"Getting knocked down and hurt in that Baltimore game might have saved my life," he said. "Then I started taking Motrin, which I found out causes your blood to thin. It broke through blood vessels and would come out when I coughed. Obviously, you've got to find out why that's happening. Had I not done anything, or had I taken Tylenol, which doesn't cause your blood to thin, I probably wouldn't have discovered this for a while -- and by then, I'd have needed massive surgery, and who knows what chances I would have had.'"
Well, he's cancer free after a long battle with chemo:
"I've got big boxes filled with letters, cards and trinkets people sent me," said Corrente, 60, a retired high school teacher from La Mirada who has worked NFL games since 1995 and doubles as the officiating coordinator for thePac-12Conference.Now all we need is, you know, working refs in September.
"When it got to the point it hurt too bad to swallow, I would just look at those cards. Every one of them was a card of encouragement, a card of prayer. Somebody told me, 'You didn't get all those cards because you were a jerk.' I cannot even begin to measure how that encouragement helped me through my toughest days."
"When you can wake up in the morning," he said, "every day is a good day."
Doctors told Corrente in May that they could not find any evidence of cancer remaining in him. His prognosis is good, with his next checkup scheduled for late August. That was the culmination of months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments that not only made him horribly sick but robbed him of his taste buds — "Food was repulsive to me" — and made downing supplement drinks feel "like swallowing broken glass." To this point, he has been able to avoid surgery and a feeding tube, although he's down to 180 pounds from an already trim 194.
Corrente missed four games near the end of the season when the chemotherapy made him too sick to work. He returned for the final two games of the regular season, and worked the playoff game between Detroit and New Orleans.
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