10/13/2011 1:09 PM ET
Lester: Cancer free five years later
Red Sox lefty approaching anniversary of diagnosis
This month marked the fifth anniversary of when I was first diagnosed with cancer. I think the time has gone by real quickly, yet also it hasn't. A lot has happened to me during that time period -- we won the World Series, I pitched a no-hitter, I got married, and my wife and I had a son.
It's been a whirlwind five years for sure, and it has been a life-changing five years for sure. It seems like I have done it all in five years.
This November will really be the big month for me, though. On Thanksgiving, I will be five years removed, and I will be considered cured. Once that is all said and done, there will be no more scans, no more doctors, no more anything.
For the past year or so, I have been going in for CT scans. I go in for a scan, it comes out clean, and I move on. I did one in February or March, and I am sure I will do one this offseason just to make sure.
The first couple of years, I hated talking about the topic. I didn't want to talk about it, and it is what everybody wanted to talk about. They wanted to talk to my about being a cancer survivor and not talk about my being a baseball player. At that particular time, I didn't understand it. I just wanted to be a baseball player, and they wanted me to be a cancer survivor.
It took me about two years to understand that I am, in fact, both and that I can do some good with this. That has come with maturity and my finally accepting that role. I've been more at ease with it in general. I think it was just something that when you are asked about it so many times, you get tired of talking about it.
Ultimately, it sort of died down and that came after a series of 'first' story lines. The first season back, the first no-hitter, the first trip to the All-Star Game. So, we got those out of the way, and it has been good ever since. From that point on, it has been easier to run with it and talk about it. It is not a big deal any more.
Throughout the entire time, the Red Sox, of course, were extremely supportive. They are the reason why I got back to baseball so quickly with their doctors and the support system for my family and me. It was unbelievable, and it was first class.
Now, I am able to give back a little to those who helped me. I work with a wine company, Charity Wines, that has a history of working with Boston players, and it is a good deal. For every bottle of wine called CabernAce that we sell, a portion of the proceeds go to the charity of our choice.
My wife and I selected Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. I received the majority of my treatments there, and it is special in our hearts.
I am a wine guy, but I am not a great connoisseur or expert. I have a few that I like -- a few brands that we stick to -- and I enjoy a nice glass of wine every now and again.
Fans can get it at several different liquor stores in Boston or online at charitywines.com.
Boston left-hander Jon Lester was a 15-game winner this year, the fourth straight year he has won at least 15 contests. The 15 wins led the Red Sox as did his 182 strikeouts.