Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn has completed an eight-week battery of cancer treatments for a malignant growth in a salivary gland and hopes to resume his duties as baseball coach at San Diego State when the spring semester starts next week.
"Everything is going great," Gwynn told the San Diego Union-Tribune last week. "I don't have an exact answer yet where I stand with the cancer. I can't say I'm cured. I have an MRI and a CT scan planned for sometime next week. But I feel good and my doctors tell me they think I'm ahead of schedule."
Gwynn, 50, was diagnosed with cancer in August, as he was having his third procedure since 1997 for what had previously been benign tumors in his largest salivary gland, the parotid.
He had surgery Aug. 30 during which they also removed lymph nodes.
"Every once in a while I do too much and get tired," Gwynn told the San Diego newspaper. "I don't think I'm going to have a problem coaching. I'm working hard at getting ready."
Gwynn also said he plans to return as a color commentator for local Padres telecasts.
"It really feels great to have baseball starting again," Gwynn told the newspaper.
"It's easy to get depressed when something like this is happening," he added. "Staying positive makes a big difference. It's pretty hard to be down when I got all the support I did. All the cards and letters and e-mails were very much appreciated. I want to thank everyone."
Gwynn's cancer battle came amid recurring back problems.
"I was in bad shape," Gwynn told the newspaper. "Not only was I dealing with the cancer, I was having to use a walker to get around and I wasn't doing a great job of that.
"But a lot of great doctors and therapists came to my rescue. And I can't tell you how big the boost I also got from friends and fans who sent me countless cards and greetings."