Phillies legend Mike Schmidt recovering from cancer

Philadelphia Phillies legend and Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt announced Sunday he is recovering from an advanced form of skin cancer after being diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma in August and undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment in the months that followed.

Schmidt, 64, said he has undergone two operations, radiation and chemotherapy.

Philly.com’s Ryan Lawrence writes that Schmidt, who arrived in Clearwater, Fla., to begin his second tenure with the Phillies broadcast team, said the latest scans on his body have been clear.

“I feel fantastic right now,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt was unable to perform his regular duties as a spring training guest instructor this year due to his health. A day after Phillies camp opened last month on Feb. 14, Schmidt was undergoing his last round of chemotherapy.

“I had been in chemo-infusion centers sitting in a chair with a needle in my hand with people that are dying all around me,” Schmidt said. “I was hoping I would never see anything like that. But it became normal for more, for over a month.”

Schmidt revealed he was somewhat uncomfortable with the sun shining on him as he spoke to the media while seated on a picnic bench just outside the Phillies clubhouse at Bright House Field.

“You get scared of the sun, man,” he said.

Schmidt also invoked the words made famous by Lou Gehrig, calling himself the “the luckiest man alive” for making a random trip to his dermatologist late last summer.

“I was doing a closing on a house and I had a thing on my hand,” Schmidt said. “I just went in and said, ‘Can you look at this” and he said, ‘Why don’t I take a look at your whole body while you’re here. Obviously the moral of the story is, everybody, get your skin checked. I think at least once a month, now that I know what I know. I caught it early.

“If I hadn’t gone into see my dermatologist in late August, I might still have it. It might be more than Stage 3. Even though that was a tough couple months, I’m a very lucky man.”

Article courtesy of our Tribune affiliate, The Allentown Morning Call.

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