Q&A: Oklahoma football player Austin Woods talks about Hodgkin's lymphoma

Sooner lineman going through two-a-days while undergoing chemotherapy.
by Stephanie Kuzydym Published: August 16, 2012

Austin Woods was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma around the time of the Oklahoma spring game.

Recruited out of Rockwall, Texas as the nation's No. 4-ranked center by one recruiting service, Woods is the Sooners' deep snapper and backup center. He has been going through two-a-days while undergoing chemotherapy for the cancer that was discovered in his throat.

Woods doesn't remember the exact day he was diagnosed, but this week he recounted to the media what his fight against cancer has been like.

What's it like going through these workouts and knowing you're an inspiration to your team?

It means a lot that my teammates say that about me. That's one of the things I want to do is be there for them. I wanted to be there and show them it always could be worse. I'm not as bad off as I possibly could be. There's always someone that could be going through something worse than you are.

When you first got your diagnosis, what crossed your mind?

My first thought was “when can I play football again? What's the timeline for everything? When are my treatments and surgeries?” So I just talked to my doctors and they said, “As much as you can, you can keep going through physical activity, go through summer workouts.” … But I handled the treatments so well and I'd gone through summer workouts just like everyone else. … The fact that I was able to do that two weeks before two-a-days started, I was told, you can play football ... Since I invested and went through summer workouts I decided I'm going to go ahead and play. I'm able and ready to play football this year and that's what I decided to do.

What do you feel like after chemotherapy?

I get pretty fatigued. I'm sitting in a chair for four hours. They stick me with an inch-long needle and I get pumped with toxin and chemical and all for about four hours. After that I'm pretty tired but it takes me a day or two, and then I'm back on my feet and ready to go.

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by Stephanie Kuzydym
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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