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

August 30, 2009

It's time...

So last week Ryan had his Bone Marrow Biopsy and PET/CAT scan

and although he was sore from the biopsy, he still got out and tried to fit in as much as possible.

Went shooting with his Dad

Went to a car sales event to look around

... and was in HEAVEN.

He starts them young...

he even got in another trip to Madera Canyon


Well... on Friday we got some news.

Ryan is READY for transplant.

This last round of chemo really got the cancer under control. Ryan and his brother will go in for testing on Thursday and Friday of this week. They will then both meet with the transplant Dr on the 10th for another in-depth info meeting.

Then on Sept. 14th Ryan will be admitted to UMC to begin transplant, where he will spend the next 4-6 weeks.

Thank you ALL for your continued blessing and prayers. Please continue sending them his way and also for his Brother Mitchell- without him, this wouldn't be possible!

Much love to all!


*FIGHT Ry...we LOVE you*


August 25, 2009

Feeling good and LOVING it

The past week has been another good one for Ryan.
He's been up early, off to bed late and during the day he is B-U-S-Y.
*He's continued his morning walks of 1+ miles
*Ate his little heart out
*Played TONS with the kids
*Cooked and even helped out around the house
When he wasn't doing all THAT, he found some time for THIS:

Made some shelves with my dad

Watched his little tractor obsessed boy play with the "digguh" (digger)

Went to an open house for his favorite little 1st grader
Ate some YUMMY Buffalo Wild Wings

Had ENOUGH of the camera

and WHY this random freeway picture?!?!?!?!?

Because it was Ryan's first time driving on the FREEWAY after our trip to COSTCO!

POSED with his new "TWIN"
(a little someone who happened to have some fun with scissors that day)
Ryan has been asking for me to shave Max's head ever since he started losing his own hair 2 months ago. I really hesitated because I worried about how he would look, but now that it is done...we all LOVE it.

Visited the opthamologist for a possible retina detachment
Tried REALLY hard to read with dilated pupils- Guess what the article was about?

The morning of his appointment with the eye dr, he also noticed a lump that he THOUGHT may be an enlarged lymph node. He called his Oncologist and they said to come in ASAP.
After each appointment with his oncologist and the opthamologist everything turned out to be just fine. What a BLESSING...definitely ANSWERED prayers!

...and then he prepared for the moment he has dreaded since the first time it happened on June 8th


Giving me his best "CHEESE"

Where the "fun" took place

So what exactly do they do?

They drill this:
Jamshidi needle into his hip bone

Then they suck out some bone marrow and take a bone sample.
and in case you were wondering- it's NOT fun!

But despite it all, we are very blessed and extremely grateful for all the love and support shown to our family.



August 16, 2009

What to do?

So what do you do after chemo when you ACTUALLY feel good?
Walk 1+ miles?
Go shopping?

All of the above!

Here are some of the events from the past week:

Ryan was able to get out and watch his two favorite little ones

Even walked along side as they rode their bikes

Went on a little trip to Madera Canyon


Went on LOTS of walks with those he LOVES

and started feeling so good... he EVEN tried to run:

...that didn't last long!

(Who cares, do you see that SMILE!??!?!?!)


Watched his favorite lil' dude and my dad wash the car in the rain

and thought about all the stuff he WANTS to do



This is how I knew Ryan was feeling MUCH better:

...he was BACK to teasing and being silly!


Ryan really loves the outdoors, so he was really excited to be feeling well enough to make the drive up to Mount Lemmon.

We had a little picnic

here was the highlight of this week...

Attending church as a family


It is crazy how the simple things we sometimes take for granted, like eating and being able to hold it down, driving, walking longer distances, grocery shopping, laughing, and spending quality time with the family. Some of these things Ryan was doing for the FIRST time since he first started CHEMO! He is LOVING feeling well and definitely taking FULL advantage.

So glad to have RY back



August 10, 2009

Going Home...

Here is a rundown of the past week and a half:
Ryan went into the hospital on the 31st and they immediately gave him a blood transfusion because he was a little low in that department.
Once the blood was in, he rested a day and then it was time to start the "fun" stuff:

I still cannot get over the TOXICITY of the stuff- so toxic that they need the special gloves and gown...

BUT... he handled all the chemo like a TROOPER and only had a couple of bad days.

Because the chemo wipes OUT the white blood cells, he gets a shot to help bring the white blood count back up.

Getting a shot of Neulasta

Yes... it DID sting a little!


During his hospital stay, he was able to send of this little one with a Father's Blessing before her first day of school on Tuesday the 4th:

On Weds night, Ryan had another spinal to suck out some fluid and to put in some chemo. One hit blood vessel, two hit nerves and a grand total of four pokes, Ryan was officially "DONE" with this round of chemo. Let's just say he really ended it with a bang!
On Thursday the 6th, he was discharged for a few hours so he could attend the transplant meeting at the UMC Cancer Center

We had a 2 hour meeting with Dr. Yeager and there was A LOT of info to take in!

I know a LOT of you are interested in knowing what went here are some of the details:

Before transplant, the cancer has to be under control so

*Ryan is scheduled to get another Bone Marrow BIOPSY on the 24th and a PET Scan on the 25th. Based on the results, he may have more chemo to help beat down the cancer and get it under control.

Once under control, the transplant process takes place:

*Ryan's brother(Mitchell) and Ryan will go through a number of tests to get ready.

*Once he is admitted, Ryan will begin 7 days of INTENSE and HIGH dose chemotherapy. He will have ONE day off and then the transplantation begins.

*He will spend 4-6 weeks in the hospital :(

*Once released he will continue to see the Dr DAILY for the next month or so.

*It will be a year long recovery period. During this time, he will be on strong immunosuppressants and will be at a high risk of getting ANY type of sickness. Unfortunately, this also means that Ryan won't be able to work for about a year.

Here are the Transplant STATS:

Chance of going into remission: 35-50%

Chance of the cancer coming back: 25-30%

Chance of not making it out of transplant: 20-25%

Ryan's a fighter... he CAN do this!


After the meeting, it was BACK to "Hotel Northwest" because Ryan had been running a fever :(

But a visit from this little chubster SURE cheered him up:

Jessica and Kenley(Ryan's lil' sis & niece)


Well, the fevers DID stop MUCH MUCH faster this time and GUESS WHAT THAT MEANT?!?!?!?

It was time to GO home!

Adios Room 375!

How does he ALWAYS have this much stuff... his stay was ONLY one week!

Ryan was SO excited to leave, he insisted on walking out himself ... and yes, even pushing his own stuff out, too!
Bye Med/Onc floor!
Bye again to his FAVORITE nurse... Billi Jo!


Bye again to Northwest (his 2nd home)

Then the next day was a sad goodbye to his parents


We feel VERY grateful and fortunate to be able to have both our families travel from out of state to help. They have been taking shifts, and SO far there has ALWAYS been someone here to help out. You would never believe how much help you need when you are driving to the hospital or to Dr's appointments on a daily basis and gone for HOURS at a time. Our kids have handled everything well and are doing good. Ryan and I have our moments, but overall, we are doing good too. We know it is truly blessings from a LOVING Heavenly Father who is giving us the strength to get through this.

Thank you to EVERYONE for all the well wishes, thoughts and most importantly, prayers!

Big HUG to ALL!


P.S.- Since being discharged on Friday, Ryan has been feeling GREAT. This last round of chemo was a good one.

It's so nice to have him back HOME!