Mickey Thomas: I'm happy again after a tough year
Former Manchester United star Mickey Thomas has celebrated the first anniversary of his life-saving operation by embarking on his first run since receiving the all-clear from cancer.
Yesterday (Thursday) marked exactly one year since the 65-year-old underwent surgery at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, after being diagnosed with stomach cancer in January 2019.
Thankfully, Mickey, who played 110 games for the Reds between 1978 and 1981, has since fully recovered from the procedure and is able to exercise once more, something he concedes he never thought he’d be able to do.
“I was very emotional yesterday as you can imagine,” Mickey told the MUTV Group Chat on Friday. “I don’t mind admitting, I cried a little bit yesterday because when I first got diagnosed they said it wasn’t looking good for me.
“If they didn’t operate, I wouldn’t have survived more than a month, so it was make or break and I came out of it. I am concerned most days.
“If I get a pain, I get scared at times but I’ve got to keep going and hopefully I’ve got a few more years left in me.
“I ran for the first time in a year yesterday. It wasn’t that long, it was only a mile, but it was something I never expected to do again because my situation was very, very serious. I’m thankful.
Today was a big anniversary for me. Exactly one year ago I had a massive operation to remove a oesophagus cancer. The initial prognosis was not great. Tx to Wrexham Maelor and Glan Clwyd, family, and all who supported me. I have survived to make my first run today 🙏 pic.twitter.com/x78C8whxu0— Mickey T (@therealMickeyT) May 14, 2020
“When I walked into that hospital [ahead of surgery], I didn’t really know what life was about. It was a different world, seeing young children who were dying from this terrible disease. It changes you completely.”
Mickey’s incredibly moving story was told in full in an emotional edition of UTD Unscripted in October 2019.
In that retelling, the former Wales international recalls the moment Bryan Robson, who himself has recovered from cancer, told him to seek medical help.
It’s a conversation that, unsurprisingly, has stuck with Thomas, who encourages others to go and see a doctor if they’re experiencing health issues.
“Mine was a long, long process of being ill,” Thomas added in the video call. “I was in the hospital every month and they couldn’t diagnose what I had initially.
“I had to go for a private scan that identified my problem I had. If you’ve got any problem or anything – go to the doctors or get to the hospital.
“I know for a fact that the longer you leave it, it can get very dangerous. I was on the borderline. Mine was far too long without getting diagnosed.
“I had that one chance of an operation that was 50/50. I might not have survived it. I’m thankful for God and I’m thankful for every day now that I wake up.”
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