During a sit down with TSN’s Michael Farber last week, Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray said “I didn’t have a colonoscopy which I should’ve had.”
It could’ve saved his life. Now he’s hoping his message can help others.
The 71-year-old is battling Stage 4 colon cancer and knows he will not be victorious.
“I had the opportunity to sell the idea, if that’s the right word, on colonoscopy for all of us are important and I didn’t do that,” Murray said on Tuesday, his first public appearance since the piece aired. “I thought the message could be, and should be, loud enough that it might effect some people and could save some people.
“I’m getting the impression that that was the case and that’s why I did it.”
Murray says he’s received plenty of positive feedback since going public.
“I’ve had quite a number of people… former players called me that played for me years ago that haven’t had any kind of medical attention in that area,” he said. “I had a nurse (Monday) night tell me four or five people in one of the clinics in Ottawa went in and said because of the interview they’re kind of smart enough now to step up and get themselves examined.
“I hope and feel if that’s the right message and the good message then it’s worthwhile.”
Murray says he goes for chemotherapy treatments for 48 hours every two weeks. He’s lost 40 pounds, but has no intention of slowing down.
Through it all, Murray has not lost his sense of humor.
“I’m old enough to retire. My wife has told me that for the last four or five years, she’s right,” he joked. “To be involved is important and for me to go home and sit on the couch doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I’m not going to do that. (Ottawa Senators owner) Eugene (Melynk) has been very strong and involved with me. That’s the way I want to operate right now.”
Murray, who turns 72 on Dec. 5, was in Toronto for GMs meetings on Tuesday. It appears to be his “happy place” to remain involved in the game.
“It’s always good to come to meetings and be involved and see what’s happening in the world of our game,” Murray said. “I hope to continue that for a long time. This is not the end of anything .
“We hope that we also win some games in Ottawa this year and get some recognition come playoff time that we’re a contending hockey team.”
At the same time, when asked about continuing in his current role beyond this season, Murray says he simply cannot forecast that far into the future.
“I’m not going to… I can’t make any clear cut, definite on that. Depending on how it goes here and how I feel,” he said. “I think there’s a time when I’ll retire, but I see a lot of young guys coming up in our organization and I’d like to be around.”
Murray admitted putting on a brave face through it all is something he’s needed to do.
“We live our lives and I’ve been very fortunate in my life to be involved as long as I have been,” he said. “I go to the hospital, I see young people, young mothers and young children and if I can’t be brave and strong, how can they be?”