In February of 2014 Dylan was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). His treatment spanned forty grueling weeks of chemotherapy, radiation and a complete suspension of “normal life”. At the end of this all, Dylan was “cancer free”.
Jump to one year post port removal; life began to return to normal. Dylan has matured into a teenager with a growing vinyl LP collection (analog is way cooler than digital), he managed to transition from being Mr. Tea Steeper into a hardcore Starbuck’s fan, travels to see home school friends, works with his father on job sites, is learning to play and rock out on guitar, and is finally looking forward to getting his learner’s permit so he can legally drive his amazing VW Dune Buggy (His Make-a-Wish project, now almost complete). So while Dylan was starting to settle into a life without the frequent trips to Boston for treatment and the fears, worries and anxieties that come with it, similarly, Mimi & Steven, and Dylan’s brother Deven, were also somewhat, slowly, finally starting to let down their guard and able to focus on normal life again and picking up where they left off in early 2014.
On Friday, April 8, 2016, life changed again. At a routine 3 month follow-up, the MRI scan found that the cancer had returned. When the news came, Dylan was out with a friend, and Mimi and Steven were faced with the unthinkable task of giving him the news. When Dylan was told, he did not get angry, he did not recall the countless sleepless and miserable nights of his yearlong treatment, he simply said,
“I can do it. As long as it is not terminal, I can do it. Can you call the doctor and ask if it is terminal?”
No hesitation, no shying away, no denial. He faced it head on in typical Carpenter fashion. Tell me what I am up against, and I can do it. This is Dylan. He is brave and tough. And he is going to kick this cancer’s ass! Again!
After recovering from the initial shock and the scary dark places one goes when you hear of cancer recurring, there are “bright spots”. The tumor is smaller than before. Surgery may be an option. All tests have confirmed that the tumor is localized and is not anywhere else in his body. He has an amazing medical team that knows him and clearly care for him as more than a patient, and there is a plan in place.
Dylan had surgery on Friday 4/15/16 to have his port put back in and got his first round of chemo. He will have weekly chemo for 36 weeks straight with no breaks unless there is a pause for surgery.