Remy diagnosed with reocurrence of lung cancer

Red Sox TV analyst had surgery to remove growth, expects to work regular schedule

Remy diagnosed with reocurrence of lung cancer

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Popular NESN Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy revealed Monday that he is battling lung cancer for the fourth time, but is optimistic about his prognosis and expects to work his regular schedule of games this season.

Remy had surgery to remove the cancerous growth from his right lung last week and hopes he will be given clearance to fly to Spring Training after a follow-up exam March 1.

Entering his 30th season in the booth for NESN, Remy's original schedule called for him calling four games late in Spring Training and approximately 115 during the regular season.

Remy ready to get to work

"I must say, right now, I'm feeling pretty darned good," Remy said. "The heavy lifting is basically done and my next step is just getting clearance to fly to Florida. I'm scheduled to do four Spring Training games, which I'm sure I'll do, and I'm scheduled to do 115 in the regular season, which I'm anxious to do."

As the Red Sox opened Spring Training on Monday, players and executives sent support in Remy's direction.

"He's got all of our support. Stay strong. Hang in there," said Red Sox lefty David Price.

"Our thoughts and prayers are of course with Jerry and hopefully he'll be back with us soon," said Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. "We're all concerned about him and hope he's back soon."

Dombrowski on support for Remy

Remy, 64, said his reason for going public with his recent diagnosis Monday was to advocate for people to go to their doctors for checkups and periodic screenings.

"The more I thought about this, I felt it would probably be to some people's benefit, I hope a lot of people's benefit, to go public with it," said Remy. "I was a great example of a person who did not enjoy going to doctors and would not see doctors. It actually was a doctor who ended up saving my life, and that's Dr. Larry Ronan."

Back in 2009, Ronan, the Red Sox' internist, found a spot on Remy's chest X-ray that looked suspicious, and he sent him for further testing, which revealed cancer.

Remy's most recent plight started just before Christmas when a routine followup detected some possible cancer in not only his right lung, but also in his nose.

At that point, Remy feared the worst -- that his cancer had spread.

"The next step was surgery, nodes were taken out and examined," Remy said. "Fortunately they came back negative. The cancer was basically located in one spot. When I thought the cancer was spreading, that was a horrific time. That was about a 10-day period where you didn't know. I wouldn't want anybody to go through that and that happened to coincide with the holidays and New Year's and all that.

"That was a bad time -- one of the toughest times I've been through with my physical health. Finally I got the good news that it didn't spread. I'm ready to go. If we had a game tonight, I'm good to go."

Another message Remy wanted to convey is for youngsters to never start smoking.

"Yes, I was a longtime smoker, I started when I was 16," Remy said. "I'm 99 percent sure that the reason I'm going through what I'm going through is because of that. I'm not going to preach, but I am going to say it's a lot easier not to pick up the first one than to put down that last one. I can tell you that. I'm sorry I ever did it. I'm paying the price for it now."

A native of Somerset, Mass., Remy played for the Red Sox from 1978-84.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.