The last few weeks have been trying in my immediate circle with health scares and warnings, ranging from heart conditions to burn-outs and depression to erectile dysfunction to my own appointments and checkups regarding diabetes.
But the word that came back the most often this week was cancer.
One of my brother's best friends, in his early 20s, wrote this heart-wrenching piece - in French - about his current condition with leukemia, which in turn brought my immediate family back to memories of a painful past.
I also decided to bring my Twitter profile back to life - I went from having hundreds of followers to between 50 and 60, a figure that seems to change daily for some reason. No, Traci Lords is no longer following me. (insert sad face here). And I wasn't there a week that I learned more people I know were afflicted with cancer. Three people I know well were diagnosed in 2014, all in their thirties.
And that's in addition to Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray's confession that he has Stage-4 colon cancer and whose only hope at this point is to extend his life, because it's too late to cure. He knows he won’t overcome his battle, but joked he wanted to prolong overtime, like during the famous 1980s game between the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals: ''Let’s go to extra overtime and keep playing, like the game we played against the Islanders many years ago, and we went to four overtime periods'', Murray said.
In the long run, no one survives Life. We are all just visiting and must make the most of what we have, try to find happiness and, ideally, try to help mankind evolve. And no one is immune from accidents, but seeing someone who knows his time is up, and trying to make the best of it while not dwelling on the fact that he's nearing the end really hits home. Hard.
And he becomes the second Senators hockey operations member to seemingly spend the end of his life as an actual member of the team in just about a decade, after Roger Nielsen in 2003.