Back in early January, after feeling stiffness and a bump in his neck originally thought to be an infected salivary gland which they treated with antibiotics, Nebraksa outside linebackers coach Jovan Dewitt came off the road recruiting after realizing the treatment for the bump not only wasn’t working, but the bump had also gotten a bit bigger.
Dewitt took himself to the doctor, and they immediately got him in for a cat scan. Shortly after that, they delivered the news everyone fears – that bump in his neck is cancer. The good news is that the form of cancer is believed to be very treatable.
Dewitt has undergone chemo and radiation treatments in the weeks since then, leading to a loss of about 45 pounds. Now, in front of the cameras for the first time since his diagnosis and just past the halfway mark through his treatments, Dewitt spent some time updating fans on how he’s doing, with full video below.
“It’s really a surreal process to realize that you are truly facing something that can kill you. Now my cure rate is supposed to be really good, in the mid-90th percentile range, so those things are good and all the doctors I’ve spoken with have all said that they’ve never had anyone not respond well to the procedure. It’s just that it’s not an easy process to go through.”
In 35 years, Dewitt has missed just one practice, and that came last Wednesday to have his feeding tube put in. The feeding tube has been a big step in fueling his body with the nutrients he needs to function more normally and has allowed him to feel much better at practice and around the facility.
“Truth be told, if it wasn’t for some of the side effects that you get from the actual treatment, I probably wouldn’t have lost 45 pounds. But sometimes the treatment almost feels worse than the cure, to a certain degree.”
“It’s one thing for a guy like my age, 43 year old guy, to have cancer but when – you know, I do the Team Jack event the past couple years – you start seeing some of the kids…those kids are tough man….because this shit sucks. You see kids like that, that are sick and able to hammer through it. God bless them.”
Dewitt shared that he’s got a few more rounds of chemo left, and 14 round of radiation therapy remaining, which he hopes to be done with by April.
Below is a clip of Dewitt’s remarks after practice as well as another clip of his coaching colleagues and players talking about how they admire and support him.
Please join us in continuing to send prayers for coach Dewitt.