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

September 23, 2009


Day -2

Ryan finished the last dose of chemo Monday afternoon and then had two units of blood. His fevers, night sweats and nausea are under control which make for better days. But of course I could never end it with just that...

They had been pumping Ryan with fluids in order to flush out all the chemo from this past week. He is also on steroids that make him retain water. The combination of the steroids and fluids make for one VERY swollen Ry.

In the past 4 days, he has gained almost 30 lbs of water weight.
His belly is bloated, his legs and ankles have now become cankles and his feet look like they were inflated with air.

It hurts to stand, hurts to walk and even when laying down his legs and toes tingle from all the pressure.

They started giving Ryan some medicine to help with the water retention...

it didn't help much.


Day -1

Tuesday was Ryan's "Day OFF."
It would be the day to rest his body in preparation for the transplant.

He did just that.
He is still VERY swollen, but he managed to get in a walk with some very special visitors:

Jennifer and Annalee

Ryan's older sisters

Enjoyed this little one trying so hard to put his mask on

and enjoyed seeing his sweet little niece Ella


Because he is still very swollen, the doctors decided to double the dose of medicine that helps with the water retention.

It took a while to finally KICK in, but when it did finally "rain"... it POURED!

So hopefully in a few days he will be down these 30 plus pounds of water weight and much more comfortable.


So... today is a really exciting and big day. I know a lot of you are wondering what will happen, so let me fill you in:

Mitchell will get his last NEUPOGEN shot(helps release stem cells into the blood) and will then head over to the hospital's Red Cross clinic.

He will then get IV's put into EACH arm and sit for the next 4 hours. The blood will travel from one arm into a blood cell separator that removes only the stem cells, and the rest of the blood is returned back to Mitchell, in the other arm.

The stem cells will be counted, packaged and then brought up and hung on the IV pole, where they will be infused into Ryan like any other blood product.

Except this isn't just any other blood product. It will potentially be the life saving cells from one brother to another.

It's a BIG day.

Thank you to ALL those who are praying, fasting and thinking of Ryan and Mitchell today.

We LOVE you



Tornado Alley said...

Poor swollen Ryan. I'm glad they decided to do something about the swelling. That sounds uncomfortable!
Thanks for keeping us updated so well! We're rooting for you and will be fasting/praying that everything goes as planned. We love you all and appreciate your testimonies, strength, and friendship.
With love,
The Varela family

Shalae said...

Good luck today Ryan! We'll be praying for you. It was great seeing a picture of you, Jennifer and Annalee together. It's been years since we've seen all of you guys. We love being able to keep up on your blog and hope you know we love you and are thinking about you. Good luck today on the big day!

Seth and Julie said...

Wow, if it's not one thing it's another, right? I guess there are no FUN side effects of cancer.

We're definitely fasting and praying that TODAY will be the beginning of the MIRACLE we've been waiting for.

GO Ryan!!! GO Mitchell!!!

I can't help but think of the Savior as Mitchell steps forward to literally save his brother. What am amazing spiritual experience for both of them. Mitchell ROCKS...and Ryan is SO worth it.

Emily said...

Amen to Julie. It is an amazing thing Mitchell is doing for his brother.

My family will be praying for you today!

Katelin said...

It seems like something so important should have a more dramatic start than just in his IV like other things, right? I was envisioning a big surgery type procedure, but I guess it's great that it won't involve that. Major bummer about the water weight--ow!, but that just means that you're about to catch a break now when it really matters, right? Glad this day is finally here for you! We love you so much and can't wait to see the progress that will come from this. Go Team Ryan!

Lisa and Mike said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you on this big important day! Good luck!

melissa said...

My mom has become addicted to reading your blog and keeping up on how Ryan's doing. She has been inspired by both of your positive attitudes through all of this. Good luck with the transplant today! Fasting and prayers for both Ryan and Mitchell are definitely coming out of our corner today!

Mindy Burns said...

You are in our thoughts and prayers today and fasting is underway! Today IS a big day, and I know Heavenly Father knows what Ryan, you, Mitchell, and everyone involved are going through....We are here to support and love you all!

LISA said...

From your family in CA, we are all praying for you and Mitchell. Don't we all wish we could take a pill to get rid of 30 lbs LOL
Stay positive!! Today is the day, so did you shave, shower, look pretty for your big day? We're surrounding you with hugs and kisses! Aunt Lisa
P.S. Will be praying and thinking of you....

julia said...

our prayers and thoughts are with you today. what a beautiful day

Cindy said...

Go Ryan!! We are thinking and praying for you as well here in Southern Oregon. Hope it goes well!

rick said...

You know Ry, cancer is just like cleaning an old rug....You just gotta beat it!!!!! (Okay, not funny, but you know what I mean)...After this transplant does its thing, I'll buy some oreo's that you can eat in your living room-better yet, we'll get some Queen's donuts to eat in your living room!!! (pssst-we won't even tell Margie!) :-)

Many prayers and fasting for you and Mitchell and for those who will be attending to you in the hospital!


Anonymous said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We are so proud of Ryan for the tremendous fight he is putting in and so proud of Mitchell for his selfless act. Wishing the best to you and your family. Kris - Lincoln County Planning.

Peter and Brittany Merrill said...

You are awesome Ryan, keep it up, my kids are even praying for you at night when they go to bed. I hope you feel the peace and strength you need from everyones prayers. I hope today is a good day.

Banta Family said...

Hey Ryan Just want you to know you and Mitchell are in our prayers and fast today. You are amazing! We love you so much. Love Jody, RaNell Shumway and Bantas

Erin S said...

Go Team Ryan!!! We are fasting and praying for you and Mitchell. Love you guys!

Jeanette said...

Hey Ryan, I hope everything went well today. My prayers are with you. You have a beautiful and supportive family. May the Lord bless you. Keep Smiling! GO RYAN GO, you can do it!

AngelinaMagdelina said...

Fasting and praying for miracles. We are thinking of you and your family all day today.

Jennifer said...

can't wait to see how much weight you have lost when we visit today! I will give you a good foot massage. :)

Erika, Kevin, and Mason said...

Horray for the day being here! Always thinking of you and your family. Best wishes.

jill said...

So glad the day is finally here for you guys! Prayers happening.

Aubri said...

That water weight sucks! And just another thing to throw on top of how crappy you feel. I guess know you know what some of us women deal with with pregnancy.
BEST OF LUCK to you and your bro. We're praying and cheering for you!