Devils center Brian Boyle said Wednesday that the cancer he was diagnosed with last September is now in remission. (NHL.com)
The 33-year-old announced the good news after receiving the results of his latest blood test on Monday. Boyle, who was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia on Sept. 19, 2017, was initially told by doctors that full remission could take up to 18 months. Instead it took just over 13 months.
"A test (BCR-ABL1) looks for the leukemia cells in your blood and when I was first diagnosed, it was at 75 percent," Boyle said, per NHL.com. "At the end of last season, it was at .08 percent, and in July I was .04 percent. The results showed all zeros on Monday. It's full molecular remission, and I feel really good. It was kind of the way the progression was happening the last few tests. When I told my wife, she was excited and got emotional.
"The game plan has been working well, and now I'm just going to continue with it. It was good news, but it doesn't change a whole lot for me and I'll continue taking the medicine."
Boyle received the diagnosis following a training camp physical last summer. He missed the first 10 games of the season before returning on Nov. 1 for his Devils debut. He finished the year with 23 points (13 goals and 10 assists) while missing just three additional games, making an appearance at the NHL All-Star Game.
On top of his own health concerns, Boyle also learned last year that his then-two-year-old son Declan had a rare form of cancer. Fortunately that diagnosis was subsequently altered to a less-serious arteriovenous malformation in his jaw, a rare condition that affects blood flow and oxygen circulation.
Boyle said Wednesday that Declan's health has also improved and that he is attending school four days a week. (NHL.com)
"He's a normal kid again," Boyle said. "It's fantastic. I'm just glad I'm spending more energy out on the ice and in the locker room now. I'm fully here (with the Devils). This is such a tough league, so it just makes things easier for me."
In light of all the hardship Boyle has faced, the league awarded him the Bill Masteron Memorial Trophy for perseverance and dedication to hockey at the NHL Awards this past summer.
Boyle has three goals and an assist over the Devils' first six games of the season.