Boosting Caitlin’s spirits is job 1

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Five Questions for Dan Lyle

I recently learned our family friend Caitlin Lyle, was diagnosed with leukemia. It was a big shock to all of us. We’ve known Caitlin’s family for years through soccer. In fact, Caitlin was a three-year starter on the Troy High girls soccer team. She was in great shape and heading to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo when she got her news. So being a dad, I wanted to know how her dad Dan was handling it all and keeping his daughter’s spirits up. Here’s five questions I asked him:

What were your first thoughts as a dad when hearing about Caitlin’s diagnoses?
Honestly, the first thing through mind after disbelief is complete and total fear of losing her. I was just heading out to Trent’s All Star practice when we got the call from the doctor saying it was leukemia and she needed to check in that night. I took him while Kilty stayed home with Caitlin to get her packed and let people know what was happening. I was like a zombie at practice, wishing it was me instead of her. After we got her in her room Kilty and were walking to my car to get her overnight bag and we both looked at each other and said how did we get here?

What have you done to help her?
I spend time with her every day. I work until noon then go straight to the hospital (Kaiser Permanente in Anaheim) with lunch or whatever she wants and we hang out, play games, learn Italian on Rosetta Stone, or just talk. Even though Caitlin and I have always been close the time we’ve spent together during this has made us even closer. Kilty or I take turns spending the night with her, she’s not spent a night alone in the hospital and I want to keep it that way unless she asks for it.

Tell me how her spirits have been throughout this?
Her spirits amaze me. She truly has been an inspiration to both Kilty and I and all of our friends. She’s become friends with the nurses and others on the floor, they love coming in to her room and seeing all of the things she has and just being with her. For 17 we couldn’t have asked for a better attitude during this, it’s been incredible. We’ve both told her she can accomplish anything in life after this, she’s beating this and will move on to conquer whatever she chooses in life.

Has this changed her outlook on life?
I would say yes, she knows now not to take anything for granted. All of her friends are heading off to college while she’s stuck in the hospital, so when she gets out and heads to college I believe she’ll take advantage of every moment.

When do you think she will be fully recovered?
We hope 6 months to a year, but it all depends on how the treatments go. She finished her second round of chemo on 8/22 and is now on day 17 of this hospital stay waiting for her counts to come up enough to come home for another week. Her first stay lasted 37 days so we anticipate somewhere around that for this stay and the next 2. She will get 4-6 rounds of chemo, each with the month plus stay in the hospital. The great news is before starting the second round her bone marrow showed less than 1% of cancer cells, so the chemo is working.



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