In November I had a very small, low-grade cancerous area removed from my lung. I was fortunate that it was discovered at an early stage. Except for the surgery, I required no additional treatments. I left the hospital with a clean bill of health.
Unfortunately, following the surgery, I developed a bad infection further compounded by a case of pneumonia. It was the pneumonia and the infection that set me back. This all happened just as I was leaving for spring training.
In hindsight, it was a mistake to go and I am paying the price for it now. As NESN announced, I am taking a leave of absence so that I can fully recover.
First of all, I would like to thank all of you for the outpouring of concern you have given me recently. I honestly appreciate it. Secondly, I want to emphasize that I am in good shape now.
While physically I have no issues, the past few months have been emotionally draining, and exhausting for both my family and I. Along those lines, I would like to thank NESN and the Red Sox for allowing me to take as much time as I need. I am not certain exactly when I will return, but I will keep you posted. I want to make sure that when I do return I can be with the team all the way to the 2009 World Series!
I hope that by stating all this publicly it will emphasize the dangers of smoking to everyone, especially children. So, once again, I appreciate all your support and I would like to emphasize – if you don’t smoke, don’t start, and if you do smoke, try to quit! I don’t say that lightly because I know how difficult it can be.