John J. York opens up about 'very welcoming' return to 'General Hospital' amid cancer battle

"General Hospital" star John J. York is feeling the love from his TV family after he was forced to take a break from the show amid his battle with cancer.

York, who plays Mac Scorpio on the ABC soap opera, opened up about his emotional return to the series in an interview with "Good Morning America" on Monday.

"Everybody has been very welcoming, very supportive," York said as he choked up. "And here I go already, right off the top 'cause I can’t tell you how nice it's been, the support that I've gotten."

York revealed in September 2023 that he was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome and smoldering multiple myeloma in December 2022. The 65-year-old actor also shared with fans that he would take a "brief hiatus" from production on "General Hospital" while he underwent treatment.

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Myelodysplastic syndrome consists of a "group of cancers that keep your blood (hematopoietic) stem cells from maturing into healthy blood cells," according to Cleveland Clinic. Smoldering multiple myeloma is a condition that signals someone may develop multiple myeloma, "a rare blood cancer that happens when certain white blood cells mutate into abnormal cells."

"I said, 'How long would I have if I did nothing?' " York recalled asking his doctor after receiving the diagnosis. "He said, 'Three to five years.' I was like, 'Three to five years, are you crazy? I feel fantastic!' "

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For his cancer recovery, York opted for a rigorous treatment plan, which included chemotherapy and a blood stem cell transplant. The "Werewolf" actor teared up as he described the moment he learned of his transplant match.

"She said we found an exact match, and I just couldn't talk," York said. "It's just a little bag of blood and fluid, and they put it in my body. Forty minutes later, and now I'm this person."

He added: "And my cells are now fighting each other and battling each other and getting to know each other."

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York made his debut on "General Hospital" in 1991. He received a nomination for outstanding male daytime newcomer at the Soap Opera Digest Awards in 1992, per the actor's IMDb page.

York's "General Hospital" return is expected to air Wednesday on ABC.

"I just felt so attached that I didn't feel like I missed anything," York said of his absence. "I feel like I just had a little break – a little vacation, I guess – and had to go through something, and now we’re here on kind of the other side of it."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'General Hospital' star John J. York talks return amid cancer battle