Follow along and read about how Ryan spent his final days surrounded by those he loved the most... his FAMILY.

You can follow my blog at: Our life in Letters to Ryan

June 28, 2009

STILL in the hospital...

Ryan finished his chemo and "recovery" meds a week and a half ago and was scheduled to have surgery a few days later to have the Ommaya Reservoir( a brain catheter) placed.

Then last week, after another transfusion, he started running a fever. They weren't sure if it was a reaction to the transfusion or his body trying to fight off some type of infection. His Dr came in the next morning and said that because his white blood count was dropping so quickly they would put off the surgery for the Ommaya catheter- he thought that the risk of Ryan getting an infection after surgery was too great and waiting a few weeks would be the better option. The Dr also said, that because Ryan was running a fever, he would need to stay admitted. (Ryan will not be able to come home until he can go 48 hours without a fever. He has been running a fever for a week and a half now... Unfortunately, he was still running one this morning.)

Ryan was really bummed last week about not being able to go home, but was quickly in better spirits when his older sister and her husband, surprised him with his very own PlayStation.


He is still VERY tired and groggy from all the anti-nausea medicine he receives. Often times you will be talking to him and mid-sentence he will fall asleep. He falls asleep and starts dreaming IMMEDIATELY and begins talking in his sleep, here are a just SOME of the funny things he has said:

"That looks kinda blurry. I'm not sure if that's from when they spilled chemo on me."
(I laughed so hard when he said this because 1- RANDOM and 2- the chemo he receives is VERY toxic, so toxic that it would burn your skin if it came in contact with it. Isn't that CRAZY though, the stuff would burn your skin, yet they put that in his body!)

"This lady is dyslexic on Wheel of Fortune when I watch it."

I am constantly laughing at the things he says in his's a good stress relief for me.


When he is awake, he does enjoy hearing about what is going on, as well as going for walks. I have marked points on his floor in terms of running distances. If we go to the nurses sub-station we did a 3k, when we walk to the opposite wing he has done a full marathon- he sure gets a kick out of it ;)

Ryan has really enjoyed all the visitors and calls from family and friends. He had a special visit over this weekend. On Saturday, Mike and James, some of his BEST BUDS from childhood came to visit. This visit meant a LOT to Ryan, especially because they drove over 14 hours to visit and then left the next day to head back to work.

Good Ole' Wyoming boys:



Ryan also looks forward to visits from the kids. He enjoys seeing their happiness as they play with the rubber gloves, try to eat all his "YUMMY" hospital food and press all the FUN buttons on his bed and IV machine. Hallie is always doing crafts and has decorated the room with paintings and love notes.

Ryan just LOVES it ALL!


He is getting a little bit of his appetite back each day. We do find it funny that now that Ryan can eat ANYTHING his little heart desires, he has NO desire. I try very hard to entice him with something yummy and fattening, but it never works :(

Ryan has been anticipating his hair falling out and we have YET to see it happening. That is... until a few nights ago. As I washed his hair, it was evident that Ryan is on his way to becoming a bald man- he is planning on having the kids just shave his to follow.


Well on to GOOD news...

Over the past 3 days, Ryan's white blood count has been rising and this morning it JUMPED. YAY! We are hoping to bring him home SOON.

Lets hope we can spend the 4th of July weekend at HOME!

We both don't want to see these:

for at LEAST a few weeks!



Seth and Julie said...

I am glad you started a Team Ryan blog. We are thinking of you every minute!!! Ryan looks great and it is good to see him smiling. Still praying that independence day will be "independence from the hospital" day this year.

Love you guys!!! So not fair that Ryan has to go bald. He is the only one of our friends with a full head of hair. At least his will grow back though. As we watch Seth's fall out we know that when it's gone, it's gone.

Katelin's family said...

That's so funny that he says stuff in his sleep--love it! Jared once asked me if I wanted to see his boobs as he was coming out of anesthesia! Such a bummer that that fever won't go away, I'll specifically pray for that so you can all go home!! Thanks for the update and pictures, and we love you!

