Thursday was a bittersweet day for Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson. The Senators and Anderson were battling the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, a game which would ultimately result in a Penguins double overtime victory, and an end to the Sens remarkable season. However, the day was not all bad for Anderson; who revealed in an interview Saturday that his wife Nicholle Anderson told him the morning of Game 7 that her cancer scans were “all clear”.
The two words we prayed to hear…CANCER FREE! https://t.co/WLqufST8Xe
— Nicholle Anderson (@xonichollexo) May 27, 2017
In October, Craig Anderson announced that Nicholle had been diagnosed with a rare throat cancer. Immediately, support flowed in for the two from the entire hockey community, and Nicholle began treatment. Throughout the season, Craig took absences from the team in order to be with his wife during her treatments. It was difficult to watch Anderson leave the team and then return and play; his mind clearly focused on his wife and her health. As the season progressed, so did Nicholle’s treatments, and as of Thursday, May 25, Nicholle Anderson is cancer free- wonderful news.
Nicholle Anderson Anounces She is Cancer-Free
In her blog, Nicholle wrote- “On May 25, 2017, I went to the doctors to hear the results of the pet scan. He informed the scans were clear, however, they saw activity on C1 and C2 (cervical spine). He was confident it wasn’t cancer/tumor, and ordered a STAT MRI on Friday to confirm the findings. The MRI showed it is a side effect to radiation in my soft tissue around the c-spine. Now we are sending my scans and reports to Sloane Kettering to get a second opinion. Nothing better than hearing CANCER FREE two times! I will be continuously monitored for the next couple of years with followed-up pet scans, ENT visits, and tests. We pray this beast doesn’t return.”
“I found out the morning of the game,” Craig Anderson told The Ottawa Citizen on Saturday as players cleaned out their lockers. “She didn’t want to tell me. She had the scan Wednesday, the MRI Thursday and then after the morning skate I knew. But she didn’t want to tell me either way, she said she didn’t want to tell me. It was a huge relief. It was just weight off the shoulders knowing things are going in the right direction. The message (from Nicholle) was just go out there, play and have fun.”
All season long, and in the playoffs, Anderson has been spectacular. This season, he played in 40 games, starting all of them, and posted a 25-11-4 record with a goals average against of 2.28, a save percentage of .926%, with five shutouts. In the playoffs this season, Anderson lead the Senators to their first Eastern Conference Final since 2007, taking down the Boston Bruins (in 6 games) and the New York Rangers (in 6 games). He played in all of Ottawa’s 19 playoff games this year, posting an 11-8 record with a GAA of 2.34, a save percentage of .922%, and one shutout.
Nicholle will continue to undergo scans to make sure the cancer remains gone. “The MRI’s and scans all came back negative at the moment. She’ll have scans every three months in the next few years. It’s clean as of now.”
Earlier this year, the National Hockey League announced the finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, the trophy annually awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey. Craig Anderson is a finalist for this award, and without question, deserves to be. Both Craig and Nicholle are warriors, and Saturday’s news of her being cancer-free is truly awesome.