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Bret “The Hitman” Hart just announced in his social media accounts that he has prostate cancer and is fighting it.
I consider Bret Hart as the best professional wrestler of all time. Sure, my tatay introduced me to WWF when I was seven when were watched Wrestlemania 4 at a neighbor’s house over lunch, withHulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior main event. But as I watched more wrestilng, Bret Hart is the one who made me a fan for life. He made the fake believable by being true.
The first time I remember myself staying up late behind my parents’ backs was to watch WWF in RPN 9 or IBC 13 or Channel 5. I still (kinda) hate Shawn Michaels even if they made peace a few years back. I remember putting the Sharpshooter on one of my sisters (sorry!). I missed his WCW stint because no local channel aired it. I felt for him for what happened with Owen. I even remember watching a Bret Hart match the night before my mother’s wake when I was twelve. I can even go as far as to say that prowrestling is my first true fandom, even before music, even before various fantasy and scifi texts.
For now, I’ll consider this an Iron Man match for Bret, but with no time limit, no holds barred, submissions only. I’ll consider this post my way of outside interference, hoping for the disease to make a face turn or some other great swerve.
I know Bret can excellently execute this.
It is with great remorse that I feel compelled to speak truthfully to my friends, family and my millions of fans around the world. In the past few years, I’ve spent more than enough time paying the price for all those years trying to be the best there ever was as a professional wrestler. I executed excellently and my proudest claim was that I never seriously hurt or injured another wrestler in my 23 year career. I’ve paid a price for all that “fake” wrestling. Aside from a devastating career-ending concussion and numerous surgeries when I was younger, in recent years I’ve had two knee replacements, two hernia operations, surgery on my right elbow, and, just a few months ago, I underwent a four-corner fusion of my right wrist that even now makes it most difficult to write or type.
Mark Helprin wrote: “We are all perfect clocks that Divinity has set to ticking when, even before birth, the heart explodes into a lifelong dance.” I’ve had a great lifelong dance and I’m a survivor of many hard battles. I now face my toughest battle. With hesitation and fear, I openly declare myself in my fight against prostate cancer. In the next few days, I will undergo surgery with the hope of defeating this nemesis once and for all.
My fans have always looked upon me as a hero and I’ve always done my best to live up to that in and out of the ring. I beat the odds when I suffered my stroke in 2002, but it is now yet again, that I draw upon the many adults and young children I’ve met throughout my life who courageously fought and usually lost in their battles against this deadly disease. One year ago, I watched a brave young man named Whesley fight brain cancer to the end. If I can find even an ounce of his courage to stand unafraid and face the tough road ahead of me, I will march toward this destiny with his spirit chanting in my ear.
I make a solemn vow to all of those that once believed in me, the dead and the living, that I will wage my fearsome fight against cancer with one shield and one sword carrying my determination and my fury for life, emboldened by all the love that’s kept me going this long already. Love is my weapon and I’ve got much of it around me all the time, for which I’m truly blessed and eternally grateful. My children, grandchildren, and my loving wife Steph have been and will constantly be at my side. I refuse to lose, I will never give in or give up, and I will win this battle or die trying.
Most important of all, I hope I can take the fight to prostate cancer. To be a leader in awareness and to set the example for men everywhere who find themselves in my very same shoes, that prostate cancer can be beaten.