Culture

WBAL's Great Ron Smith Has Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer

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The Voice of Reason

Baltimore institution Ron Smith, proprietor of an eponymous daily call-in show on WBAL and a tremendous friend of Reason (he in fact calls himself "Mr. Reason," though that's much more to do with rationality than with us), announced Monday that he has been diagnosed with cancer. His on-air disclosure was filled with Smith's trademark Charm City pugacity and grace. Excerpt:

Dr. Cameron saw us.  And he looked at the pictures and the technical report from the radiologists and he said you have grade 4 pancreatic cancer that has metastasized to your liver, your parenteral cavity, abdominal cavity, lungs and so on.

That's some kind of news to get.  It really is.  I mean it's like, hmmm, this is probably not good.  So I said to Dr. Cameron who is the foremost expert on pancreatic surgery, as far as I know, in the world.   I said, is this worth fighting?  He said oh yes.  This is worth fighting.  Fantastic new chemo drugs, chemo regimens and I have seen worst cases than yours clear up.  You never know what's going to happen.

So, I'm committed to fight this thing, but it's going to take some time off to do it. In other words I'm going to have chemotherapy on a regular basis.  I don't have a schedule yet, because I won't see the oncologist until Friday.  Once I have a schedule, then with the help of management here which has been so supportive, the Ron Smith Show will continue with Ron Smith except on days when I can't be here. […]

[S]ome of you may wonder well how do you feel about getting this diagnosis?  Well, let's put it this way, I think my wife put it best.  We're not happy, but we're at peace, we're at peace.   And I'm surrounded by loving family and friends who have already demonstrate that so much over this strange weekend that we just lived that I can't express enough my gratitude for their love and their support.

And, going forward, I'm going to fight this and see what happens. There is no way to be sure of anything about this other than I will be undergoing chemotherapy for the rest of whatever time I have.  But it could be a considerable time so don't mourn me yet, alright.  So don't mourn me, I'm not gone.  I'm going to be here on the radio serving your needs and mine.

Whole thing here; Smith's Baltimore Sun column on the diagnosis here, and always check out his website for great reading material and links to listen to the show.

We're not mourning you, Ron, just taking the opportunity to appreciate everything you've done for rational discourse these past 30 years. Talk with you soon.