It has been more than a month since my last blog post, and 8 weeks now since our journey down this path to restore Paul’s health began. In that time, Paul had a second brain biopsy, when much of one of his tumors was removed–giving us a complete diagnosis: he has CNS (Central Nervous System) non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Since then, he’s undergone the first round of chemotherapy, and just this week we received some good news: the remaining tumors have been reduced! We start the second round of chemo next week, and we look forward to further steps in the right direction.
In the intervening weeks we have crossed many things off our collective summer calendar, including work travel; a 4th of July trip to Washington D.C. to see the Foo Fighters; the Beer Bloggers Conference going on right now in Asheville, NC; a family reunion. Our son Matt had his high school graduation party. All these things have passed Paul by–but his job right now is to recover from this brutal illness, and all my attention goes to supporting him in this battle.
I cannot thank #TeamDeLuca enough for the messages on social media, the cards, texts, favors, companionship, visits, lunches, dinners, small kindnesses and strong shoulders. Several of our friends are doing cancer research fundraising with contributions being made in Paul’s name. If you are moved to donate, we are very appreciative. They include:
John Anderson, WKYC morning news anchor and fellow Team in Training-rider, who is participating in VeloSano, the Cleveland Clinic fundraiser for cancer research;
Greg Noble, a friend and regular at Chardon BrewWorks, is raising money by running in the Kentucky Bourbon Trail for LLS;
Charley Bowman, another friend and TNTer, who is riding in the Tour de Ohio II for LLS;
and Meaghan Diffenderfer, lifelong friend of our daughter Ali, who is participating in the Light the Night Walk for LLS this fall.
I am including a picture here of my Superman–it may be shocking to see, but believe me when I say that Paul looks much-improved in this photo over what he looked like a few short weeks ago. The bruising on his face and neck is from the surgery. He’s working hard, getting stronger every day, doing physical and occupational therapy to combat the effects of this terrible disease. Because this is in his brain, many other systems are compromised. His memory is still affected as well.
The doctors, nurses, and all the staff at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center have been phenomenal in their caring for Paul–I feel so fortunate that we have this resource in Northeast Ohio. Many who are here on these floors come from much farther away than we live, and the hardships their family face to be here and spend time with their loved ones are huge.
While we have missed much in the wake of this diagnosis–what we have gained is the knowledge that we are supported and loved by SO MANY around us, near and far, and I cannot tell you how much that means to Paul and me. Thank you, a thousand times over, thank you. As Five for Fighting says: Even heroes have the right to bleed.