March 1, 2007
As many of you know Team Gov had a successful first season, which ended in victory. As promised, we raised the Cup and shared with you the triumph we had over our dreaded opponent: Cancer. Because we beat our opponent so badly in season one, a rematch was sure to present itself in a matter of time.
Although we prepared for season two with intense determination, Todd and I faced a bit of a sophomore slump in the beginning of this rematch. As one would expect, our spring training had its fair share of ups and downs. Last year’s MVP, and definitely this year’s front-runner, Todd McGovern (number 21) got off to a rocky start. While he recovered tremendously from his January 22nd surgery, Todd had some setbacks that brought him to an emergency room in New Jersey whereupon it was determined that he had a major bowel obstruction causing him unbearable pain and excruciating discomfort. Never one for dullness, on February 20th Todd was ambulanced to the Hospital at UPENN so he could be in the care of his new oncology team. The oncology team kept him under close surveillance and alleviated his pain with an N-G (Nasal-Gastro) tube. The doctors concluded that the obstruction was either from a tumor that had spread into the colon or from adhesions due to scar tissue and recent surgeries. Todd suffered through 4 days with an NG tube and on the fifth day the doctors finally removed it. Because he was able to tolerate food and liquids, the doctors reported that his obstruction was under control for the moment. Because Team Gov’s morale was awfully low, I made a quick decision to call in the reserves from Colby College as I asked for some cheerleaders to come by to lift Todd‘s spirits. When in doubt, call the Forgers and Sean Handler (a.k.a. Handy). They had Todd smiling in minutes and I can’t tell you how much that did for us both. Todd was discharged this past Sunday and began his radiation and chemotherapy treatment on Monday. As I alluded to in the last update, we have relocated to Philadelphia in order to make these next six weeks a little bit more manageable. A tremendously kind and wonderful family has taken us in and is letting us live in their guesthouse. Todd and I feel very relaxed and at peace there. We have always tried to look for the silver lining in the challenging situations we have faced. In Pittsburgh, we had the comfort of Tina and her family and her comfortable home. In Philadelphia, yet again, we have found solace in the kindness of others and, for this, we feel very blessed. Over the next six weeks, we will live in Philadelphia during the weekdays and head home to Allenhurst on the weekends. Every Monday, Todd and I will go to his chemotherapy treatments and will sit for two to four hours while he gets his treatments through an IV. After the IV treatment, he is hooked up to a portable chemotherapy pack that dispenses the drugs into Todd’s port continuously for seven days. So, essentially, every Monday he gets his chemo pack rebooted for the week. In addition to the daily doses of chemotherapy, Todd has radiation treatments every night. The cumulative goal of these treatments is to shrink as much of the tumors as possible. And, although this is an extremely aggressive and taxing process, Todd has yet to miss a beat. He is emotionally, mentally, and physically fatigued but he has remained confident that Season Two will be every bit as successful as our first season. With the roadwork and conditioning well under way, Team Gov feels ready to start knocking the opponent down. Pitchers and catchers have reported and so has Todd. Because we are in Philadelphia and because we have an abundant love for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th (but certainly NOT the 5th and 6th) "Rocky" movies, we plan to take a ceremonial run up the Museum steps at the
end of this six-week stint. We hope you will join us then as we don our Rocky Balboa gear and celebrate another victory.