NFL referee Tony Corrente continued working through the Lions-Saints playoff game despite being treated for cancer of his tongue and throat. Now Corrente has been given good news that there are signs he’ll be healthy during the upcoming season.
Corrente tells Peter King of Sports Illustrated that after a second round of chemotherapy, doctors could not find any evidence of the tumor remaining.
“I’m not sure that all of this has sunk in yet,” Corrente said. “Today, I feel like — no, I know — I have been granted a second chance at life.”
Corrente hasn’t been completely cleared — doctors told him there’s something “unusual” in a lymph node that will need to be re-examined — but he feels a whole lot better now than he did a couple of months ago.
“In late January and through most of February I was so sick dealing with the many side effects of both the chemotherapy and the radiation treatments that my quality of life was very poor,” Corrente said. “I felt like total crud with blisters from ear to ear on my neck, ulcerated blisters over most of my tongue and the same blistering in my throat. The one thing that kept me going was what my girlfriend, Sarah Schilke, kept telling me. ‘All of this is only temporary.’ Those words kept my spirits high.”
Corrente said the cancer was caught quickly because he got hurt while trying to break up a scuffle during the Week One Ravens-Steelers game. He had side effects from taking Motrin to deal with the pain from that injury, and those side effects led to a full medical checkup that caught the tumor.
Here’s hoping Corrente is back to breaking up scuffles (or at least being available in case a scuffle breaks out) when the preseason starts.