Someone’s existence is stuffed with the cloudy regimen of daily residing. Your thoughts runs on autopilot. Main points of the ones 24-hour home windows run in combination in a fog.
Then there are days like Oct. 27, 2018.
For Laura Gretencord, there’s a transparent delineation from existence earlier than Oct. 27 and after she gained a choice that day from Steve, her husband of 28 years.
Steve had pushed his youngest son, Alec, again to school that morning from Fishers. Whilst riding in Bloomington, Steve referred to as his father, John, to talk about Friday evening’s highschool soccer video games.He then referred to as his spouse.
There used to be an issue. A large one. Steve had no thought the place he used to be — or why he used to be riding.
“Honey, why am I in Bloomington?” Steve requested.
After just about 3 many years of marriage, Steve nonetheless knew tips on how to push Laura’s buttons. He’s the extra laid again of the 2. Laura idea used to be joking — in the beginning. However it took best a few sentences to appreciate there used to be actual worry in his voice.
“One thing is extremely unsuitable with Steve,” Laura advised her brother. “Please name the Bloomington police.”
The police discovered Steve. Having a look at his telephone later, Steve noticed that his father had referred to as again and left a voicemail. About 25 mins later, he had referred to as Laura.
“I’d love to understand what took place in the ones 25 mins,” Steve mentioned. “I do not know. Nonetheless don’t. I take note speaking to my dad about highschool soccer after which fading out.”
A horrible analysis
Steve had a seizure. He had bitten his tongue and lip. He used to be transported to the Indiana College clinical heart, the place he used to be to start with recognized with temporary international amnesia.
Laura steered him to apply up along with his number one care doctor and get an MRI. Two weeks later, Steve referred to as Laura with the consequences. The MRI confirmed a mind tumor. Worse information: It used to be glioblastoma, essentially the most competitive type of mind most cancers.
“A nightmare,” Laura mentioned. “It used to be this kind of surprise. I don’t understand how else to mention it. It grew to become our international the wrong way up.”
However there’s a silver lining right here. A number of of them, in reality.
Steve Gretencord, occupation educator and trainer, gained his 3rd consecutive blank scan on Tuesday on the College of Texas MD Anderson Most cancers Heart. This information comes after his first surgical operation final November and a 2nd surgical operation in April after the tumor had returned.
“They are able to by no means get all of it,” Steve mentioned. “The spores are at all times there (that may produce the tumor). I by no means know what the following day will deliver. I may just get up and no longer be capable of stroll. However up to now, I believe nice. I believe like there’s a bit of little bit of a twinkle in my eye.”
Gretencord, 56, misses the study room. He used to be best 10 weeks into his first yr as a instructor at Bishop Chatard when he used to be recognized. However those that knew Steve in his 29 years as a instructor within the Lawrence Township college gadget would no longer be stunned to listen to he’s making the most productive of his scenario.
And there may be nonetheless tennis.
Discovering pleasure in tennis
On a sunny and steamy August afternoon at Vast Ripple park, Bishop Chatard tennis trainer Cameron Huffman addressed the avid gamers from each his group and Lawrence Central, in addition to a bunch of fogeys waiting for the beginning of the fit. Huffman had taught with Gretencord, in short, at Chatard firstly of the 2018-19 college yr.
“To look the place his existence and his adventure has taken him during the last yr, it’s a privilege to be out right here and training in opposition to him,” Huffman mentioned.
When Gretencord, a 1981 Lafayette Jeff graduate, began out in schooling he idea he sought after to be a basketball trainer. “I noticed I wasn’t a lot of a yeller,” he mentioned. “I attempted. I faked it. However I preferred training tennis extra.”
He coached within the Brownsburg gadget his first two years out of school after which for a number of years within the Lawrence Township gadget at Craig Center Faculty and Fall Creek Valley. He coached at Lawrence Central from 1994 to 2000 earlier than stepping away when his 3rd kid used to be born.
