A Special Announcement From Ron Smith

Monday, October 17, 2011 – WBAL Radio
Ron Smith, the “Voice of Reason” on WBAL since 1984 told listeners this morning that he has been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.

Ron said he began feeling unwell a few weeks ago and Friday he received a call from his beloved friend, Dr. Bill Howard who told him that a cat scan showed he had a tumor on his pancreas and immediately set him up with the best doc in the business, Dr. Cameron.

“I asked Dr. Cameron if this is worth fighting and he said absolutely,” Ron said.  “I’m committed to fight this thing but it’s going to take some time off to do it.  So don’t mourn me yet, alright.  Just don’t mourn me.  I’m not gone.  I’m going to be here on the radio serving your needs and mine.” 

Ron vowed to do the Ron Smith Show while he receives his treatment.  “I love doing what I do; this is the perfect task for me.  And, as long as I’m healthy enough to do it, as long as I have my mind and my voice I’ll be doing this.” 

Ron’s Full Statement: 

I said we are going to be talking about the future of the Ron Smith Show.  There are going to be some changes here in that I’m still going to be doing the show, but not all the time.  It’s going to be…. It’s undetermined yet, we don’t have a schedule.

Here’s how it all came about.  A few weeks ago I began feeling unwell.  And you know when you feel unwell and it persists you seek medical help to find out what’s going on.  One thing led to another and wound up on Thursday with a cat scan.  Friday morning at 7:30 I got a call from my beloved friend, Dr. Bill Howard who said to me the CAT scan shows that you have a tumor on your pancreas and he arranged for me to have an appointment with Dr. John Cameron at Hopkins that very afternoon.  So June and I, Mrs. Reason and I went to Hopkins.  She had stopped by the radiology place to pick up the CD, and Dr. Cameron saw us.  And he looked at the pictures and the technical report from the radiologists and he said you have grade 4 pancreatic cancer that has metastasized to your liver, your parenteral cavity, abdominal cavity, lungs and so on. 

That’s some kind of news to get.  It really is.  I mean it’s like, hmmm, this is probably not good.  So I said to Dr. Cameron who is the foremost expert on pancreatic surgery, as far as I know, in the world.   I said, is this worth fighting?  He said oh yes.  This is worth fighting.  Fantastic new chemo drugs, chemo regimens and I have seen worst cases than yours clear up.  You never know what’s going to happen.

So, I’m committed to fight this thing, but it’s going to take some time off to do it. In other words I’m going to have chemotherapy on a regular basis.  I don’t have a schedule yet, because I won’t see the oncologist until Friday.  Once I have a schedule, then with the help of management here which has been so supportive, the Ron Smith Show will continue with Ron Smith except on days when I can’t be here.

Alright, that’s it.  And some of you may wonder well how do you feel about getting this diagnosis?  Well, let’s put it this way, I think my wife put it best.  We’re not happy, but we’re at peace, we’re at peace.   And I’m surrounded by loving family and friends who have already demonstrate that so much over this strange weekend that we just lived that I can’t express enough my gratitude for their love and their support. 

And, going forward, I’m going to fight this and see what happens.  How the cancer responds to the treatment, how my body responds to the treatment.  There is no way to be sure of anything about this other than I will be undergoing chemotherapy for the rest of whatever time I have.  But it could be a considerable time so don’t mourn me yet, alright.  So don’t mourn me, I’m not gone.  I’m going to be here on the radio serving your needs and mine.   Okay, if you’re a loyal Ron Smith listener you like listening to the show as many people have told me because you tell me what’s going on.  You tell me the real news.   And, heck, when we moved from afternoon to morning’s there was a virtual listener uprising.  I could understand that.  I felt guilty about it because thousands of listeners in many cases had spent 20 years listening to me on their afternoon commute and they were very upset when things changed because who likes change? 

You know I love doing what I do.  This is the perfect task for me.  And as long as I’m healthy enough to do it, as long as I have my mind and my voice I’ll be doing this.   Again thanks to management and its support, the support of Ed Kiernan in particular, I’ll be doing this for some time to come.  Chances are, but there will be days I’m not here.  So that’s the change in the Ron Smith radio program that I wanted to tell you about.  And, oh, I want to also say look, I’m okay, I’m okay.  I’m sitting here, I’m thinking, I’m getting ready to rant when a rant appears.   I’m interested in what’s going on.  I’m interested in interpreting what’s going on in ways consistent with my own outlook and insights and instincts.  And    this is not going to be some kind of pity party.  We are not going to talk about Aunt Gert’s tumor for three hours.  We are going to do a Ron Smith Radio Show after the stop set that’s coming up in just a moment

 We’re going to do a Ron Smith Radio Show every day that I’m here.  And not only that, not only that folks, it’s going to be terrific. My producer Chris Imms is so dedicated to making these the best programs.  I think today he failed, but we’ll see, but we’ll see alright?.  It’s just, there’s no reason to, I mean obviously people are going to be upset about this, but  just understand that I’m okay, I’m okay alright?.  I’m alive.  I’m doing this.  Nobody knows their future although I have a clearer idea of mine than most of you.  You always wonder how it’s going to end; well I pretty much know how it’s going to end, just not when.

God bless you all and thank you for listening and when we come back it’s going to be a Ron Smith show.  We’re not going to be talking about illnesses or misfortunes or disappointments or mourning anything.    Is that a deal?  It better be. 


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