"I am not going to lie and say the last few weeks have not been easy," said Hamilton. "It has been the hardest battle I have ever had to fight. I went to the race at Gateway International Raceway and caught a virus which spiked a fever and knocked...
"I am not going to lie and say the last few weeks have not been easy," said Hamilton. "It has been the hardest battle I have ever had to fight. I went to the race at Gateway International Raceway and caught a virus which spiked a fever and knocked me down for three or four days. The chemo and radiation regiment I am on knocks my immune system down causing me to be more susceptible to infection. Even the slightest cold can turn into a major illness for me. Race fans and crew members have been extremely supportive, shaking my hand, offering their support and prayers around the garage area. I take it as my responsibility to talk with these people and sign autographs because I am very appreciative of their support, but being in large crowds of people right now is a huge risk for me.
I am listening to my doctors and when they tell not to do something I am listening. I am now into my third week of daily radiation and that is when the doctors warned me the treatments would start taking a major toll on my body, which meant the radiation and chemo combination were doing their job. It has caused me to develop a lot of sores in my mouth and the worst sore throat of my life. My throat hurts all the way down to my collar bone. I went from eating normal to drinking protein shakes to finally only drinking little sips of clear liquid. I started feeling dehydrated last Thursday evening, and I woke up Friday and could not even drink a sip of water, suck on an ice cube or take any of my medicine. By Friday they had admitted me to the hospital for dehydration and a 102 degree fever, and to help me get my pain under control. I stayed in the hospital for six days and was able to come home Wednesday, but went back on Thursday for my weekly chemo treatment.
Not going to Charlotte this weekend for the race was a very hard decision, but my health has to be my main priority. It will be the first race that I've been involved in one way or the other with that I have missed since before my Cup career. I want to be there for my team, but I've got to work on getting healthy again. I have three more weeks left of chemo and radiation treatments, and then I hope we can start on the road to recovery. I cannot thank everyone enough for all their thoughts and well wishes over the past few months."