Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Great Expectations

Pete Rose, the famous baseball player, was being interviewed in spring training the year he was about to break Ty Cobb's all time hits record. One reporter blurted out, "Pete, you only need 78 hits to break the record. How many at-bats do you think you'll need to get the 78 hits?" Without hesitation, Pete just stared at the reporter and very matter-of-factly said, "78." The reporter yelled back, "Ah, come on Pete, you don't expect to get 78 hits in 78 at bats do you?" Mr. Rose calmly shared his philosophy with the throngs of reporters who were anxiously awaiting his reply to this seemingly boastful claim. "Every time I step up to the plate, I expect to get a hit! If I don't expect to get a hit, I have no right to step in the batter's box in the first place!" "If I go up hoping to get a hit," he continued, "then I probably don't have a prayer to get a hit. It is a positive expectation that has gotten me all of the hits in the first place."

Tonight is softball night. It’s the last game of the season. There is an outside chance at making it to the playoffs. My team needs a win and another team needs to lose. Given that I was a decent baseball player in high school and this is slow-pitch softball, I truly expect to get a hit every time.

But shouldn’t that be the way we approach life?

This “expectation” or philosophy can be applied to many different facets in your life. Your attitude truly makes all the difference. For me with cancer, if I don’t wake up every single day thinking that I’m going to beat this terrible disease then I don’t deserve to wake up in the first place. For the rest of you, everyday presents some type of battle. You just need to believe you are going to knock it out of the park.


Lisa Auslander said...

Dan-- Hope you knocked one outta the park last night!


Anonymous said...

Great seeing you guys last night with smiles and high spirits. You are Muhammad Ali: Nothing can bring you down. Keep fighting, stay strong, you WILL WIN!
All the very best, Laura

Anonymous said...

Thanks for helping put things into perspective. Your philosophy on life is one more of us need to adopt.

KevinB said...

Hi Dan,

I was forwarded your blog link from Kay at the LCA. I've been meaning to contact you for some time because I had read your testimony to the Maryland state legislature as I was preparing to write my own testimony for the Massachusetts state legislature.

Our stories are very similar. In August of 2007 I was diagnosed with stage IIIb non-small cell lung cancer at the age of 29. As you have indicated previously, being diagnosed with cancer is a shock for anyone, but even concerning with me because I am a lifelong non-smoker and have always been active in sports. When I was diagnosed, I was at the gym four days a week and playing softball two nights a week.

To make a long story short, I am working with Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center in Boston, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and Memorial Sloan-Kettering in NYC for the best treatments available and to find out any genetic mutations that may exist in my tumors. We have found that the EML4-ALK mutation is present. I began a phase I/II clinical trial on June 5th at BIDMC that is an inhibitor drug that targets the EML4-ALK mutation. So far, the preliminary ct chest scan results are good, but I am still waiting on the neck ct results. Tomorrow I will be having a ct on my stomach and pelvis to also compare with the baseline scans they did prior to beginning the drug. If this trial drug works, it will be a miracle. The side-effects are minimal. I have been on Cisplatin, Alimta, Tarceva and this drug is by far the best.

Give me a call when you have the opportunity. I'm glad to hear that you are doing well. Ask your doctors to test your biopsies for the following mutations: KRAS, EGFR and EML4-ALK and any other one they know of.

My cell phone # is (617) 894-3052.

Stay strong,

hughesd2000 said...

Hope you made it to the playoffs!!I loved this article/post as it plays into so many different things in our lives. I just read it to Bob and he was very impressed by the whole blog (he doesn't get too excited about stuff like that!!!), but can truly relate to anything that has to do with sports. I played in a golf tournament today and did not play too well so tomorrow I will go out and hit it outta the park!! Thinking and praying for you both.

Anonymous said...

Dan, I am so awed by your ever positive attitude. I loved reading this out of the ballpark story today cause my spirits needed a boost. Love, mom

Anonymous said...

Your Mom let me know about your blog and I can only say that I am inspired and uplifted by your wonderful attitude. None of us knows how much time God has allotted us but faith and trust and the power of love make all things possible. Continue to live in the light. God bless you.