Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Well, you'd better sit for this one

(Yeah, it's that bad.)

I went to my oncologist's, Dr. G, on Monday, 11 January 2010.

There's no good way to spin this, so here it is:

1. Dr. G told me that the chemotherapy is not working and isn't even slowing the cancer down.

2. my lungs and liver are starting to fail.

3. I have roughly two months to live.

Yes, you read that last one correctly - "two months".

If, by now you are thinking that I'm being pretty brave about all of this, that's because you aren't here watching the streams of tears flowing out of my eyes.

Obviously this isn't what I wanted; I was hoping for another two decades but this isn't going to happen.

Please feel free to drop by and see me (or call) in the next two months. Please check-up on my wife and son from time to time. Finally, Marjorie and Kyle will be hosting a wake for me some time around my 47th birthday, 5 September 2010. Mark your calendars.

29 comments:

jpk said...

I was standing, it was a bad idea. I will figure out a time in the next month or so to come up and juggle if you like. You're in my thoughts and I'm going over all the stories in my mind...I've seen both the up and down of the sine curve today.

Anonymous said...

Doug:
I am real sorry! I have kept up with you via this blog. You have dealt with the stuggle very well. Hang in there!

Rob Bird

Anonymous said...

On the contrary Doug, you have dealt with this crisis with grace, dignity and BRAVERY since Day 1. You have always been and will always be a class act. Everyone who knows and loves you has cried for you and with you throughout the last two years.

Jimmy

Anonymous said...

Doug, Last night I read this post over and over again. It has taken several hours to find some words to leave you a message. I admire you and I appreciate you...for more reasons than can be listed here. I will call you in the next couple of days to see when you would like a visitor. In the meantime all of my thoughts and prayers are with your family.

Michelle Trimble (and family)

Anonymous said...

Doug - You and your family have been in our prayers since I first heard of your cancer. I have laughed and cried reading your blog. I fondly remember that year we all lived in the same house while Neil, Jim, and I were TDY in D.C.

You are my hero. I believe your son will read your blog some day and he will hope to be as witty, caring, and wonderful as his dad.
Tracie & Neil Crowder

DrewAskew said...

I never knew how old you were until just now. I told my wife a few nights ago I never knew how old you were back in college. And I told her I didn't want to know. That way you would always be to me, the ageless one. The least likely to pick up of a line-up to say "He was in a circus.". You always stood out by not looking like you would stand out. To me you will always be Slack Doug, on the slack wire, practicing his juggling in a knee brace. The bearded wonder. If I recall correctly you got out of circus never having to put on tights. At 260 lbs, I had to wear tights. I never got to meet Doug the father, Doug the husband, and sadly, Doug the cancer patient. But I know the man. Over the last month we talked three times and a decade of being out of touch vanished. I got to live your life through the words written on this blog, the photos of your family, and our handful of brief chats on the phone . I loved receiving your “butt dial” this week. My mind raced when I picked up and heard nothing but movement. My thoughts went from the horribly tragic, to the sublimely ridiculous as I imagined your son running around with your cell phone. It was with that last thought that we spoke the other day and you told me your news that cushioned my soul reading it here, but has still shaken me to my core. And now I read you are only 8 years my senior. I still wish I didn’t know. There is such tranquility and innocence in simple ignorance. You will taken from us not because of age, but for no fault at all. The randomness of life that makes us smile and cry. It gives us our humanity and our grace, but it also gives life to the hideous like Frank, and it gave us the ability personify this faceless evil with your humor and grace. It was more than 10 years ago when I saw you last in person. You didn’t change much during our first period of absence, and since you have become a loving father and husband. Your body may have turned on you, but your mind, heart and soul are still the ageless, bearded wonder that is Slack Doug. And in my mind you will live beyond your too short time on this Earth, as you will in the minds and hearts of everyone you’ve met, and the thousands that have read your brave words, which if inspire people to fend off their own “Franks”. You will live forever in the soul and in the eyes of your son, and the heart of your wife.
I was going to send this just to you. But I want even the faceless names to see that you have meant allot to me in the last year, and your strength will change the way I live my life. The screenwriter Ben Hecht once wrote, “Time is a circus, always packing up and moving away.” Your time was too short, and you packed allot into it way before Frank came along, and you shared your humanity and mortality with us. You will be remembered by some for your grace in adversity. I will always remember you as Slack Doug, juggling in a knee brace, quick with a joke. I will miss you, Doug. I will cry as I am right now. But after that good last cry, I will always smile when I think about you.
Doug Lynch, you are my friend and I love you.

Emilie said...

Hi, Doug,
You don't know me and I came across your blog as I was randomly flipping through. I think I may have an idea of what you're going through. You see, I have stage 4 breast cancer, triple negative, to be exact, one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer. I am 38 years old and have two young kids. I cry virtually everyday thinking about leaving them. I am running out of treatment options. I have tried to write a memoir of sorts for my children, so they may know me as they grow older. I plan on writing them letters in the next month. I pray for you.

Michelle said...

Doug,

There isn't much I can say that Andrew didn't already cover in his letter below. You have touched us in ways you'll never fully know. The realization that you have to make every single minute count, there are no guarantees.

