Ralf hopes to return to football after lymph node cancer: ‘Close in Japan’

Ralf Seuntjens continues to hope for a return to professional football. In May 2022, lymph node cancer was discovered in the Breda striker of the Japanese Imabari. He then had to stop playing football and a tough time started for him. But at the end of January he was declared cancer-free and he has been working on his condition at Sparta Rotterdam ever since.

“At the moment things are going well,” said Ralf on Sunday afternoon in the radio program ‘De Zuidtribune’ on Omroep Brabant. “I’ll have another checkup soon, that’s another exciting day. I hope I can move forward after that.” At least he has nothing to worry about anymore. “My condition is still far below par, but I can think about the future again.”

“Constantly the doubt haunts your mind.”

That was different in the period that lymph node cancer was discovered in him. He was then torn with doubt. “Yes, that is the word that constantly haunts your head. You have moments when you sigh in bed at night: as long as it works out… Especially in the initial phase, when everything is still uncertain and when biopsies are That they don’t know where it’s going. And during those interim evaluations, if everything turns out not to be quite right.”

In his first scan, there was still activity to be seen and this was also the case in the second scan. “Then the doctors wanted to make another scan and then the spot had shrunk and the activity was gone. Then I was so happy! But towards the next check-up, you just hope that the cancer is still gone.”

“The football world is really sweet in such a situation.”

He agrees that in such a period – as is often said – you get to know your real friends.

“You have a large circle of people around you. It then becomes a bit smaller, but also much closer. Then you get to know the people who are there for you when you can’t do it alone. Who vouch for you and arrange things for you or come over. Then you get to know your friends. I must say: the football world is also really sweet. Almost all the people I have worked with have given me a warm heart and helped me a lot. my old trainers.”

“In Japan, I want to close this period.”

His contract with FC Imabari runs until the end of this year. His goal is to be able to take action there. “I will do everything I can. I have now taken the first steps at Sparta. I feel that things are going well, that I am making progress. Although I only train three days a week, while I normally train six days a week. do.

I haven’t done the intensive workouts yet either. So there are still a lot of steps to take. But if I have this as a basis, maybe I can start the next part of the rehabilitation journey in Japan. I still don’t know where it’s going, but at least I’ll be there in the process, also in my head. To end this period a bit in Japan, where I received the bad news.”

He dare not put a date on it. “Not a certain number of minutes either. If I can play five minutes at the end of the ride, when I hang up my football boots, I’m happy with it.”


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