Tuesday, May 27, 2008

John Lester Has Cancer

Sometimes I just don't understand the way things work. It has been recently leaked to the media that John Lester, father of our cancer-beating no no pitching Jon Lester, also has cancer. Instead of trying to write a post about it, I'd like to point you to a great blog post written by Texas Gal on Center Field.

She writes:

As if the no hitter and victory celebrations afterwards weren't already sweet enough, Jon Lester wasn't just putting to rest his own battle over cancer... but also the news that his father had also been just recently diagnosed with lymphoma as well. Jon revealed the news during an interview with Erin Andrews on ESPN earlier today.

Lester said his father John was diagnosed with lymphoma last month and that the cancer is "slow growing, ... something [his father] will die with, not die from."

Jon Lester learned of his father's medical problems during Boston's opening series at Fenway Park when they got their World Series rings. Jon Lester, who was diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma nearly two years ago, earned the victory in the clinching game of Boston's sweep of the Colorado Rockies last year.

When his mother sat him down to deliver the news, Lester knew the seriousness of the situation.

"You hear the word cancer, and you figure death," Lester said.

Jon Lester said his father is doing well and has two more treatments to go. The 24-year-old pitcher said that his father is proud of him, but after learning first hand what his son had to go through, "He's more proud of me on another level."

It also helps explain that extra bit of emotion shared between Jon and Tito Francona:
After the no-hitter, Lester and Red Sox manager Terry Francona had an emotional embrace. Everyone understood then what the pitcher had been through to get to this point -- or at least they thought they did.

While none of Lester's teammates knew of his father's cancer, Francona had been told what was going on. That was likely why Lester had said he wanted to keep his conversation with his manager private after the game.

Father and son had debated whether or not to talk publicly about his dad's condition. John Lester wanted his son to get it off his chest.

"He's telling everyone ... like he won a prize," Jon Lester said. "It makes him feel better to sit there and talk about it. He can tell people, you know what, I have cancer, I'm doing great, everything is going to be good and people look at him like he's crazy. I guess that's how everyone looked at me when I told them."

Jon will get to see his father for the first time since his dad was diagnosed today, when he takes the hill in Oakland.
Father and son will get to talk in person about their unfortunate common bond on Sunday. Jon Lester is scheduled to make his first start since the no-hitter Sunday afternoon in Oakland against the Athletics.

When the Lesters meet up Sunday night, Jon is bringing a special gift for his dad. He'll have a brand new Red Sox World Series hat with him to cover his father's head that is now bald due to cancer treatments.

She also posted the full video of the Erin Andrews interview of Jon, which on May 25th as Sunday Conversation on ESPN. Stop on over and take a look.

1 comment:

sohobutterfly said...

Awww, this is very sad... Cancer is a tough one to deal with - I don't wish it on anybody!