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

You take my breath away, Doug. You are brave and beautiful and bold. This is how we will remember you. And we will remember you forever.

Michelle and Andrew Lopresti

Jugglegeek said...

That's horrible news Doug, but look on the bright side: at least you'll never have to do taxes again! =)

I hope that you've got some laughs left in you, and I hope to see you soon. =)

Cheers!
Big Chris

Anonymous said...

I have no idea what to write or what to say. I was telling my wife today about how dependable you always were and are as a friend. If any of us ever needed any help you were always the first to offer. You were the friend to us that many of us wish we were in return. Thank you. I also enjoyed seeing proud father in you, showing the picture of your son from the newspaper. He is a lucky boy to be your son and I am sure you have instilled in him, all of your great atributes! I'm not sure if your up to coming or even want to. But, I know you always liked Anthony Gatto's juggling. He works at La Nouba now and you and your family are always my guest there and I'm sure he would be honored to pass clubs with you. Now I'm tearing up. Love you my friend. Rob D.

Christy said...

Hi Doug,

I learned about your condition and this blog from Mark Turner. It's been many years since I saw you, and we never did know each other very well, but I did always admire you. From the comments here it sounds like you have maintained good humor and a great deal of courage and integrity. I hope you are able to find inspiration during the last phase of your life, knowing that you touched many people.
Christy Veal Lang

me said...

Doug,
I have never met you, talked with you via phone or email, I have only heard your name, and have now read about your life through your blog. I work on the USAC project with you, however I am in McLean, and despite the few times I have made it to Orlando, I never got the opportunity to meet with you.

Each of us are here in this world for a reason. Some people appear to have the “perfect” life, while others seem to struggle on a daily basis to find a reason to live. Your story, what I have heard about you from our co-workers paints a wonderful picture of both a daily struggle as well as a perfect life.

Up until recently, I too struggled with internal daemons, and like you I have chosen a path of staying positive and fighting the fight unsure of how the outcome will be. What I have seen in your writing, confirms that strength comes from within, and with the support of your family and friends, life does go on, and despite the ups and downs you have had to face, the outpouring of love from those close to you and those who hardly know you is overwhelming.

Marjorie’s postings while you were in the hospital were wonderful. I can see how much she loves you and the love that you too share only comes once in a lifetime. You were meant for each other, as was Kyle to be a part of your family. There is no doubt in my mind that you will be missed, but your memories, your passion, and your wonderful positive outlook and inspiration will be felt by both those who knew you, as well as those of us who only knew of you.

Thank you for all that you have done. Thank you for being on the “Watch Schedule” these last two weeks, and for sharing your journey with everyone. Believe it or not, you are an inspiration, a hero, and a wonderful example of how we need to be happy with the life we have been given, and to truly make sure that we live every day to its fullest.

You and your family will be in my heart, thoughts, and prayers. I wish you peace for as long as is needed. May your heart be full of laughter, may your friends and family support you and renew your strength, and may you know deep down that you were put in this world for a reason, and you will not leave a moment before you have fulfilled your purpose here with each of us.

-Christen Harris

David said...

Doug:

I will see you at Home Show my friend!

Dave aka Buddha

Anonymous said...

Doug, I learned about an hour ago of your fight with Frank. Thank you for spending the energy to share your story with all of us. Good role models are hard to find and you certainly are one. Two mental images I hold of you are one, pushing your son around the lot in the stroller at some past FSU Circus show and two, you and Rob juggling at that first house he lived in in North Orlando somewhere. Doug you have touched many lives and set a fine example for all. Thank you and I pray for you and yours.

Bob Dawson (the older one)

Anonymous said...

Doug
Thank you, thank you for so many things - for being our son Bryan's best friend from about age 1 through his 5th birthday, for sharing your arduous journey throughout your last 2 years - the highlights of your wonderful vacation in Hawaii with your very handsome and bright son Kyle and your caring wife Marjorie, and the really low times when experimental cures did not work. Your blog has shown the many facets of your unique personality - integrity, love, bravery, humor, optimism, your soft side, your toughness and through it all, your positive outlook.
Tears are streaming from my eyes too and son Bryan was stunned that someone so young and positive could possibly loose the struggle. Your personality and legacy will live on through your precious son Kyle. Our thoughts, prayers and love are with you always.
HelenAnn

Anonymous said...

Doug,
I'm so saddened to hear of your struggle. Thank you for sharing with the rest of us. I haven't seen you in years now, but you're still the first name to pop into my head when I think about gracious circus alumni. You made such an impact on us young performers with your effortless generosity, your enthusiasm for the show, and your seeming inability to tell people how much better the show was when you were in it. I know I'm far from alone in thinking this.
I will keep you in my thoughts, and if I get lucky enough to meet the circus out at a roadshow some day, and pick up the tab after a nice dinner with the students, I'll be thinking of you then as well. You're all class.

Jason Mooney

I-270, Exit 1 said...

Doug,
We've never met and I only learned of your struggle a short while ago. Your blog has helped me in my own fight against colon cancer.

