slowed my life down. I think more. I cherish more.
So, I don’t like country music. Well, I claim not to. If it twangs and involves discussions of a pickup truck, large hat or some form of cattle, I’m probably going to shun and make fun of it. But, I am a sucker for the female country ballad (yep, there goes any chance of holding down my man card). As I was mowing the grass the other day, the only Martina McBride song I own (actually, I don’t think she ever sang another song) came on the iPod, and in my new assumed universe of grounded clarity, the words really resonated, like a poem of basic philosophy:
You can spend your whole life building
Something from nothing
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway
You can chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway
God is great
But sometimes life aint good
And when I pray
It doesn’t always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
You get the idea. Dream. Wake up, smile, and do everything you can to get to that dream. And when you take stock at the end of the day and you realize the path to that dream isn’t exactly what you thought it was, realize all of the ways that it was. When you do that, you’ll realize just how damn lucky you really are. The path to my dream didn’t involve some blob growing in my jaw, but I wouldn’t trade that path for a new one. Why? Because I am damn lucky.