Beloved General Hospital star John J. York is fighting a huge battle — the battle to save his life.
Last winter, John was diagnosed with two different blood cancers — myelodysplastic syndromes and multiple smoldering myeloma.
He shared everything with the world earlier this year as he searched for a match to begin a stem cell transplant, which he is undergoing now.
John’s General Hospital costars are rallying behind him, and viewers won’t see much of Mac Scorpio in the coming months.
The next 100 days are critical, which John called “rocky terrain.”
As he battles cancer and fights to save his life, John spoke with PEOPLE about his story.
John J. York explains what he’s up against
While speaking with the publication, John J. York said, “There’s still a long road ahead, but these next 100 days I would say is rocky terrain.”
A lot of legwork went into the process he is currently undergoing, which is one of the most challenging things he will have to endure.
He explained, “The first week is an 8-day process of heavy-duty chemo, where I’ll probably lose my hair, and that’s OK. And, you know, there’s just all kinds of issues. I could, I could pass away. I mean, maybe not from the chemo, but when the transplant starts. So after the eight days of these different chemo treatments that they’re doing, they’re basically wiping my body of what I’ve been living with in terms of my blood and DNA and all this stuff for my entire life. They’re wiping that clean and then they’re gonna put new stuff in me from the donor. And that’s going to be the new me.”
Once the stem cell transplant is complete, there will be hospital visits every day for 100 days. That could change, though. As John explained, if he is doing well, he could be moved to an every-other-day schedule or more, depending on the test results and the status of the new stem cells acclimating to his body.
John will have to be on medication for one to two years post-transplant and undergo some painful bone marrow aspiration and biopsies.
What will happen to Mac on General Hospital?
As John J. York undergoes this process, he won’t be filming General Hospital. It seems November sweeps has already tapped into that with the Anna (Finola Hughes) shooting Charlotte (Scarlett Fernandez) storyline.
They need to outsource impartial people, which could lead to Mac taking time off. He has been off-screen on and off for years, so it won’t be too unnerving to be gone while he attends to his health.
Jon Lindstrom, one of John’s good friends and General Hospital costar, sent a message yesterday to support him.
We wish John well as he continues on this journey to beating cancer.
General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC.