Jim Kelly on cancer diagnosis: “I know I’ll beat it”

AP

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.

76 responses to “Jim Kelly on cancer diagnosis: “I know I’ll beat it”

  1. When anyone gets on the Bills for those four consecutive Super Bowl defeats, I remind them that no team ever MADE IT to even three in a row before that team.

    I’m sure Kelly is facing this problem with the same dignity and grace he showed in those defeats. He’ll make it through this crisis, too.

  2. I remember as a youning making the common “boy i love losing superbowls = Bills” joke at jim kelly’s expense, but he was a heck of a player. Cancer sucks whether you’re a pro athlete or a dishwasher.

  3. Good luck and best wishes, Mr. Kelly. You always were and continue to be a class act. While I’m not a Bills fan, I really enjoyed watching you play during your career and hope for nothing but the best outcome for you and your family.

  4. Anyone knows if he dips tobacco? If he does, can’t really say it wasn’t coming. If he doesn’t, then it’s crazy how things happen. Either way, Godspeed Jim!

  5. Did he get it the same way Michael Douglass did? And isn’t there anything we DON’T need to know?

  6. Sad story. Kelly and his family have already been through enough. with his late Son Hunter. I hope he’s able to make a full recovery. Good luck, Jim.

  7. Mr. Kelly,
    I have had 2 battles with 2 forms of lymphoma. While I wish you the best and hope your optimism is realized, I would like to correct you on your verbage.

    You don’t beat cancer. You survive it. And survival is not something you do– that credit goes to the research scientists and doctors. Alone, you will beat nothing. You are not the QB here. You are as helpless as a baby in mother’s arms.

    Good luck.

  8. I was diagnosed with same and caught late was given 12 months to live, 3 years,10 surgeries l’ve got a jaw that’s made out if my leg and I’m here cancer free good luck and god bless my brother

  9. It’s hard to be a life long fan of the NFL over the age of 30 and not have tremendous respect for Jim Kelly. Wishing him and his family the best of luck as they get through this rough time.

  10. Jimbo you got this. I’m not remotely worried.

    Remember the time you caught me calling you a sissy at that restaurant after the game in Buffalo? Well you certainly convinced me that you’re anything but that. Now all you have to do is give cancer the same death stare and it’ll back the hell off!

    God Bless #12! GO BILLS!

  11. Here’s an idea, how about PFT blocks the thumbs down for stories like this?

    SMH.

  12. I’d love to beat the crap out of these punks hitting the thumbs down button. Even if you didn’t like Kelly as a player…I would never wish cancer on my worst enemy!!

  13. I echo the sentiment that on stories like this, or someone’s death, disable the thumbs down. Or have no comments period. Shame a bunch of anonymous morons make humanity look like crap.

    Anyway, best of luck Jim. My prayers are with you.

  14. I met you at Toy Fair in NY over a decade ago (I was showing the very first Tony Hawk video game)….you were such a good sport. Wish you the best Jim.

  15. Rarely do, but I agree with Joetoronto on shutting off the “thumbs for stories like these. It simply shows that internet trolls are alive and well and that humanity is truely spiraling down the proverbial tubes. @mhs, while I don’t discount your battle with the disease, to simply say you survived it is an understatement. I’ve never experienced it myself, but 10 of my friends and family have. It takes determination and an undying will to overcome it, something the doctors and researchers can’t do. They don’t “make” you undergo surgeries and go through treatments that ravage your body. It is your choice, and you could quit at anytime and succumb to the sickness, but many chose to fight on, and endure the hardships to regain what many of us have without any battles, and that is their life. This just drives the point home of PFT banning the “thumbs” on stories like these, it would truely show a sense of class on your part. Anybody who bad mouths somebody with such a disease should be administered the same treatments even though they are surely in perfect health. It is a life or death struggle what men and women go through to BEAT cancer, poking fun at that makes you lower than the garbage I clean off my boots after a day at the dump. Again, good luck Jim, I’m sure we will be seeing you around for many years to come

  16. Maybe the heartless idiots clicking the thumbs down button will get cancer someday, too?

  17. Best of luck, Jim!

    As for the folks asking why people hit thumbs down: it’s the anonymity if the Internet. It’s meaningless…just ignore them.

