Hall of Fame Quarterback Credits Faith During Cancer Battle: 'I Wasn't Scared'

Read time: 2 minutes 24 seconds

After publicly running out of breath on-air during "Fox NFL Sunday," NFL legend Terry Bradshaw opened up about his ongoing fight with cancer.

"Last week on this show, I ran out of breath, and Howie [Long] helped me up. And a lot of people are asking what's wrong with me, what's happened to me physically. I just want to address it and let you know what has happened in my life," Bradshaw said in early October.

In an interview with NBC Today, Bradshaw explained the incident further, and what has been an ongoing battle for him and his family.

"I couldn't breathe," he recalled. "That's when everybody notices. 'What's wrong with him?' Social media went, 'Get rid of him. He needs to be off the air. He's an embarrassment.' And I was like, 'Embarrassment? I got cancer.'

"I didn't talk about it because I didn't want pity," Bradshaw said. "I didn't talk about it because a lot of celebrities—unfortunately, I'm one of those—when they say this, I think the perception around America with all the millions of people is, 'Aw, look at him. Bless his heart. He has cancer. Well, my husband died of cancer! My kids are...' I didn't want that. It took a long time before I told my family."

Bradshaw announced on Oct. 2 that he had in fact been battling two different types of cancer at the same time. Having both bladder cancer and a rare, aggressive skin cancer known as a Merkel cell tumor has led to the exhaustion and breathlessness that Bradshaw addressed to fans.

"I wasn't scared," Bradshaw told NBC correspondent Harry Smith.

"Really?" Smith asked.

"No. You know what, Harry? I don't know why; I never was scared," Bradshaw replied.

"I mean, you're Terry Bradshaw. You're bigger than life," Smith replied.

"Well, cancer didn't think so," Bradshaw laughed. "I don't think cancer cares. Listen, cancer shows no favoritism."

Bradshaw explained to Smith that as a Christian death has no hold over him because Jesus overcame the grave. This knowledge allowed the four-time Super Bowl champion to be comforted during the initial diagnosis.

"As a man of faith, as a Christian, my attitude was, well, if I go, I'm okay. If I stay, I'm okay," explained Bradshaw.

Bradshaw also gave thanks for his wife who has stood by him during this trying time.

"I can't put into words how thankful I am for her. Seriously. I can't imagine not holding her hand when we take off on a plane or when we land or when we snuggle up when we're in bed together. I look at her and she doesn't know I'm looking at her, and I'm so thankful now I'm getting emotional."

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James Lasher is a Copy Editor for Charisma Media.

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