It is with a great deal of sadness that I announce that as of this coming football season, the attendance streaks at Penn State football games for my husband Terry and myself will end. For Terry, it was 282 games in a row. The last game he missed was the Penn State - USC game in Los Angeles in 1990. For me, it was 146 games in a row. The last game I missed was the Penn State - Iowa game in 2001 in Iowa City. The games we attended were anywhere in the country: home, away, and bowl games.
Somehow, none of that matters now. It's just a game, after all. Right???
There was a sign I saw recently in a medical office: "Life is just a game. Football is serious business." For us, it certainly has been that way. It dominated our lives each fall, and, well, I expect there to be a big hole now.
Unfortunately, I know how it will be filled, and finding time to tend to what needs to be done over the coming months will be a real challenge.
On July 29th we got the rotten news that Terry has lung cancer.
Terry just started a rigorous schedule of chemotherapy treatments this week. Due to the risk of exposure to infection, along with the many other side effects he might encounter, he was told to avoid buses, airlines, and crowds. So far, though, so good.
We are in the process of cancelling all our reservations for away games this fall. We had paid for all that in May. Airlines, tours, hotels, and of course tickets. Hopefully these businesses will be sympathetic and we will get that money back.
As for home games, we are hopeful that at least some of those games might be possible.
For now we are taking it one day at a time and we need to see how Terry responds to the chemotherapy. So far, after the first treatment, so good. His first treatment seems to be tolerated well.
So, as the Nationwide insurance ads suggest, life comes at you fast. And sometimes it isn't pretty.
I will continue to work in my job as a marketing professor at Penn State during this time. I am grateful that Smeal College of Business has worked with me to reduce my teaching schedule this fall so that I can support Terry as much as possible.
As for this blog, well, the whole premise of my writing was that I offered a different view from many Penn State fan blogs because we were actually at each game. So that whole premise is suspended for this season.
What I will and can write about Penn State football remains to be seen. I'm open to suggestions. If someone wants to be a guest blogger, is attending any or all away games, and wants to partner with me, shoot me an email. I do plan to attend every home game, hopefully with Terry at my side.
In the meantime, be sure to hug your loved ones as often as possible, and your healing thoughts and prayers for Terry are surely appreciated.