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Curt Schilling lost 80 pounds during cancer battle

Curt-SchillingFormer Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling is set to return to ESPN on Thursday night after several months away to focus on his battle with cancer. Schilling, who was diagnosed with mouth cancer and believes it was caused by years of tobacco use, said he lost nearly 80 pounds in less than a year.

“Mentally, physically, (it was) the most difficult eight months of my life,” he told ESPN’s Karl Ravech. “Certainly the most painful.”

Schilling, 47, has been in remission since June. He said he was in pain 24 hours a day for four months. While he relied on love and support from his family to get him through treatments, he said there were moments during that period where he understood suicidal thoughts.

“There are some times during this treatment where I thought if I got it again I’m not sure I’d do the treatment again,” Schilling said. “I have to look at pictures of my kids and my wife to push me over the edge, because the amount of pain I was in for the length of time that I was doing this — there were times when you realize people take their own lives when they don’t have families.”

Millions of people across the world get cancer each year because they are just plain unlucky. Unlike those people, Schilling acknowledges that his oral cancer was caused by years of smokeless tobacco use and stubbornness.

“The challenging part is, much like the company I ran, this is my fault,” he said. “I chewed tobacco for thirty-something years. I was warned and warned year after year, and I didn’t pay attention.”

Players like Stephen Strasburg vowed to quit chewing tobacco after seeing how it destroyed the life of someone like Tony Gwynn at such a young age. Schilling was more fortunate than Gwynn, and hopefully his struggle inspires more ballplayers to lay off the dip. It certainly doesn’t seem worth it.

Curt Schilling has mouth cancer, believes it was caused by tobacco

Curt-SchillingCurt Schilling revealed on Wednesday that he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, more commonly known as mouth cancer, back in February. Schilling had previously chosen not to reveal the type of cancer he was battling but discussed his health issues in more detail during the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon.

“This all came about from a dog bite,” Schilling said, via Boston.com. “I got bitten by a dog and I had some damage to my finger and I went to see a doctor, and the day that I went to see the doctor, I was driving and I went to rub my neck and I felt a lump on the left side of my neck. And I knew immediately it wasn’t normal. So there happened to be an ENT [Ear, Nose, and Throat] right next door to the hand doctor, and I thought what the heck, let me just stop in and see and so I waited in the office and went in there and they did the biopsy, and two days later, they diagnosed me with squamous cell carcinoma.”

Schilling said one of the reasons he did not reveal the type of cancer he had been diagnosed with is that he did not want to become a part of baseball’s chewing tobacco debate. He is, however, convinced that using smokeless tobacco led to his cancer.

“I didn’t talk about it for two reasons,” he explained. “No. 1, I didn’t want to get into the chewing tobacco debate, which I knew was going to come about, which to me, I’ll go to my grave believing that was why I got what I got … absolutely, no question in my mind about that. And the second thing was I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me. I didn’t want the pity or any of that stuff…

“I ended up spending about six months in the hospital because I had a bad reaction. I had a staph infection. I had what’s called C. diff. I had a couple different problems and there was a week there, there’s a week of my life I don’t remember while I was in the hospital going through this.”

As we all know, Tony Gwynn lost his battle with cancer earlier this summer and had previously stated that he believed years of tobacco use led to his disease. His death has inspired a number of players to give up the nasty habit. Schilling is fortunate to have achieved remission. Hopefully his story also serves as a wake-up call.

Curt Schilling diagnosed with cancer

Curt SchillingFormer All-Star pitcher and current analyst Curt Schilling announced on Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with cancer.

The former pitcher made the announcement and issued a statement through ESPN.

“I’ve always believed life is about embracing the gifts and rising up to meet the challenges,” Schilling said in the statement. “We’ve been presented with another challenge, as I’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer. Shonda and I want to send a sincere thank you and our appreciation to those who have called and sent prayers, and we ask that if you are so inclined, to keep the Schilling family in your prayers.”

Shonda is Curt’s longtime wife, and she went through cancer several years ago — she was diagnosed with stage 2 malignant melanoma in 2001.

Schilling has had a few health issues over the past few years. Last year he told The Boston Globe that he had a heart attack in Nov. 2011.

We feel badly for him and wish him the best. We also have to wonder how much stress over the failure of his video game company and the fallout from that has played a role in his health problems. A lot of times those things are connected, which is what his wife said when he had the heart attack.

Curt Schilling selling possessions in estate sale

Curt Schilling estate sale

Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling is having an estate sale this weekend to raise money to pay back creditors.

