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Waukesha South football coach Dave Rusch confident cancer was contained

Says doctors "feel good" it didn't spread into lymph nodes

Waukesha South football coach and physical education teacher Dave Rusch participates in a pullup contest between staff and students during an assembly showing support for Rusch's battle with prostate cancer on Wednesday, April 23, 2014.

Waukesha South football coach and physical education teacher Dave Rusch participates in a pullup contest between staff and students during an assembly showing support for Rusch's battle with prostate cancer on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Photo By Scott Ash

April 28, 2014

Longtime Waukesha South football coach Dave Rusch said he is "blessed" by the initial results from his surgery for his prostate cancer.    

Rusch, who had surgery Friday, said Monday his doctors at St. Luke's Medical Center are confident the cancer was contained and did not spread. 

"They dissected the lymph nodes during the surgery and they were clean," Rusch said. 

He said his doctors at St. Luke's are sending tissue to the lab for testing. Rusch will get his pathology report on Friday.

But Rusch said his "doctors feel good" about the results.

Rusch came home Saturday and is now focusing on his rehab.

"I feel very blessed at this point that many prayers were answered," said Rusch, who has been South's football coach for the last 23 years and is a physical education teacher at the school. "Each day I get better and better."

But he knows it will be a long road to recovery. Before the surgery, he said he would be off until June 9. He doesn't anticipate missing any of the football team's summer schedule or the season in the fall.

"Having said that, I have not attempted a pullup yet," he said jokingly, referring to his intense workout schedule. 

Rusch has been touched by the amount of support he received before the surgery by the South student body, who dedicated the month of April to him and held an all-school assembly two days before his surgery to honor him. 

"It truly is amazing how people rally in a time of need," Rusch said. "I am a lucky man."

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