Monday, October 8, 2007

Blake's Battle

Jason Blake was the Toronto Maple Leafs biggest signing this off-season, but through the 1st 3 games of the season, all Blake had were 2 assists. Well today he shared something with the world that may explain that.

“This morning I shared with my teammates news that I was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. It is highly-treatable, and I have begun taking a pill on a daily basis that has proven to be very effective in controlling this cancer. The prognosis, and certainly the expectations of my physician, myself and my family, is that I will live a long, full and normal life."

For those who don't know what leukemia is, well lets just say that he isn't joking when Blake says "cancer". It's considered chronic leukemia because it usually progresses more slowly than acute leukemia, sometimes over the course of years.

The pills Blake spoke of are helping him, but may be taking some of his energy away. The pills have been described as "chemotherapy-like pills", and we all know how chemotherapy takes away energy.

Blake missed the last 13 games of the 2000-01 season with the Islanders to be with his pregnant wife, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She gave birth in April 2001, two weeks early, to a girl and later had throat surgery to remove a tumor that turned out to be benign.

Blake isn't the only hockey player to ever have cancer though. Both Saku Koivu and Mario Lemieux had lymphoma and survived, which is uplifting to Blake. Lemieux even came back to win the scoring title!

"Overall I feel good. I'm still here and my goal this whole season hasn't changed. Obviously you take a step back and you kind of re-evaluate everything but for the most part I feel good. I think to get it off my chest and to move forward is a big weight lifted."

"My goal has not changed since I heard this news," Blake said. "And that's come to Toronto, bring another piece of the puzzle and hopefully win a Stanley Cup here."

Even though Jason says that the condition isn't affecting his play, something like this is sure to affect you mentally for a while.

Wish you all the best Jason and good luck with your battle!

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