Monday, March 23, 2009

My Own March Madness

I love this time of year. 

NCAA March Madness. Spring. (I never thought I would know the difference between the seasons growing up in Los Angeles. We had seasons in LA––fire season, mudslide season, smoggy season, earthquake season––they were just different.)

Baseball. I can smell baseball in the air. Grilling out. Man, get me something to char a little bit, cook it over too much propane and bask in the smell of bug spray. And then you gotta take a shower because you're smelling like a funky ass mix of bbq sauce, some kind of meat, bug spray and pure sweat. Now add a wet smell and you can't take a shower fast enough. (Sorry for the smell.)

The shower is a funny place if you think about it. There you are, standing naked, with a million things that could potentially happen while you're in the shower. (Hey, let's keep this clean in case my kids are reading.) You plan your day. You sing a song you shouldn't be singing––not because it's a bad song but it's probably better sung by the one who sung it or sang it––and it makes you happy. You might even stand there and think you don't look that bad, after all. The shower is where a lot of great ideas are born. At least some of my best ones happen in the shower. It's also the place I first thought about cancer. cancer for me, that is.

It was March 2007 and I was working my ass off, working every day, 7 days a week because we were in production mode. And I was in a new job. And that is what I do to get the job done and done well. But I was tired. More tired than usual, I thought. I just need a vacation. Or just two days off in a row. Or is it something else? As a former competitive athlete, I've been through enough bumps and bruises, breaks and sprains and other weird injuries to know my body pretty well. And I knew something was really wrong. And I felt that way in the shower. Why do I feel like I have cancer? That's what I asked myself. Nah, that's crazy talk. Too many elbows to the head from playing under the boards. Why do I feel like I have cancer? This wasn't going to wash away.

That's too weird for anyone to believe, including myself. But it was too strong to ignore. I was always good at listening to my body. When something wasn't right, I knew I knew. But this wasn't a strain or break or tear or concussion. This was something waaaaaaaay bigger. I didn't want the voice in my head to drive me crazy. Thank God I listened, because they caught my head & neck cancer in the early stages. So March Madness takes on whole new meaning for me now.

I love this time of year.

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