I had head & neck cancer. So was this different? Did he mean head & neck? Why was I concerned whether it was head & throat instead of head & neck? I then saw an interview over the weekend that Coach Karl did for the NBA on ABC. And it hit me. He was asked how he felt. I didn't listen. Or need to listen. I knew what he was going to say. I knew he had cancer before. I know what its like to hear the "c" word after you think, believe, trust that you will never hear that word attached to your name. I know, Coach. I feel you.
I hadn't thought of my cancer much in the weeks leading up to when I heard the news of Coach Karl. My friend at work, Matt, told me it would be this way 2 years ago, that I "wouldn't think about cancer every day like you do now". He was right. But the news of someone else I "know" having the same type of cancer I did really hit me hard. I didn't tell anyone. Because I'm not sure anyone would understand. Unless you've had cancer. (This always makes me think of the Harley-Davidson theme, "If I have to explain it you, you wouldn't understand.")
I will never forget the look in Coach Karl's eyes when he was telling us his feelings about being diagnosed. I saw the uncertainty. The million thoughts. The immediate struggle of being invincible and human at the same time.
I know, Coach. I feel you.