"As I've told some people I think I've just out-lived my skin."
Texans chairman, owner and CEO Bob McNair uttered that very phrase during the opening remarks of his press conference on Thursday at NRG Stadium, a somewhat light hearted moment in what has been a difficult 10 months for the beloved Houston figure.
As first reported by the Houston Chronicle's John McClain, McNair has been in a fight for his life, undergoing experimential treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
According to the Mayo Clinic's website, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow - the spongy tissue inside bones where blood cells are made. The Mayo Clinic also explains that the term "chronic" comes from the fact that it typically progresses more slowly than other types of leukemia.
McNair went into deep detail during the press conference, talking at length about his treatment process and his battle with skin cancer.
"My skin has been abused by the sun for an extended period of time," McNair shared. "As a result of that, over the last 20 years probably, I've had a regular procedure of going to the dermatologist."
McNair continued. "Last fall, I had an occurrence, it was just like a small pimple behind my left ear on the side of my head. I went in and my dermatologist looked at it and recognized that instead of being a non-cancerous growth was perhaps a squamous cell skin cancer. I went in and had surgery on that," McNair recalled.
The Texans owner went on to describe that the cancer then returned in a more aggressive state.
During the process, McNair kept the issue private, both to avoid speculation and 'not be a distraction for the team' as he put it. The chairman finally told the team of his situation this past June during OTAs.
McNair had a CT (computerized tomography) scan in April and this past Monday was given a clean bill of health. "At this point in time, its history," McNair stated.
The Texans owner encouraged others to limit sun exposure when possible, explaining the importance of wearing sunscreen and hats while in the sun. McNair also noted that during his recovery, his son and Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer Cal McNair took a bigger role in the team's operations.
This is not the first bout the organization has had with cancer in the past year, as Texans tackle David Quessenberry was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma in June. McNair talked about meeting with Quessenberry and offering encouragement to the young player. "I assured him he was in the best hands he could possibly be," he commented.
Several Texans players expressed their support for McNair on Thursday, including longtime wide receiver Andre Johnson.
"I had seen him—the first time I'd seen him this off-season I was just surprised at the way he looked and stuff like that," Johnson said. "But to hear that is awesome and it's great to hear and I just love to hear he's doing well."
McNair remains upbeat and reiterated his stance to be a big part of the Texans organization going forward.
"I plan on winning some Super Bowls...that's what we are here for."