Beasley firmly believes he'll beat rectal cancer

Rangers third-base coach to undergo chemo, says he's 'worry-free and anxiety-free'

Beasley firmly believes he'll beat rectal cancer

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers third-base coach Tony Beasley is not a pastor, but he took the pulpit Sunday morning to deliver a personal sermon. The topic was being diagnosed with rectal cancer in January.

"I look at this as an opportunity," Beasley said. "I'm a man of faith. I walk by faith, not by sight. I'm a strong man of God, a Christian. In my faith in God, I believe I am already delivered from this. I just have to go through the process.

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"It's easy when everything is good, but now I am in the middle of a storm, so I have the opportunity to exemplify consistent faith. I believe I will get through this. I am worry-free and anxiety-free in Jesus' name."

Beasley delivered his sermon in a Rangers uniform on his first day in camp. He will meet with a local doctor Monday and then begin chemotherapy once every two weeks while in Arizona.

"I actually feel good," Beasley said. "I'm not fatigued at all. The only difference between now and a month ago is I know what I am dealing with. Other than that, my body feels good."

Beasley said he started having hemorrhoid problems in August and tried treating them through the usual methods. When the problem persisted into January, Beasley went to see a doctor. A colonoscopy detected the cancer.

It is Stage 2 cancer, which means only minimal spreading into lymph nodes from the affected area. Stage 1 is no spreading and Stage 3 and 4 are more extensive spreading. The hope is chemotherapy will knock it out and no further steps will be necessary.

"It's Stage 2, so they felt good about catching it," Beasley said. "It was a blow to me, it was a blow to my wife [Stacy]. She lost her mother to pancreatic cancer, so it was a blow to her. My son [Anthony Jr.] is playing baseball at Hardin-Simmons in Texas. I went out there to see him so he could look at me in person.

"I have an extended baseball family. Obviously the Rangers are my family, but the Nationals [his former team] have been outstanding, too. The outpouring of support from former players, people who I have been connected to, has been tremendous."

ESPN broadcaster and former pitcher Rick Sutcliffe was among those who called, having gone through a battle with rectal cancer in 2008 and beating it. He was very encouraging, Beasley said.

Beasley will be a part of the Rangers' daily workout, although he may be limited. The Rangers haven't decided when he'll resume his third-base coaching duties, but his doctor at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston wanted him to be in Arizona so he could stay busy.

"Half this battle is mental, keeping your mind occupied," Beasley said. "Not sitting around and thinking and letting scenarios creep into your mind. I'll be busy every day.

"I have never been through chemotherapy treatment, so I have no idea how my body will respond. I'll pay attention to that. As far as my duties, we'll take it one day at a time."

The Rangers are just glad to have him back in camp.

"It just puts a smile on my face to see him on the field and the players interacting with him," manager Jeff Banister said. "You see the joy and love people have for him and how much respect they have for him."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.