Karl continues cancer treatment

5/18/2010 - NBA Denver Nuggets

DENVER -- Nuggets coach George Karl has started showing up at work on occasion and getting out more as he slowly recovers from throat cancer and its complications.

Kim Van Deraa, Karl's life partner and mother of their 5-year-old daughter, wrote in her blog Tuesday that Karl's energy level is slowly rising and that he is still using a feeding tube for most of his nutrition but occasionally eats peaches.

"He has tried a few other things which usually ended with -- I'm not ready for that!" Van Deraa wrote.

Van Deraa wrote that Karl is getting out to more places than just his doctor's office, where he frequently has to go to make sure his blood-thinning medication levels are right. Karl has twice been hospitalized with blood clots in his legs or lungs following his six-week radiation and chemotherapy treatment.

"He is in good spirits which is the most important thing!!!" Van Deraa wrote. "He also lost approximately 40 lbs which might not be great for his recovery process right now but once he is feeling better this will help his energy and activity level."

Karl, who turned 59 last week, has said he intends to return to coaching later this summer, health permitting.

Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke said Karl's health is the organization's No. 1 priority this offseason. The Nuggets, under acting coach Adrian Dantley, were eliminated by the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs. The Nuggets were 42-21 under Karl, 13-12 under Dantley.

This is Karl's second bout with cancer. He beat prostate cancer several years ago. His son, Coby, who plays for the Nuggets, is a thyroid cancer survivor.