I started counting down to the last night’s Blackhawks game when I walked away from the Stanley Cup parade downtown. Of course, it was easier when the schedule was released; but, to say I’ve been looking forward to hockey season is an understatement.

Even if it is “just preseason.”

Preseason is the time to test things out — prospects like the Broadhurst boys, who I watched play against my brother in high school, Khabibulin back in net after allllll these years, just who will take Frolik’s spot aside Marcus Kruger, and what we’re missing by sending Teuvo Teravainen back to Finland (answer: a lot…  Only 19 and beating Crosby at faceoffs — come back soon).

Unfortunately, it’s also when we play the Penguins without Marian the “Boss-a” Hossa and Jonathan “Captain Serious” Toews.

Regardless, this was a big game for me. I didn’t mention it in my biography, but I’m battling a tough illness and hockey’s one of my support groups.

During my time in Connecticut, I unknowingly contracted Lyme Disease. I became very sick but wasn’t diagnosed for over a year. The first line of treatment didn’t help. It’s dramatically changed my life. But, when I was far away I had my teams from home to keep me connected. Moving back to Illinois meant being closer to my own family, friends, and teams.

And, earlier this year, when I had to do nightly IV treatments at home, the Blackhawks’ streak was a perfect distraction. I even had a custom-knit PICC line cover designed after the Blackhawks socks.

 

carlylyme

 

I’ve been on a slow road to recovery, but have had a couple small setbacks lately and was looking forward to the distraction of hockey again.

Unfortunately, I had a terrible, painful episode sometime during the second period. Despite pain medicine, ice packs, and heating pads, I was down for the count. I struggled to watch the rest of the game from bed, fighting back tears.

I built the first televised game up to be something wonderful. Turns out it was a loss for both the Blackhawks and me.

Then I remembered there’s a lot of time to push forward. And, I thought about a note that came in a care package the organization sent me last season.

Get well lettercare package

 

We’re supporting each other. And there’s plenty of fight left.

Carly Mullady grew up needing to know more about icing than its deliciousness on cupcakes. She's the lone daughter of four children, with a father who was among the last cut from the Midwest tryouts for the 1980 Miracle on Ice Olympic team. And she knows very little matches the thrill that happens from puck-drop to handshakes. A rink didn’t return to her hometown until she was gone, but she’s been able to see two younger brothers on the ice. She's their feistiest fan. Her other hockey loyalty lies with the Blackhawks--whether it's meant seeing games for $8 with student IDs when the Madhouse didn’t have much of a temper at all, or dancing to Chelsea Dagger at standing room only--there’s something magical about a roaring anthem, the Indianhead sweater, and the Original Six. A former journalist and current editor, she carries a penchant for excitement (and maybe even fighting) with a resume that includes working for Chicago-area newspapers, and television, including The Jerry Springer Show, as well as NBCUniversal in New York. After East Coast living and a return to the Chicago area, the new Mrs. is giving Graceland a go with her Southern Gent, who now shares her adoration of the game, and their rescue dog, Doc Holliday. Other interests include Cubs, Bears, Illini, Crimson Tide, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, baking a mean pineapple upside-down cake, Kate Spade accessories, and a properly coordinated cardigan for every ensemble.

1 COMMENT

  1. of course, i should have known that a gal who orders a black hawks armband has a blog and support group to match ;P. rock on carly. you learned that the most important lesson on the rink, and that’s going to help you keep on fighting: when you fall, you get back up <3. you turned this canadian into a black hawks fan :P. so happy to have met you…and hope that my armband keeps being lucky!

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