Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter on J-5

The most exciting thing I witnessed this Easter was the number of empty rooms on J-5. Many kids were strong enough to get out of here and get home for Easter. That is very exciting. We are still here, and there are others who have been here longer than us. Kylee is here as well, and she received a fantastic Easter gift....she received her very final chemo treatment this Easter morning. Wonderful news Kylee! It will be a while before she feels like celebrating, but it will be a great celebration.

Tyler is starting to improve. His ANC counts had been at zero, but today were up to 230. We need them at least at 1,000. The other counts are low, but are beginning to move up slowly. The best news is that Tyler has been able to fight off the infections. That has allowed his body to focus on battling the "standard" mouth sores, nausea, and the head, neck and ear pain. I know that sounds very sick of me to define that as "good news" or "standard", but that is the world of cancer. Everything is relative.

Travis left this morning on a senior trip, so we had our family Easter on Saturday. We really had a fantastic Easter dinner in the J-5 video room. Tyler had received his transfusion and was feeling better. His appetite was back and we had a great time. Dina (Kylee's mom) was able to join us, which is always fun.

A Day In The Life On J-5:
This morning Tyler was up early and feeling good. He woke me up and asked for a breakfast burrito from Wendy's. Getting out of the hospital after a couple of days sounded good, so I jumped off the sofa I sleep on, threw on some pants, and took off half asleep for Wendy's. The fresh air was nice, so I decided to walk. Cutting across the parking lot I started to get cold (I was in a tee shirt), so I stopped at my car and found a wrinkled overcoat in the trunk. I was still half asleep, but as the sun and cold air started to wake me up, I began to realize what I looked like. Unshaven, hair sticking up, wrinkled overcoat, holding my pants (I had forgotten to put on a belt). Standing on the corner of Livingstone and Parsons, I looked like was a Sunday morning wino from the Johnny Cash song. I don't know how many of you spend much time at Parsons and Livingston, but the intersection will never be featured in a city of Columbus tourism brochure. I suspect I was not an unusual sight for the area. As I crossed Parsons Avenue, there were two cars stopped at the light. They were both filled with people dressed in Easter Sunday church cloths. They just stared at me as I crossed the street in front of them. I stopped in front of the cars, gave them a giant smile, and did the thumbs up sign. One of the kids waived back, but his mom grabbed his hand and held it down. The others just stared. I was wondering if someone was going to give me a New Testament Bible and offer to buy me breakfast. But no one did, so I keep walking, But I suspect some prayed for "the homeless guy" when they got to church. I'm sure God still appreciates the prayers.

As it turns out the Wendy's does not serve breakfast, at least not on Parsons Avenue. So I trekked back, burritoless, to Children's...picking up a couple more stares, and maybe some prayers. Once inside the Hospital I ran into Dina heading to the cafeteria (it is impossible to go into public looking like that without seeing people you know). We both got a good laugh. A good Easter memory.

As I walked the halls on this Easter, looking in the empty rooms, a few random thoughts came to me. First was for all the kids who got to go home, and then for those who were not able. Please say a prayer today for our friends in various stages of their battles. Stef, Kylee, Jana, Sinjin, Nicolas, Olivia, Cameron, Colyn, Mason, Tristan, and the many others.

Then I thought about the families who have empty rooms in their homes, and empty chairs at Easter dinner. The families of Brett Workman, Rob Kemp, AJ Piniewski, Issac Lieser, Christian Barker, and so many others. Wonderful families, who today will spend their first Easter without their child who fought with such bravery and courage. Please keep them in your prayers.

And finally, I thought about today being the day of the empty tomb. The day that gives us our hope. The day that tells us there is a reason to fight. And a reason to win. The day that proves that everything can be conquered. The day that tells us there will be a day we receive the perfect cure. The day that tells us we will all reunite again.

And always remember the cure is at hand.
--Nik Sneed is one of the first Burkitt's survivors we heard from when Tyler was diagnosed. He is a 4 year survivor.
--Jana Sloanecker is Kylee's cousin. She recently celebrated 12 months of remission.
--Ross Romanesko is a 12 year Burkitt's survivor, and wrote the children's book, "I Had A Tumor, It Wasn't A Rumor".
--Weldon Diana is a 5 year Burkitt's survivor, and is currently pursuing medical school.

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

Fan into the flame the gift of God which is in you…for God did not give you a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, of self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:6-7

And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.
Ephesians 3:17-19

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


Anonymous said...

Kyle and Tyler,

I am continually amazed how so many things your Dad is experiencing are similar. Today's write-up about looking like he did brings my memories of the same, simply looking homeless as you run out for food. TCH is also not in a travel brochure area, and how many days I went for food and almost expecting to be offered change some simply due to how I looked. I guess thats what we all mean when we say our priorities are now straightened out, if they ever were messed up. We now know how fragile life, family and friends are. We know now that time is precious and praying for your team to win (while I am sure we still hope it), just doesn't cut it anymore. And you want to talk about stick up hair, you would really have to go some to beat mine, or at least whats left of it! Sounds like the ANC is coming up and hope you all get to head home soon....

AJs Dad

deyerles said...

Dear Tyler,

So glad to hear you are beginning to feel stronger. Hopefully the worst of this round is behind you. We are praying for your continued strength and healing.

Fight to Win!


P.S. You have two more supporters, my niece and nephew Sam and Rachel are now proud wearers of two of your bracelets!

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dina b. said...

As much as I don't wish for you guys to have to be here (on J5), it was very comforting to have you all around this past weekend! Easter dinner was awesome, so thank you very much for that!! Also, something as simple as just being able to get a cup of coffee with Kathy is nice, and she always cheers Kylee up when she drops in for a visit.

Tyler, we are going to keep praying for you and doing anything we can to help get you through the rest of your battle -- Score Card is impressive: 5-0!

Kyle, I enjoy reading your blog, as always, and especially love the Bible verses that you end with. They are words filled with hope and encouragement!

Mom said...


In many ways it seems strange to say that spending Easter on J-5 will be one of my most memorable Easter Sundays. But in fact being with the dedicated nurses, Kylee's mom, and of course your family was so very special. Tyler was not feeling well but he managed to join us for ham and trimmings.

In spite of the difficult situation everyone on J-5 was amazing, grateful, thankful and feeling very blessed. To say nothing of just having a great day with lots of love and laugher.

Tyler just amazes me. He is so bright, articulate and very perceptive. I agree he needs to take you clothes shopping. Hope you guys can do that before round 6.

Miss you guys,