Posted: 6:20 pm Saturday, April 30th, 2011
By Matt Porter
WINTER PARK – The real problem, Jay Seider said half-kiddingly, is the loss of appetite.
Seider, Glades Central’s legendary girls track coach, has undergone three rounds of intravenous chemotherapy to combat the breast cancer doctors found in February. The three-hour sessions leave him weakened, have caused some of his hair to fall out, and since he can’t taste food, his appetite wanes.
“It takes a week before you get it back,” Seider said.
Seider has never lost his appetite for the sport he loves.
Seider, 64, spent a February weekend in the hospital after surgery to remove his left breast and a nearby lymph node. He began chemotherapy in March and has two more rounds remaining. Aside from a few weeks off after his operation, it’s been business as usual.
This fall, Seider returned to Glades Central, where he has won a state-record 10 state titles and earned his place in the FHSAA Hall of Fame. Saturday, he brought his girls 4×100 team to the Class 2A state finals. He’ll drive the team bus back home, as he always does, and return to next weekend’s Class 3A and 4A state meets as an official, helping run the shot put competition.
Last week, Seider had chemotherapy Monday and coached at the regionals Wednesday in Miami.
“That was rough,” he said. “It takes a lot out of you. It was especially bad because it was hot, and then I had to drive the bus.”
Male breast cancer is rare, about 100 times less common than female breast cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates 1,970 cases are found yearly in the U.S., and 320 men die annually from the disease. Seider said his outlook is relatively good; his doctor told him his cancer is 95 percent curable.
On a sunny day at the state meet, Seider watched his relay team warm up. He talked about how young they are (three freshmen and a sophomore) and how much better they’ll be next year.
It’s the most soothing treatment he can get.
“It’s nice therapy,” he said. Definitely takes your mind off things. It’s good to be home.”