EDITOR’S NOTE: This past fall, SportsCenter reporter Shelley Smith announced via an espnW essay and social media that she is battling breast cancer. Smith also interviewed former SportsCenter anchor and current Good Morning America host Robin Roberts about the fight against cancer and penned this post for Front Row. Today, Smith and her daughter, Dylann, 28, share what the past four months have been like for them.
I’m bald. Yep. Was sitting around one day wondering why the dog, Rosalita Rosario, was shedding so much? Then I realized it wasn’t her. . . it WAS ME! And so then, I realized — it was time. I called on longtime NBA barber to the stars, the affably named Chuck Taylor, gathered my daughter and two of my best friends (Skeats Spalding and Michael Bolton. . . no, not THAT one) and climbed into the big chair. With everyone in the barbershop cheering me on, he whittled away. And then it was done. Just like that.
– Shelley Smith, SportsCenter reporter
I had been so worried because my hair has always defined me. If you go back to my reports from 20 years ago, you can see BIG HAIR, curly hair, straight hair, shorter hair, longer hair. . . and all kinds of variations of shoulder pads. But I’ve never had no hair. I’ll pick up my wig tomorrow, but I kind of like my head it the way it is. I’ve never been one to pull off fake stuff. . . so probably, until I go back on air, bald it is. Or turbans. I hear they’re making a comeback.
I had my first chemo infusion Feb. 5. . . first couple of days were tough and then I got an infusion of energy – even made it to the gym. AND THEN, I got the flu. . . that’s not a good combo, trust me. I want to buy stock in TAMIFLU, though. Wonderdrug. Until then, I was really bored actually. Bored is better than sick (although I think I drove my daughter crazy, see sidebar below).
My next infusion is Feb. 26 and I have a girlfriend from college coming out to help me (she says she’s seen me throw up. . . hahahahahhaha. . . actually the anti-nausea meds are awesome, but it’s too good of a line to waste). And then, just like that, I’m halfway done with the chemo part.
I’ve had so many cards and gifts from so many people around the country and Twitter, which can be the cruelest of devices, has actually been empowering. I realize I’ve touched some lives and have made friends and allies in the fight. Strange how that has happened. I’m planning this summer now to visit a woman in Memphis who just finished 12 months of treatment.
Earlier this week I spoke at a banquet for the Rio Hondo Junior College soccer team. They wore pink and made signs for me for a game they won last October and presented me a team photo and poem with all their signatures. They said they dedicated their season to me. I have four pretty tough months left in my “season” and I told them I dedicated that to them. Fight, fight and fight some more!
We’re gonna win!