For those who don't follow cancer blogs and posts on a regular basis, cancerversary is a term typically used by those who have had cancer, usually once. Since I've had three, I usually don't refer to each surgery as my cancerversary, although I do remember dates (as much as mind/body full of Propofol can remember).
January 24, 1997 was surgery number one. Even after multiple surgeries, chemo, dozens of colonoscopies, cystostomies, CT scans, endoscopies, mammograms (those I enjoy the most), and arthritic knees, I'm still (say it with me) AliveAndKickn. Life, love, soccer... usually in that order. To us, every day is another day. Pretty profound huh? We celebrate birthdays, arbor day, anniversaries, and cancerversaries internally. No cake (although we've been known to polish off pints of Ben & Jerry's and Kozy Shack pudding). Celebratory songs can range from Eminem to Springsteen, from Foo Fighters to Mumford and Sons. And if you've ever heard me quote lyrics, you know that many of the songs have significant meaning. Tell me a story and I'll listen. If it strikes a chord, I'll listen until the kids are sick of it. So every day is a conversation... a chance to make a difference.
The AliveAndKickn network has grown, and continues to grow. The Twitter feed adds a dozen people a day. Same with the sizzle reel on YouTube. Pro soccer teams are arranging AliveAndKickathons in cities far and wide. According to the interviewers from 91st Minute, this was the first time ever a not-for-profit was interviewed at the National Soccer Coaches Association. I have no proof one way or another, but I'll take it. Maybe we'll be across the pond someday. The AliveAndKickn documentary video has been submitted to two film festivals now, and more are being considered. Besides AliveAndKickathons, "Blue Carpet" private screening events are in the works. I promise to never get tired of autographing colondars, even if they aren't my year/month.
So my wife's uncle and I (we run the business together) got on the subject of Lance Armstrong. A very touchy subject, but it beats talking about accounts receivables. I think the athletic side of the world is livid because of the lying. And I think the cancer side of the world is concerned because of the potential undoing of so much progress in the fight. Uncle Brad and I got more philosophical and looked at other ways people compensate to get an advantage over what has been given to them genetically. We talked about growth hormones as children for those born to parents smaller in stature. People who have Tommy John surgery and have stronger pitching arms after. Oversized tennis racquets and golf clubs and juiced baseballs. Graphite and Titanium instead of wood. Contact lenses. Football players with more armor than soldiers. SAT prep courses. We could have gone on for hours (Brad tends to be long winded about these things). When I was at the Soccer conference, in walking the exhibit hall, I noticed two booths that struck me, especially given the Lance issue. One had Kevlar built into soccer clothing, making the models look huge like those stereotypical Under Armor models. Soft helmets to protect from concussions, but this? The other was for bluetooth arm bands, so that the coaches could talk to the players on the field without yelling, similar to the way quarterbacks in football can hear coaches in their ears for play calling. Cheating or modernizing? So for me, it's pretty simple. Everyone looks for an advantage. In the end, I couldn't drag my ass up the Alps or the Pyrenees or the Matterhorn or Space Mountain or any other mountain for that matter on a bike. Whatever your opinion, don't hold others up to some imaginary double-standard. I admit that I've taken steroids, but my wife will be the first to remind me that they aren't performance-enhancing. They keep me from scratching off what's left of my lower leg hair since chemo. I do wear my Livestrong Nikes with my AliveAndKickn t-shirts while riding the stationary bike.
Is it wrong of me to wish negative results for the soon-to-be-released Schwarzenegger/Willis/Stallone movies? Usually the previews are the best parts but even those show no redeeming value. Bad acting, guns and explosives. Bad timing. Is it wrong of me to hear about a celebrity being affected by cancer and secretly wishing that it is colon cancer since we have no real celebrity survivor spokesperson? There's got to be others besides me. I don't wish cancer on anyone, but if they've got it anyway? And since we're just talking, is it wrong of me to switch radio stations every time a mattress or crappy car commercial comes on? I stay for the technology commercials like Honda and GE. Maybe I'd get more voice work if I didn't care about what products I peddled. Maybe. I'm not that good of an actor to fake it.
Someday if we meet in person, and I call you "brother" or "girl," or if I ask you what you want to be when you grow up, it is not meant to be disrespectful. I can be formal if you'd prefer. Like I said, life is a conversation. I'm good at helping the non-colon cancer world talk about it. What do you wanna talk about?