The Kindle Family said...

Thanks for adding a blog Margie! I hope you don't mind us following it! We are really hoping and praying that Ryan will do well and that your family can make it through these tough times as well! Just to distract you...Matt had is first day of Residency today down here in San sucked and was hard. Well any advice on how to be a supportive wife would be helpful! We love you and your family.
The Kindles

dougandcheryl said...

I love that they got him a playstation. That's great. It's amazing the things we say when we're out of it. Doug could tell you stories!
We also are thinking about you constantly.

Heather said...

Unbelievable how wonderful you are all holding together. You have beautiful children and they look so sweet. keep up that good attitude. We are praying for you.

Amber said...

You guys probably don't know me. I am a couple years younger than Ryan and went to school with him. I found this blog through a friend on facebook. I'm praying for all of you. What a hard trial to endure. I hope that you will be able to enjoy the 4th at home. Good luck to you!

Erika, Kevin, and Mason said...

Love the blog! So happy to see him looking well, we'll have to go see him sometime. Mason would love to play with Max, too!

gloria said...

still no news on our phone conversation but i did send the info twice so we are hoping they do something with it. i am so glad to see him smiling and i admire you for how well you are handling all of this. you are always in our thoughts and prayers. love gloria - the salts family!

Mandi Moon said...

That is so awesome that Mike and James drove to see him! What great friends! =) That's so cool! Brought tears to my eyes! It's going to be wierd to see Ryan without his beautiful hair! Thanks so much for doing this blog! Not everyone would want people to know what is going on. But I am glad that you let us into your world. I pray for your family every night and especially for Ryan! Please tell Ryan hi from me and that I praying for him!
P.S. I saw that someone left a comment on Facebook about doing a donation account at a's not a bad idea! I used to work at Wells Fargo and we had a lot of those that people could come and donate money into. You might want to look into it!!! =) That way those of us who aren't federal employees could help!!!

Stacie said...

All these things are very familiar to us!! Chloe had lots of fevers and had to stay, and get neupegin shots. I would bring her her favorite foods and then she didn't want them.
It is so great to have family and friends come and support you so I am glad to see you are in good spirits. I would do the head shaving thing for sure, seeing hair all over isn't very fun! Good luck and pray you come home soon!
The England family cheers you on!

Elizabeth said...

I also appreciate knowing how things are going. You are amazing, Margie! The Latta family adds their thoughts and prayers to everyone else's! -Chris and Elizabeth

Kinsey England said...

I'm so glad you guys are doing a blog! Your family has been continuously a part of my thoughts and prayers. I hope that Ryan continues to do well and gets to go home for the holiday weekend!!! His funny comments cracked me up! I'm so glad to see that James and Mike were able to go out there to visit. I am only sorry that I didn't get to come with them!!! I miss our smoot friends and we all love you so much Ryan!!!!!! Hang in there! You too Margie!!!

Kim Thacker said...

Thank you for the updates, Margie! We love you guys and are always praying for you. That's so cool that James and Mike came out! I echo Kinsey: I only wish I could've been there, too. I've got such great memories of the Smoot Gang. Love to your whole fam!

Mary Lou said...

Dear Ryan/Margie/Hallie/Max:

You are all "Amazing" and the strength of the family is so evident. Ryan, we are praying and keeping you in good energy each day!!!

We hope you get home for this weekend--SOON!!!

The De Natales' (San Jose)
Thanks for the amazing updates

jill said...

Neither of you know me, but I'm told you know my brother, Brian and his wife, Tanya pretty well. :)
I had leukemia 17 years ago and went through all the chemo and anti-nausea meds and recovery and loss of hair but, gratefully, my cancer was very curable.
This all sounds so familiar and horrible and funny and sad at the same time.
You are in our prayers. Good luck!

Amy said...

Way to be in good spirits, guys!

Thanks for being so positive, Margie, and for keeping all of us posted. (Cute pictures of the kids, BTW!) Good luck this week!