Friends, the past couple of weeks have been yet another reminder that life turns on a dime. Ten years ago Paul and I experienced this phenomenon when our son Matt was initially diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 8. It turned out to be wrong–thankfully–and he’s since been able to cope with a disease that is not life-threatening. But there were quite a few weeks of uncertainty, and when we knew we had been spared what many are not, Paul and I decided that we needed to give back. That’s when we joined Team in Training to benefit the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. Paul completed three funding campaigns and 100-mile bike rides at Lake Tahoe (2006, 2007 & 2008)–I joined him for all three campaigns and one ride.
More recently, Paul had been experiencing serious, constant headaches, and then short-term memory loss. It came to a climax when he was traveling for business and woke up in another city not knowing where he was–you can imagine how scared I was for him when he called to ask me for help. Somehow my daughter Ali and I got him home safely on a wing and many prayers…and then immediately to the Emergency Department at University Hospitals of Cleveland. It was there we learned that he was dealing with several masses in his brain. Since then, doctors have been working on a diagnosis. The physicians at the Seidman Cancer Center are fairly certain we’re looking at a lymphoma, though there are a couple of tests left to give us a final determination. However, we’re headed back to Seidman today, and treatment is likely to start on Friday. (I would love another reprieve like we got with Matt, but that may be too much to ask for…however, I know miracles do happen.) If there’s anyone who has good karma coming his way, it’s Paul.
Meanwhile, some friends started a #TeamDeLuca meme wave on Facebook, and the photos have been lifting us up! If you feel moved to create some of your own, we’d be forever grateful. Remember that your life can change in the blink of an eye, and it’s too short to drink bad beer. To quote John Mellencamp, your life is now. So lift a glass and offer a hearty “Cheers,”–to Paul…his strength, determination to fight this, no matter what it turns out to be…and to all the friends and loved ones who are seeing us through another challenge in our life together. We couldn’t do it without you.
UPDATE: Paul ended up having a second biopsy to confirm the diagnosis and remove much of one of the tumors. He starts chemo the weekend of June 27th, after a period of some healing. We appreciate your continued thoughts and prayers. It’s a long road ahead but #TeamDeLuca is holding us up. Thank you!