BYU's Rose getting healthy

Updated: June 24, 2009, 9:39 PM ET
Associated Press

PROVO, Utah -- BYU basketball coach Dave Rose is planning on a lot more rest than usual this summer.

After all, he's got to prepare for another season.

Just weeks after learning he had a form of pancreatic cancer, Rose said Wednesday that doctors appeared to have gotten all the cancerous tumor during emergency surgery to remove his spleen. The tumor had started in his pancreas, but was a slow-growing type of cancer and did not appear to have spread.

"That was a tough day, but it was a good day because it could have been a lot worse," said Rose, who plans to be back for a fifth season with the Cougars as long as his health holds.

Because there are no signs of cancer remaining, Rose said he won't have to go through chemotherapy this summer. He plans on resting and being back with his team this fall.

"I believe that I'm a lucky guy. I believe I've been met with a challenge, but it's a challenge that is manageable," Rose said. "It's a challenge that I can handle and continue to do what I love to do."

Rose, 51, spoke for more than 30 minutes in a room at the Marriott Center filled with reporters and his players, who had learned in the last two weeks that their coach had what is often a deadly form of cancer to hearing the best possible prognosis.

Rose was obviously relieved, but the only emotion he showed during the news conference was humor -- joking that the medication he was on was what made his wife describe him as kinder and gentler.

"We were kind of sweating a little bit to know what it was," guard Jimmer Fredette said. "He's going to have us running and gunning just like always. We're expecting full-fledged Coach,"

Rose said he will leave his assistants to handle the busy recruiting duties through July. He will still meet with his coaches and players, but the days will be much shorter than usual.

Dr. Scott Samuelson of the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City appeared with Rose and said the tumor the coach had is a rare form of pancreatic cancer, spreading much more slowly than more aggressive forms.

Rose said he began feeling dizzy during a family trip to Disneyland, then flew to Las Vegas for a family reunion. He said he needed to be taken to the hospital shortly after landing and doctors discovered internal bleeding caused by a mass that was pressuring his spleen.

Rose was frightened to hear "pancreatic cancer" but was relieved when he learned Tuesday that test results showed no remaining traces of the disease.

"I get tired, but for 2-3 hours at a time, I feel as good as I've felt in years," he said. "I feel like I got a second chance and this is my time and I'm ready to go."

BYU is 97-34 in four seasons under Rose and won at least a share of the last three Mountain West Conference regular-season titles.

Rose said although he has gone through a harrowing experience, the Cougars can expect to be pushed just as hard when they report for the preseason this fall.

"They won't get much of a break," Rose said with a smile.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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