As many of you know, I am two time cancer survivor who went through an autologous stem cell transplant this time last year. It was quite an ordeal and today, one year ago, marked the slight improvement in my health after 10 chemo treatments in 6 days with an infusion of my own stem cells. It was a very low point, but a very happy one as well because we (my darling wife and I) clung to the hope of seeing improvement in my blood work. It was an ordeal for sure and I am bless to have had a fantastic support network, outstanding medical team, and an outlet to think of something other than the dark side of cancer treatments – that being The Grateful Golfer blog!
Besides the physical challenges of treatments (and there were many) there is also the mental aspect of treatment is often overlooked. The fear of the unknown is paralyzing and is a much a threat to my well-being as the physical treatments. And this is were writing about golf provides that outlet to focus on a passion that brings me joy.
Writing about golf pulls my dark thoughts out of the mire of despair and helps me see that normality is possible and with effort probable. Additionally, by improving my mental well-being, I can also continue to focus on my physical requirements to become strong and healthy. It is not an easy road and my wife is my angel who has helped me every step of the way.
My article today is a form of celebration. One year ago I was cloaked in the veil of the unknown and worry. However, by talking about my experience, writing about golf, and trying to help others I can say that things are much better. I still have some lingering challenges, but I continue to address those head on and writing about golf helps. The positive interaction with other passionate golfers does add to my improved well-being and for that I am grateful.
On a side note, I want to offer a bit of advice for those out there who have friends or relatives experiencing the challenges (directly or indirectly) of fighting cancer. Do not be silent! Offer a word of support – you do not have to talk about treatment, but normal everyday things. I found that this conversation from my family and friends was as valuable as any treatment. I am very fortunate to have a close support network in this way and an outlet to write about my passion – golf.
As I reflect about my journey, I am grateful for all the love and support I receive on a daily basis. It is amazing and I truly have a blessed life.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!