NCAA BK

BYU's Rose scores huge win — beating cancer

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Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman is a senior college basketball writer for FOXSports.com. Check out his Yardbarker blog. MORE>>
 
   
 
Not a day goes by when BYU coach Dave Rose doesn't catch himself wondering about those who remain in the Huntsman Cancer Institute. ''I know how fortunate I am," Rose said. Rose was fine, other than a minor bout of lightheadedness, in June while on a family vacation that took him to an Angels baseball game and Disneyland. He boarded a flight to Las Vegas on June 4 for a family reunion, and the next thing Rose knew, he was in a Las Vegas hospital having his spleen removed and being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. ''I was in bad shape," Rose said. ''I couldn't move at all on the flight. ''It all happened so quickly." Rose underwent emergency surgery to take out his spleen and a portion of his pancreas — and also had the cancerous tumor removed as well. Not long after the surgery, Rose was deemed NED — three letters that meant far more to him and his family than any NCAA tournament appearance. It stands for "no evidence of disease." He was cancer-free. "That's what everyone wants to hear," Rose said. He still bears a 14-inch scar that stretches down the middle of his stomach and carries the memories of 12 days in the hospital and the fears of both him and his family that he wouldn't live another day, never mind coach another game. Rose undergoes scans every six months. He has gotten through two of them and come back clean. Fortunately for Rose, he had a rare form of cancer — one that spreads slower and less aggressively than other types. His next scan comes in a little more than two weeks on Sept. 18, and that one will determine whether he can return full-time to coaching. ''I'm hoping they'll give me the green light, because the next one after that isn't until April — after the season," Rose said. Rose, 51, has drastically altered his lifestyle. He exercises regularly and watches his diet. ''I feel as good as I've felt in a while," he said. ''I'm active. I walk a lot instead of driving, I run on the treadmill and walk hiking trails near my house." Rose took it easy for the rest of June and stayed home during the first portion of the July recruiting period before going out on the road for six days — four in Las Vegas and two in Los Angeles — toward the end of the month to watch recruits.
"I know how fortunate I am."
Dave Rose
''You'd think I'd be more tired," he said. ''But at the end of the day, I feel a lot better than I did two or three months ago." Though he has no problem speaking to groups about his bout with cancer, Rose is far more excited to talk hoops these days. Rose returned home on a Tuesday and met with his players the next day at noon, telling them the entire story. ''I wanted them to know exactly what was going on — and for them to hear it directly from me," he said. Though his priorities have certainly changed over the past few months, Rose (97-34 in four seasons) is still hopeful of returning to the NCAA tournament. The Cougars have gone to the Big Dance the past three years. BYU lost its top player, Lee Cummard, from a team that went 25-8 last season, but the Cougars return their other four starters, including All-Mountain West guard Jimmer Fredette. Rose, in the meantime, is eagerly looking forward to the team's season opener in Provo on Nov. 13 against Bradley. ''I just can't wait to get back on the court again," Rose said. ''It's going to be emotional."
Tagged: Brigham Young

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