by Pete Davignon
reprinted with permission from Senior Softball News
Cancer: The Future Looks Better With Each Year
Fall 2012 Edition
Here's some encouraging news. The American Cancer Society says to relative five-year survivor rate for all cancers diagnosed between 2001 and 2007 is 67 percent, up from 49 percent pre-1977 and it is continually improving.
This reflects improvement in early diagnosis and in treatments. In the United States men have a one-in-two lifetime risk for cancer, women, about one-in-three. We must all be vigilant concerning our health.
Traveling to many areas this year with the CAN-Sirs survivor and awareness team I learned that having cancer is not so bleak. Many senior softball players whom I met who had been battling cancer were upbeat about their treatments and remissions. They returned to playing softball and had not lost too much of their pre-cancer skills.
Everyone had a different story about finding out about their cancer. We all had the initial fear of the disease, the anxiety about how our families would deal with us and the sudden self doubt about our future. Next came our personal battle to defeat the disease with harsh and sometimes demeaning medical treatment, long recoveries, and making ourselves stay positive that we will survive our ordeal.
Staying healthy starts with making good lifestyle choices, from healthy eating habits, to staying physically active. We all know good eating habits, we just need to train ourselves to use them. Moderate exercise of any kind, as long as it is done with some frequency, will react positively on your body's well being.
The CAN-Sirs team thanks all the senior players from other tournament teams that came to our rescue when we were short players. Since most cancer survivor players are already playing with their regular team, we appreciate the extra effort they make to fill in on our team. CAN-Sirs try to recruit local senior players from the area where the tournament is located but we didn't always have the connections. Thanks to the many local leagues that have offered to help us recruit in the future. We want local seniors involved so we can expand the CAN-Sirs mission to all senior softball. We had several co-ed teams with women cancer survivors and that's more than OK with us.
Our plans for 2013 are to continue to spread our message. We will have available the "Hey Batter, Batter" training guides for anyone who would like one. You can also download it from our website, www.can-sirs.org. We will be entering the team in as many national tournaments as our funding allows. We count on the senior softball community for sustained support of our program.
CAN-Sirs has one annual fund raiser tournament held under the auspices of the NCSSA and with support of SSUSA. The tournament will be held in Elk Grove, Calif., on May 18 and 19. Additional information will be available on the norcalseniorsoftball.com website.
A special thanks to the players in the Eastern Nationals in Raleigh, N.C., the players from the LVSSA at the World Championships in Las Vegas, and the players who joined us at Winter World in Phoenix. And again, without the continuing support of all the fine people at SSUSA we would not be able to do what we do.
And a special thank you to my wife, Vicki Doll, without whose help both in the office and on the field, I could not accomplish the goals of CAN-Sirs. She is definitely our most valuable player.
Together, let's all make CAN-Sirs an even more successful program in 2013.