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Sports Provide a Goal Through Cancer Treatment

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Cancer related image Photo: Getty Images

In less than a week, I will undergo my seventh abdominal surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. It will be my fourth such surgery in the past 46 months. The only reason I'm not totally despondent about this news is that it's given me a great opportunity to set a goal. My 55th birthday present this summer is going to be to attend a women's basketball camp in Maine.

This idea all started when I visited my friend Darsie in Chicago over Thanksgiving. Darsie celebrated her 60th birthday in August. We used to play rec league basketball together in Hollywood--about 20-25 years ago! She asked me to join her at basketball practice the next morning. Basketball? After my last two surgeries, and then also a pulmonary embolism, I could hardly walk up a flight of steps without being winded, let alone sprint up and down a court for an hour.

Darsie told me that she's on a team that will be playing in the Senior Olympics in Houston, Texas in May. She also attends the aforementioned basketball camp.

I'm inspired to put my physical problems behind me--as soon as I get through one more surgery. Getting in shape is not only great physically, but mentally as well. And doing anything competitive just helps keep the workout motivation going. So my short term goal is to go to basketball camp. My long term goal is to play in the Senior Olympics! I've found out where a nearby group plays on Fridays.
I started physical therapy now so I'm in as good of shape as possible before the surgery. I'll go back to physical therapy about a month after the surgery. I hope to be able to be back on the court by April or May--so I'm ready to go to camp by August. Then I'll have a few more months to try out for a team--and hopefully join Darsie in 2012 at the Senior Olympics.

I'll keep you posted. What are your goals?

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.