The Year that Shaped Me (excerpt)
By Rob Gray
1989 – November
OH YEAH!!! We, The University of Western Ontario Mustangs, just won the Vanier Cup! I love playing this sport! I should feel happier than I do, especially right now, but the scabs all over my body are a constant reminder that I’m not well. I just wish someone could tell me what it is. I’m so itchy, I’m now snapping pens in half during classes to scratch through my skin throughout the day. Maybe a break from football will help, and I can gain some of the weight back I’ve lost; seems like I lost more than normal this year. Well, I better enjoy the moment…who knows what tomorrow’s going to bring.
1990 – November
We lost in the national semi-finals yesterday, and that will be the last game of university football I ever play. I feel awful about the game, as does the rest of the team…
Radiation wasn’t nearly as tough for me as the chemo (and without the potential ‘side effect’) when I came back to London for football training camp. That was definitely my goal, play football and go to school again this year. I think ‘Dr. Jonesy’ agreed to it thinking that it was good to encourage the positive attitude. I’m pretty sure he told my Mom and Dad that I would likely be back home before training camp finished and classes even started…
The days seem better and hopefully there will be brighter years ahead. I don’t know if other people going through this think the same way…I need help from other people, but I don’t want them to need me, and at the same time, I’m just not sure I’m going to be around. Seems like a reasonable (and terrifying) thought process.
I decided tonight that if five years from now, I’m still alive and in remission, I’m going to ask Joanne to marry me…
For Rob’s full story, visit https://www.lightthenight.ca/stories/rob-gray and learn how he experienced, suffered, fought and overcame to become this year’s co-Honoured Hero for Calgary and a member of the Executive Leadership Committee for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada and the Light the Night campaign in 2021.