Go Time, Again

Ding ding!

Twenty-one days.  That’s the magic number.  The ideal amount of time between rounds of treatment. Today is day 20.  Tomorrow we start round 2B.

Physically, I’m as strong as I’ve been since this whole process began back in December.  The past 20 days have been so good that, honestly, it makes me nervous.  I’ve been able to ride my bike nearly every day, and on days when I don’t ride, I run, or walk.  My cheeks are full.  My appetite is good.  My labs are good.  Is this how it’s supposed to be?

I was hesitant to ask my doctor, “Should feeling good be a cause for concern?”

He reassured me: Pain and suffering is possible, even probable; but it’s not a prerequisite for effective cancer treatment.  Thank God for that!

I feel like a boxer in the middle of a fight.  The last thing I want to do is to get complacent, start feeling good about myself, drop my guard, and get knocked out.  Yes, this round has gone well, but tomorrow the scoring starts over. And tomorrow is 2B.  And 1B pretty much kicked my ass….so I need all the strength I can muster.

It’s hard to anticipate how things will go.  The doctors told me that reactions to chemotherapy are hard to predict.  They could administer the same drugs at the same dosage four different times, and my body might respond differently each time.  So, I’m cautiously optimistic; enjoying the present moment while preparing for whatever comes next.  Confident and scared, all at the same time.

Your positive comments, prayers, and support have been a source of strength and inspiration for me.  Here’s hoping we can carry this positive momentum through the next round.  Thanks for being in my corner!


Treatment Update: Day 32

Hello Team,

This post comes from UCSD ER, where Tyler is being admitted back into the hospital for neutropenic fever, so far hitting 103 degrees. Basically, his immune system is at zero, and something, we don’t know what yet, has triggered an infection in his body. He has just submitted all his labs and will have full cultures done in the next few days. Until the results come back, he will be treated for general infection via IV antibiotics. If the lab results indicate a localized or specific infection, antibiotics will be adjusted to target. In the meantime, he will have to have a stay-cation in the cancer ward for the next few days until his white cell counts boost his immune system and the fever clears. Kind of stinks, but it is necessary, and good that we know how his body is tolerating the chemo, so that dosages and cell support can be adjusted in the future. Plus, we were warned that this may be inevitable, with no immune system, this was a potential outcome.

Some better news is that Tyler’s liver enzyme levels are trending towards normal. Over the last week he has been experiencing abnormally high levels that were limiting the amount of medication and types of food and supplements his liver could safely process.

Some extra good news is that Leigh is here this week, so Tyler will have extra Team members in the cancer ward with him. Plus, he will get all the good nutrition to help him fight the best fight possible.

Please continue sending your healing thoughts, prayers, vibes, energy. The last few days have been really hard on Tyler’s body. He has literally been drained of his bad (and good) cells, and it is painful and tiring. We are trying to remember to think of the chemo as our ‘friend’, but it is hard when it is creating a violent fight against the cancer inside of him. A heck of a bloody war, but revolutions are not always pretty. Keep fighting Chemo, Tyler is using all his might to keep the battle grounds intact.

Treatment Update: M-I-Z-Z-O-U Thank You!

Team Tyler Mizzou

Bald head, Mizzou shorts

Belated happy new year to everyone, and greetings from Room 356 West at Thornton Hospital.  I’m back for round 1B of my Hyper CVAD regimen.  If all goes to plan we’ll get started on chemo this afternoon and I’ll be here for a 4-5 day stay-cation.  Here’s hoping all goes to plan.

I have a lot to be thankful for as 2012 begins, and a lot of thank you notes to write as I pass the time here for the next few days.  Your greeting cards, text messages, emails, words of encouragement, and all around kindness and generosity are helping me to stay positive.  For that, I am grateful.

And I’m feeling love and support, not only from my friends and family, but from people who don’t even know me!  Let me elaborate… Continue reading

Treatment Update: Day 15

Happy Holidays from the Wagners and the Moshirians

Hello Everyone! I hope that Santa was good to everyone and you all had a day filled with love and smiles.

I just got some great news from Ty and figured an update was due.

Tyler’s Day 15 cell count is great, and will not need any sort of transfusion and can begin his next round of chemo as scheduled.

It has definitely been a week of ups and downs. Last Friday, I witnessed Tyler after his chemo dose into the cerebral spinal fluid, this was probably the hardest day so far to watch, as the injection is delivered via a lumbar puncture, aka “spinal tap”. There’s a reason for the parody heavy metal group with the same name, this procedure is heavy, and leaves your brain pressure feeling heavy. All things considered, my man took it like a champ. Seriously, Tyler is a beast.

More good news – if we back track a few weeks to how we all got here, Tyler was experiencing difficulty breathing – caused by ‘Massi’, the tumor that was living in his chest. It was so bad that the pressure of the mass was hindering him from laying on his back or left side. After first round of chemo – No breathing issues! Survey says…Massi is shrinking. Wooo HOOO!

I would like to thank the GG’s for the awesome bracelets sent for Tyler’s Gals here in SD. We had a fantastic Christmas. It was ‘Our First Christmas’ together, we had great food, great laughs, and we were able to celebrate with both our families. It was a very special Christmas for both of us.

Santa brought Tyler a new set up so he can keep riding during chemo. He got a new track bike, a stationary trainer, and all the accessories he could possibly need to ride wherever and whenever his heart desires. In fact, the nurses gave the ok to bring his bike and trainer into the cancer wing! 

Treatment Update: Day 5

“Keep your face always upward toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”

-Walt Whitman

I could get really philosophical right now. My family says I have a knack for the wishy-washy (they use a more vibrant term), but what I have witnessed this past week is such a flood of love and support from friends and family, that I cannot help but feel slapped in the face on how I was handling our gift of life. Two weeks ago I had a definite list of priorities. Figure out my job situation, train to be faster (or fast as, let’s be realistic here) Tyler on bike,  train my dog to stop barking at select people he doesn’t like, train my dog to not bark at animals on tv, train my dog to not cry when his armpits are touched, and follow Ms. Leigh’s assigned diet to keep me healthy. Easy enough, but enough to keep me busy.

Then we got slapped. All of us. Every single one of you. I know you feel it. What the heck is going on here? Why Tyler? Why the most healthy, strong, beautiful, kind, loving, hard-working, passionate person we know? God knows. A few weeks ago my coworker was diagnosed with cancer, and asked me, ‘What did I do, why am I being punished?’. This is not a punishment, I told her, you can’t see it now, you might not see it for a very long time, but this is a lesson. Her eyes got big and I saw the wheels turning, ‘Maybe this will bring my family closer?’.

Maybe. I said.

So here we are, and my heart is open, and your hearts are open, and I have played team sports my whole life, but I have never felt a camaraderie like this. My priorities have changed, and at the top of my list: FAMILY, FRIENDS. Make my relationships count. This is all we have. This is what we are here for.

Tyler with my soccer star cousin Hamid

So Team Tyler, without further delay, I have the current update for our Hero.

He is kicking cancer in the heart, literally. So far the most uncomfortable side effects are coming from the steroids. Hiccups, irritability, difficulty sleeping, an overall ‘weird’ feeling. Sound harmless but they are magnified in this 10 x 10 room. Cell counts are currently still normal, but are expected to drop significantly in the next few days. That is when we should expect weakness and an increased risk for infection. His spirit is strong and his eyes are bright. So far, so great.

Bracelets are not in yet, I will post as soon as they are delivered.  And, special thanks to my lovely cousin Kathryn Kopczynski for sharing the quote at the top–Tyler loves Whitman  🙂