We recently chatted with Marlene about her son’s cancer journey. Read this story to learn about his diagnosis and treatment and resources that helped her family along the way.
Tyler had been living in California for a year with no asthma problems, but two years later, he started to have breathing problems. He assumed this was his asthma acting up and decided to make an appointment to get it checked out. A week before the appointment, Tyler was trying to sleep but struggled to breathe, which led to not being able to breathe. He decided he couldn’t wait any longer and went to the ER.
While at the ER, he disclosed he’d been having back pain as well. This led the doctors to order him an X-ray, and they then found a large mass. When Tyler would sleep, he would lay down on a certain side, and the mass would crush his lungs and heart, making it hard to breathe and have back pain.
This concluded his diagnosis to be Lymphoma.
Marlene received a call on December 4th, 2011, at 5 am. It was Tyler telling her what happened.
Tyler went through an eight-week chemo treatment. He had to do treatment in California because of his insurance, even though his support system was in Nebraska. His insurance was too good to walk away from to go to Nebraska. Tyler’s mom, Marlene, wanted to be with Tyler every step of the way, so she worked from California while he was going through treatment. Jim, Tyler’s dad, came to California whenever possible. Leigh, Tyler’s sister, was going to KU for medical school studying nutrition at the time. While Tyler was going through treatment, Leigh came up with a special diet for him to build his immune system. She made him meals every day to help him stick to this plan.
Tyler only made it through 6 weeks of chemotherapy treatment when he got pneumonia and had a severely weakened immune system. He then was in the hospital getting treatment for 36 months, receiving IVs at home and was on many antibiotics.
Through this time, Tyler, his girlfriend (now wife), and sister created a blog to document his cancer journey. Click the link to visit his website!
Tyler has now been in remission for 8 years and participates in a cycling fundraising event for cancer in California. The community sponsors participants and the event is sponsored by the San Diego Padres.
The family has one grandmother that had bone cancer at 80 years old and a grandfather with bladder cancer at 80 years old likely caused by smoking. Other than that, there was no knowledge of cancer running in the family at a young age. Marlene and the rest of the family were completely shocked by Tyler’s diagnosis.
Learning About HCF
Marlene discovered HCF through a morning radio announcement by Jack Mitchell on KLIN 1400. “We are so happy for what HCF does for the community,” says Marlene.
Marlene said she doesn’t know what they would have done if they couldn’t afford treatment or didn’t have each other. A support system is a huge part of a cancer journey.