I met the other women at 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the American Cancer Society. Even though I had never met them before, I felt like I had. Many of the other ladies knew each other from their volunteer work with the ACS. It didn't matter that I was new-I felt right at home with everyone and very much welcomed.
|On the field during practice|
I had chemo 2 days before, so I was a little paranoid about the sun. I've found myself to be extremely sensitive to the sun with chemo. I wore my compression sleeve on my left arm as a way to shield that skin from the sun. I had my 30 spf sunscreen with me that I reapplied several times. During the game, I went and got a hat to shield my face. Thankfully, by the 3rd quarter, the sun had moved on and we were in the shade. The lady I sat next to during the game went at half time and came back with a frozen lemonade for me. That tasted soooo good! The lemon really cut through the metallic blah taste in my mouth. She totally blessed me with that, and when I asked how much I owed her, she told me it was on her. It was one of the best parts of the day.
The reaction we got from the public was interesting. Many people would high five us, or shout out "Yeah, Survivors!" Sure, some guys who had been tailgating for a few hours would make comments about loving that body part for which we were there to raise awareness. But for the most part, it was respectful and encouraging.
The atmosphere got more and more exciting as game time approached. They led us down to the tunnel and gave us some hot pink pom poms to wave. We got out to the sidelines and watched the Charger girls get introduced. Before we knew it, we were being told to "go, go, go!" So we ran into our positions as the human survivor pink ribbon. It all went so fast. But it was amazing to be out there on the field with so many people. I had my iPhone with me and snapped some video of the Chargers coming on the field. It was pretty exciting, even though I had no clue which players were "good" or not. I figured I'd shoot as much video as I could and then let others tell me what I saw later! The most awe inspiring part of the ceremonies for me was during the National Anthem. I was on the 50 yard line, and we were facing the team. I sang along and thought about my brother Jared, who at that moment was coming home from Iraq. As it got to the end of the Anthem, "land of the free, and the home of the brave" there was a flyby with 3 jets-FA-18's I believe they said. The BOOM was huge and it was amazing.
Then they led us out and it was over. Just like that!
We had pretty good seats in the end zone. We were in the "super fan" section. People who really took their Charger football quite seriously. Two guys at the front of the section who had their heads painted with bolts. Many spent a good part of the game on their feet. I was pretty clueless--both teams were wearing white and navy blue, so half the time I didn't know who was who! The 4th quarter did get interesting when they nearly were able to come from behind and tie the score after being woefully behind the entire game.
I couldn't help but be amused at the reaction of the fans after the game as we were exiting the stadium. I saw tears and angst. In the bathroom, one girl was sobbing, "they just play with our emotions!" I just looked at her with a smile and thought to myself, "Honey, it could be so much worse. You could have cancer!" It's interesting how things in life are put into perspective when you are dealing with something like that. What's a football game in the end? A few hours of amusement. Not something, in my humble opinion, to get all worked up about. But then again, I'm not a superfan. I'm just a survivor.