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

December 18, 2009

Goings ons... the good, the bad and the SAD :(

Here's all the GOOD news:
Well, this past week and half has been filled with getting ready for the Holidays.
I was able to go in to Hallie's classroom last week to help supervise the gingerbread houses. Wow...those houses definitely were not lacking frosting!

...ESPECIALLY Hallie's

I think she used a WHOLE can herself, and that was on top of the canned frosting she used to "glue" the candy on.

It WAS finger LICKIN' good!

The finished products

Then we met our friends for Tucson's annual 4th Avenue Fair.
This fair brings in quite the crowd for the over 400+ arts and crafts vendors, yummy food and entertainment.

Here was just ONE example of the type of vendor you could find there:

In case you haven't noticed from previous posts, I have a thing for hand holding.
I love it!

Then while we ate our delish Gyro, we listened to this high school Bohemian band play a bunch of songs.
One actually made me teary eyed. It was, "Ain't nothing gonna break my stride." I felt like it REALLY holds true to Ryan and our family right now.
Ain't nothing gonna break my stride
 Nobody's gonna slow me down
 Oh no, I've got to keep on moving
 Ain't nothing gonna break my stride 
I'm running and I won't touch ground 
Oh no, I've got to keep on moving
As one friend said, "Cancer CAN take a back seat now."
So true!

Max was fascinated by this hot dog machine

and these 3 cutie pies enjoyed their ring pops

Then last Sunday we went with some friends to WINTERHAVEN to check out the Christmas lights. This was one house that actually had lights AND a water show put to music:
although the picture is NOT GOOD, this was by far the BEST house!

This week started off by making our Christmas goodies. We decided to make the family recipe of caramel popcorn. I lined the table with foil because I KNEW I'd be making a lot.

Just the beginning

You actually finish the process by putting the popcorn and caramel in a clean brown paper bag to caramelize it in the microwave.
Max wanted to get every LAST piece:
Needless to say, he had a bath right after this picture was taken.

Although Ryan is not much of a video gamer, he does take the time to play UP with Max because he LOVES it

Then we came home from some running around to be have more "presents" delivered to our doorstep:
Ryan's supplies.

(He is hoping to have his line in for ONE more month and then hopefully it can come out- he is REALLY looking forward to that day!)
Next month he will also be having his Day 100 tests. He is scheduled for his PET/CAT scan on January 5th to check his liver and spleen- two of the areas where cancer was found. His last PET/CAT scan was PRE-tranpslant, so this test will see how the they are doing post transplant. Then we got some REALLY good news for his bone marrow biopsy.
Ryan was SICK of having his bone marrow biopsy's done in the clinic. He asked if he could have it done in the hospital under conscious sedation and they approved it! So on January 6th he will go to the hospital to have that procedure done... YAY!
So next month will be a HUGE marker to see how he is responding to the transplant
The vote for Ryan's hair:
Darker and Curly

So far it is STILL not growing on the sides of his head, so we continue to shave it. But now that his hair is growing in on his head, he is losing it everywhere else...wierd!

Then we went to Hallie's class to see her with Santa for their class party.
Max LOVES going into her classroom and he LOVED being front and center to see S. Clause:

Hallie acting "shy" telling Santa she wants a camera for Christmas

Then it was Max's turn and he of course wants a "twac-ta" (tractor)
Hallie came home and said, "Mom, I know that wasn't the REAL Santa... I know this because that Santa's eyebrows were gray and Santa doesn't have grey eyebrows!!!!"
What a funny girl!