With Andrew, 23, Alec, 21, and Caroline, 19, now grown, Lawrence Central athletic director Ryan Banas employed Gretencord once more final yr.
Closing fall’s season had ended when Steve had his first surgical operation. He resigned his place as tennis trainer. However Steve had an concept. What if Alec, who used to be moving to the College of Indianapolis, may just trainer with him?
“I wasn’t positive about hiring a trainer who used to be nonetheless in faculty,” Banas mentioned. “However it made a large number of sense, too, with Steve nonetheless having the ability to be there.”
A father-son training duo
That is in all probability the largest silver lining of all. Steve and Alec, training in combination. Alec is extra reserved than his father. However they paintings neatly in combination as a tandem. Alec works basically with the singles’ avid gamers, whilst Steve specializes in the doubles’ groups.
“I’m studying from him each day,” Alec mentioned. “He’s higher with the fogeys and the opposite stuff. I’m higher with method.”
As a result of Steve is not able to force, Alec would force him to and from follow. The subject of Steve’s well being does no longer arise ceaselessly. “He’s lovely honest about the whole lot,” Alec mentioned. “If there’s one thing to mention, he’ll let us know.” Training in combination, although, has introduced them nearer.
“It’s unquestionably been a win-win scenario,” Laura mentioned. “Primary, for them to spend time with one every other. But additionally, for Steve to show Alec. Truthfully, in the beginning I didn’t understand how it will figure out. However it’s been a blessing. It in reality has. They love being round every different and speaking about technique and produce alongside other youngsters. I feel the children additionally like seeing Alec in the market to have anyone as regards to their age.”
Day by day regimen, as uninteresting as it’s going to appear, additionally has a candy spot. Tennis follow brings that reduction of regimen.
“The necessary factor is staying busy each day,” Alec mentioned. “That more or less takes your thoughts off issues.”
Combating a monster
Steve’s certain outlook is outstanding. He follows those phrases: “Don’t let what may just occur the following day have an effect on these days.”
Glioblastoma is a monster. Steve has been advised via medical doctors that the survival price previous 5 years of analysis is five %. There are different numbers in the market at the Web which can be additionally gloomy. Steve advised his youngsters to not hassle researching glioblastoma. However he’s on a Fb reinforce web page that has helped him succeed in out to others in his footwear.
“Going via this has showed that I do have an excessively certain outlook,” Steve mentioned. “I’m upbeat about issues. It taught me that I do love to show. I like to be round youngsters. I knew I’d omit that. I advised the major at Chatard that I sought after to show every other 10 years. It didn’t figure out that means. However I am hoping there may be possibly a way I will become involved once more (in educating) come what may. The children give me such a lot power.”
Gretencord mentioned the Chatard neighborhood and Lawrence Central have each been overwhelmingly supportive. The one time he misses clear of tennis is when he travels to Houston for his chemotherapy remedies. He’s there this week for his 7th spherical of chemotherapy, referred to as VAL-083, for the following 3 days.
There are a couple of bucket listing pieces Steve wish to take a look at off his listing. The lifelong-St. Louis Cardinals fan achieved one this summer season when he used to be in attendance at Busch Stadium for Albert Pujols’ first sport again in St. Louis.
“Optimistically a yr from now Steve and Alec may just do the U.S. Open,” Laura mentioned.
It has no longer been simple for the Gretencords. However phrases like those from Lawrence Central tennis dad or mum Emily Hawk are soothing: “He has a golden center. The kindest trainer my youngsters have ever identified.”
In quiet moments, Laura will ask Steve if he ever lies wide awake at evening and worries. “No,” he responds. “I simply need to reside each day within the second.”
“His certain angle is so inspiring,” Laura mentioned. “Some days I get up and assume, ‘Is that this in reality a nasty dream?’ However he’s such an inspiration. I’m so blessed that he’s my husband.”
Name Celebrity reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.