What a long and grueling month it has been!
Before embarking on the 4 week trip I had high expectations of starting off the summer with a bang; putting myself in good position to make the US Open qualifying. But with a freak injury just before leaving and having to retire in the first tournament and withdrawing from the second tournament. It was definitely not the start I had expected. Entering the 3rd week with an almost ready foot and feeling refreshed, I thought I was ready. Only to see myself lose in the 1st round. At first I wanted to blame my loss on my injury. Yes, my foot did affect me a bit, but was that really the reason why I lost? I was in a tough spot. Part of me thought if I kept playing I would hurt my foot more and part of me said to keep going because in all actuality my injury was slowly getting better. I called my brother the next day to discuss whether I should play out the last week.
A week before the trip my mom was having a regular check-up and that’s when the doctor found a small mass in her lung. When receiving the news you’re going to be at first a bit shocked. But nothing was for certain yet and more tests had to be done to find out exactly what was in my mom’s lung. As a family we decided not to jump to any conclusions until all tests were finished.
So I was on the phone with my brother asking him what I should do. If I should play the last tournament or if I should just go home, rest my mind and my body. We both agreed that I should play out the trip. And that’s when I asked him if there were any updates on mom. I did find it strange that my parents were a bit hard to reach that whole week. I would ask them about the tests, but they always said everything was fine. That’s when my brother broke the news to me. “Mom has lung cancer.” I didn’t know what to think. And it hit me that this was real. The first thing you want to do is hop on the next flight home. But I knew playing the last tournament is what my mom would want me to do.
The last week might have been the most difficult week of the trip, emotionally. I was lucky enough to have a fun group with me. Hanging out, playing cards, and going out to eat. Anything to keep my mind off.
The worst part was going back to the hotel room every night. When you are by yourself you have all these thoughts that go through your head. The first three nights that week as I was watching TV all of sudden I would start crying. Every night I really thought I was dreaming. I finally got to talk to my parents that week and my mom said something to me that stuck. “Yes of course I am sacred, but these are the cards that have been dealt. I can either be sacred or I can be positive and fight this thing.” It is great to see that my mom has so much support behind her from friends and family.
It’s so crazy what life can throw at you sometimes. We are all dealt cards, some good some bad. We don’t always have control over outcomes, but what we do have control over is how we choose to deal with the cards we are given. I am so proud of my mom for being so strong and positive.
I have made it back to America, Chicago to be exact. One more stop before home. Big thank you to the Fitzgerald family for hosting me on such short notice. It’s gonna be a great week!