"Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win." - Sun Tzu
Tales from the Front Line
This page contains stories from Chuck's battle against Cancer. All of them were written by Chuck or included at his request. The most recent stories are shown at the top of the page. Check back regularly for new stories.
Napping on the Job | The Bear | Saint Peregrine | Lost in the Hospital
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Unexpected Doze (Chemotherapy Round 5)
After napping through a session of chemo, I was awakened by the nurse who let me know I was done for the day. I went downstairs to the lobby, but still felt a little tired. So I sat in one of the reclining chairs they have there to rest for a minute, and immediately fell asleep. I woke up to find I had been asleep for three hours.
The Bear - (Chemotherapy Round 3)
Heather Doyle and her family stopped in Virginia for a visit late in June during their wirlwind summer camping adventure. While they were there, the boys, Daniel and Brennan, gave Chuck a Teddy Bear named "DC" that they had created for him at the Build-A-Bear Workshop. Brennan also told Chuck why he no longer has hair. It seems that Chuck's body needs the hair to use as swords to fight the bad stuff. "Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear..."
Saint Peregrin - (Chemotherapy Round 3)
My neice, Heather Doyle, lives on a street named Peregrine. She recently learned that Saint Peregrine is the patron saint of cancer patients. She searched for and found a Saint Peregrine medal which she had blessed and sent to me. I now wear Heather's Saint Peregrine Medal every day.
Lost in the Hospital - (Chemotherapy Round 2)
As I was being checked out of the hospital after Round 2 of chemo, a volunteer rolled me in my wheelchair to the elevator so I could go get a shot at the Cancer Center. Krista and my sister Louise preferred to take the escalator down, not knowing I was being taken directly to the Center via a different route. When I arrived there, Krista and Louise, who had the prescription for the injection, weren't anywhere to be found. They realized eventually I wasn't coming out of the elevator where they were waiting, and made their way to the Cancer Center. Yes, you can lose someone in a hospital. Of course, I wasn't the one who was lost!
Shedding Like a Sheepdog - (Chemotherapy Round 1)
Earlier this week, I was shedding like a sheep dog. Today, I took a shower and washed my hair. When I was done there was more hair in the drain than on my head. Unfortunately, the only hair that is staying on my head are the gray ones. I guess this means the chemo is working. Hopefully, now that my WBC are back to normal, I can visit the barber.
Brennan's Prescription - (Chemotherapy Round 1)
When Chuck's Grand-Nephew Brennan Doyle found out that Chuck was ill, he recommended a novel prescription for a quick recovery. Brennan said that Chuck should have some Sweet Tart candies because they make boo-boos go away.
Daniel's Wish - (Chemotherapy Round 1)
Daniel Doyle, another of Chuck's Grand-Nephews, heard his Uncle Chuck was sick. A few weeks after Daniel's recent birthday party, his Mom, Heather, mentioned Uncle Chuck was getting better in the hospital. Daniel proudly announced that his Birthday Wish came true. When asked what his wish was, Daniel said since he has everything he needs, his Birthday Wish was for Uncle Chuck to get better.
The "Field Marshall" Nurse - (Chemotherapy Round 1)
An evening shift nurse demanded that I drink more liquids and threatened me with a catheter if I didn't. The next person in the room took my blood pressure and noted that it was up 20 points! I obeyed my orders and drank and drank. By the next evening I was having trouble breathing and talking at the same time. By the third evening, breathing was difficult whether talking or not. An X-ray was taken and I was given oxygen. The diagnosis was fluid in the lungs which was eventually flushed out with shots of Lasix (a diuretic given to help reduce the amount of water in the body). Even though the fluid in the lungs probably wasn't caused by drinking lots of water, I can't wait to see that Field Marshall Nurse again to tease her about trying to drown me!
Just How Toxic is Chemo? - (Chemotherapy Round 1)
I realized how very toxic is the chemo when the nurse disposed of the first empty bag only after donning a chemical smock and a pair of heavy rubber gloves. This nurse didn't want to touch what was being put inside me. This stuff had better work!
The story of this new chapter in my life begins in the kitchen - the most important room in any house.
Steve and Paula came to town for a weekend visit in February. Krista and her boyfriend, Dr. Keith Schreffler, came over for a family dinner when Keith, being an observant chiropractor, noticed my difficulty transitioning from sitting to walking and offered to help me manage my pain.
In March I made an appointment to visit Keith in his office. During his thorough exam, Keith noticed a lump in my left thigh and sent me for MRI. After many X-rays, MRI's, CAT Scans and a full body bone scan (it seemed like I saw a doctor every week), a biopsy was finally performed at the Washington Cancer Institute. The diagnosis of "Soft Tissue Sarcoma" was confirmed by one of my oncologists on Tuesday, April 11th, 2006.
I now have the chance to fight... All because a chiropractor thought outside of the box.
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