Move Me Monday Storyteller: Kyle Riddle
Thank you Kyle for sharing your story with us, and for sponsoring #MoveMeMonday this Monday!
1. Tell us about yourself Hi, Everyone! My name is Kyle Riddle. I'm 34, short, mostly bald, have one testicle, and live in the great state of Indiana with my 7 housemates: Johanna (33, beautiful wife), Kellen (5, son), Brooks (3, son), Connor (1, son), Baby Girl Riddle (fetus, soon-to-be daughter), Journey (8, dog), and Murphy (7, dog). I grew up in Worthington, Ohio with my parents and three sisters. I like to: spend time with my family, run, fish, drink beer, swim, canoe, do anything outside, and day dream about my next trip to Quetico Provincial Park. I have known Kyle and Laura Daniel since elementary/middle school.
2. When did your fight with cancer start? 5 years ago, exactly. After about a month of sleepless nights due to lower abdominal pain, inability to exercise, and a few mis-interpreted ultra sounds and CAT scans, I started talking about everything with my best friend, Todd Van Dyke. He insisted that I upload my medical files and scan images to his work sharefile so he could send everything to his Dad, who is a radiologist and a great man. I got an early wake-up call from Todd on Saturday morning, October 23, 2010. He asked if I had spoken with his Dad yet. I said no. And Todd told me to call him - immediately. Dr. Jerry very reluctantly and gently broke the news of stage 2 testicular cancer and immediately referred me to his colleagues at the world-renowned Indiana University Simon Cancer Center (IU Simon Cancer Center). I was very fortunate in that IU Cancer Center is only a few blocks from my office and one of my best friends, Dr. Kevin Stockmaster, worked there as an anesthesiologist. So I banked some sperm (Brooks is the only one not conceived the old-fashioned way), had a testicle removed, and started chemo five years ago this week on Monday, November 8th, 2010. Then had post-chemo surgery in February, 2011, to remove some abdominal lymph nodes. Now I get check-ups every six months and will be 5-years cancer free in February, 2016.
3. How has your experience with cancer impacted you? First: I learned that the human body is very sensitive, but very resilient. Listen to it. Care for it. Respect it. And don't ignore it when it's trying to tell you that something is wrong. No one is too busy to take care of their body/mind.
Second: I learned that you, yourself, are the biggest/best advocate for your own health. We're very fortunate to live in a country with world-class healthcare, doctors, nurses, and medicine. But no one cares more about you and your medical needs/care as much as you and your family. Don't accept average care; demand world-class care.
Third: Ask. Just ask. Everyone is afraid to ask or to say the C-word. I learned that if you know someone who is battling cancer or a disease, don't be afraid to ask them or their friends/family how they are doing. I remember when Kyle's Mom, Linda, was battling cancer back in high school. I was afraid to ask Kyle about his Mom or about how he was doing because I knew nothing about cancer or chemo or radiation - or that just asking could mean so much. My experience helped me realize that a simple, non-intrusive question can mean a lot to a cancer patient or family member.
4. How you MoveMe. Johanna and I run almost every day. My runs during the week are during my lunch break around downtown Indy. On the weekends, I push the stroller while Johanna holds the dogs' leash. Our friends and neighbors think we're crazy when we run down the trail with 3.5 kids and 2 dogs, but running joins us together as a family, keeps us physically/mentally fit, and helps us stay in tune with our bodies.