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Jerry Remy returns: 'I'm not ready to go anywhere'

Rob Bradford
September 26, 2018 - 8:11 pm
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Jerry Remy was a welcome sight at Fenway Park Wednesday night.

The NESN analyst joined the Red Sox broadcast for the first time since learning his lung cancer had returned, spending an inning with Dave O'Brien and Steve Lyons. Prior to the Red Sox' game against the Orioles Remy met with the media:

(How are you doing?)

"I'm doing OK. I'm a little bit tired from the radiation I've been going through for the last four weeks, but that's expected and I think that within a short period of time that will correct itself. But overall feeling good. I just need to get my resistance back and my wind back and I think that's just a matter of time. If I may say before we go on, the reason I came into the ballpark tonight is because over the last month I've received tons and tons of mail. I mean, every time the FedEx truck or UPS truck comes up to the driveway I know it's mail from me from Fenway Park or from NESN. I figured the only way that I could possibly answer the people is by going on TV and thanking them personally for that, and also through you guys. Because Phoebe and I started to read all the letters. We've read every single one that's come in. You can't answer them. It's impossible. It's impossible to do. So that's the reason I'm here tonight, to pretty much say thank you to everybody for their support. It's been cards from eight years old to 90 years old. It's been incredible."

(What is the long-term prognosis?)

"Day to day. Just like everybody else. No, it's OK right now. I mean, I finished up radiation. They got the tumor. Right now they're working on a vaccine. They took part of my tumor out in a biopsy and they sent it off to a lab and they're trying to develop a vaccine that they can give me that will keep this cancer in check because it's the same area that comes back every single time. So what they've done is, they've taken the tumor, the tissue from that, and they're trying to create a vaccine to go along with. So that's probably the next step. I'm waiting for the information on that to come through. But my team at Mass General has been absolutely outstanding."

(Better mentally than a month ago?)

"I'm better now. It hit me hard because I just went through all this last year. I went through the chemotherapy, the surgery, the radiation. This year I thought was a little bit easier because it was just the radiation and now we're hoping for this vaccine. But again it comes back. So it's like, how many times? I've been fighting lung cancer for 10 years. It's the biggest killer in the world. You start thinking about your mortality. But you know, you get around these people in the hospital who are in the same kind of condition you are and many worse and their attitude is so great. It kind of picks you up a little bit. I'm more familiar with the people in the radiation room than I am with the people at Fenway Park, I've been in there so long. So I feel better about things now. I was really down. The support I've got from the Red Sox, from NESN has been absolutely remarkable. I was just sitting with John Henry for 20 minutes. He was fabulous. Sam Kennedy has given me a number of calls. Tom Werner has given many a call. Sean McGrail has called me at least once a week. So the support that I've gotten from the organization and from NESN has been just off the charts."

(On the ability to keep fighting)

"I'm not ready to go anywhere I think is the biggest thing. I've got grandchildren that I want to see grow up. I still want to do my job. Probably not at the same level that I've done in the past, there are going to be limitations, but I think everybody wants to keep going.. I think you just find a way."

(Why he most likely won't be traveling anymore)

"It's something we're going to sit down and talk about. I think that the best way to describe it is, I'm not retiring but there will be limitations. I'm not going to travel anymore. We'll sit down and we'll figure that all out at the right time. We have to do something that's right for everybody. I think that the last couple of years has been a letdown from my point of view to my organization, NESN. I haven't been able to fulfill my commitment of 115 games. I feel badly about that. So I've gotta look at a number that's something that I can work with and they can work with. So the days of doing all the games are long gone. The days of doing 115 are also gone. And the days of going on the road are gone. The doctors don't want me going on the road. But I think there will still be a place for me to do a good number of games, but they'll be from Fenway."

(Been following along?)

"I'm going to tell you the truth and this is God's honest truth, I've been so tired after radiation that most of the time I'm in bed by 7:30 or 8 and I haven't seen a lot of baseball. I really haven't. But I certainly pick up the paper the next day and I read about everything that's going on. What this team has done is absolutely remarkable. One year I won 99 games and I thought that was a lot of games and we went home. We were bums. This team has gone way over that total to what, 107 now? It's just incredible to think that way and I wish them the best all through the playoffs. I think they're going to have a magical run right to the World Series. The team is so good. The manager is so good. I totally expect this team to do great things."

(Has he seen the shirt Alex Cora has been wearing in support of Remy?)

"I did see that. Matter of fact, I think I read it in your column and then I did see a clip of it. I think he wore it one other time, too.  That made me feel pretty good. But again, that's the kind of support that I've got from a lot of people. A lot of people. So it's amazing the impact that you have when you've been around 31 years, that you have on people. Red Sox fans especially who welcomed me into your home for that long. It's kind of a nice feeling. It's kind of a nice feeling that they care."

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