BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini was diagnosed with colon cancer in early March when doctors found a tumor during a colonoscopy. He now says he started chemotherapy on April 13 for stage 3 colon cancer.
While baseball has been on pause amid the coronavirus pandemic, Mancini has been away receiving treatment. Outside of a few statements here and there, fans haven’t heard too much from the outfielder about the situation.
That changed on Tuesday when Mancini published a letter in The Player’s Tribune entitled “I Am So Lucky”. Normally, one wouldn’t think of a cancer diagnosis in that light, but upon reading the details of Mancini’s story, you begin to understand why the 27-year-old feels blessed.
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Mancini writes that when he took his initial physical at Spring Training with the team, doctors noted that the iron levels in his blood were low so they told him they needed to do another test. Thinking that a recent bout with the flu was likely the cause, Mancini assumed things would be fine and took another blood test. Instead, doctors found that his iron levels were even lower.
Trey Mancini’s revealing, emotional account of his cancer diagnosis & treatment.
“My treatment will take six months — every two weeks for six months. If baseball returns in 2020, it will probably be without me”.
Wishing Trey health & strength! @WJZ ⚾️ https://t.co/QhLhPuvl81
— Mark Viviano (@MarkWJZ) April 28, 2020
That second test then led to the colonoscopy to test for celiac disease or a stomach ulcer. The results of the colonoscopy, of course, was the finding of the tumor and diagnosis of cancer. As Mancini writes, without the Orioles’ medical staff’s attention to detail and pushing for that second test, who knows what would have happened.
“And without the Orioles I never would have caught this before it may have been too late. There was really no indication that anything was wrong other than me just feeling a little more tired than normal. Everything that comes up when you google colon cancer? I didn’t have any of it. And so without that second blood test I probably would not have discovered the tumor until I had a total blockage of my colon. Instead, from the day I was diagnosed to when the tumor was removed was just six days — March 6 to March 12.
I have Stage III colon cancer.I started chemotherapy on April 13.And I am so lucky.”
Mancini then goes on to thank both the organization and the fans for the support they have given him as he has gone through treatment. He says that he is surrounded by incredible people. And, though his treatment will take six months and even if baseball returns it will likely be without him, Mancini wants everybody to know that he’s okay. Even through his treatment for cancer, he is thinking of ways he can help those who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I know that this is a terrible time for everybody. So many people have lost jobs, so many people have lost loved ones. After my chemo is done, and when I’m totally cancer-free, I’ve got a few different ideas of what I can do. I’m lucky enough to have a platform that I feel allows me to make a difference for some people — even if it’s just spreading awareness about the importance of getting a physical every year.
On a smaller scale, I’d rather there be a baseball season right now. That way I could go to home games and hang out in the dugout and be with all the guys. So, I really wish there was a season going on and everything was normal. Baseball will be back. I don’t know when, but I’m sure the game will return.
I’ve got other things to worry about right now, though. I know that. But still, every once in a while I catch myself thinking ahead — to when chemo is over, to when they remove my port, to when I can start going full-speed again.
And I already can’t wait for spring training.”
Mancini isn’t the first Oriole to be diagnosed with colon cancer. Former Orioles outfielder Eric Davis was diagnosed with colon cancer in May 1997 and came back in 1998 to have an incredible season. He was named “Comeback Player of the Year” at the time.