In an interview with Speed51’s Bob Dillner, legendary Florida racer David Rogers provided the latest update on his fight with lymphoma, bringing positive news for his fans.
“I went and had a PET scan done last Tuesday,” Rogers said. “It showed no hot spots, which means I’m in complete remission already. That was after two treatments, and I just had my third treatment. I’ve got to continue with the next three treatments. The reason for that is, if you’ve got one cell left in you, in a period of six weeks, it’s so aggressive I could be back in worse shape than I was to start with.
“The lymphoma is in complete remission,” Rogers added. “There’s not really any trace of it left.”
“After I’m through with the treatments, it will probably be another four to six weeks before we can do reconstructive surgery and hook me back up,” Rogers explained. “Two or three weeks after that, I should be good to go again.”
Rogers was extremely thankful for the outpouring of support he has received from fans around the country, encouraging him during his fight.
“It made me appreciate all the prayers that I’ve been getting. It’s from all over the country,” Rogers stated. “I’ve gotten calls from everywhere, cards and letters from everywhere in the US. People that have been fans of mine for 30 years that I didn’t even know, but they watched me race every Speedweeks. It was probably the first time in, gosh, 45 years I didn’t run Speedweeks. There’s people that were down for 35 of them.
“Some people have told me, ‘You weren’t my favorite 30 years ago, but you’re the only one still around, so we root for you.’”
Rogers noted during the interview that, as a racer, he has often been impatient during the treatment process. However, those experiences as a racer also helped him draw parallels between his previous on-track battles and his ongoing battle for life.
“I’m looking at this thing I’m doing now like the Snowball Derby,” he said. “I always start in the back at the Snowball Derby. That’s how I figure this thing. I’m starting in the back, I’m as low as I can go. Slowly work your way to the front. Don’t try to get there in 10 laps. Just slowly work your way to the front.
“We’ve had two or three pit stops now,” Rogers added, regarding the chemotherapy treatments. “We’ve been putting two tires on. Probably the next one, we’ll put four on and try to go to the front.”
Even with a brighter outlook on the horizon, Rogers knows he still has an uphill battle to return to racing.
“It’s hard to go see somebody doing what you love to do,” he said. “I know the chances of me getting back there and doing that again are slim. I’m going to fight to try to do it, but the things you may have to give up are the toughest things for everyday psyche.
“This is a reality check for me,” Rogers added. “Racing is not my life. I used to think it was. It’s not. Life is my life, and then I’ll do racing.”
With that said, Rogers is not afraid to dream big, and has set a lofty goal for 2019.
“My goal this year is to be back at the Snowball Derby,” Rogers proclaimed. “It’s a long-term goal. The way I see it, if I get back to the Snowball Derby, I’m going to be doing good.”
Race fans will be able to listen to the full interview with David Rogers on Speed51’s Unfiltered Podcast, as well as on next Monday’s episode of “The Morning Bullring.”
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo