Devils' Forward Brian Boyle Has Been Diagnosed With A Treatable Form Of Leukemia, And Is Hoping To Be Ready To Start The Season
NorthJersey- The Devils announced on Tuesday that veteran center Brian Boyle, signed as a free agent this summer, has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a bone marrow cancer.
“It’s largely treatable and it appears to be early in the disease,” said Dr. Michael Farber, the medical director of executive health at Hackensack University Medical Center and the Devils team internist.
There is no immediate timetable for Boyle to begin treatments – Farber said Boyle’s CML can be “largely treatable with medication” – but Boyle said he’s hoping to be in the Devils’ lineup for their Oct. 7 regular-season opener against the Avalanche at Prudential Center.
Boyle said he has been feeling fatigued this summer but chalked it up to having a 2-year-old and an infant while traveling between Florida, Boston and New Jersey. But bloodwork taken on Thursday when Boyle reported to Devils’ training camp for medical testing produced the diagnosis.
Still, Boyle, 32, was very upbeat on a conference call to announce the news.
“I’m expecting to live my life, to live a normal life,” Boyle said. “I believe I’m in good hands."
“My mindset is on Oct. 7,” Boyle added. “I don’t like missing games. I feel as close to normal as you can feel."
To be honest, I'm not too sure how I am supposed to feel right now. Somber? Relieved? Some extremely uncommon combination of the two?
Like, obviously I am glad that they caught this early on so that neither Brian Boyle's career nor - much, much more importantly - his life are likely to be in serious jeopardy. However, it's pretty damn rare that you simultaneously get news that someone has a form of cancer annnnd will also potentially be ready to resume athletic competition at a professional level in no more than three weeks. I suppose it's better this way, but it's certainly odd to digest a diagnosis of one of the most debilitating diseases know to man...at the same time as finding out that that the person stricken with it is could already be well on his way to triumphantly beating it.
If I don't come off as sorrowful right now then it's solely because Brian Boyle's shockingly casual and overwhelmingly positive outlook - from both a personal and professional standpoint - leads me to believe that I shouldn't be. That's surely the hard-nosed, irrationally confident hockey player in him showing itself, but it's also probably a reflection of the timeliness of the medical testing that ultimately uncovered an insanely hazardous health issue. Either way, thoughts and prayers go out to Brian Boyle and his family, and let's hope there's no reason to feel anything other than unbridled optimism until he can get back to officially living a cancer-free life both on and off the ice.
For what it's worth...