Sunday, January 20, 2008

3 A.M.

Sitting here in the dark at 3am, listening to the IV pumps as Tyler groans in his sleep. His last temperature reading was 104.9. I have been reviewing different treatment options, and symptom charts on the Internet. I have been thinking about all Tyler is going through. Thinking about all that Brandon, Travis, and Erik need. Thinking about Kathy and our relationship. Thinking about the finances and the business. I am exhausted. But my head is too wired to sleep. My mind is just wandering.

I am remembering a father & son trip Tyler and I made to Pebble Beach, CA. We were staying at my parents house and decided to ride our bicycles to Cannery Row to go kayaking in the ocean. My dad told us to take the route along the ocean, but I saw a faster way cutting across the land. My dad said there was a hill that way, but I knew we could handle a little hill. That is when I learned that the word hill is different in California than the flat plains of Ohio. This "hill" would classify as a ski mountain in Ohio. It about killed us riding our bikes up that thing. It seemed we would never get to the top. But we did make it to the top. And the ride down was an absolute blast. Riding full speed down in the middle of the road, going straight down toward the ocean. It was an absolute thrill. I guess that is true of life. Life is supposed the be a thrill, to be full of excitement and adventure. But to get there we must first conquer a lot of hills.

Cancer is a very steep hill. But it brings into focus all that is important. It has this weird way of overwhelming you with the realities of life, while simultaneously bringing enormous clarity to the purpose of life. It throws everything into turmoil, while putting everything into perspective. It may not be today or tomorrow, but we will conquer this one. We will fight. We will win. And we will experience new thrills and adventures.

"Life is a daring adventure, or it is nothing"
--Helen Keller

"There isn't a person anywhere who isn't capable of doing more than he thinks he can."
--Henry Ford

A few years ago my grandfather was fighting cancer. Due to age, health, and extent of cancer, he was given no chance. But he still fought. He continued fighting long past the time frame the doc's gave him. He was fighting when many people, including my grandmother, were saying he should just give in and surrender.

His response to those who said he should "give up" was this. He said imagine you were on the basketball team. Imagine you were playing the most amazing season you could imagine. The teams were great , the games exciting. and every game you executed perfectly, continuing an undefeated record. And now you were in the play offs, the last game of this dream season. But this game did not go as you wished. Things did not come together as you would have planned. You are down 30 points with only 2 minutes left in the game. So what do you do? Do you quit? Do you set the ball down and walk off the court with your head down? Or do you stand tall and finish the game? Do you go out there with your head high and play the best 2 minutes of basketball you have ever played in your entire life. He knew his game was coming to the end. But, he said, "I will not walk off this court until the game is over. As God is my witness, I will fight this game until the buzzer sounds". And he did. He never once lost his fight.

"We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell."
~Lance Armstrong

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
--2 Timothy 4:7-8

"I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me."
--Philippians 4:13

I believe we were created to be challenged, and to fight. I also believe we were created to be victorious, and achieve great things.

"We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We are knocked down, but never destroyed."
-- 2 Corinthians 4:8,9



Lisa Slonecker said...

Things will turn around--keep the faith. We feel your pain and know your suffering. Try to take it one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time.

Our prayers are being lifted up for all of you.


deyerles said...

Dear Kyle,

In this game Tyler is winning. The last official count I believe was Tyler 2, Cancer 0.
I know this game is the hardest you have ever watched but it's Tyler's game and he has it under control.
I know it hard to cheer from the sidelines but that's your job this time around and you are doing awesome!
The game is far from over but I feel certain Tyler won't quit the fight either. You and Kathy have equiped him with all he needs to win. Faith, strength and determination!


Mom said...


In all you are going through you still comfort us all. I just love reading your blog. It is what keeps your Dad and me going each day. Thank you for being the man you are and a most remarkable son.

Your story about my father, your grandfather brought happy tears. He was our inspiration and strength - the greatest of men. We are so blessed. As Debbie said "the wisest man she has ever known." I think we all agree with that statement.

The inspiration, vision and love of life Daddy gave us continues in you, Kyle, you are so much like the grandfather you adore so much. He left you with the strength and faith to Fight this Fight with dignity and strength for Tyler.

You are making him so proud - his strength, courage, and message lives on in you.

Thank you for honoring him in your blog.


Love you so much, Kyle,


The Saponaros said...

We are praying for you and focusing on the healing work of God. Stay strong...we love you all and pray for your strength and you can best take care of Tyler.

All our Love,
The Saponaros

Lauren K. said...

Hello. You do not know me, but you might know my father, Larry Kuhn. You actually sold us our house in 1995 or 1994, I don't remember. I have never talked to Tyler nor have I even met him, but his story breaks my heart. I just lost my grandfather to cancer on the 17th of this month and it's always a difficult road to go down, no matter how curable the cancer is or not (granted, my grandfather had just turned 80... He had lived his life and God thought it was his time to go). I know Tyler has the strength to fight, I can tell by the way you talk about him. He is definitely in my thoughts and prayers.

Kyle Alfriend said...

Hello Lauren-

Yes, I did sell your family your home. I do know your father. And you mother. I believe I have been paintballing a few times with your brother.

I am very sorry to hear about your grandfather. Both of my grandfathers were in their 80's when I lost them. It is never easy.

You are correct. Tyler is very strong. This is an increasingly hard journey. Tyler very much appreciates your prayers and thought.

Thank you,