Breadcrumb Path Hyperlinks Native Information Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Robert Franz, is pictured at his residence, on Wednesday, June 9, 2022. Picture by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star Article content material After the phrase “most cancers,” Robert Franz didn’t hear a factor. Commercial 2 This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues beneath. Article content material Sometimes the intense mild within the room — effusive, smiling, nearly overwhelming in his enthusiasm — the maestro of Windsor Symphony Orchestra briefly recoiled into himself. Because the physician defined the state of affairs — non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Stage 4 — Franz sat shocked and silent, shuffling by means of a protracted psychological listing. Questions, regrets and worries crashed collectively like a 10-car pileup. Will I die quickly? How a lot will I undergo? What is going to or not it’s like for my husband and daughters? It was onerous for everyone He thought of his accomplishments. His failures. He thought of all the attractive items of music he’d performed: Beethoven’s ninth Symphony; Mozart’s Requiem; Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. And those he didn’t: Mahler’s sixth Symphony; Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra; Puccini’s Tosca. Commercial 3 This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues beneath. Article content material Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Robert Franz, is pictured at his residence, on Wednesday, June 9, 2022. Picture by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star He all of a sudden had the urge to go someplace tropical. Solar, sand, palm bushes. “Simply this listing of issues, since you don’t know,” stated Franz, 54, the WSO music director since 2013. “It was a loopy feeling. That kind of sense of being misplaced lasted a great 4 or 5 hours. I sat within the emergency room for some time. I used to be on my own due to COVID. No one from my household may very well be there. And I used to be identical to, okay, what does this imply and what do I do now?” For even informal followers of Windsor Symphony Orchestra, it might have been apparent early this 12 months that one thing was occurring. It’s true that in stay streams and media occasions, Franz nonetheless talked excitedly concerning the symphony in typical rhythmic inflections, the grins and enthusiasm by no means wavering. Commercial 4 This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues beneath. Article content material However he had plummeted from 180 kilos to 150, all of a sudden seeming fragile. His face had narrowed, his cheekbones extra pronounced. At one level the tight platinum curls he stored cropped comfortable to his head had disappeared altogether. Wanting again, the transformation stays stunning even to him. “Due to what we did final fall with all of the stay streaming, I can see the recordings for 4 months and I can see the development of my physique deteriorating,” he stated. “That was earlier than chemo. That was fairly startling to see. Individuals have been fearful about me for certain.” Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Robert Franz, is pictured at his residence, on Wednesday, June 9, 2022. Picture by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star However nobody suspected most cancers. “The analysis was a shock to me,” stated Sheila Knowledge, the WSO’s government director. “It really, really was. I feel all people knew one thing was the matter, however we didn’t understand how critical it was.” Commercial 5 This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues beneath. Article content material It began final summer time with some tingling in his left hand. Then the ache crawled down his arm. It escalated to the purpose that he couldn’t sleep. Within the morning, it might take an hour to get his left arm transferring. He received by on a routine of Advil and Icy Scorching patches. One of many few locations he discovered consolation was in entrance of his orchestra. Fortunately, he does most of his conducting along with his proper arm. And whether or not he’s preventing a chilly, most cancers or in any other case, he at all times feels higher on stage. “The factor about being on stage and conducting, it’s an adrenaline rush,” stated Franz. “The adrenaline hits and kind of takes over your physique.” However ultimately, Advil wasn’t sufficient. He tried a chiropractor and a masseuse. “Nothing labored,” stated Franz. “By the top of October the ache was insufferable. So I went to a physician.” Commercial 6 This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues beneath. Article content material Very similar to these round him starting to fret, Franz by no means suspected most cancers. At first, neither did the medical doctors. “They thought I had a pinched nerve in my neck,” stated Franz. They did a CAT scan. “That’s after they discovered the tumour.” It spanned 10 centimetres. “She stored speaking, however I swear I didn’t hear one other phrase,” stated Franz. Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Robert Franz, is pictured at his residence, on Wednesday, June 9, 2022. Picture by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star Undetectable from the skin, the massive tumour had enveloped a nerve bundle. However it wasn’t simply the arm. At this level, the most cancers was already at Stage 4. “It was beneath the diaphragm, so it was in my spleen and in my liver,” stated Franz. “After which it was additionally in my bones. However not like bone most cancers. Lymphoma is a blood illness, so it’s within the bone marrow. However it was in my proper leg, my left arm, my ribs. It was simply far and wide.” Commercial 7 This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues beneath. Article content material That listing ran by means of his thoughts. “The second you hear ‘most cancers,’ every thing adjustments,” stated Franz. “I’d by no means had most cancers, I didn’t actually know individuals with most cancers. So I didn’t know what to anticipate. So in my thoughts, I began going by means of the listing. How lengthy will I’ve to stay? What is going to the chemo be like? What issues do I need to do earlier than I’m going?” Then it hit him. His household. “I’ve a husband and we’ve three daughters,” stated Franz. “I used to be solely 53 on the time. I believed, wow, that is younger. What is going to their lives be like? How will they take care of the truth that I’ve handed away from most cancers?” Robert