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Ted Kalisz's NHL Fight
Aug 2, 2018
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. You will see links on this site to donate in support of CaringBridge. Please know these are not solicitations of support for Ted. They are for the company that hosts this page and are solicitations of general support for their expenses offering these free sites for people like Ted. :-) Any funds donated do not go to Ted, but to CaringBridge.
If you know Ted, you know he loves motorcycles. He's had many over the years and enjoys riding with his wife, son, friends and other family. He also commutes to work on one of his motorcycles as much of the year as possible (basically, as long as there isn't rain, snow, ice or temps below 40). Die-hard! Well, one morning in June 2014 on his way to work on his Harley Davidson Ted's front tire slipped in a narrow pothole and he was thrown off his bike hard to the pavement and went rolling into a gas station parking lot (luckily not into other traffic lanes). He remained conscious and says he went one way, and watched his bike keep rolling down the road without him. :-( Ted was taken to the emergency room and treated for a head wound, road rash and 7 broken ribs among other injuries. While scanning for injuries there were some abnormalities found. Long story short: Ted was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma - Follicular. NHL for short. Ted calls it his "Hockey Puck" cancer. And if you are to get a cancer, this is the one to get. It's a non-aggressive cancer that isn't treated immediately. To explain it in layman's terms, it has to be awake to fight it. So while it is 'sleeping' the treatments are ineffective. When it wakes up, the fight begins but since it's a non-aggressive form it's slow growing and easy to fight. In order to get a baseline, Ted had to endure lots of tests, including a very painful bone marrow tap. When all tests proved that the NHL was 'sleeping' Ted was sent home to heal from the motorcycle accident injuries. And everyone thanked God for this strange blessing in disguise. Without the accident, the NHL would not have been discovered this soon. For the last 4 years Ted has been doing regular check in's with his doctors and oncologist to check on his "Hockey Puck" cancer. All tests have proved that it's still dormant.
In Spring 2018 Ted developed a cough and was diagnosed with Bronchitis and given a round of antibiotics. Ted also lost his appetite and labout 20 pounds in a few weeks. After another few weeks the cough wasn't going away and he had increased fatigue and his appetite hadn't returned. More weight loss (which Ted was okay with, lol). Then came some night sweats and continued fatigue. And a steadily increasing resting heart rate (Thank you Fitbit!!!!). When your resting heart rate goes from mid-60's to mid-90's in less than 2 months, it's not normal. After lots and lots and lots of nagging from Wendy, Ted scheduled an off-cycle visit to his oncologist. Initially there wasn't much concern but with some persistence and additional testing, it seemed his non-aggressive follicular lymphoma had awoken from it's long sleep and become active. Before a treatment plan could be detailed and set into place, this cancer decided to take on a new path. Ted had lost nearly 40 pounds, was extremely fatigued, still had night sweats and now had swelling of one leg from toe to hip. A PET scan determined there were some new hot spots or masses in his lymph nodes and abdomen. But nothing was stopping him from doing a boys weekend to Kentucky on the motorcycles July 13-15th. Upon returning from the Kentucky Bourbon Tour, the swelling seems to get worse. But that wasn't keeping Ted from working the next week leading up to an annual trip to Castle Rock Lake boating with friends. The oncologist had other ideas and scheduled a surgical biopsy on one of the masses found on his PET scan two days before the trip. Ted still went on the trip but no swimming, no boating, just lots of rest and relaxation with a pretty view. :-)
Ted and Wendy left the lake early to get the biopsy results. On Friday July 27th they learned this non-aggressive follicular had developed into Large B-Cell Lymphoma that needed a more aggressive form of treatment: chemo. But he was going to be submitted for a clinical trial at Northwestern that was a combined treatment for his original cancer and the newly developed b-cell. If that didn't work out, a traditional chemo program would be set up at local hospital. Before a follow up appointment and treatment plan could be finalized, Ted's fatigue rapidly increased and he was rushed to the emergency room on Monday July 30th with intense pain in his lips, teeth, ears and head that he rated a 10 on the scale. He was admitted and further testing of his biopsy tissue and a spinal tap determined his B-Cell Lymphoma is a"Triple-Hit". This means the chemo treatment will be much more intense and with very heavy drugs. It's going to be hard on Ted.
Chemo was started today, August 1st, and will continue for several months. Outlook is good because Ted is young and otherwise heathy. He's going to beat this!
As you can imagine, is wife Wendy is overwhelmed with this very rapid change of plans and caring for Ted, the house and dogs, paperwork for insurance and leaves related to their jobs, etc. I've set up this site to provide regular updates to everyone and remove the communication burden from Wendy. Please follow this site and you will be notified of updates which I promise will be often! You can leave messages for Ted and Wendy to see and please know how much they appreciate your support. Thanks for allowing Wendy this time to focus on Ted, and giving Ted the time to focus on the fight. Prayers are always welcome. Thanks for visiting and keep praying!