Curt Schilling could’ve died from cancer and all of the attendant complications. He lost $50 million of his own money, cost the State of Rhode Island even more and messed up the lives of all of the employees of his video game company. And he doesn’t want an ounce of sympathy from anyone:
“I brought this on myself,” Schilling said in a lengthy interview in Kansas City earlier this week. “For the last two years I’ve had to stand in front of my wife and kids and explain to them, ‘I lost $50 million and my company went bankrupt, and it was all my fault.’
“Then I had to stand in front of them and tell them, ‘I have cancer because I dipped.’
Those comments come in the course of this article from Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston, which explains just how bad Schilling’s cancer diagnosis and treatment was. Many aspects of it, including the cancer itself, infections, and depression which required hospitalization, could’ve killed him. It’s amazingly harrowing stuff, involving excruciating pain, feeding tubes and hallucinations. To this day, even though he’s on the mend, he can’t eat in public because he can’t swallow properly. He mostly consumes Ensure and Boost because he can ingest it quickly.
Maybe the craziest part is what Schilling says about smokeless tobacco, which is what caused his cancer:
He does not plan to canvass the country serving as a cautionary tale of the dangers of smokeless tobacco. That, he feels, would be hypocritical.
“I still want the stuff,” Schilling said. “Right now. But the beautiful thing for me is my salivary glands have been destroyed by the radiation, so I can’t. I’ve wanted to dip a couple of times, but I literally can’t.”
Take some time out and read this story today.