I wanted to share my story on how cancer affected my life.
My wife and I are probably two of the biggest hockey fans on the planet. I, who grew up in Garden City, am a fanatical Islander fan while my wife still has "not seen the light" and roots for the Capitals, being born and raised in Baltimore, MD. When I was a kid, my Dad had partial season tickets and I was able to see, in person, some of the great Islander moments including "The Comeback", "Bossy 50/50 game" and "Double Chili Night". My wife and I go to games a few times a year and actually try and make our wedding anniversary trip to see a new arena each year (the last trip was to Montreal). Some of my favorite memories include going to games in our jerseys as well as taking our eight-year-old daughter to the ice rink and teaching her how to skate.
This summer, my wife was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer at the age of 41. We were both really scared as we didn't know much about the disease. After several weeks of waiting, she was set to have a mastectomy at John Hopkins Hospital on September 14th. With her before she went into the operating room, we were talking about how we probably weren't going to be able to go on our anniversary hockey trip this year and this made us both very sad. I promised her that we would go once she felt better to any game she wants anywhere in the U.S.
I'm happy to say that my wife's operation was a complete success. Her lymph nodes are clear and she is expecting a full recovery. She doesn't even need chemotherapy or radiation treatments. We consider ourselves very, very lucky as we know how dangerous any type of cancer can be.
On October 25th, 2011, I will have been married to my wife Colleen Marie Wolfe for 11 years. These have been the best 11 years of my life and God willing, she will be back up and the two of us will be able to continue our tradition of loving life and loving the greatest sport on the planet, hockey.
I'd like to wish the Islanders and all their fans to enjoy the 2011-12 season. Go Islanders!!!
Chris Ritsch Baltimore, MD Favorite Player Ever: Mr. Michael Bossy #22