David’s Story

Site created on July 13, 2019

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Newest Update

Journal entry by Sarah Kline

Hello Friends,

Forgive the radio silence for the last couple weeks. It's been unbelievably busy around here and I've been in D.C. launching Oliver for the best part of the last week.

An update. David is five weeks post surgery and is slowly recovering from the trauma of this procedure. He's eating some, the cough has eased and the pain is slowly diminishing as expected. Anita, his ex, was with him while we were in D.C. and did a wonderful job of managing the house and providing comfort in our absence.

At this week's oncology appointment the doctor told him that the seemingly interminable recovery is to be expected and likened the surgery was "as traumatic to the body as two or three cardiac operations". The surgery and aftermath have been brutal but par for the course.

Because eight lymph nodes were cancerous, however, there's a better than even chance that the cancer will come back. Instead of more chemo (which was not effective earlier), the oncologist now wants to go directly to immunotherapy using Keytruda. This will begin in mid-September. The hope is that immunotherapy will mobilize the immune system to prevent a recurrence.

David and I will meet with the surgeon next week to follow up and further evaluate the progress of his recovery. I'm sure more tests and the like will happen in short order.

Anita and David had a wonderful week together, talking, processing, reminiscing, eating and supporting one another (and bingewatching Goliath).

I'm indebted to have such a spectacular ex in the picture and her wisdom and steady hand has proven invaluable to David and allowed me to have the strength to leave him so that I could properly launch Oliver in D.C.  Also invaluable was my brilliant compassionate Charlotte who was my comrade in arms as we shopped, set up Oliver's dorm, hopscotching around town chasing storage containers, protein bars and killer salads (Spoiler Alert: the restaurant chain Sweetgreen is a mindblower! Thanks, Dan, Julie and Polly for urging me to give it a go).

Speaking of Oliver, I'm happy to report that he is officially launched at GWU and happy as a bivalve in a city he's enamored with and he's paired up with a dream roommate, Frank (hailing from Hilton Head, South Carolina).

I thought that leaving him would be tortuous and I'd be a flailing, wailing, DEFCON Level One Parental Hot Mess but that wasn't the case. I was a little clingy and a touch teary, but with Charlotte by my side, (and bolstered with the fantastic visits I had with my sister Polly and her family as they passed through the city after launching their son Cooper at University of Richmond), I managed not to lose my cool or go bonkers on him. Most of all I think I was able to leave him there because he was ecstatic to be in his element and so excited about his new path. It's what we all live for as parents.

Thanks to all those who delivered treats in the form of flowers, granola, and other delights in my absence on our front porch or sent me an encouraging note I read on the run.

Sure we don't know the road ahead but our family has never been closer and I'm so grateful to all of you who are sending up prayers, and surrounding us with love. We are going to have many light and dark days ahead and your support is now, and will continue to be, invaluable to us.

Love the hell out of this weekend, peeps, and hugs from all of Team Klinestrong.
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