Friday, June 18, 2010

The Race



I went to my first NASCAR race recently, one of the perks of where I work.  I got pit passes, got up close to the drivers pit crew, saw all the prep they do during the race and when the car comes into pit row (ok so if I get the names of things wrong sorry, I play hockey, watching NASCAR to me reminds me of when I lived by the 101 freeway in the San Fernando Valley)

I am always thinking of my next blog, or podcast, what inspiring survivor I can get on the podcast, what I should write next.  I was uploading my race photos to facebook and I thought this kind of reminds me of treatment.

The race was my cancer experience.  While I was in the race, time stands still, moves slow.  For others it is just another day, minutes are regular minutes hours are hours days are days. 

The noise of the race was deafening.  That reminds me of when the doc first tells you "It's cancer"  Suddenly words run together, people are talking but it doesn't make sense.  You can hear your own heartbeat in the sound of the race.

The docs, nurses medical staff are your pit crew. All of the pit crew around the car reminded me of surgery, you are almost out of it, there are people around that you don't know and they are all checking on you.

"Checking under the hood"  as I like to call it when they do a breast exam.  The adding of the oil, like a blood draw, well you get the analogies.  Although I do think a blood draw would be less upsetting to me if the needles made that whirr sound like the pneumatic drill does in the race.

Your caregiver is your pit boss.  Making sure everything goes smoothly.  Not that that is entirely possible.  No one can foresee nausea, insomnia or any of the other lovely side effects that go along with cancer, but if it wasn't for your pit boss, your race would be more difficult

Everyones race experience is different.  Some go through treatment with little side effects, no major crashes to speak of.  Others have their cars in pit row the whole time of the race.  I have to say I was somewhere in between. 

Once the treatment is over, some people think the race is over, but there could be more races, meaning, complications, more surgeries, recurrance, depression, entirely new cancers.  Different races, different tracks.

We are all just looking to cross the finish line.  Doesn't matter if we get the checkered flag.  Just matters that that we finish the race, that we beat cancer.

I am looking forward to the time when no one will have to race.

Mel is the co-host/producer of The Vic McCarty Show.  Listen live Monday~Friday 10am-Noon on wmktthetalkstation.com.  Also available as a podcast.

Check out my podcast The Cancer Warrior on Empoweradio.com

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