Oh say can you see? #PackersvsCancer

I had no idea Melissa Etheridge was in the house until I looked up from my usual pre-National Anthem musings “Stand still respectfully, or try to grab a quick pic?” and saw her standing on Lambeau Field.

“Hey,” I said to my sister and Lambeau seat mate Kathy. “Is that Melissa Etheridge?”

It was.

She sang an excellent anthem and, during her halftime performance, I thought about what a perfect metaphor Etheridge’s performance was for the disease she beat.

October is breast cancer awareness month and the Packers recognized that Monday night with their Packers vs. Cancer campaign, which raises funds for research and cancer care through an association with Bellin Health and the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation.

Linebacker Blake Martinez is the spokesperson for the season-long effort that involves education and support.

Etheridge, who has been a breast cancer survivor since 2005, seemed perfectly comfortable as she took the field at halftime on an unseasonably cold October Monday in Green Bay. A Packer strap held up her guitar and a Packer hat covered her head, leaving no question as to her allegiance (at least that night).

The crowd of 77,642 cheered her on, but she stood there all alone, belting out a medley of her hits.

And, that’s the truth about cancer too, isn’t it? We can cheer them on — raise funds, bake casseroles, send cards and flowers, hold hands, share jokes, hug and pray. But the real cancer fighters do it alone, by dragging their exhausted selves out of bed in the morning, remembering to take their daily meds, monitoring and rising above the side effects, submitting to and recovering from surgeries and rehabilitation efforts, working hard to maintain their daily lives, and getting up every morning to do it all again.

I really appreciate Melissa Etheridge’s efforts to come all the way to the frozen tundra to sing a few songs in what has to be one of the coldest concert venues she’s played. I salute her and every other cancer fighter (including my friends Trina  and Karen, who fought as hard as they could and, in their battle, provided critical research for the advancement of cancer treatment).

And, I’m grateful every day for the increasingly sophisticated treatments available to people like my sister Kathy, who has been a fierce cancer fighter for the past five years.

Go Pack Go!

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To take a picture or not to take a picture? I waited until just after the anthem to take this quick shot and was amused to see it captured one fan waving the 100 season flag and another waving a beer can. Seemed about right for the evening.
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We mostly sang along to the halftime show, which is why I only caught this not-so-great shot. But, I do think it captures the metaphor of a single singer standing alone on a makeshift stage. She’s surrounded by a whole lot of support, but she’s doing the real work alone.
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When we’re celebrating heroes in the fight against cancer, I’m pretty sure I have the best seat in the house.

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Oh say can you see? #PackersvsCancer

  1. Kathy is one of the most courageous young women I know, and I am so blessed to call her friend. Fight on Kathy, your friends all have your back and we are all cheering for you. Go Kathy, Go!

  2. I am so glad you were both there to see Melissa perform! Her first album is still one of my favorites. 🙂
    Kathy, you are amazing and we love you! 🙂

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