From the FanPosts. -Chris
I was at Big Charlie's Saloon on Saturday night. I had the rare opportunity to meet Scott Pioli. I originally intended to do a lengthy post about my trip to philly, how cool Big Charlie's is, and show the pictures of Pioli signing my shirt and just generally brag about that whole experience. I'll tell you this much about Pioli, he really is a man of the people. He treated all of us in that bar with respect and dignity. He listened to our concerns, told jokes and laughed with us, and was as accessible a personality as I ever could've imagined.
He is a smart guy with a long term vision and even though this season has started off rough, I have every confidence that he knows what he's doing. Whitlock says he is an ego, and maybe that ego shines through when he's dealing with as big an ego as Whitlock himself.
But in that small bar in South Philly among some of the most passionate and die-hard fans the Chiefs have, he was one of us. It would be easy to be detached and distant and even egotistical when you're an NFL GM and you're among regular beer-drinking joes, but he wasn't.
For a half hour, Scott Pioli was one of us. He wasn't able to stay around for long, so he wasn't able to have a one on one conversation with everyone gathered in the most random Chiefs bar in South Philly, but he did address the group as a whole.
There is one thing he told us, and something that other recent events in my life are reinforcing the wisdom of: Be Patient.
Little did I know how meaningful that advice would be only a few short days later.
Events come at you pretty quickly in this life, and those first reactions when something bad happens are often emotional. Your thoughts get clouded. You think that the world is going to end. You turn off all rational thought. That's what I felt like after leaving the Linc on sunday afternoon. I thought: here we go again, another long painful season. I had visions of 0-16. I didn't think rationally. I lost my patience and along with it, I over-reacted and and imagined a situation worse than what actually is.
Yesterday, my girlfriend was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The second I heard those words, I lost it. Every ounce of thought in my head fluttered away and I was left with raw emotion. Fear, worry, panic. The tears were overwhelming. I felt like the worst possible thing had happened. But when the tears subsided, and the diagnosis became more clear, I realized I had overreacted. I realized that the diagnosis wasn't as bad as those two words first sound to the untrained ear. Things are going to be tough, no doubt, but that there was a plan, a course of action, and a protocol that the doctors were following that would make sure everything would turn out alright. When I settled down and started listening to what the doctor actually said about the situation, I learned that the tumor is benign, not cancerous, and that there was a 99.9% survival rate for surgery that she is going to undergo next week. This doctor has been involved in this surgery a thousand times for this kind of tumor (an angioma). She had kidney cancer when she was 3, and the neurosurgeon said that the radiation from the chemo likely caused the tumor, and that the tumor has probably been there since she was a kid around 5 years old and has just been really slow growing since then. Its not actually on her brain, but its on the membrane surrounding the brain and the growth of it (about the size of a baseball) has been pushing into her occipital lobe, causing the migraines and lightheadedness that prompted her to get an MRI. There is an 85% chance that she will never have a reoccurance of this tumor. Those two words initially scared the living shit out of me, but when I started listening to the facts, when I started thinking rationally and not reacting purely emotionally; when I finally regained my patience, I realized how fortunate we are. I realized that this was a challenge that would demand our focus, but that things are not always as bad as they seem.
That initial physical she had was like the game at Baltimore. We knew the symptoms (the preseason), but we didn't know what to expect. The results were ambiguous; further tests would be needed. The MRI was like the Raiders game. Everything went as we expected, until the final results came. The MRI was abnormal. Something was wrong. The trip to the neurologist was like Philly. It seemed like the worst possible thing that could happen did. Those two words were spoken, and the world around me started to spin. The despair, the pain, the agony, and the worry that I had that I would lose the one person that I have loved with such passion, the one person who I knew from the moment I met her that she was the one. You hear the words "brain tumor" and you stop thinking, you just react. It seemed like the worst possible result. But as the situation sunk in and I started hearing more about the tumor, I realized that not all hope is lost. I realized that this was a test, a challenge, and a burden, but that we would get through this and everything will be fixed in time. The game this sunday against the Giants will be like the surgery. It's all on the line. Its going to be a challenge, its going to feel like forever, and there will be difficulties. But we will emerge on the other side of it stronger than we were when we entered.
So I am asking you all, let's not react with our hearts on our sleeves. I gained a lot of perspective on life over the last 24 hours. Things aren't always as bad as they initially seem. Patience will guide us through the tough times and when we are finally rewarded with the good times and the good news, it will be all that much more rewarding because we know what we had to deal with to get there, we know that challenges we've faced and overcome in the process, and we can rest assured that our character will be stronger, wiser, and more tested than any other because we've confronted the worst possible scenarios and conquered them.