Jim Kelly’s confidence was one of his trademarks as a player.
But he admitted Monday that it was shaken upon first hearing he was diagnosed with cancer in his jaw.
“When you hear the word cancer, it scares the crap out of you,” Kelly said, via Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News. “It not only scared me, but it scared my family.
“But it’s just another river to cross, another stumbling block.”
Kelly said he’s having surgery Friday, and tried to compare the process to his playing days.
“I’ve been to the top many, many times, and I’ve been to the bottom,” Kelly said, “and it’s one of those rollercoaster rides I’ve been on throughout my life, and it’s just another challenge for me.
“I know I’ll beat it.”
In his statement this morning, Kelly expressed optimism that doctors had caught it in time. He echoed that during an appearance at his charity golf tournament.
“When I talked to the surgeon and when they went over the CT scan they knew I caught it early enough,” Kelly said. “But just like with anything you have to wait a number of months after the surgery to make sure nothing comes back.
“So I’m very confident. My faith is there, and that’s probably more than anything what’s kept me going.”
That will be even more important to him in the weeks and months of recovery to come.