This is a 2014 photo of John Bonamego of the Detroit Lions NFL football team. This image reflects the Detroit Lions active roster as of Monday, April 21, 2014 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)
AP Photo
July 29, 2015

DETROIT (AP) Central Michigan coach Jon Bonamego made a surprise appearance Wednesday at the Mid-American Conference's media day, showing up a few hours after receiving a chemotherapy treatment.

Bonamego, who has cancer in his left tonsil, had been scheduled to be represented by his offensive and defensive coordinators, but showed up at Ford Field anyway.

''I planned to be here the whole time, but we didn't want to announce that and make it seem like a crisis if I couldn't do it,'' he said. ''I wanted to be here, just like I want to be at the first day of practice and on the sidelines for the first game.''

Bonamego didn't stay for the entire four-hour event, but said he was happy to do something other than treatment.

''This is a good release from having to deal with doctors,'' he said. ''We're trying to keep my life as normal as possible. If you were around my wife and kids, you wouldn't even know anything was happening. That's how I want to battle this.''

Bonamego acknowledged that it has been a tough grind dealing with a lengthy course of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

''This is taking a lot of effort,'' he said. ''It is hard just to eat, and I haven't been able to taste anything for weeks. I just do what I can, hour by hour and day by day.''

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