After my parents' divorce, every weekend and every other Tuesday night my younger sister and I went to my dad's house for visitation, as the court called it. I can remember feeling the same way everytime I went. I felt confused and hurt. I was anxious about making sure everyone knew I was loyal to my mother. She didn't ask me to and no one asked me to betray her in anyway, but as a 10 year old, that's not how it felt. There was a stretch of time where I would go to my dad's house and then feel like I just wanted to escape. Everything about going to a separate home to see my own dad just made it more and more real that my parents' marriage was over and my life was never going to be the same. I wanted to run away. I wanted to hide and not deal with it. To pretend it wasn't happening. Slowly but surely, I started making up excuses and reasons to go hang out with my grandparents across the street from my dad's place. It started being about how funny my grandpa was while watching baseball. He loved the Cubs and man, he also liked to yell and always thought he was right. Since my dad didn't have cable and couldn't get WGN, I would get to his house and take off for my grandparents. I loved getting away and not having to think about my parents or what was happening to my family. Funny enough, along the way, I fell in love with baseball. And yes, the Cubs! That bond and escape baseball provided for me at that dark, difficult time, has stayed with me. Although my love has certainly expanded to include other sports, it is strong within me today.
Over the 33 years of my life sports have always played a huge role. I was a nominal athlete myself, but fandom has always come with great joy to me. I was always the one in my family or the one girl in my group of friends who could name every team in all three big sports. The one who knew most every player, position, rule and certainly the lastest stories as reported by ESPN. I've always enjoyed it but on top of it being fun for me, it was also an escape for me. Always. Anytime there was something stressful or difficult or heartbreaking or sad I would choose to turn on a game or Sportscenter or whatever ESPN was showing at the time. I could get caught up in the stories and people of any game. I still can. This has ALWAYS worked to relieve some stress and distract me and kinda relax my head a little.
I had an appointment with my pulmonologist today. This is what the whole appointment came down to, "You've taken chemotherapy. You've tried for a stem cell transplant and you've tried for a lung transplant. There is nothing else you can do. You are not going to get better. As a matter of fact, you're going to keep getting worse. I don't want to ruin your day but you need to start making decisions about end of life care. Will you sign a DNR, etc?" I have to tell you the truth, I appreciate his honesty. As soon as I got home first thing I did was turn on ESPN. I couldn't be distracted but tried again with a basketball game. No luck. Seems my trusty old friend isn't coming through in this case. Then again, what is worse? For me, as a 33 year old single woman with no children, the worse thing I can face is my own death, right? Wrong, it's not the death part that scares me. It's this period of time coming now. This time where emotions and fears will overwhelm me. My physical mobility will slowly fade away and I will become stationary. It's not a matter of yearssssss anymore. I don't know how long. No one does. I just know I turned that corner where making clear minded decisions about my future healthcare and after death care is necessary.
I wish some sportscenter would answer these questions, or at least make me feel like I have some hope somewhere else. Or maybe just help me escape long enough to forget I'm not just a normal girl. Those are the best times; when I don't even remember I'm sick. For now I just live. The best I can.