I’ve been dragging my feet on this update because I don’t like being the bearer of bad news. Usually when we hit a rough patch I leave the updates to Natasha (or Leigh), but this time I’ll do the dirty work myself.
Before anyone jumps to any conclusions, let me just say: I’m still cancer free. And, thank God for that!
However, my chemo is on hold for the time being, as some complications have surfaced that must be addressed. You may (or may not) remember the pneumonia I battled last year left a small cyst in the right upper lobe of my lung. After various examinations, a CT scan, and a brochoscopy, we have learned that the cyst has become infected. At this point, the doctors believe the best course of action is to have it surgically removed.
Natasha and I met with the surgeon last week, who told me “you look better than your chart,” and assured us that he felt confident the procedure would be a success. Surgery is scheduled for May 8th, with anywhere from 4-6 days in the hospital to recover.
Physically, I feel strong. I rode my bike this morning and have been able to get back into a regular routine at the gym. Emotionally, I’m discouraged but not distraught. There are a lot of reasons to feel good about this. I am physically strong, I have a functioning immune system, and removing the cyst eliminates a potential source of future complications. There are a lot of reasons to be thankful.
All that said, this still sucks.
I’m not going to say this is just another bump in the road, or hurdle to clear, because I’m tired of those analogies. This feels like another brick wall to run through. But we’ll do it. What choice do we have?
I’m always finding inspiration in unexpected places, and earlier this week I was inspired by the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and the story of one author’s journey to follow the race from the air. It’s a long read (with some beautiful photos) but highly recommended if you can find the time. Here’s the link to the full story: Out in the Great Alone
One of my favorite passages comes all the way at the end, when the author comes to a certain realization about the whole race, and why people (and dogs) subject themselves to such extremes:
Who knew what would ever be there tomorrow? And it hit me that that was exactly the point of the Iditarod, why it was so important to Alaska. When everything can vanish, you make a sport out of not vanishing. You submit yourself to the forces that could erase you from the earth, and then you turn up at the end, not erased.
I guess, in a way, we’re all racing our own personal Iditarod, making a sport out of not vanishing. I like that idea.
Will plan to keep everyone posted as surgery approaches!
Lots of love,
Tyler…..you know you are constantly in our thoughts and prayers!!! We are with you all the way!!!
We will keep you and your family in our prayers Tyler.
Thank you for sharing. Will continue to keep you in my prayers. Sending positive energy & healing thoughts your way!
Beth and I continue to keep you in our prayers, as we have ever since we first learned of your illness. We are retired and living in Santa Barbara, so we are only a couple hundred miles away from you. We will be watching for your next post and are confident that things will continue to go well. We will be thinking of you especially on the day of surgery.
Peace and best wishes, as ever,
Tyler. You are my hero. I love ya brother. Just another bump in the road.
FROM THE CAMPBELLS—YOUR DAD HAD TOLD JACK ABOUT THE LATEST “BRICK WALL” AND OF COURSE, WE WERE SAD TO HEAR ABOUT IT. BUT TO HEAR THAT YOU ARE BIKING AND LOOKING GOOD HAS TO BE A VERY GOOD SIGN. YOU ARE BACK ON OUR PERSONAL PRAYER LISTS AND ALSO THE LIST OF MY “OLD LADY PRAYER GROUP”—AND THAT IS POWERFUL. WE’RE PULLING FOR YOU AND YOUR SURGERY AND HOPE THAT THE NEXT IMPEDIMENT IS “DRYWALL” AND NOT BRICKS. GOD’S BLESSINGS ON YOU. SALLY
Your spirit is inspiring, Tyler. Thinking of you and your loved ones!
Tyler good luck with the surgery. Brick walls suck. Thinking and praying for you. Love lee and Barb
What an update!!!! Don’t know how you have endured the past year+, you are amazing. You are strong.. it is in you genes and help from above. Alice
Hopefully this surgery will take care of another one of your problems and you can get on with the rest of treatments and healing processes. That will be my prayer for you and I’ll be thinking of you on Wednesday especially, but you are in my prayers every day.