I've said it before here; during treatment there were days that seemed like they were a million years long. The inactivity was almost as excruciating as the pain during a three-week long stretch in early November. I had little patience for anything or anyone I encountered. There was a real bitterness associated with all of the drugs and effects from treatment.
I was a mess!
So, fast forward to April and I look back at things feeling as though the entire adventure really came and went quickly. From diagnosis to a cancer-free verdict in 6 1/2 months. Wow!
I recognize that not everyone who has visited this blog over the past many months is an avid golfer, but I have pretty much been totally immersed in the game and the business for the better part of the last 20 years. The past three months have probably been the most gratifying, simply because I have been given a reprieve of sorts. So, today I'll talk a little golf!
A "perspective" on how to spend 30-minutes of your day...
For 35 consecutive weekdays beginning on September 18, I travelled into Kelowna for radiation treatments. Upon arrival at the Cancer Agency, the routine kind of went like this:
5 minutes: check-in at "The Cabin" and disrobe (sort of)
10 minutes: this was generally the amount of time I spent sitting in the waiting room.
10 minutes: my name was called, prep for treatment, then the radiation blast.
5 minutes: leave the treatment room, get dressed, head home.
Each treatment was effectively a 30-minute proposition, although the radiation session was only about a 10-minute deal.
Moving forward, I am certainly beginning to wonder how I will react to the legion of golfers who will choose to bitch, moan and complain about their round of golf, the one they wanted to take four hours, but wound up being a 4 1/2 hour experience. Really folks, just WTF is the difference??
You've just spent 4 1/2 hours in a beautiful part of the world, on a great golf course in very good condition, where the pricing provides very fair value. You want to talk to me about how seriously those extra 30 minutes have affected your life? Really?
There is another option; just be thankful you had the opportunity to spend an extra 30 minutes on the golf course!
Growing the game...
I often hear this phrase bandied about by organizations that need participation numbers to grow quickly. Really? These same organizations pretty much rode the gravy train through the 1990's when golf was king. It was "that time" in the history of recreational golf that these folks should have had their eyes firmly focused on the future. But, I'm quite confident the powers that be effectively soiled the sheets on this one!
When the industry had a captive audience with people flocking to give the game a try, well, that was the time to ensure the collective experience was such that people would "catch the buzz" and never consider leaving the game. But folks in-the-know are keenly aware of how sadly the participation numbers have declined.
So now the organizations with a vested interest in the industry's success, those that didn't take care of business when they had a golden opportunity, are pounding the edict that we have to grow the game!
Well, you blew it once, and now here's a little bit of what we're facing.
Ask long-in-the-tooth golfers how they feel about "new golfers" and you'll get some pretty self-serving responses. In many, many cases, folks that will jump on board and support the idea of new golfers coming into the game are the same people that are adamant that they don't want to play golf "behind" groups of new players. It's that same old "pace of play" bullshit discussion that just never seems to end.
Frankly, I have more respect for the guy who is prepared to speak the truth about his selfish motivations, rather than the clown who tells everyone he supports "growth", then bitches about the inconveniences associated with new players trying to learn the ropes.
The industry, methinks, is firmly in "dilemma-mode"!
The 2013 Masters...
People who have played golf for years always look at early- to mid-April as kind of an exciting time. When the best players in the world tee it up at Augusta National Golf Club, we all get kind of jittery. The Masters is really a harbinger of spring.
This year the tournament ends on April 14, which I think is about as late in April as I can ever remember it. But it's a cool week, with great TV coverage and plenty of upbeat chatter about the game and the business.
The Health Side...
No real big changes of late to report. I guess the calendar confirms that I am about 20 weeks post-treatment. I still have some difficulty swallowing food without plenty of water. I'm chewing gum more frequently than I can ever remember, because it helps to create moisture. My sense of taste has almost completely returned, which is a huge blessing. I cannot enjoy the taste of a glass of wine, but I have fallen in love with beer! I'm checking in these days at about 172 pounds, which for me is rather "bone-rack-ish".
There is still inflammation in my neck, which I can feel with even a slight touch. I cannot find the lymph node that was swollen for most of 2012, unless I really dig into my neck with my fingertips.
The medical team told me on February 5 that I was "cancer-free", which is terrific.
But really, if I am cancer-free, how come I think about it every day?