An ode for Fernando
It's safe to assume Fernando Pisani's in a place you wouldn't wish your worst enemy these days.
Given the apparent gravity of the announcement the Oilers made on Tuesday night, it's safe to assume he's spent time in hospital, perhaps significant time, and with his recovery tabled as 'indefinite,' there may well be some difficult decisions to be made in the near future.
Saku Koivu's successful battle with non-Hodgin's Lymphoma earned praise and respect; Pisani's adversity is met with poo jokes.
While the relationship between ulcerative colitis and mortality is one that continues to be studied, patients do die of the condition (toxic megacolon, etc.). There is also an elevated risk of colon cancer, so much so that many patients are recommended for surgery to 'cure' them of the condition. Surgery, in this case, "usually means removing your entire colon and rectum."
The Mayo Clinic material indicates that "between 25 percent and 40 percent of people with ulcerative colitis eventually need surgery."
Marvin Bush, the youngest brother of President George W. Bush, was diagnosed with the disease and had surgery at 29. Former NHLer Shayne Corson also has the disease.
We don't know the severity of Pisani's illness, other than it's taken him away from hockey for the foreseeable future, and while it's good that he's a 30-year-old professional athlete in terrific physical shape, it's also quite likely he's down a lot of weight at this point and a very sick man.
Here's to a full recovery. And soon.
UPDATE I have yet to see this reported elsewhere, but according to newspaper reports at the time, it seems in October, 2005, Pisani was placed on the injured reserve with "a gastro-intestinal disorder" that caused him to lose five pounds. At the time, doctors were working to determine the nature of his illness and he missed two games.
This has, apparently, been an issue for some time.