God bless you.
Yesterday, Friday, Sept. 19, was a special day for me because I returned to work for
the first time in three months.
Thank you Jesus!
It was the Blackhawks' annual media day that kicks off the team's training camp. It
was held under sunny skies and cool temperatures but inside the United Center, where
some 60 reporters, representing print, radio-TV and the internet media, were on hand
to interview team management and players.
"There's Lacy," team president John McDonough said as he broke court with four
companions and walked toward me with a smile and a stretched-out right hand. "How
are you doing, Lacy?"
"Fairly well," I said, as I smiled back and shook his hand.
Thanks largely to the addition of McDonough's dynamic leadership, the Hawks are
primed to do very, very well this season after a sizzling summer of transactions that have
enriched management, improved team promotions and added new talented veterans to
the core of an exciting 40-34-8 team that featured Rookie of the Year Patrick Kane and
an equally budding star in Jonathan Toews and fell just three points shy of making the
playoffs for the first time since 2002.
"We've been making a lot of changes every year," general manager Dale Tallon
said. "But these have been the most dramatic. We're not going to sit still. But the thing
is now it's exciting because a lot of players want to come play in Chicago after they've
seen what we're doing, the direction we are headed and the type of players we have in
our system throughout.
"It's a very good group of young players, a good mixture and good combination of
veterans who are not just talented and experienced, but who have a lot of good character
as well. It's a really good locker room, they really get along well and they're excited
about getting going. We also are under the cap, which gives us a little room to still make
a deal. So we're going to ice a good team and we're going to keep dealing to make that
Coach Denis Savard says he is very happy with what he calls ''an improved team
that has a great chance to excite our fans, return to the playoffs and compete hard for
a championship, which is always our ultimate."
It was great to see my media comrades again , led by Sun-Times lead hockey writer
Len Zheim, whom I have been backing. We both are the walking wounded. He is on
crutches after breaking an ankle in a recent fall. But he is a better reporter on one leg
than most writers are on two or even three, if it were possible.
As for me, I'm having to ease back slowly into the grind because I am not yet
completely recovered from my multiple health issues of brain cancer, prostate cancer,
end-staged congestive heart failure, an ailing back and sore left knee. My brain tumor
is benign and is being treated by a pill a week. My prostate cancer is undergoing
radiation treatment from permanently implanted radioactive seeds. My heart is being
treated by the daily ingestion of eight different pills (16 total), diet and exercise. But the
sore back and knee have hampered my exerices on the treadmill, which is bad for my
So while I'd not yet fit enough for unlimited, full-time work, I am well enough to ease
back into some assignments that won't require me to climb a lot of steps, sweat too many
tight deadlines or walk anywhere far and fast. I also know that I must arrive earlier for
assignments so that I can better take my time from the very start.
While the back, knee and heart ailments have slowed me, I'm still in no great pain.
My progress, in terms of complete recovery, is slow and perhaps may never reach full
restoration of optimum health. But I'm still alive, I'm slowly feeling better and I am able
to return to work, starting at a slower pace and with a lighter load that will increase as my
I thank all of you fellow warriors and fans for your prayerful support. But most of all,
we thank God for His grace and mercy as we remain healings in progress.
God bless you.