05 March 2010
"Writing is the hardest way of earning a living, with the possible exception of wrestling alligators."
It’s 8 am on Friday morning. Today I officially enroll myself in "Gator School," also known as the UAMS Cancer Institute. Alligator wrestling is a dangerous sport, sometimes done for personal satisfaction, sportsmanship, or possibly for sheer survival. Whatever the purpose, it is not a sport for the weak of heart. I will soon be judged based on my knowledge of the sport, personal and physical strength, emotional stamina and my ability to stay focused on my work while under incredible pressure. There is only ONE goal of alligator wrestling -- and that is to WIN, as the consequences of losing are rather dismal.
I’m here at the UAMS Infusion Center. This is where my medical journey will begin, every other Friday for the next four months. Today I join a legion of strong women in my community and around the world, women who woke up one day to be punched in the stomach by this nasty thing called cancer. Without notice, we are thrown into the alligator cage with the expectation to fight for our lives. But throughout the fight, we must continue to work, parent, be a friend and maintain our responsibilities in the home. And then, every few weeks we must temporarily abandon those roles to wrestle the gator.
Like many of my sisters before me, none of us wanted to be thrown into this nonsensical battle. But the battle develops a purpose – to master the art of alligator wrestling. Today I begin my training to become one of many Alligator Wrestling Queens. And like many women before me, I plan to become a gold medal winner. In the end, that nasty alligator will be sorry he ever messed with me.
Posted by Stacy Sells at 8:29 AM