Coming out

A lot of you are probably in a bit of shock right now. This is the first you’ve heard anything about me having cancer.

Sorry ’bout that.

You can read the whole story here, but this is the short version: Nine days ago I learned I have papillary thyroid cancer (the same thing as Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher). Fortunately, that’s the most treatable form of cancer there is. The cure rate is around 99 percent. I expect to be cured in two months, and with no chemo. The treatment starts with surgery to remove my thyroid tomorrow.

Which brings me to the timing of this little announcement.

At first, I decided to tell only my family and a very few longtime friends. There were a couple reasons for the secrecy.

First, I didn’t want to spook anyone out there who may have some work for me. I plan on being fully able to work after April 1, with the exception of a 7- to 10-day period in early May when I’ll be all nuclear. Physically, I will be pretty normal the entire time. So, if you’ve got something, give me a call.

Second, I didn’t want to put out what would amount to an attention-grabbing call for sympathy, because I didn’t believe I needed it. I’m working under the assumption that this is going to be merely an inconvenience at times over the next two months, so I didn’t want a bunch of people sending flowers to my house and making me feel like I should be more worried. If you looked at me, you would never know anything was wrong, so I figured I wouldn’t bother the people who didn’t need to know.

Now, as I’m sitting here the day before surgery, I’ve had a change of heart. Nothing wrong with a little attention at a time like this. I’m going to have a surgeon cutting me open and taking stuff out. Even if it’s a relatively routine operation, nothing wrong with having as many prayers and good thoughts on my side as possible. Besides, a few more encouraging emails will give me something to read while I’m laying around for the next few days, unable to say much or eat solid food.

So there it is. Now you know.

(My kids, however, still don’t know all the details. We haven’t used the c-word with them. We just said: “Dad is going to have some surgery and then he won’t be able to yell at you for a couple weeks and then he’ll be fine.” If you run into us when our kids are there, keep that in mind.)

From here I won’t be issuing any more press releases about my health. You can just follow this blog if you want to know how I’m adjusting to my lack of natural hormones or my low-iodine diet or my radiation quarantine. (I won’t spoil the surprise for you by telling too much now.)

Hopefully the first good news will come Monday afternoon, after the doctor tells me he got all the bad stuff out.

Thanks for your support.

3 Comments on “Coming out”

  1. Leah says:

    Hey Jeff

    Hang in there — our thoughts and prayers are with you



  2. Karen says:

    We’ve been thinking about you all morning. xoxo

  3. Tom LaMarre says:

    Hey Jeff, you worked on deadline at The Rock, so you can handle this.

    –Tom LaMarre

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