Schilling’s video game company, 38 Studios, defaulted on loans from the state of Rhode Island, and he has been selling off assets ever since. The former pitcher lost all the money he earned over his baseball career, and his investment in the company was said to be around $50 million. The state of Rhode Island’s economic development agency is suing him for the money owed to the state. Rhode Island lured Schilling to the state by promising a $75 million loan in 2010. Schilling’s company defaulted on the loan after going bankrupt.

So, for those living in the Boston area, you can hit up 7 Woodridge Road in Medfield, Mass. on Saturday to pick up some items from Schilling’s home. When I say they are clearing everything out of the home, I mean they are clearing out everything.

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MLB reportedly investigated Curt Schilling steroid incident back in 2008

Curt-SchillingHeads began to spin earlier this week when Curt Schilling said during an interview with ESPN Radio that a member of the Boston Red Sox organization encouraged him to use performance-enhancing drugs back in 2008. Most of us assumed the revelation would lead to a major investigation from Major League Baseball, but as it turns out the matter was already addressed — more than four years ago.

What Schilling didn’t mention in his interview is that he informed then-general manager Theo Epstein that the Red Sox employee — who has since been dismissed — suggested he use steroids to recover from an injury.

“Our office was notified,” MLB vice president Pat Courtney said Thursday, via the Boston Globe. “We take any report like this seriously and there was an investigation.”

Schilling told the Globe’s Peter Abraham that “two or three” investigators from the MLB went to speak to him at the time, and two baseball sources confirmed that the person no longer works for the team. The Red Sox have made several changes to their medical staff over the years, but none were believed to be a direct result of the 2008 investigation.

“I don’t remember who they were,” Schilling said. “I was trying to downplay the whole thing because I wasn’t playing at the time and I didn’t want to cause any problems in the clubhouse. Had I known Theo was going to report it to MLB, I would have never said anything. I was kind of mad that he had to do that.”

From the sound of it, Epstein and the Red Sox handled the situation exactly the way they should have. Schilling confirmed that the incident he spoke of on Thursday was the same one that was already addressed in 2008, which makes the story far less earth-shattering. Given his history of backtracking on topics and his passion for creating drama, you have to wonder if Schilling intentionally left out the fact that this is something the Red Sox have already taken care of. Now, all the headlines that read “Schilling: Red Sox told me to take steroids” don’t seem all that fair.

Photo credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Curt Schilling: Members of Red Sox organization encouraged me to use PEDs

Curt-SchillingSay what you will about Curt Schilling and his blowhard attitude, but at the time being we have no reason to believe he wasn’t one of the clean guys during a tainted generation. Schilling dominated throughout much of his career and had his fair share of injuries toward the end, but his name has not been linked to steroid use. According to the three-time World Series champion, it would have been if the Boston Red Sox had their way.

During an interview with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio on Wednesday (via WEEI.com), Schilling said that members of the Red Sox organization encouraged him to use performance-enhancing drugs when he was recovering from an injury in 2008.

“At the end of my career, in 2008 when I had gotten hurt, there was a conversation that I was involved in in which it was brought to my attention that this is a potential path I might want to pursue,” Schilling said before noting that the people involved are no longer with Boston. “It was an incredibly uncomfortable conversation. Because it came up in the midst of a group of people. The other people weren’t in the conversation but they could clearly hear the conversation. And it was suggested to me that at my age and in my situation, why not? What did I have to lose? Because if I wasn’t going to get healthy, it didn’t matter. And if I did get healthy, great.

“It caught me off guard, to say the least. That was an awkward situation.”

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Curt Schilling might have to sell his bloody sock to pay off debt

Curt Schilling’s financial struggles have been well-documented since his video game company, 38 Studios, filed for bankruptcy back in June. Schilling made more than $100 million during his 20-year Major League career, and he reportedly lost every dime of the roughly $50 million he invested in his company. As a result, he may have to pay off his debts using his own blood. No, seriously.

According to an Associated Press report (via the Boston Herald) Schilling listed his blood-stained sock from Boston’s 2004 World Series run as collateral to a bank that loaned him money. He also reportedly listed a hat that is said to have been worn by Lou Gehrig and his WWII memorabilia.

The state of Rhode Island lured Schilling and his company away from Massachusetts with a $75 million loan and is now on the hook for around $100 million as a result of 38 Studios going bankrupt. When Schilling let the baseball Hall of Fame put his famous sock on display, I highly doubt he envisioned he could someday have to part ways with it to help pay his debt. In many ways, it’s the perfect ending to a business deal that couldn’t have gone more sour.