Those of us that know Dylan Carpenter have watched this incredible human being grow from a kid who was always mature beyond his years to the teenager he is now. His keen sense of mischief, strong wit and a sly smile have always been trademarks of his very big personality. One who knows him cannot blame this on the teenage years. He loves a good challenge and is a fierce competitor whether he is gaming, playing cards or wagering on a bet. When presented with the choice of a cell phone or a pet pig, he chose the pig! For those of you who have come to know Dylan in the last couple of years, you also know how hard it has been for him and his family. Despite it all he has taught us all what strength and courage means and continues to do so.
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.
This of course means that all “normal” life has been suspended again. Many of you know that both Mimi and Steven are self-employed. Pauses in their work life mean handing the reigns over to staff to manage as they can while Mimi & Steven deal with what is really important. Doing this, along and countless trips back and forth to Boston, copay’s and all the other unseen expenses that go along with dropping everything will once again put a financial strain on this amazing family at a time when they have enough to worry about. We are asking you to help these beautiful souls who do so much for those around them.