Chris Duncan is in good spirits. He no longer is hospitalized. His speech is coming back strong. And he's optimistic about the future as he battles back from surgery he had recently to remove most of a brain tumor.
The symptoms, and treatment, came rapidly for Duncan, 31, a former Cardinals outfielder who now is co-host of the afternoon drive-time show on WXOS (101.1 FM) — the top-rated local sports-talk program in
He has been off the air for nearly a month, other than a cameo appearance early this week to briefly discuss his situation. Then he described his ordeal in-depth Wednesday in a phone conversation with the Post-Dispatch.
He said his symptoms began with "a metal taste in my mouth,'' over a period of about four to six weeks in late summer.
"It gradually was more,'' he said. "Once a day, (later) twice.''
Then more complications developed.
"My right arm, my neck would go numb for 30 or 40 seconds,'' he said. "I thought it was from neck surgery I had a couple years ago from playing baseball,'' a condition that contributed to the end of his playing career.
With no improvement he said his wife, Amy, urged him to seek a medical evaluation and he contacted one of the Cardinals' physicians, Dr. John Ellena.
"He said, 'You need to get an MRI,'''
Duncansaid. "He was concerned.''
He had that test done on a Sunday, Sept. 30.
"They saw the tumor in my head,'' he said. "It happened so quick it was crazy.''
It was the second time in a relatively short period that a member of his immediate family had been stricken with a brain tumor. His mother, Jeanine Duncan, was diagnosed with one last year. That led to her husband and Chris' dad, Dave Duncan, stepping down as the Cardinals' pitching coach in the offseason.
Jeanine Duncan has received some of her treatment at Duke University's medical facility, in North Carolina, which specializes in brain tumors and is one of the country's highest-regarded such centers. She has been treated there by Dr. Allan H. Friedman.
"Right when I found out (about my tumor) I called Dr. Friedman and he said, 'Get down here as quickly as possible,''' Chris Duncan said.
He said David Pratt, one of the Cardinals' owners, quickly made his private plane available to fly the
Duncansto Duke the day after the tumor was detected.