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

October 4, 2009

Chugging along...

Day 10
Ryan woke up with a LOT of mucus in his throat. It was so bad that they needed to give him a suction tube to help get rid of it. He does need to be careful when he is doing it, so he does not touch his tongue or cheek and cause bleeding. He also received another platelet transfusion to help with any potential bleeding. (His WBC is still bottomed out at .1) He was able to eat a little for breakfast- a few spoonfuls of yogurt and a few sips of Ensure. Then he felt up to doing this:
Ryan is the most lively in the morning. He is usually up the longest, eats the most and gets the most done in that period of time. This picture was taken right after his walk and it tells a lot. I asked him to give me his best cheese:
Eating, walking and showering pretty much wear him out... it is then time to sleep.
He is still in TONS of pain, he doesn't let the PCA pump get too far away:
But one thing he did wake up for was a very special visitor:
~Billi Jo~
His favorite nurse from Northwest Hospital

She was so kind to bring him this:
Angel of HOPE and COURAGE

It goes great on his shelf:
Then he started to run another fever (# in green):

(Don't know WHY they have to make it complicated and do everything in Celsius and Kilos)
Thank goodness for the conversion chart

They did give him Tylenol and do the standard blood cultures to check for some type of infection. So far, all the cultures have come back negative. They did say that fevers at this point are VERY normal. His fever broke a few hours later and he was able to eat a little lunch and dinner. He had a pretty restful night.
Day 11
During the night Ryan needed oxygen because his intake was low.
Morning came and he did the usual routine: a SMALLER breakfast, shower, walk and then "Zzzzzz".
His WBC is still bottomed out and he is VERY tired. When he is awake, he uses the suction a lot and doesn't talk because it is too hard to get the words out. The mucus in his throat is getting so bad now, that when he sleeps, you wonder how he can breath through it all. He spent a good majority of the day with the nasal oxygen tube on and he doesn't like it one bit.
I fed him his lunch and he struggled to swallow each and every bite. He got another fever today and when he had to take the Tylenol, I didn't think he was going to be able to swallow the pill. The mucus kept getting thicker and more overwhelming to deal with. By the time dinner rolled around, he didn't want to eat.
He did get another platelet transfusion and also received his last dose of chemo today, it is a much smaller dose and it helps with the graft VS host.

While he was sleeping I worked on this:
(and got in trouble for taking a picture of it)
(the green squares are chalkboard stickers, so we can leave messages)
His mom is staying the night with him tonight and she told me this:
Tonight after Ryan had a few swallows of Breeze (a nutritional drink), he clapped his hands, and I thought, Yes, I should be rewarding him more for his efforts. So, later when he was awake, I told him he was doing a great job, and Ryan said, "Just take it day by day". Then he said, "I am a Child of God". All I could think to say was, "Yes, you are!" and he drifted off to sleep.

Go Ryan, keep fighting

"Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way...
teach me all that I must do, to live with him some day."



Jeanette said...

Oh my goodness, that is so touching, I'm balling my eyes out. You guys are so strong. Thanks for being great examples and always reminding US that Heavenly Father loves us, even going through some super hard times. I'm sorry Ryan you have to go through this. You're a fighter!!! You keep it up. Just seeing you get up each day to walk is inspiring to me. I check often, as I'm sure everyone does. You're in our prayers!

Tornado Alley said...

What a beautiful reminder of how important it is to remember we are children of our Heavenly Father! Way to go, Ryan! You guys are so awesome and inspiring. Thanks for sharing these moments with us and strengthening our testimonies.
With love and our prayers,
The Varela family

Mindy Burns said...

He is so strong! Amazing! I will stop complaining about my sore throat now! Geez! It makes me so sad that he has to be in so much pain! I'd REALLY like to see a picture of you WITH Ryan! :) PLEEEEEEASE! There have been NO pics of you together! You are both such an inspiration! Thanks for being so strong for everyone you know.

Seth and Julie said...

I am deeply touched to hear that Ryan is reserving the few painful words he speaks for hope and testimony.

I could go on and on all day about how I feel right now as I read this but I think Ryan said it all.

*Sidenote: Alyssa just walked in to ask how Ryan was doing and look at the new pictures. She was excited to see his hair coming back but she said she thinks most of it is coming back on his face. My kids ask about you every day Ryan. They remember you and they are pulling for you.

Anonymous said...

I love you guys and think of you throughout the day and night. I wish we had our neighbors back! (: Jake is riding his big red tricycle all around the neighborhood now and Samantha gets pushed in a little push-car-thingy. They would have so much fun with Max and Hallie! Every day is a gift...and I know to treasure each miracle of life! Big hug to your whole family--

Love, Darin, Taylor, Jake and Samantha Thomas

Us Willis' said...

Many tears over that entry. There is a peace, small as it may be in your case, that comes with knowing we're children of Heavenly Father. I hope things improve soon!

Heather said...

What a positive attitude to have in such a trying time!!! You two make a great team.

Jennifer said...

crying. that was just so sweet.

that is really cool that Billi Jo came to visit. She is awesome!

Miranda said...

Something about that simple, sweet piece of doctrine just sums everything up. I often think that if we all REALLY understood what being a child of God meant, life and the world would be so much different. People would be more kind, patient, confident, courageous etc. It is so comforting to know that God loves Ryan just like we love our children. There truly is no greater love.

Barnes Family said...

We are continually praying and thinking about you. We are always checking the blog and getting the updates. You both are so amazing, so positive! Your in our prayers!!!
Ben, Jenny and family

Tanya said...

What precious words! I can hardly keep the tears back whenever I hear this song. It has always brought much more meaning into my life in the last couple of years. I hope you may find comfort in it as I have. My heart goes out to your family. We love you guys so much, keep up the fight.We're praying for you all the time.

p.s.(any signs of graft VS host?)