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  Mar. 24, 1999

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Davey Boy feared he was dying
DOG DAYS ... Son Harry, 13, left, relaxes with dad Davey Boy Smith at home with daughter Georgia, 11 -- and dogs Mary, held by Smith and Dainty, in Georgia's care. - Stuart Dryden
By ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

 In the midst of a year full of personal tragedies, Calgary wrestler Davey Boy Smith was convinced he'd finally met an opponent he couldn't beat -- cancer.
  Dealing with undiagnosed back and abdominal pain that put a hold on his wrestling career and caused him to lose 40 lb., the British Bulldog figured he was about to meet the same fate as his younger sister and mother did a few months earlier.
  "I thought my life was over and I was going to die," said Smith, 36, whose sister Tracy lost a battle with cancer Nov. 7, just 12 weeks before the disease claimed his mother.
  "I was a nervous wreck," he said.
  "After seeing several specialists who weren't able to figure out what was causing the pain, they thought maybe it was a cancerous tumour.
  "Knowing the history of cancer in my family, I thought I had cancer of the stomach."
  With his head spinning, Smith spent four agonizing days awaiting the test results which would heavily impact the rest of his life.
  "I kept thinking about my mom and sister and what they went through," said Smith, whose chiropractor started the battery of tests that ultimately determined his ailments weren't cancerous growths.
  "I'm still in pain and they still don't know what's wrong with my back, but I'm just glad it's not what I thought it was."
  Following a powerslam on a steel trap door that injured his back and knocked him from the World Championship Wrestling circuit six months ago, doctors have finally narrowed down the root of his pain.
  "It's either two discs in my upper back that are smashed against the nerve, or it's an infection," said Smith, whose horrible year was made worse when his 13-year-old son, aspiring young wrestler Harry, had a steel plate inserted in his right arm to repair a broken humerus.
  "If it's an infection they can give me antibiotics.
  "If it's smashed discs, they'll want to operate which I won't let them do."
  Despite the fact Smith compares his excruciating back pain to being stabbed with a knife, he vows to return to the ring.
  The 240 lb. Smith has regained 20 lb. and wants to dispel any notion that he has retired.
  He still has plans to return to the WCW, where he hopes to wrestle alongside brother-in-law and former partner Bret Hart.
  "It's been a really bad year, but I'll be back -- hopefully at the end of April," said Smith who credits his wife, Diana, a former Mrs. Calgary, for helping him through it all.
  "I can't stay out another six or eight months. It'll drive me crazy," he said.
  "I'm going to come back bigger and better than ever."
  Smith was hoping to make his return to the ring April 2 at the Stampede Pavilion when his brother-in-laws Bruce and Ross re-introduce Stampede Wrestling to the city.
  However, doctors won't allow it, forcing him to settle for a role as one of the event's TV commentators.

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