Monday, November 22, 2010

Walking the talk: Cancer pool rehab features some big-name athletes and big-time events

My tumour might need a nap.
I just finished lunch (oatmeal, sausages and grapes) and I've already been for Radiation No. 15 and done 45 minutes of walking in the pool. Heck, my Solitary Plasmacytoma has done more this morning than some people will do all day.
I wasn't particularly giddy about the 8:24 a.m. tanning session when it was assigned to me on Friday, and I struggled my way through it. I didn't feel too steady on the cane this morning, and the radiation techies had trouble getting me set up just right on the table. Up until today, I feel like I had been on a run of making it easy on them by hitting my mark. (That sounds so Hollywood. I like it. Get ready to see that a few more times.)
Carol-Ann drove me to the Cancer Agency and then went to work. Pat Cooper, my editor from my Coquitlam NOW days and one of my many mentors, came into Vancouver and drove me home. I coaxed her into stopping at Starbucks. (I got a venti, non-fat Pumpkin Spice latte...I know it sounds sissy, but I'm secure in my beverage selections, just so you know.) 
Maybe it was the coffee, or maybe it was the quick chat I had with Iain MacIntyre (I've heard rumours that he might be a columnist or something for some daily newspaper in town...I'm not sure of the name of the publication) on the phone, but I had some jump when Carol-Ann's dad Ron came to pick me up for the pool. 
I walk across the shallow end at Canada Games Pool, in about four feet of water, and I felt strong today. I'm not sure what the distance is (nobody said anything about there being math with THE CANCER) but I was doing 50-second laps on Saturday, and I was routinely under 40 seconds for the first half hour today. 
Ron hung out in the bleachers, and we passed the time by talking about great athletes and sporting events we've seen. Carol-Ann's family lived for a time in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Ron, who was teaching special education teachers in training at UNC at the time, got to see a handful of Michael Jordan's college games.
Ron's sharp. Real sharp. At one point, the Kennedy family (Shameless name drop for Ron...that's gonna be hard for me to top) was after him to head up the Special Olympics. At UNC, he headed up a project which was tied to the federal legislation regarding the rights and needs of disabled people. He got to travel the nation, and, being a sports fan, he made the odd pitstop here and there to take in a game. He watched Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr and Bobby Hull all live. He saw Hank Aaron, he saw George Brett.
For me, I can't separate stuff I've seen as a fan and stuff I've seen for work. My favourite event has to be the Olympic women's hockey final, just for the feel in the building. The world junior final at GM Place is right behind it, though.
(LATE EDITION: The Vancouver Giants' 2007 WHL final series against the Medicine Hat Tigers is my third place.) 
For regular season events, I'd have to go with our trip this past August to Fenway Park. It's funny; I'm not a diehard Boston Red Sox fan, but there's something magical about the stadium, with its nooks and crannies and that 37-foot high left field wall.
The trip was my present from Carol-Ann for my 40th birthday. (My birthday is actually in February, but we had this little Olympic thing going on then.) I had always talked about Fenway being the top of my so-called "bucket list." Sure enough, not long after we get back from Boston, I got sick. I'll admit the timing freaked me a little at first, but I'm good now. I'm getting better every day. 
I'm not sure what I'd put on the top of my list now. The way things are going, it might be a swimming pool somewhere.




  1. Have I got a pool for you!!

    We'z gotsta go there!


  2. Hey Steve, I can tell you love your sports, because apparently none of the books in your library here have titles! I hear you have a battle on your hands but are well armed with love, wit and the acting chops of Patrick Duffy (he of Man from Atlantis, just to fill in your pool metaphor)... I'm doing some volunteer work with this new Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame and everytime I call up someone they're asking 'Where's Steve? How's Steve?' You my Yoda-like predecessor, have a multitude of friends thinking and praying for you. You've got to see your Padres win at least one World Series, and your Centennial Centaurs win another b-ball title...
    all the best
    dan olson

  3. Events I've been at in person/working? That World Junior Final is probably my number 1. From the anthem on and the puck filling the net for Canada, it was awesome.

    Number 1A would be Game 3 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals in Edmonton. You could feel the building shake, I still get chills thinking about it.

    That 2007 WHL Final was great as well. Giants winning the Memorial Cup at home was also very cool.