Renowned Philadelphia Phillies slugger Mike Schmidt recently announced on Sunday that he had been diagnosed with stage III Melanoma last summer. Schmidt claimed that the cancer is gone, but the Melanoma required him to undergo continuous chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
According to Ryan Lawrence of Philly.com, The 64-year-old Baseball Hall of Famer decided not to perform his regular duties as this year’s spring training guest instructor because of this health condition. Schmidt had been undergoing his final round of chemotherapy a day after the exhibition games commenced.
Schmidt said that he found out about the cancer during a visit to his dermatologist because of a spot on his hand. But despite the challenges he has faced in the last couple of months of treatment, Schmidt said that he considers himself “a lucky man” for being able to detect the Melanoma relatively early. Feeling “fantastic”, Schmidt advised the public to have their skin checked by a doctor at least once a month.
The three-time National League Most Valuable Player looked fit and healthy when he appeared at the Phillies camp in Bright House Field. Careful to avoid the sun’s rays, Schmidt selected well-shaded areas on the grounds to rest under. Although he missed this year’s camp, Schmidt said that he intends to return as an active instructor next year, if his health permits it. In the meantime, Schmidt will join the Phillies’ TV crew as they cover 13 home games this season.
The most obvious effects of the cancer can be seen (or heard) in his voice. Schmidt said that the two surgeries he went through caused his voice to become raspy and his taste buds to lose their sensitivity. He is currently taking depression medication to aid him in the recovery process.
Schmidt, who is considered by many as the greatest third baseman of all time, shared that his family has a history of Melanoma. His grandfather, who was also afflicted with the disease, survived it but lost one of his ears in the process.
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