As a free agent, tight end Foster Moreau was ready to visit different teams around the NFL to see where he might end up next in his career.
He wasn’t expecting to hear he had cancer.
Moreau announced he was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma last week, saying he will be stepping away from the NFL to treat it.
Speaking on ESPN’s “The Adam Schefter Podcast,” Moreau walked the NFL insider through how he learned about the “scary” diagnosis while on a visit with the New Orleans Saints.
“It’s like a normal family doctor type of checkup. [The doctor] puts his hands on me, and the first thing he touches, I swear to you, he touches my left lymph node system right here up in my collar bone. And it’s shocking to him how swollen this thing is,” Moreau said. “He’s like, ‘We need to check this thing out. It’s about the size of a golf ball.’”
Moreau added that he was watching March Madness highlights after going through a CT scan waiting for the results on what the doctors believed could be cancer.
When he returned, it was news Moreau didn’t want to hear.
“Obviously, I’m shell shocked,” he explained. “Stoic, trying to take it as best I could. They do an on-site biopsy where they cut small two-centimeter little incisions, and they take some pore samples out of my lymph node there.”
His initial thought?
“Fear. It’s a term I don’t quite understand. Cancer is a scary word. Cancer’s an extremely scary word. I had no history of any cancers on my mom’s or dad’s side of the family. I was terrified. Did a lot of research on it, but just the unknowns of what you’re about to go through. People can explain to you what it is, but they can’t tell you what you’re going to” experience.
The results of those samples confirmed Hodgkin lymphoma, and the reality of the situation began to set in for Moreau. Being from New Orleans, he was close to his mom and dad, and the 25-year-old said that was much easier than if he had found out while on a visit with the Cincinnati Bengals 24 hours prior to heading down to New Orleans.
Moreau will learn about what stage his cancer is in, but doctors believe that it was caught early.
“They believe that it was caught at any early stage because I didn’t show any of the “B” symptoms. So the exhaustion, the night sweats, the loss of weight. None of that had appeared,” he said.
Moreau has been receiving tons of support from teammates, coaches and even a high school friend who also went through the same cancer treatment. He said classmates shaved their heads in support.
Moreau is confident he will battle his cancer every day with ferocity.
“I tend to play the percentages, and I’ve beaten a lot of odds in my life, Adam. If I can beat those odds, I would’ve loved to. But I’ve also kicked a lot of a–. If I couldn’t beat the odds then I just have to deal with it. It was hard and it was scary. Every day passes, and it seems to ease up on my mind a little bit. By the time that first chemotherapy session starts, it will be like Sunday morning waking up and getting ready to kick someone’s a–.”