Andre Dawson rarely misses a chance to come to Chicago, the ex-Cub and Hall of Fame outfielder still fond of the place where his career made its greatest turn.
But coming to Chicago this weekend with the Miami Marlins as they faced the White Sox was more special personally. It is the first road trip Dawson has made since his recovery from prostate cancer during the winter.
``I feel good,'' said Dawson, a longtime special assistant to Marlins president David Samson. ``The doctor told me he's 99.9 percent confident I'm cancer-free,'' he said.
Dawson, 58, was first warned about his risk during a routine exam in spring training of 2012 that revealed elevated PSA levels. He saw a doctor in October, and a biopsy confirmed the fears. ``I just wanted it out,'' Dawson said of opting for surgery. ``But we had to wait six weeks [after the biopsy.] I had the surgery Dec. 18. The doctor told me he didn't find anything else in the area or the lymph nodes.''
Dawson lost 20 pounds after the surgery, but his strength and stamina has returned progressively--along with a positive mental outlook after going through what he admits was a shocking and sobering diagnoses.
His doctor had asked him if Dawson would consider speaking out about prostate cancer awareness and the importance of checkups for early detection.
``He said `you can speak to a predominantly male audience. I'm just a doctor.' I told him I understood what he was saying, but I wanted to be sure first I was cancer-free.''
They teamed in late April in a press conference at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center to reveal his experience. Dawson also has made Public Service Announcements promoting prostate cancer awareness and the importance of early detection.
It's a cause as important to him now as helping the young Marlins whom he helps coach.
``You hear cancer and you're scared, but the doctor told me `you're going to be fine.' ''
Dawson feeling strong again in come-back from cancer surgery
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