Update on Dobber’s Battle with Cancer

by Dobber on August 23, 2017


Further to my announcement on June 10 (here) that I have bone marrow cancer (called Myelodysplastic Syndrome or MDS), I have an update.

I finished the first round of chemotherapy and after 35 days in the hospital I was released to be with my family for six whole days. The 35 days were as you would expect – I’m sure you know people who have gone through cancer treatment and are aware of the hardships so I won’t get into that. Just know that the point of it was to get my blast counts down below 10% so that I could have the stem cell transplant (I was at 18% – blast counts are the cancer cells). The good news – the treatment got me below 5%. So the transplant will proceed.

On Thursday, August 24th I go back into the hospital for more chemo and this time they’ll throw radiation in there for good measure. This is to destroy everything in my bone marrow. If just one cancer cell survives, then the cancer will return in a few months. So it all has to be killed. I have a perfect stem cell donor match from the world registry and on August 30th a car will pull up to the hospital and someone will get out with the donated stem cells. They’ll run it up to my floor and give it to me right away. After that, it’s a three-week wait until the stem cells turn into bone marrow (healthy bone marrow) and then start producing good blood. I’ll be recovering in the hospital until late October. I will be in near-complete isolation in a sealed room. My wife will be able to see me (in a gown, gloves and mask), but not my kids.

In late October I will return home for what will be six to eight months of recovery, most of which is just regaining my strength and easing back into day-to-day life. If the cancer doesn’t return (key months will be January to April) then I’m cured. If it does, then back to the drawing board. I won’t share the survival odds with you that were given to me – but a year from now when I beat this, I will share them with you at that time.


What this means for the site

– The Midseason Guide is officially cancelled. I won’t be up for doing that in early January. Next year!

– However, I should be back to do some regular Ramblings by January.

– There will be rankings posted on September 1st and 2nd. After that – no rankings at all until November.

– I have pulled the Draft Kings deal. It is just too much to coordinate right now. Next year!

– The site will run as always. Expect Steve Laidlaw to return in mid-October.

– The Guide will be updated as it always is by my very capable team, so don’t worry about stale data – we’re on it.

– Refunds, in case you accidentally bought two Guides or something, will be handled in late October. So there will be a delay in getting refunds.


What can you do?

Not much, really. I have had several generous offers to start a GoFundMe drive, but my family is doing okay for now. And in fact, when you buy a Fantasy Guide 100% of the proceeds go to me and my family (other than what I pour back into the site). So that’s the same thing as a GoFundMe page, except instead of charity – I give you something (Guide and Draft List) back for your money. But I really appreciate the offers.

I also appreciate all the kind words and sentiments. I read them all and they deeply impact me. Especially the cancer survival stories. Very inspiring at a time when I need the inspiration.


Thank you for your continued support and clicks. I’ll keep fighting – this time I’m heading into the postseason and I plan to take home the Cup. I’ll catch up with you in late October when I’m out.





40 responses to “Update on Dobber’s Battle with Cancer”

  1. Brian Costello says:

    Hey Dobber. Thinking of you and sending strong positive vibes. I know you’re in these key few months now that we’re in 2018 and wishing you well. Keep fighting. Wishing you well. Brian

  2. Kip August Kaufmann says:

    All the best in your recovery you will beat this. I have Thyroid Cancer not even close to what you have gone through but I have had many mind dives within my inner self. In the same year I was diagnosed my Mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and my Dad with Prostate cancer. My parents thank god are cancer free and I am on a long journey of 12 years fighting my Thyroid Cancer. Gods prayers to you and your family as you battle back to recovery. Go Dobber Go!!

  3. jamie abbott says:

    Not sure if you will see this…My 5 year old daughter went through this exact procedure, with donor cells from the registry. You are in hell right now, (15 odd days in) waiting for your graft to take. Hopefully you aren’t experiencing too many nasty side effects (she got a horrible case of mucositis). She had MDS from her rare genetic syndrome.

    She is 3 years post transplant and doing amazingly well. You will too. If you have any questions from someone who has lived this, and basically became a specialist with all the studying and investigating…reach out and I’ll answer anything.

    Hold tight, around day +24 you’ll see amazing improvement.

    You’ll be in my thoughts!

    Just came across this…and obviously bought the draft guide.

  4. Michael Hurka says:

    Wishing you and your family all the strength and hope in the world.

  5. DaveH says:

    All the best in your treatment and recovery Dobber. We’re all pulling for you.

  6. Woodrow says:

    Darryl, I have been on this site for years and I have always admired greatly what you have brought to this community. Your endeavours, drive and passion have made this such a great fantasy hockey site. Although time constraints don’t allow me to comment much these days, I always look forward with great anticipation to all that is available to every reader. Our thoughts and best wishes are with you and your family my friend as you recover. Keep up the good fight!

  7. agentzero says:

    The whole community you created is with you, Dobber. Just keep fighting.

  8. Timothy says:

    Stay strong! An inspiration to all!

  9. Mathieu says:

    This battle will be won one step at the time. We’re all rooting for you.

  10. Doug says:

    All the best Dobber, keep positive! We are all rooting for you!

  11. Ben says:

    Fight the good fight Dobber. We are behind you.

  12. Franco says:

    Good luck to you and your family. You sound like a strong person and I bet this gets you thru. Looking forward to positive news in January! Ps. My friend went thru the same cancer and is a survivor 8 years later!

  13. Fabrice says:

    Keep it up Dobber, go grab that cup and get back to us top shape!

  14. Jim Brown says:

    Dobber – I have purchased your fantasy guide for the past four years but I have never commented on this site before. I have been a regular blood donor for about thirty years now, but never have taken the time to see if I could be a bone marrow donor. The blood bank charges $125 to be tested for being a bone marrow match and I selfishly never took the time or invested the money to see if I could help someone. When you asked what we can do…there is a lot. We can each take the time to find out if we are a match for someone in trouble. Your donor made a conscious decision to try to save a fellow human being. This is something we all can do. I hope to provide such a service to someone in the near future. You will be in my thoughts.

  15. Aaron Gaither says:

    Keep up the good fight Darryl. Praying for your recovery!

  16. hockeyknight says:

    I’ll look forward to your Midseason Guide again next season Dobber. All the best to you and your family. JT

  17. Martin says:

    Attitude is half the fight… and you’ve got it ! As a cancer survivor myself, all I can say is keep up the spirit… IF I could send you strength, I would, but as it is, love will have to do 😉

  18. Frederic Morissette says:

    I wish you the best Darryl

  19. Mike Norwood says:

    Given the passion and commitment you possess, as shown to us every year through your hard work, I can say with confidence that cancer has picked the wrong guy to fu&k with. Give it hell buddy, everyday until it’s totally destroyed, give it hell!

  20. Don Bernath says:

    No hockey drafts in heaven (I assume) so stick around. Best wishes