Giants LB Mark Herzlich knows all too well what GM Dave Gettleman is about to endure as his battle with lymphoma begins.
The 67-year-old announced his diagnosis last week, and for Herzlich, he flashed back to 2009 when he was in Gettleman's shoes having been diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, while playing for Boston College.
Embarking on this scary journey without knowing exactly what will happen in the end is something Herzlich has lived, which is why he plans on being there for Gettleman whenever he needs him. Herzlich plans on going to a chemo session with his new GM because he knows that having people around that care is the most important aspect of battling this disease.
"Every time you hear about someone getting diagnosed it's always a surprise," Herzlich, who learned of Gettleman's diagnosis during an impromptu team meeting last week, told The Athletic's Dan Duggan. "More so for me, my first question was where is he being treated, is he going to be around family? I'm pumped that he's going to be in unbelievable care near people who love him. To me, that's the biggest thing."
Herzlich was treated at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, and he was surrounded by his family the entire way. Gettleman's wife and children will be there for him during his treatment as well, which will take place "in the very near future."
"It helped me immensely," Herzlich said about having his loved ones around, including his parents, brother and friends. "He's going to be with family and his kids are close by so there's going to be people around him that will treat him like nothing is different."
Herzlich also has some small tips for Gettleman as his chemo sessions take place.
"I just wanted to let him know that I was here for him if he had any questions, little chem tips that you learn along the way: Have a Jolly Rancher when you're getting your IV in and put hot sauce on everything because it blinds the taste -- little things like that. It's a tough ordeal for him and for anyone who gets diagnosed."
In his statement, Gettleman said his outlook along with the doctors is positive. Since Herzlich has known Gettleman, attacking obstacles as they get in the way is what he does best.
"I've known him from a long time ago, but you can just tell from his opening press conference. There's no option, It's just, 'OK, this one other thing that I've got to do that I'm going to beat,' " Herzlich said. "He's been a winner his entire life, so that's not going to change with this."
A little help goes a long way, and Herzlich will be sure to be there to help Gettleman cross the finish line.
"Just to have someone else come abd be a distraction from actually doing it," Herlich said. "It's going to be a little bit of a process for him, but I'm there for him."
Entering his seventh season with the Giants this year, Herzlich has been cancer-free for nine years now.