Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Still at Childrens Hospital

We had hoped that Tyler would come home tonight, but the doctors said he needs to stay at least another 24 hours. He now has mucositis, which is a side effect of Chemo where the inner membrane of the throat and intestines deteriorate, causing swelling, infection, and pain. He also has open sores in this throat as a result of the Chemo.

As a result of this, Tyler is having trouble speaking or swallowing. His medications and fluids had to be switched to I.V.´s because of these difficulties.

There is no real treatment for this, other than letting the body heal itself. Unfortunately that is done through white blood cells, and the Chemo has done a very effective job destroying those. Tyler's white count is still at 0.3, even after yesterdays blood transfusion. His body will not be able to effectively counter the mucositis until his white count is up to about 4.

I have been reading and talking to others about the strength and bravery of cancer survivors. This is what it all comes down to. There is nothing glamorous about it. But it is pure courage. Little can be done about the pain except to deal with it. He must also force the food and liquids down to stay strong. He must also get up and move around to keep his muscles and lungs strong, even though his body cries to just crawl under a blanket and try to sleep. The only thing that gets him through this, through the power and grace of God, is pure guts and attitude. Your prayers for Tyler's strength and attitude are appreciated dearly.

I recently read a blog posting of another teenage boy with cancer. He wrote, "Looking out my living room window, I suspect being outside would be wonderful, but I really wouldn't know. As I write from my bed, my entire body feels saturated in a sticky, toxic nausea, with chemotherapy running through my 18 year old veins. Like Michael Jackson's moonwalk, chemotherapy has a strange way of moving a person another step towards life and death at the same time."

Later he wrote, "What solace I do find is in the knowledge that I have done everything I can to transmute this terribleness into something positive by showing as many people as I can how to endure it with a smile".

Another young man, a survivor of Burkitt's, wrote me that he compared cancer as a pause button on his DVD. He placed his life on pause, because it required his full energy and attention to maintain a positive attitude through all the chemo treatments. Afterword, he hit the button and started his life again. He survived Burkitt's Lymphoma three years ago.

We can not express our gratitude enough for all your cards, emails, posts, thoughts and prayers. They really help in maintaining a strong positive attitude. All the wonderful gifts and notes from Tyler's sports heroes are amazing lifts to Tyler's spirits.

As hard as this is, I can not imagine going through it without the support of all of our friends and family (and all their friends and family that have contacted us). We can not thank you enough.


Jeff & Rhonda Hoffman said...

Hang in there Tyler! It may not feel like it sometimes, but you are winning this battle! You have shown strength and determination that far surpasses any of your sports heroes!!

jd said...


Your blog posts, a steady stream of consciousness from the deepest corners of your heart and soul, really project the insidious nature the lymphoma.

The serious updates and the humorous anecdotes you are sharing helps keep each and everyone of us close to Tyler even though we can't always be there.

As you are well aware, you guys are constantly in our daily thoughts and prayers.


JD, Val, Kari & Tara

Anonymous said...

i graduated from dublin high school (yes, there was just one!) almost 13 years ago, and just happened to stumble upon this blog tonight. i just wanted to say how sorry i am for your struggle but also how impressed i am with the strength and determination of your whole family. you are very much in my thoughts.
sending love,
a fellow dublinite.

Anonymous said...

My Dear Tyler,This is Grandma Smith just dropping in to tell you how proud everyone is of your bravery and to let you know you are in our thoughts and prayers.I know how strong you have always been and know you are using that strength now to get better.
I have written to you before,as did Zak and your Uncle Brad,but not sure you got them,but just know we are all keeping you in our prayers all the time.
I love you my dear Tyler---Grandma Smith

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you are enduring more pain then I can imagine --stay strong and brave as you have been so far! You are winning and just have to focus on that and let all of the support, love, prayers and God get you through these very rough parts of chemo. My 3 boys think you are the bravest guy in the world right now and said they know you are going to win this battle! We have not met you but are praying for you every day and have all of our friends and family doing the same.
God bless you and your family,
Cindy Duco

DMF said...


About 30 or so guys and their families and their church families are praying for you. You have no idea how your strength thru this ordeal has strengthened all of us. The pain that you have endured is a witness to your courage and a witness to us.

Stay strong and I know God has a glorious plan for you. We pray for you daily and my 3 kids before bedtime always throw in a few bonus prays for you as well.

Be Blessed.

Dana Mack

Anonymous said...


Monterey Peninsula is now on Team Tyler. Prayer groups are in session everywhere today. Honey, you are the bravest person I know and your courage has touched so many around the country. There is no way any of us can understand or know what you are going through and the pain you are enduring. I do believe in the Power of Love and it is my hope and prayer that our love will transcend the worse of the awful. I also know that this insidious disease and the treatments will not keep our Tyler down.

Today I am angry. The fight is on.

I Love You, Precious Tyler,

Grandma Bonnie

Graham said...

Hey there tyler. My name is Graham and I am battling the exact same disease as you. I was diagnosed in may of 07. I did 6 rounds of Hyper CVAD with one round of R-CHOP thrown in there and 13 rounds of Whole brain radiation.

Stay strong