Before Craig Anderson played in the Eastern Conference Final Game Seven on Thursday night, he received a message from his wife, Nicholle.
“Things are going in the right direction … go out there and have fun,” Nicholle said according to NHL.com.
Nicholle was referring to her fight with a rare form of throat cancer called nasopharyngeal carcinoma. On Saturday, Anderson shared the news with the media that she is cancer-free during the Senators breakdown day.
Anderson says Nicholle informed him the AM of Game 7 all her scans have back "clean". "She didn't want to tell me," said Anderson #Sens
— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) May 27, 2017
During the season, Anderson took a two-month leave of absence from the team to be with Nicholle. When asked if he was changed by the experience, Anderson replied “one hundred precent.”
“I was able to use hockey and use my teammates as a source to get away from personal life and have a three-hour moment of peace,” Anderson said. “When you’re on the ice, there’s nothing in the world but that puck and you’re competing. You’re at peace. You have nothing to worry about. That was the three hours that I had, and then you go back to life right after.”
In a blog Nicholle has kept during her treatment, entitled StickbyNik, she wrote that hockey helped her through this year.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better year and memories. My advice to everyone, everyday we are given, we are blessed,” Nicholle wrote. “Don’t put off what you can do today! Live life to the fullest because in a blink of an eye it can and will change.”
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