CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Life in the dugout isn't everything in baseball. Nothing that happens inside the dugout will make the highlight reel, but for Mount Saint Joseph senior pitcher Wyatt Myers, being back in the dugout with his teammates was a place he never thought he'd be again.
"Our family doctor called me and said we have your MRI. We found something in your neck," Myers told FOX19 Now. "She asked me if anyone in my family [previously] had cancer. That's when it hit me – I have cancer."
Wyatt did have cancer. What he once thought was just a pinched nerve – a baseball injury – turned into Stage Four Thyroid Cancer. Two surgeries later, one of MSJ's best starting pitchers was starting to realize there would be no junior season on the mound.
"That's when I realized this is all real," Myers said. "This is actually happening. Everything was going so perfect and it's like everything went downhill."
"I had to be the strong one," Wyatt's mother Pam said. "My husband and I would try to help him through it. We would tell him to get up and walk today…you're going to play baseball next year."
"I'd walk through the radiation unit and I'd see children," Myers said. "That's when I realized, I've lived 21 years, I've lived a pretty good life. I watched a four-year-old girl walk by with me with no hair and a scar from her forehead to her back and I realized, I've got it pretty good."
Wyatt was given a 50-percent chance to beat his cancer. Day by day, with the help of his family and a hope of someday returning to the mound, Wyatt not only beat cancer, but this January, exactly one year after his last surgery in January 2017, he was cleared to pitch again.
"There were times when it was like, he might never throw a pitch here again, but he worked hard to get back and fight through it," MSJ head baseball coach Jeff Newman said. "It was great to see him get back out there."
"I remember seeing the mound and thinking I fought so hard to get back here, and I saw my mom and dad in the stands crying and thought, I'm finally here again, this journey is finally over and I'm back to where I was," Myers said.
Wyatt said he doesn't feel the same throwing after missing his junior season and beating cancer, but being back with the guys feels like a miracle every day. It's a miracle what he's doing one year later. Wyatt struck out cancer, then struck out five batters in five shutout innings in his first start in March. He's now pitched in ten games this season, making two starts, with a 2.84 ERA.
"He's been very strong," Pam Myers said. "You would never know he's been through it. He calls the scars [on his neck] his war zone and I'm very proud of him."
"I go day by day now," Myers said. "I used to look years and years beyond. The biggest thing for me is succeeding and conquering the day – becoming a better man. I'd like to get my degree in criminology and play baseball at the next level. My biggest dream is to become a better person now and do things for others in society."