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 9, 2009

It will ALL be okay...

Day 15

Ryan woke up to find out that his WBC jumped to .7
He was VERY excited.

By 8 o'clock that morning he had already ate, walked and showered. He was going to have a good day. It was so neat to hear his voice, he sounded GREAT. It was still raspy, but definitely on its way to being normal again.

When the "TEAM" came in that morning, based on their assessment, they felt it was time to start transitioning Ryan to be ready to go home. Because Ryan had been eating so well, they said it was time to stop this:

and since he wasn't in as MUCH pain, they decided to take him off this:

and since there was no more morphine, and his counts were up, they felt it was time to say goodbye to the good ole' catheter.

Ryan agreed to everything. The less tubing, the better- he often got tangled with all the IV lines. After the TPN and morphine were gone and the catheter was out, Ryan felt so much more "free"...but that wouldn't last too long.

Since Ryan stopped all the heavy narcotics cold turkey, it did make for a harder day- he was a trooper for dealing with the pain and the withdraws. The only thing that became a worry...
producing that "liquid gold."

It had been 8 hours and Ryan had not been able to urinate. It was not only frustrating, but Ryan was extremely uncomfortable. Everything else didn't even matter, he just wanted to be able to go to the bathroom. Well, he didn't have a restful night because he was up every hour and half producing that "liquid gold."

Overall though, it was a good day.


Q: What/who is the "TEAM"
A: The "TEAM" is the group of doctors consisting of an attending and fellows that come in daily to assess Ryan and make any changes to his treatment. (An attending is the doctor in charge. The fellows are the doctors who are done with their residency and are doing another three years of training to specialize, in this case they are Hematologist/Oncologist docs). Ryan has the "TEAM" at UMC because it is a teaching hospital. UMC is part of the University of Arizona, where there is also a medical and nursing school (***GO WILDCATS***)

Day 16

Ryan was really tired this morning since he was up all last night. When the nurse came in, he found out that his WBC, platelets and red blood cells had all dropped. His WBC was .4 today. Ryan was a little discouraged, but we quickly reminded him that it was all okay. The nurses and doctors had told us that it was completely normal for his counts to fluctuate. He was taken off his scheduled anti-nausea meds and since he was awake for a good portion of the day, he spent that time feeling nauseas. Since he was nauseas, he didn't want to eat, making him more tired and more weak. Since he was awake, but to weak to do much, he started getting restless. All these things made for a sad Ry. He said,
"This is SO hard. I've never done anything this hard before."

I agreed, because he hasn't.

But I did tell him that he has been putting up quite the fight and doing a great job at it. I let him know that it was okay to feel down and okay be frustrated. I reminded him of ALL his awesomeness. And Lastly, I told him how much I loved him.

Go Ry.BE STRONG.Keep fighting



Seth and Julie said...

Sorry the WBC came down, but hey, .4 is still better than .1. I am so happy to hear they are getting you ready to go home. I bet your little munchikins want to hug their Papa.

One question: What is a "normal" WBC?

Mindy Burns said...

This sure as you know what better be the hardest thing you both have done! Like I told you last week, just think how much easier everything else you're faced with will seem!!! You'll both be pro's at handling "tough" situations in the future! Go Team Ryan! Hey, I thought the "team" was all of those cheering him on...! :) I'm so glad you recognized the medical team taking care of Ryan- they have sacrificed a lot to be there and are giving it their all as well- they've got a tough job! Thank heavens for doctors everywhere! (Sorry I'm biased! :))

Us Willis' said...

So glad you're being prepped for home. As Ben and I have followed your journey, we've come to see that you're a modern "Job". You have been through it all and not a word of anger towards god. What an example you are! Keep fighting!!!