ALEXANDRIA, LA. (KALB) - "To hear your name...and cancer in the same sentence. You just kinda sit stunned. I didn't cry, I just kinda said 'Damn, this is really happening, isn't it?' "
Photo Source: KALB
On January 5 of this year, Tim Miller got the news from his doctor that a lump on his lung was, in fact, cancerous.
Non small-cell, stage 1 lung cancer.
They had caught it early, and it seemed that, through operating immediately, they could remove the threat of it spreading. There seemed to be only one problem with operating so quickly:
Miller's desire to continue calling softball.
"I just had too much going on in my life. I had recently lost my father...my family needed me. There was too much going on. I had also already received my college (umpiring) schedule through the second week of May," said Miller. "So my next question was 'What's the risk here if we wait until May?' and the doctor just kinda laughed."
"You really love doing this, don't you?" the doctor asked. Miller could only smile. "Yes, sir, I really do."
Miller took the risk of it spreading to continue doing what he loves. Looking back at his history with the game, his decision it isn't much of a surprise.
Miller has been officiating softball since the sport became a part of the LHSAA 40 years ago. He credits his passion to a true love of the game, and the opportunity to teach life lessons to children. "Softball is full of opportunities to teach. Teaching moments. (Kids) can take these moments and use them for the rest of their lives."
Miller's attitude didn't falter when it came to battling his illness. The procedure was held off until after the season, and on May 30, Miller went under to have the cancerous lump removed. After a successful procedure, doctors gave Miller a timetable of 6-8 weeks before he would fully recover. Miller was determined to prove the doctors wrong.
"I was down two (weeks). I decided early on that I wasn't going to let this get me down, mentally or physically. It's mind over matter."
Miller is currently cancer free and doing what he loves: officiating softball.
"All in all, life is good."
For Tim Miller, life is good, indeed.