Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.

He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.

Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."

I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.

I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Tao of Sports

 "It takes a 100 compliments to undo one criticism." -Unknown 

During my first transplant, at my sickest, I murmured about how I was never going back to work as a nurse, and I was going to couch soccer forever instead. 

I thought I said it once, or maybe twice, but Heather, my biggest caretaker then, has told me, I said it all the time (oops, there's that chemo brain again). 

I'd tell everybody I was going to be a soccer coach, not a RN, like one of them may just force me back into clinical bedside nursing.

 It seems like I got my wish. 

J and I have coached both summer and fall soccer since X was 4. 

Even at my worst, in fall 2009 when my lungs threatened my life, we still managed to coach. 

Since then, x has lost his memory of me teaching him moves, running drills, and leading cheers, but I've been cautiously optimistic that one day I'd be able to physically coach again. 

And I finally did it! 

I coached with J before x's flu, leading stretches, teaching foot skills, showing how to pass properly by giving physical examples!! 

There was a time I couldn't take two steps without the assistance of my oxygen tank. 

I pray I can keep my ability to breathe and stay physically active. 

Despite my improved physical functioning, my lung tests have gotten worse. 

What? A conundrum? Me? 

It's true.

 Recent studies show that functional ability in people with asthma can be improved by physical activity. 

To get to the point that I could coach again, I ignored my instincts and played until I lost my breath. I'd catch my breath and do it again. Unable to push through my shortness of breath, but through continually bringing myself to the deepest depths of breathlessness, I gained my ability to breathe again. 

I pushed that SOB (shortness of breath) straight out of my life. 

Since 2009, x has gotten so scared of hurting me he wouldn't let me play soccer with him anymore. 

After coaching a group of 15 kids and being his primary caretaker through the flu, he's finally letting me play soccer with him again! 

We've played "world cup" where I cross the ball from the side and he scores using whatever he can. 

I'm so excited I can influence him again as a coach, but what I didn't expect was the effect me coaching had on our young lady players.

I didn't expect to be looked up to.
I didn't expect to have a group a chattering girls surround me after practice asking questions and saying, "Girls rock!" and "Girls are better than boys. Tell them now!" As the boys descended upon us. 

I was so excited that I could again be, if just for a moment, a intelligent, attractive, athletic, feminine, strong and courageous woman model for them to emulate. 

There are few relatable women coaches in local sports. Many are the ultimate tomboys, and many young ladies are feminine tomboys. 

They want to have their glitter and kick ass too, and I'm so excited that I may just be the woman to show them how to do it. 

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