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Richard Petty: the medical update on wife Lynda

  Tough times for the King (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   Richard Petty may be famous for his grin, as much as his many NASCAR wins. But at the moment, with his wife of so many years, Lynda, now being treated for cancer -- central nervous system lymphoma -- it's hard.
    Petty finally arrived Sunday at Daytona, where he won seven Daytona 500s during his legendary career, and he gave a brief update.
   "It's very treatable," Petty says. "We've got the head doctor down there (at Duke), who looked after the Kennedy crowd. We've got the best people in the world looking after her.
   "She's already had a couple of treatments, and she got through them real good.
   "I went in Saturday morning, and she was jumping around. She said 'Get up and get out of here and get on down to Daytona,' so I knew she was feeling pretty good.
   "We're glad about that, and we appreciate all the prayers and thoughts for the family. Right now everything is going good; they feel they can completely wipe the cancer out, though it will take a while to do that."
   It's been nearly a year since the Pettys realized there was a problem.
    "About this time last year, we were down here and she fell," Petty said. "And I asked 'What happened?' And she said 'My eyes aren't as good as they were.'
   "They kept chasing that around, and finally in November or December before enough of it gathered in one place to where they could understand what the problem was and to start the treatment.
   "They've operated on both of her eyes, to make sure that when the cancer goes away she can see again."
    Clearly Petty has put the race team, Richard Petty Motorsports, second on his agenda. Ironically Kasey Kahne won Thursday's 150 in a Petty Ford and finished second in last weekend's Bud Shootout.
    "Since November I've been a lot of time with her," Petty said. "After 50 years, I figured I'd better hang around.
   "I've been involved in all the major decisions (with the team), but I haven't been able to go to the shop to do some of the minor things I'd usually do.
    "I've been cut back on some of the appearances we were supposed to make, some of the PR. I put that on the backburner.
   "She's a little more important than racing right now.
   "Basically we're real fortunate; all the girls are right there with here. Duke has been real good about what we should be looking forward to and how to handle the stuff.
   "Just want to say thank you...and keep us in your prayers."


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Lynda Proving A Fighter

It sounds like she's winning this fight. We all should be glad for that.

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