April 27: A reason to ride – Tyson Breuer’s story

Pedal the Pinery
10 a.m. – Pinery Provincial Park
Canadian Cancer Society fundraiser. Ride and Stride 1 p.m. Ride 20 km, walk 8 km. Kiddy walk/ride 1.5 km. Pledge forms available from Peggy Smith at 519-296-5834.

Tyson Breuer’s life changed during a short trip to Grand Bend’s Movie Gallery in June 2006. His seatbelt was scratching his neck, and Tyson reached up to discover a sizeable lump on his collarbone. He was misdiagnosed with a terminal form of cancer (a form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma), but then rediagnosed weeks later with a treatable form of classical Hodgkins lymphoma. Treatment started in August.
“A lot of people don’t know what radiation and chemotherapy involve,” he says. “Chemo is a drip that you get through an IV, and it’s a long drip. You’re in there for five hours minimum; eight hours was normal for me, but others are there for two days.
“You’re taken into a chemo suite that smells like new plastic. You’re sitting in this room with tons of really sick people. It’s not a great spot to be in.”
“It messes with your head. Every day after chemo, I would think about out the best way to kill myself so that no one would find my body. That’s the kind of thing I did every day.”
Chemotherapy was once every two weeks for six months. Following that, Tyson had a month off before 25 doses of radiation.
“Radiation for me was the easiest thing. It depends on the person. The radiation hit my breastbone, my heart, my lungs. I had a raspy cough and a sore throat. Those are all of the side effects I had. Some men who have prostate cancer end up with problems with their GI tract and urinating.”
The 20-year-old has now been in remission for a year, but he takes nothing for granted.
“You always have to be cautious. Any time you wake up with a night sweat or something unusual with your health, you get concerned. You have to deal with that kind of stuff on a daily basis. It’s not something you can easily forget.
“I wish I could say I learned not to be angry or that everything’s precious. I still worry about school, getting a job, relationships and all that crap. I still have those kinds of issues. What I’ve learned is my parents and my sister will always be there for me no matter what.”
The family has taken part in the Pinery ride for years, and you can join them April 27.