The waiting in the last week has been torturous. Maddening. Actually, I won’t even try to type those emotions out, because there are no words. And that is just from my point of view, to even try to imagine how Tyler has felt in the last few days is beyond my simple human brain. So when the treatment plan was briefly outlined by Tyler’s doctor last night, and I felt like jumping for joy after, and Tyler was stunned and pokerfaced, I will never know how or if our emotions ever intersected.
For those that were not in the room, here is my side of the story:
Tyler’s oncologist is a lymphoma specialist, and according to the cancer wing charge nurse, THE BEST. Period. His aura is a bit like, ‘Hi, I’m Dr. Curtin, I’m a doctor, and I could also play one on TV’. He is confident without arrogance, he answered all of our questions, he presented the facts and his opinions. He is open to Leigh’s integrative suggestions. I like him, and I like him a lot for a doctor. (Sidenote – I have a gift in life, I am not ashamed to say, but I can ‘feel’ people. I can feel energy, I can feel craziness, I can feel honesty. I can feel character. The majority of the staff and doctors at this hospital have left great impressions).
Dr. Curtin’s monologue went something like this, 6-8 months of the strongest chemo they’ve got. A cocktail of alternating medicines that are going to attack this disease from all angles. Cocktail A for 5-6 days in the hospital, followed by 3 weeks of out patient clinic treatments and follow-ups. Cocktail B in the same fashion. Repeat for a total of 8 cocktail administrations. TREATING TO CURE. This is not sissy boy chemo, nasty side effects are common. Infection, sores, nausea, weakness, to name a few. He will have to avoid public places, not come into contact with anyone with a slight illness. He is advised to not continue working. He is advised to exercise as much as possible. TREATING TO CURE. Like Marlene said, he will be entering his monastery. After chemo, target radiation to shrink the remainder of ‘Massi’, then 1.5 years of maintenance out-patient chemo once a week. TREATING TO CURE. I asked the doctor if any of this will change pending the arrival of Tyler’s bone marrow biopsy, do we need to think about transplantation, stem cell therapy? No, not yet, not ever, God willing. We can get this with Big Bang Hyper CVAD chemo. TREATING TO CURE. Hell Yeah.
I found out later in the evening that Tyler will initially need to stay in the hospital for one month to have his first round of chemo monitored. Tyler gets restless, Tyler is an athlete, Tyler needs fresh air. This stressed me out. I pondered the options. None. TREATING TO CURE. We can do this. Tyler will rest, Tyler will meditate, Tyler will design and contrive and develop new hobbies. Tyler is a badass. We all know that. Tyler is a competitor. I’ve seen Tyler go from ex-pickup basketball addict to a rocket on a road bike. Tyler is a fighter. Tyler doesn’t play to lose. Tyler has the best team lineup that cancer will ever have to deal with.
Tyler is my love, and although I will never know what he is feeling right now, he will know that we are all with him. Alongside him in this journey, this battle, this war. TREATING TO CURE.