CLEVELAND -- Indians pitcher Cookie Carrasco is giving fans an inside look at the emotional journey he and his family have been on ever since learning of his leukemia diagnosis back in May.
He wrote about the experience in The Player's Tribune, a news platform where professional athletes can create their own content.
He starts by reflecting on the day doctors told him about the cancer. He was at the hospital with his wife, Karelis.
"It was like, two seconds of thinking, This is really it for me. I’m gonna die. And then three seconds of extreme sadness. And then like five seconds of thinking about my family, and us no longer being together," he said.
He said Karelis didn't miss a beat and immediately told him, "You're fine. You got this!"
Her words reassured him and gave him the confidence he needed in that moment.
"Hearing her say those things made it so that I was no longer worried or scared about what might happen to me," he recalled.
When he got home, Carrasco said he never tried to research leukemia or read or any sad stories.
"I just convinced myself that I was going to beat this disease, and then … I did everything in my power to focus on that goal. I may have cancer I’d say, but cancer doesn’t have me," he said.
That attitude has carried on through his treatment and even out on the field during practice.
Carrasco's first game back was in Tampa on September 1.
"That roar I heard from the crowd as I approached the mound, that love I felt in my entire body as I looked around and saw everyone standing and smiling, those are memories that will last a lifetime for me. So from the bottom of my heart I want to thank the people of Cleveland for always having my back," he said.
He said he wants other people battling cancer to know they're not alone and to stay strong.
"So, as weird as it probably sounds, in some ways I’m grateful for my leukemia because of the opportunity it’s given me to become a role model and symbol for those who might really need some support and inspiration," he said.
To read the entire essay, CLICK HERE.