(NEW YORK) — NFL tight end Foster Moreau announced three weeks ago that he was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer of the lymph nodes.
The former Las Vegas Raiders player-turned-free agent was shopping for a new team and getting physical exams to assess his health and fitness when Dr. John Amoss, a team physician for the New Orleans Saints, saw a lump in Moreau’s neck.
“He sat me down and he goes, ‘You’ve heard of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, right?’ And I say, ‘Yeah.’ And he goes, ‘OK, well, from the tests that we see, that could be a strong possibility,"” the 25-year-old recalled to ABC News’ Good Morning America.
Additional testing confirmed Amoss’ suspicion, suddenly turning Moreau’s world upside down.
“I felt strong. I felt like I was running well. I mean, my offseason training was going just fine, and then he tells me something’s there that I could’ve never imagined and it rocks my world,” Moreau said.
He said for the first time in years, he cried in his mother’s arms.
“You know, it’s hard. It’s hard. And at a time where none of us could do anything other than be with loved ones and pray, she was instrumental,” Moreau said of his mother.
Before Amoss had taken a closer look at the lump in Moreau’s neck, the football player said he had noticed it before but didn’t think it could be cancer.
“I didn’t think it was anything. I thought I was coming down with a cold,” Moreau recalled.
Now, the 25-year-old encourages others to go see their doctors, even if they’re scared or don’t want to.
“I’d say to anyone who doesn’t want to get a checkup, afraid to see your doctor, afraid to take whatever test you’ve gotta take, it’s not gonna change the outcome, right? It’s better to know,” Moreau said.
Moreau said his doctors have given him a positive prognosis so far.
“It’s at stage 2, so it’s spread from the initial location. But it appears to be a slow spread and we should be able to get rid of all of it,” he said.
Moreau also feels it’s his responsibility to share his personal health journey publicly.
“This happens to everyone all the time in every walk of life every day. So for me to have the gall to think that I could get up here and be inspirational, I don’t think that I could do that. I think that there’s children in the children’s hospital that are far more inspirational. Truthfully, I’ve had some smart people in my corner who’ve told me, ‘Look, regardless, you’re gonna get up and you’re gonna inspire millions. And that’s just a part of what God’s put on your shoulders,"” he said.
He’s also tackling his upcoming cancer journey, which includes chemotherapy treatment, in the same way he approaches football.
“There’s no other way to look at it, right? So I’m preparing for my opponent, right? Hodgkin’s lymphoma, chemotherapy, I’m preparing for being on an IV, for six, seven, eight hours. Whatever it takes, right? Because I mean, there’s no other option. There’s no option,” Moreau said.
“You only have a finite amount of time on this Earth. For me, I’m gonna make it count. And right now, making it count is whuppin’ up on cancer’s butt,” he added.
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