John J. York, an actor, is doing his best to overcome a significant health issue. In December of last year, the veteran General Hospital actor recently described how he was diagnosed with multiple smoldering myeloma and myelodysplastic syndromes, which affect the blood and bone marrow.
However, he feels that it is "just another thing that I now have to take care of" because he has struggled with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease since he was 17. "I had to always be under a doctor's care and go through life with colonoscopies, medications, the whole nine yards," he says, adding with a lot of optimism. Everything is in order.
John J. York in an interview!
In a recent interview, York described how he dealt with his cancer diagnosis, the agonizing moments when his wife and daughter learned, the therapies he has so far had, and everything else while remaining upbeat.
York has worked to showcase his narrative in addition to dealing with the shocking health news to encourage others to think about donating bone marrow or blood stem cells.
York, 64, who has battled ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease since he was 17, has been able to stay positive partly because of his experience and familiarity with physicians and hospitals. As a result, he has adopted a "been there, done that" attitude about his present health state.
York underwent routine examinations for those pre-existing ailments, and each time, his doctor informed him that there was a wound that refused to heal. He was thus started on a moderate chemo tablet regimen. But in October 2022, a haematologist, a physician focused on blood disorders, recommended a bone marrow biopsy.
On December 9, 2022, the doctor entered York's office, dropped a large stack of documents on his desk, and said, "Is your wife available for a conference call?" York remembers this event well. "I thought, 'Well, that can't be good," York chuckles.
York wife on conference call!
It was time to contact his wife of 37 years, Vicki Manners, whom he had first characterized as "a mess." Vicki stopped the doctor's discussion of the various cells and levels by asking, "Does John have cancer?"
Manners took the initiative to start asking all the questions during the conference call as soon as the confirmation was obtained. After their discussion, York offered the doctor his only query: "Why do I feel so good?" After describing how the soap opera star keeps his superb physical condition by exercising regularly, the doctor remarked, "That was because we got it early," which was wonderful news for the soap opera star.
York and Vicki are moving to Tennessee for treatment!
York and Vicki were moving to Tennessee, where their daughter Skyler resides with her family, even though chemo treatment was scheduled to start through UCLA and the doctor who made the diagnosis. He preferred to wait until the relocation was complete before informing Skyler of the diagnosis over the phone.
However, after a few restless nights, York persuaded Vicki to tell their daughter the news via phone. Skyler's husband proposed that York have all his treatments at the nearby Vanderbilt University and its "amazing university and cancer centre" rather than travelling back and forth between Tennessee and Los Angeles.
For York, the IV chemotherapy went smoothly. "You check in, sit down, and wait. It nearly reminds me of waiting for a table at a restaurant. You understand what I mean?" he chuckles. It's a 15 to 20-minute infusion for the first seven days and then every day for the next 28 days. I had one in March, April, May, June, July, and August, and I'll have another in September.
Vicki in the caretaker role!
Vicki will assume the position of caregiver. She is that now and has always been that way," York chuckles. She has served as his rock and "the guiding force." Vicki's initial response upon learning her husband had "the c-word," according to York, "was probably fear."
Yes, she was afraid, but believe it or not, I wasn't really afraid because I felt amazing. It is, in my opinion, in God's control. God's will be carried out. Whatever happens, everything will be OK. Either I'll make it through this, or I won't. And life goes on, and everything will be well for everyone. Just take each day as it comes.