I appreciate the humor with which you described your experiences and it is a strong example to all cancer patients. More importantly, you have given your son an example on how to deal with life's difficulties. He will learn this lesson and face the obstacles in his life with courage.

Shiv Prasad

Melissa said...

Doug...wow...I'm in awe of your strength in this tough time. You always made me smile when I saw you years ago and you make me smile now with your never ending humor. Keep that faith, prayers go out to your and your incredible family.

Melissa Cooney (aka Metzcar)

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I'm not going to get to juggle with you in person again, but I still have the clubs you gave me when you moved. It's nice to know that I'll still be juggling with you in spirit.

Seth Barclay

Patty Kilgo said...

I Can see your smile and hear your voice. Thank goodness that will always be with me. I love you my friend.

Michelle said...

Hi Doug -

I truly doubt you remember me, but I sure as heck remember you!!!! I learned of you v Frank from Michelle Lewis Trimble - she got me roped into Circus....

I was always in awe over the things you could do in Circus. (I was one who took Circus and got to ride a bike w/ 4 other gals and then get spun around on the rope as everyone else did really cool things.....but I enjoyed my time in the FSU Circus!!!)
ANYWAY - please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. You are an amazing person and after reading EVERYTHING (and I did read everything!) - you have only confirmed that amazing opinion!!! If there is something - anything that I can do to help you or your family - just mention it!!!! I'm truly at a loss for words - as people much more eloquent and better at putting words to screen have said everything - I just wanted to let you know that after reading - think the world of you and wish there was something we could do to help! Much Love -
Michelle Eisen Danker

Anonymous said...

Doug,

I'm so sorry to hear this news. Over the course of several homeshows, throughout the years, you always stood out among the many alumni that I met. You were always very gracious, easy to talk to, and just a model human being for everybody. You will be missed. God Bless.

Bob Todd

Brandi Givens said...

Doug,

I am so saddened to hear our your fight with Frank. Your blog is such a great diary of your experience since the diagnosis. This has been a learning tool for me and for many others. I have been thoroughly convinced by you to get my next colonoscopy sooner than later.
Even though I wasn't IN circus with you, I always felt I was. You were one of the most gracious alumni, always. You always helped us when we needed it, and were never condescending. Thanks for being such a great role model and leader. You are a stand up person! I will miss you.

Brandi

Anonymous said...

Doug,
there are simply no words to adequately describe the ache in my heart, as I sit with tears streaming down. I remember so many happy times- your smile and laugh will be forever etched onto my heart. Your blog has made me laugh, cry and remember some of the best years of my life... Circus. Reading the comments that have been posted, it is clear how loved you are and how much we will all miss you.

"People are like stained - glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in,
their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. "~ Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

You will always be a light that shines brightly in our hearts. We love you. Wishing you peace and love in your days ahead. Love, Nicole Hayes (Schoenfeld)

Anonymous said...

Doug,

I wanted to thank you for sharing some of your precious time with your old office buddies today. I cried all the way back to the office because you thanked us for being part of your life, when it should have been us thanking you.

I’m sure you don’t realize how much each of us followed your daily progress for the past two years on this blog. Every morning when I got up, I would fix coffee, creep in the dark to my office, startup my laptop, and check to see what Frank was up to. You made me laugh and you made me cry. You made me admire your dignity and joy for life. And I know I’m a better person for knowing you. Your work ethic, which was just an extension of your life ethic, taught me that kindness, patience, and humor go further than anger, frustration and bitterness ever will. Your love for your family has always taken precedence, and I hope that I can learn to be more like you. You are my role model and my hero.

Take care my friend,
Cindy Ferrell

Lisa said...

You handed me my first long island iced tea in tallahassee. I can not wrap my head around this. I love thinking about your smile when we shared "it could only happen to Lois" stories. You are an amazing friend and father. I love you! Big hugs and kisses to you family.

Lisa Munsen

Karen said...

Doug, Bless you and your family. I read thru the blog after learning of your struggle from Jimmy, Wes and Rick. I admire how you have shared everything...good, bad and ugly with your friends. You have some serious courage. I also admire the wit and humor. I will pray that your rounds of chemo will pay off and that you will be healed and cancer free. At the very least pain free. God speed young man!

Karen Hendriksen Smith
FSU Circus '85-'90

Shannon said...

Doug, I saw a link to your blog and followed. I wish I had someting glorious and positive to say, but all I have is heartfelt love for you, your wife, your son and all your family and friends. You are a brave man and you have fought well. You've touched many, and for that you will always live on in their hearts. My mother fought stage 4 pancreatic cancer last year, she left us for her final journey on July 18. I miss her every day, but I also remember her and make note to be sure my daughter will know her through those memories. After the pain and tears, you find the love and memories you will cherish forever.

Anonymous said...

Doug,

We were both on AFIS and...as brilliant as you are, I still remember the humor and frustration on your face as you tried that old trick of standing and rotating your right foot clockwise, then trying to rub your belly counter-clockwise.

Life is made up of these little memories...and you have given Majorie & Kyle a lifetime of them.

Namaste.