  18. mazblast says: Jun 3, 2013 11:54 AM

    When anyone gets on the Bills for those four consecutive Super Bowl defeats, I remind them that no team ever MADE IT to even three in a row before that team.?

    Um mazblast… the Dolphins went to 3 in a row and won two of them during the 70ies. So, there’s that…

  19. mhs8031 says: Jun 3, 2013 12:52 PM

    Mr. Kelly,
    I have had 2 battles with 2 forms of lymphoma. While I wish you the best and hope your optimism is realized, I would like to correct you on your verbage.

    You don’t beat cancer. You survive it. And survival is not something you do– that credit goes to the research scientists and doctors. Alone, you will beat nothing. You are not the QB here. You are as helpless as a baby in mother’s arms.

    Good luck.
    _______________________________

    Let me correct you Mr. MHS because you are wrong. Survival and beating cancer is strongly related to the victims mental strength and will. You are never helpless in this life unless you choose to be. Save your God fearing BS for somewhere else. There are also countless proven stories of beating cancer strictly by holistic treatment.

    For someone who has beaten cancer twice, you should know better.

  20. joetoronto says: Jun 3, 2013 1:04 PM

    Here’s an idea, how about PFT blocks the thumbs down for stories like this?

    SMH.

    —————————-

    Rarely do I cast a thumbs up in your direction, but you got one this time.

  21. Who are the clowns giving a ‘thumbs down’ to someone fighting cancer?!?!? No excuse.

  22. Jim, good luck. I am personally a two time cancer survivor, and a big strong athlete like yourself, you should be fine. God speed and keep the faith.

  23. Best wishes and prayers from the land of the Ravens.
    I will explain to my kids praying for you how great of a QB you were in Buffalo. They don’t like the Patriots, so they may also pray for your return to the field as well.

  24. “dennisatunity says: Jun 3, 2013 12:34 PM
    Faith always knows more than doctors. Always. Blessings and prayers to you, Jim.
    ================================================

    Oh please. I hope one of your children NEVER has to suffer through a debilitating disease and has you as a parent who would rather pray than seek the help of a doctor. Sheesh, are we in 21st century America or in backwards thinking Afghanistan?

  25. Kelly’s wife must be having a heart attack right now. She just lost her son to a terrible illness, now she has to relive the possibility of losing another loved one. It sometimes makes you wonder…
    If God does exist, why does he always hurt or take away the good people?

  26. “Fight on” sir Andrew said, “I am hurt but not yet slain, I’ll lie down and bleed awhile and rise and fight again.” –From the poem Marv Levy read to the team after the first Superbowl loss. God Bless, Jimbo.

  27. I saw Chris Spielman’s “A Football Life” the other day. The Bills and the fans will be with you all the way, just as they were for him and his wife.

  28. Jim, you are my earliest memory of football. Without you, I would have never been a fan of the game, much less the bills. Reading this news actually shook me today, I’ve never met you, but felt as though i got bad news about a close friend. Power through #12

  29. Best wishes, Jim. You were always a class act. It’s a shame you would have to suffer through. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

    Redskins fan sharing the love for a former opponent.

  30. Wow, what the heck is wrong with the roughly 34 people who decided to thumbs down so many people wishing Jim luck in his recovery??

    What is wrong with you people?? Some things in life way bigger than football!

    If you simply don’t like sentiment, why did you even bother to read the comments section? You knew it would be full of condolences.

    That’s just messed up.

  31. Best quote I heard, in regards to Jim Kelly’s toughness: “Jim Kelly isn’t facing cancer. Cancer is facing Jim Kelly”.

  32. Catching up on PFT news and shocked to see this headline. Kelly has always been a favorite in our family. He’s one tough guy, and we’ll be praying for his complete recovery. God bless, Jim!!!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!