Murray discusses cancer treatment in Q&A
The Chicago Blackhawks radio analyst was diagnosed with cancer on August 9 and has undergone chemotherapy every two weeks since late summer.
“I want to come back, but I need to regain my strength,” Murray said on Friday. “The Blackhawks (VP of Communications) Adam Rogowin were great, (Senior Director of Media Relations) John Steinmiller and (Director of Media Relations) Will Chukerman were great, and they said whatever worked. for me, whether this is a period to start, whatever I can do, they’re 100 percent on board.
“For me, broadcasting for 20 years has been a big part of my life. Now all of a sudden when you don’t have the opportunity to do what you love, because I don’t consider it like a job it’s my passion it’s a big goal for me to come back to the cabin and do the broadcast. I’m not sure how the trip would work with me at this point but it would definitely mean a lot to me to come back to the cabin and work again with John Weidemann as soon as possible. “
The 59-year-old will be at the United Center for the puck handover ceremony when the Blackhawks host Hockey Fights Cancer night against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSH, NBCSCA, ESPN +, NHL LIVE). Devin Pittges, a 15-year-old from Niles, Ill., Who is in remission from his bout with osteosarcoma, will join Murray for the face-off.
Hockey Fights Cancer is a joint initiative between the NHL and the NHL Players Association that unites the hockey community to support cancer patients and their families.
Murray, a former center who played 15 seasons in the NHL, including 10 with Chicago, spoke to NHL.com about his battle with cancer, his daily life and the salvation he received from Blackhawks players on Friday. last month.
What does it mean to you to be at the United Center on Sunday for Hockey Fights Cancer night?
“It’s a special honor for all the wrong reasons, and I don’t say that lightly. Everyone would much rather be in a different situation than be a part of Hockey Fights Cancer night, but at the same time, it will mean a lot to me. But I don’t see it as something that’s for me. I consider him as, I represent and I am proud to represent everyone who is going through the same thing, who has faced cancer, families, everyone is affected by it. I feel honored to represent these people as a whole. But it’s special that I have this opportunity to be a part of Hockey Fights Cancer Night. “
When you first visited the United Center this season on October 21, the Blackhawks captain Jonathan toews gathered the players on the ice to greet you at bat. What did this mean to you?
“It meant a lot. It certainly caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting it. Jonathan and I have a kind of special bond that we’ve had over the years and for him to be the leader and to do. what he did was very special and very moving. It is something that I will never forget. “
How do you feel ?
“The chemo week is tough. I have treatments every other Monday, then they send me home with a packet of chemo for two days, then they come and pick me up for it. Those three days, then both days. The following ones after that are a little harder, and then gradually you start to feel better and go into the rest week. But then you do it all over the next week. It’s just kind of a cycle that goes on. “
What is everyday life like at the moment?
“With COVID and my immune system being compromised, it’s tough. Basically I’m home and going through the same thing every day, just trying to feel better, trying to get some strength, some energy. It’s important that I go out and walk in all my abilities. This stuff fills the days. It’s not very exciting and honestly, day to day when I wake up I don’t know how I’m going to feel . So it’s just a daily life You have to take advantage of it whenever you have good days. I had a lot of support, a lot of friends came to say hello to me. So this support is important and they do it daily, checking on me. “
Speaking of support, how much have you received from the hockey community?
“The support has been incredible. Often times, people just don’t take the time to reach out normally. But when something like that happened, the hockey world, everyone in the community reached out. It was really upsetting, people you don’t know very well reached out and showed their support and said, “We are thinking of you” which means a lot. Support from Katrina Vlasich who made the “Murray Team Bracelets”. (Former Blackhawks defenseman / current San Jose Sharks general manager) Doug Wilson called me a lot to check on me. I think of him and wish him good luck. (Wilson took temporary sick leave on Friday).
“The support from the Blackhawks has been huge. It has been 40 years since I was a 19 year old entering the Blackhawks organization and have gone through generations of leadership with the Wirtz family (president Rocky Wirtz and his son, general manager Danny Wirtz). The only thing that has never changed is their loyalty to their people and the Blackhawks and Wirtz are an extended part of my family and that has been a huge help. must do is the important thing here. ‘”
Blackhawks broadcaster Eddie Olczyk was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in August 2017 and said he was cancer free on March 22, 2018. Have you told him a lot about fighting it ?
“I’ve relied on Eddie a lot. He’s been amazing in that his support has helped me understand some of the things that I’m going through that he’s been through. And basically we have the same treatment program, all of us. the other Mondays, and he said, that’s what’s going to happen, and that’s how you’re going to feel. Eddie and I go back almost 40 years. We were married to each other and it was terrible to see him go through that. I’m glad he’s recovered and is in a good position now. Being such great friends with Eddie and his family, it’s been amazing to to be able to lean on him in so many ways, going through that. “