PHOENIX — With Spring Training now off and running, Mike Hazen has one of the most difficult jobs in baseball -- General Manager of an NL West team, tasked with trying to keep up with the Dodgers and the Padres.
But Hazen is trying to juggle that with a much more important battle, his wife's health.
"I know everybody is reaching out and pulling for her as we all are, and it's a tough fight," Hazen said on a call with the media Thursday. "I don't know how to adequately express that level of appreciation, because I feel like I'll undersell it, no matter what I try to say."
Earlier this week, Hazen revealed that his wife, Nicole, a 44-year-old mother of four boys, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer last July.
"Just the constant asking about how she's doing and checking in for updates was kind of a little bit of the impetus for what we did the other day," Hazen said of speaking publicly on the matter.
Hazen told the Arizona Republic that she underwent surgery in August and then a six-week cycle of chemotherapy and radiation, but she continues to experience seizures.
Glioblastoma, the same brain cancer Senator John McCain and Paul Westphal lost battles with, has a life expectancy of 15-18 months, but the Hazen's remain hopeful a treatment will stick.
"We are confident in the experts and the medicine and in the care that she's receiving," Hazen said. "The doctors and nurses, and their empathy and compassion and all the things that they're doing to help her."
While the Hazen's opened up about the challenge their family is facing, Mike asked that the focus shift back to baseball so they can continue the road to recovery privately. He acknowledged the outpouring of support they have received throughout the entire process.
"From the Kendricks' [Ken Kendricks], to the Hall's [Derrick Hall], to what Amiele [Sawdaye] and Fitz [Mike Fitzgerald] and others have kind of picked up. Nicole's still teaching every day, and the support of that school, to the families that have brought us over food non-stop when she's undergone surgery," Hazen said. "I don't know really adequately how to explain the support that we've gotten and the level of appreciation to any degree."