Jerry Remy, the popular longtime Red Sox television analyst and former second baseman, announced during a recorded interview on NESN Wednesday night that he recently had been treated for a relapse of lung cancer.
"A little thing bubbled up and they thought it was time to do a biopsy on it, and the biopsy came out positive,'' said Remy during a sit-down interview with studio host Tom Caron. "So I was diagnosed again with cancer."
Remy, 61, first had surgery in November 2008 to remove a cancerous area from a lung.
He said this cancer is in a different spot in his lung than before. It was discovered during his six-month CAT scan in January. Remy said the spot had been biopsied previously. The first time came out negative about a year ago. This time it was positive.
"It's a spot that they've been closely watching since the original operation,'' said Remy, a longtime smoker. "I always had that kind of feeling like there might have been something else there and it finally showed up on a CAT scan."
Remy traveled back to Boston from spring training in Fort Myers in March to receive radiation treatment at Mass General Hospital. There were no side effects, he said, and he returned to work within a matter of days.
"And right now I'm fine,'' he said. "I always told the fans of New England I would be honest with them if things health-wise with me were not great. I know the last couple of years I've missed some games not because of this, but because of regular colds, bronchitis, whatever it may be, and I always told the fans that I'd be honest with them and what I'd gone through. Last time I had cancer and depression. This time I've been diagnosed with cancer, but it's under control.''
Following his first surgery four years ago, there were complications during his recovery, including an infection and a prolonged bout with pneumonia. He still didn't feel right when the 2009 Red Sox season began, leading to a leave of absence on April 30 that year. He did not return to the Red Sox booth until mid-August, revealing then that he had also been coping with depression.
He told Caron that he is in a better frame of mind this time.
"I'm very upbeat and positive about it,'' he said. "I don't have the same reaction to it I had last time. It was all very new to me last time. Being in close contact with my doctors is very important, very reassuring to me.
"Before, the depression was harder than the cancer was. The timing was a lot of it because I was missing games and that bothered me to a point that I couldn't go to work to the job that I loved. And I became so depressed that it took me months to get back to work. That's not the case this time. I feel very positive about things, very upbeat about things. I've been down this road before."
Remy said his further treatment wouldn't be anything different from the norm for a cancer survivor, noting that his next CAT scan isn't for three months.
"I feel fine,'' Remy said. "I really do. [But] if I can help anybody, that's great,'' Remy said. "Last time this happened to me, I got so many letters from people who have gone through cancer, who are fighting it at that particular point and time, and I felt like I did them some good. I don't know, but hopefully I did. For those who have had relapses, now I have too, and hopefully we can get through it together."
About Touching All The Bases
Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.