Franz, WSO maestro is proven throughout a press convention on the Capitol Theatre on Wednesday, Might 11, 2022. Picture by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star It’s a horrible thought that continuously plagues his husband, Brandon Atkins. “Being with him for the final decade and spending my life with him, that was the longer term,” stated Atkins, 45, a supervisor on the Detroit Well being Division. “People dream of what they’re going to be doing. All of the issues, the massive plans they’ve for his or her futures. I informed him not too lengthy into it I had a fairly vivid dream the place I’d get up within the evening and he wasn’t respiration. It could terrify me.” Commercial 8 This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues beneath. Article content material Dreading the goals at evening, Atkins spent the times watching helplessly because the power, spirit and spark that made up the person he loves drained away. “Right here’s this individual that has been vibrant and lively and tremendous engaged in what he does, and in a really brief time period grow to be a shell of that particular person,” stated Atkins. “It’s simply gutting watching what most cancers does to individuals.” They began relationship practically a decade in the past after assembly in Boise, Idaho, and plan to have fun eight years of marriage in November. Franz, a U.S. citizen, had been commuting from Boise since taking the helm of the WSO in 2013. He’s additionally the creative director of the Boise Baroque Orchestra, just lately completed a tenure as affiliate conductor of the Houston Symphony, and he visitor conducts for a lot of different organizations. Commercial 9 This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues beneath. Article content material Windsor Symphony Orchestra music director and maestro Robert Franz, proven on the Capitol Theatre on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 is raring to have music lovers again in seats for stay performances. Picture by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star After their oldest daughter graduated from highschool, Franz and Atkins didn’t see a necessity to remain in Idaho. “Brandon is a twin citizen, so we moved to Windsor in order that we might spend extra time collectively,” stated Franz. And it was a great time to be collectively. “Being married to Robert is an unimaginable journey and whereas most cancers shouldn’t be one thing we needed to navigate collectively, it actually has introduced us nearer collectively,” stated Atkins. “And we all know we will depend on one another much more than we did previous to a most cancers analysis.” Franz stated the transfer turned out useful for a few different causes. “One, it was through the pandemic, so I received to do much more work with the Windsor Symphony than I’d have if I wasn’t residing right here,” he stated. “And two, the Windsor most cancers centre is spectacular. I can’t think about being at a greater place for my remedy.” Commercial 10 This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues beneath. Article content material Windsor Symphony Orchestra music director, Robert Franz, speaks throughout a information occasion on the return to stay performances on the Capitol Theatre, on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Picture by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star That remedy known as EPOCH-R. Every letter represents a distinct drug in an intensive chemotherapy routine to battle aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He endured six rounds. “They might pump the utmost quantity into my physique they may in every spherical, relying on how I used to be recovering,” stated Franz. The primary spherical didn’t go so properly. He spent an additional 4 days within the hospital on antibiotics due to an an infection. Every remedy lasted per week with two weeks of restoration in between, which he spent conducting the symphony along with his trademark fervour. “His spirit and his angle have been inspirational to everybody,” stated Knowledge. “I feel in hindsight, we understand to start with how critical the analysis was. I feel as a result of Robert was so tenacious and so optimistic about it by means of all of it, that helped the remainder of us take care of the state of affairs. It was actually onerous for him. It was onerous for everyone. However he, by his angle and by his behaviour, made it simpler for different individuals.” Commercial 11 This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues beneath. Article content material Franz completed his final remedy within the third week of March. The outcomes of a PET scan got here again final week. “The oncologists received collectively, after which the next day the doc known as me up,” he stated. This time, with a reminder that extra assessments are essential in July, the phrase was “congratulations.” “They really feel very, very assured that the most cancers itself is gone,” stated Franz. He nonetheless may need been shocked, however he wasn’t silent. “It’s phenomenal, are you kidding? We instantly deliberate a few remission journeys,” he stated. Windsor Symphony Orchestra pronounces new season and Beethoven birthday bash Marking one other signal of the return to regular, WSO pronounces stay performances Saved from the wrecking ball greater than as soon as, ‘incredible’ Capitol Theatre turns 100 In July, Franz and Atkins are going to 2 of their favorite locations: New York Metropolis and Provincetown, MA, which is probably not tropical however has a lot of seashores. In October, they’ll head to Paris. Commercial 12 This commercial has not loaded but, however your article continues beneath. Article content material On his travels, he’ll be wanting on the world from a brand new perspective. He is aware of, it’s a cliché. “I prefer to suppose that this entire expertise made me much less judgemental about different individuals and their lives,” stated Franz. “You by no means know what anyone goes by means of and typically they don’t even know what they’re going by means of.” He’s additionally come to embrace a brand new give attention to high quality over amount. “Not that I received’t keep tremendous busy,” stated Franz. “However I was on the highway six or seven months a 12 months. And I don’t actually see that within the very close to future. It was lots of journey. However I do love what I do. I at all times lived my life with the concept that if this it, I’m doing the very best I can proper now, let’s go. 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