Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona said he will accompany his long-time friend and Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell for his first cycle of chemotherapy. Farrell announced on Aug. 14 he has stage 1 lymphoma.
Terry Francona will go with John Farrell for his first cycle of chemotherapy.
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Francona will be with Farrell at the hospital on Tuesday, Aug. 18. This will be the first day of Farrell's chemotheraphy for lymphoma. He announced he has stage 1 lymphoma on Aug. 14, per ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes.
Francona and Farrell have been friends since their playing days with the Cleveland Indians. Francona is currently the Indians' manager. Farrell is his counterpart with the Boston Red Sox, per ESPN.
Edes spoke with Francona at Fenway Park on Monday. On that day, the Red Sox and Indians kicked off their three-game set.
Francona described how much he cares for Farrell, per Edes:
"We were just talking. I was just asking questions, the normal questions. He mentioned he was starting Tuesday. I said, 'I'm right there. I'll go with you, whatever.' I may not do anything other than get in the way, like normal, but being a friend, the only thing I know how to do is be a friend.
"Like the rest of us, we don't know exactly what to do, but I do know how to be a friend. I care about him a lot. That's what I'm trying to do."
When they were teammates with the Indians, Francona was a part-time designated hitter. Farrell was a pitcher who won 14 games in 1988.
Francona told Edes that Indians team resembled the one portrayed in "Major League." It finished sixth in the American League East.
"That team probably too much resembled 'Major League,' the movie," Francona quipped. "We were bad. The team had five future managers, but I don't think any of us thought that was in our future."
Francona and Farrell both worked in Cleveland's front office after they retired. When Francona was Red Sox manager in 2007, Farrell was his pitching coach. Farrell served in that capacity for four seasons, per ESPN Boston.
Doctors discovered Farrell's lymphoma when he had hernia surgery on Aug. 10, per Edes.
Francona remained confident Farrell's long-term health will improve, per ESPN Boston:
"I was worried about him because of the hernia. All of a sudden, you get the unexpected news of something more serious. Kind of unsettles you a bit. I don't know if well wishes and lots of people caring, (but) if that has anything to do with the outcome, he's going to be in good shape.
"Because there are a lot of people who care about him, myself included."
Edes confirms Farrell will not manage for the rest of the season. Dr. Larry Ronan will lead Farrell's medical team at Massachusetts General Hospital. Ronan is the Red Sox's medical director, per Edes.
Farrell will undergo three 21-day cycles of chemotherapy. He will receive chemotherapy for five days in each cycle. Doctors have allotted the last week of each cycle for recovery.
Farrell said bench coach Torey Lovullo will be the Red Sox's interim manager. Farrell's aim is to return for spring training, per ESPN's Scott Barboza.
Farrell told Barboza he was "fortunate" doctors detected the lymphoma early:
"I know we usually start out with the injury report. I'll start out with myself on this one. Monday's surgery for the hernia revealed that I have lymphoma. Thankfully, it was detected in the hernia surgery.
"I can honestly tell you I'm extremely fortunate that it was found. Treatment will begin in the coming days.
"A little bit of a shocker to be told later this afternoon that this was going on. Like I said, I'm fortunate. Stage 1. It's localized. It's highly curable. I'm extremely fortunate to not only be with people with the Red Sox, but access to MGH and world-class talent can handle this."
Farrell told Barboza that doctors removed a mass during the hernia surgery.
This is not the first time Francona has dealt with cancer this season. The daughter of Indians shortstop Mike Aviles is battling leukemia. She is just four years old, per Edes.
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