When 2016 began, Terry Boers had already decided to retire on January 2, 2017 which would give him exactly 25 years with The Score. Then in June of 2016, Doctors found a cancerous tumor on Terry Boers’ jaw bone when they were operating on it. We start part three of our Q&A with Terry Boers talking about his surgeries and having Cancer.
Matt: You started having pain in your jaw in 2016. Can you talk about what happened and how it has affected you?
Terry: I didn’t know it would be this bad when the jaw pain first started happening. It’s one of those things and I didn’t react well to the initial surgery and I was still swollen. I had to literally crash my way back into the emergency room for the second surgery. You look at it and it is a very difficult self-analysis. You have to realize that you didn’t do anything wrong. It just happens. You make the best of it.
The toughest thing to do mentally is to get through those days because I am not a great patient. You just have to understand you’re never going to eat the same foods again and there are a lot of adjustments that you have to make and if it keeps me alive and keeps me happy then I’ll do it. That’s what I’ve done over the past couple of years– Finding some kind of a sweet spot again. Not as sweet as the old spot but still sweet.
There’s a position you reach and it’s a very simple one—“Are you still here?” I wasn’t sure for a while that I would be. I mean some of the recovery from the first one—I was in the hospital for 15 days—was very difficult. And I know people who’ve gone through a lot longer than that. When I see those stories it is easy for me to start crying because I know how I felt during those 15 days—like you’re never gonna go out and see the world again. I’m pretty good at making everyone around me miserable but I also understand that these are the people who want the best for you. So you have to still be yourself, still be the miserable bastard that I am and not be that guy 24/7.
I learned how to space it out a little better. No, you’re never the same person when this happens. You don’t look the same. You don’t feel the same. There’s nothing that you used to do that you can do—a lot of it anyways. Now it’s just a constant watch. I see Jim Kelly had another relapse. There’s no safe period. There’s no time you can just say, “I’m fine.” I know what you go through it mentally.
Somewhere in the middle of it all you gotta find you again. It sounds so simple. Sounds so damn easy. No, not necessarily. It took me a little work to find me again. It really did. It took me months. I went from June of 2016 well into 2017 after the 2nd surgery in November of 2016 I just didn’t feel well. I just wasn’t me and couldn’t be me well into March of last year. I struggled with all of it. I still have a lot of functions that normal people have that I don’t have any more. I’ve done everything I possibly can to be me again. You get there.
I think it probably took longer than it should of for me to getting back to living my life and being as close to being me as possible. It’s tough because you still get those memories in your head. You still wake up and you don’t know where you are and you’re sweating and you’re in pain. That stuff never goes away and it’s probably good that it doesn’t. It serves as a reminder that a good day is really a good day. You know one when you see one.
Matt: What’s next for you in 2018?
Terry: My next project I’m going to do some stand-up comedy. I am going to do it as an opening act. This guy has been asking me for a couple of years and now I feel like what the hell do I got to lose. He’s out here in Frankfort, Illinois. It’s a wedding chapel, it’s a bar, it’s a concert venue, it’s a comedy venue, and it’s a Will County Courthouse on Saturdays—it’s everything. I’m gonna go out and do 10-15 minutes. It’ll be entirely off the cuff. I don’t write anything or prepare anything. Just right off the cuff. Have some fun with it and do some public speaking too. We’ll see if anyone is looking for a broken-down, old idiot. I look at some of these speakers and I think that I can do better than that. I didn’t want to start anything that I couldn’t finish.
Matt: What do you think of the state of radio right now?
Terry: Think about this. CBS sold everything. They had to have made money at some point. It’s (radio) just going in the wrong direction. There’s a lot of different ways people can spend their advertising dollar. I think CBS was done fighting for it. I kinda feel that I did it twice. I got ahead of the posse in the newspaper business and now the radio business. Who would think that CBS radio would call it quits? There’s a real sense that I got ahead of the posse twice. This has been coming for a couple of years. The radio business isn’t great. Things have really changed. What was once a great money making opportunity is now average at best. If CBS closes the curtain on you—those are some pretty good properties.
Matt: Are there any radio shows in your future?
Terry: I’m actually going to go back and do a show with Danny (McNeil) during the All-Star Week. People seemed to enjoy it when we worked together. So I’m not completely dead. It’ll be fun. Baseball All-Star week is traditionally slow. There’s nothing going on. Five hour shows are just a bitch but we can manage to get through five hours together. Looking forward to it, but would I want to do it every day? Not a Chance!!
As a writer’s note, I spoke to Terry for nearly 90 minutes for this Q&A. He sounded like the same guy I worked with from 1994-2003—sharp, funny, engaging, energetic and self-deprecating. As you could see from part 3, he has been through a lot over the past few years, but has come through as his genuine self on the other side. To learn more about his career and have some great laughs, check out his book “The Score of a Lifetime” from Triumph Books.