Saturday, August 8, 2009

Softball Tournament -- 2009 style

As you may remember from last year, I love playing in the DC alumni tournament. Last season, five weeks after liver surgery, I helped my team finish in 3rd place out of 70 teams. Well, today was the first day of that tournament this year.

Wouldn't you know it, today and tomorrow are pretty much my worst days on my chemo two-week cycle. Normally, this weekend, I'm asleep the entire weekend. Last night, I practiced 200 pitches, came home, took a nerve pill for the jitters and slept 11 hours. I woke up this morning and went to the fields (after puking once to make me feel better).

My Pitt team was seeded #16 out of 70 teams. In the first game, we played the #48 seed, so my coach benched me. No sense wearing me out when they might need me later. My team went on to win 17-2 over U of Dayton. Next up was U of Arizona (the #17 seed). I got the starting pitching nod. I was a little worried that some weird chemo side effect would hit me in the middle of the game. I chugged as much water/Gatorade the whole day as possible. I heard that dilutes the side-effects of everything. It must have worked. I felt like I had unbelievable control the whole game. Even the couple of times I let the other guys gets hits, my teammates made some unbelievable fielding plays (Mark over the shoulder and Erin stretching to be about 8-feet tall come to mind). We won 16-3 and that put us in the Sweet Sixteen of the winners bracket starting up again tomorrow.

The last two innings of the game, I was holding in the pee like crazy (see chugging water/Gatorade comment earlier). I ran to the port-o-potty. When I cam out, our team had finished taking our team photo. :-( I missed it. But the team mom was having none of that. When she heard, she gathered everyone again and put me front and center for the photo. (I don't have it yet, or I would post it here.)

I came home a little bit after my game ended. The rest of the teams stayed at the fields enjoying the other softball games, drinking and eating, and playing games like bocci ball and corn-hole toss. But, for me, it's a night of trying to eat anything (due to mouth sores) and trying not to vomit.

Tomorrow at 9am, I will start my day with a shot at the hospital to boost my white blood counts. This shot gives me flu-like symptoms for a couple of days. My only hope is that the "flu" stays away from me until after I can pitch in my games on Sunday. All I want to do is help my team win, but it seems that it's never as easy as just that. I just hate it so much. So, I hope you'll be rooting for me tomorrow because being sick AND losing would be the worst. Being sick and that, I can tolerate.

(Sorry for any errors in spelling and grammar. I'm not feeling like re-reading this tonight.)

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