Jarrod Lyle is back on the planet.
He can’t say he’s cured yet; he has only reached day 91 of the 100-day milestone since his stem cell transplant last December. But he has that 100-day watermark penned up on a calendar at the apartment he has been living in for several months, close to the Royal Melbourne Hospital by necessity, and there will doubtless be a celebration when it is ticked off next week.
It’s looking good for the Victorian professional, who was stricken with a third bout of leukemia in 2017, forcing a transplant from his brother Leighton on 6 December.
“The doctors are happy,’’ Lyle told Golf Australia’s Inside The Ropes podcast this week. “My doctor Jeff (Szer) came to me, we had a meeting with him probably five weeks ago and he said: ‘You actually made it look easier than it should have been’. And I tell you now, it wasn’t easy. I had days in there where it was absolutely brutal, where I could’ve just rolled over and given up.
“It’s been a fair old battle this time around. The chemo I had was the strongest chemo I’ve ever had, and it did things to me that I never thought you could do to a human body and still live. So I’ve come through the other side. I’m currently at about day 91 after my transplant and they want you to hang around the hospital to day 100. I’ll probably have to stay longer because I’m a tricky individual, being my third time around and they don’t really get to deal with people who are third time around.
“So there’s still a bit of unknown with me about how the cure is going to go, but I’m on the right track and heading in the right direction again.’’
Lyle, 36, is 20 kilograms below his playing weight and bald on top, the result of months of chemotherapy that smashed his immune system. But the graft of stem cells has taken 100 percent and all that is in front of him is to regain his strength and avoid fever and infections.
During the podcast he told of the day in January when he managed to walk the 100 metres or so from the Leukemia Foundation’s apartment in North Melbourne to the Queen Victoria Market for some meat and vegetable shopping.
“I texted Bri (wife Briony) and I said ‘I made it to the market’. She said: ‘Are you still alive?’ And I said: ‘Yep, I made it’.’’
Asked where he would be without his family – Briony and daughters Lusi and Jemma – Lyle said: “Probably in a coffin.’’
He also revealed that he is writing a book about his experiences, from his first battle with leukemia when he was 17 to his relapse in 2012 when he was playing golf in America to his current issues.
The book, to be published by Lake Press, will be published later this year. “We wanted the book to be a helpful for people who are dealing with anything in life.”
Click here to listen to the full podcast.