Hallie showing off her cherry with a shiny rhinestone

this just breaks my heart... she ALWAYS cries whenever we tell her "bye" after volunteering
Well then for the bad/sad news...
Ryan got sick. For the first time since he has had chemo or his transplant he has been blessed to steer clear of ALL colds. Well it finally got to him and we ALL got a little worried. He had a pretty bad cough and major sinus pressure. We were all hoping to get away for the Holiday's to make a surprise visit to family. Well with Ryan getting sick we didn't want to be away and something bad happen. So we got all packed up- suitcases, Christmas presents, EVERYTHING... kept Hallie out of school on Friday and dropped Ry off at this appointment.
We went to Target for part of the time and then I got a text from Ryan.
His counts were NOT good.
In one week his WBC(white blood count) dropped from 3.0 to 1.5!
This definitely puts Ryan at a much higher risk of infection and having this cold was NOT good.
So they immediately made him go and get a chest x-ray and then have more blood and urine tests to check for virus' or other infections.
So far all tests have come back negative and they believe one of the antibiotics he is on could be causing his white count to drop, so they told him to stop taking it.
Tuesday's appointment will hopefully give us more answers... and BETTER numbers!
Because we were planning on being gone for a week and half, we knew that leaving was not an option. They said that if his cold did not go away by Monday he was to come back in. Otherwise he was to come in on Tuesday- so much for weekly appointments :(

So while Ryan was having all these extra tests done, for 2.5 hours I let the kids play in the parking lot while we waited and waited...
Thank goodness for the trees- they were LIVESAVERS

So lately Hallie puts EVERYTHING in quotation marks...
and we all get a good laugh out of it because she doesn't know how to do it correctly.
So once Ryan was finally done, we told the kids that we couldn't go because Dad was too sick. Friday was DEFINITELY a somber day in the Hess household. Later that day, I did take the kids to the hot tub to play with friends and that lifted their spirits.

Although we are sad we won't get to spend the Holidays with family, we are excited to spend it here with all our friends!

We went for a walk this weekend and on our walk Max saw this:

and said...
Ha ha... Ryan and I laughed pretty hard when he said this- that kid definitely makes us laugh!

***Merry Christmas friends and family***

Please keep Ryan in your prayers... it's NOT over yet!


Breanne BUsh said...

that's too funny! "santa's dead" haha! Hope ryan is feelin better for the holidays!

Seth and Julie said...

Alright, you have me laughing and crying with this post.

Max diving face first in to the popcorn bag, and Miss Hallie's backward air quotes. Ha,Ha! They are so cute!

I am bummed out that Ryan got sick. Dang it! A surprise visit home would have been an amazing Christmas, but either way this is still the best Christmas ever. A Savior was sent to conquer the pains of this world and we have watched him help Ryan triumph this year. Hooray for what we know. And HOORAY that Ryan is here celebrating the Savior this season. Keep fighting!

I love you guys!

We need to both go to Wyoming at the same time one year for Christmas.

Heather n Ryan said...

So sorry that he is sick. We will definatly keep you guys in our prayers! Have a good Christmas!

Katelin said...

What bad timing for being sick! Not that there is ever a good time, but that's so sad you can't go on your trip, I'm sure that would've been awesome. Hopefully he'll get feeling better really fast!! Loved all the rest of the post, though. Funny kids--miss you all so much!

Got your adorable card--yes, I do LO most every weeknight for about two hours or so, depending on what else is going on. It's been pretty busy through December, which has been good, but I'm hoping that I can get enough piano students soon to quit LO. The $ is so much better with piano, and I enjoy teaching something I love! Plus, I'm just not that good at LO, so it's frustrating. Oh, well, it's a blessing to be able to do it, though.

Looking at all your pix makes me want to move there right now!! I want to get the kids scooters and outside things for Christmas, but that'd just be such a waste since we won't be able to use them forever!! I just bought myself snow pants for Christmas--yuck!

The Collard Clan said...

Ryan - We are still always thinking praying for you and your family. I hope today brings some good news for you guys. (I'm sure all you want for christmas is a high count...I hope santa finds you and delivers just that!) Hope you get better soon - we hope you and your family have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Keep us posted.

Kim said...

You're always in our prayers, Ryan! We love you and your family and know you can kick this cold. We're sorry you guys aren't able to see family for Christmas! It's hard to be away from family at this time of year. We send you our love and wishes for a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Agnes said...

Hi guys!it was sooo fun to catch up on your blog! I have been horrible at blogging but I plan to be better. Tim got me an early christmas present(my very own laptop---and it works!) We were SOOOO excited to get your christmas card and even MORE excited to hear that Ryan is feeling better--we've been wanted to come for a visit! "Tim was like lets go before the end of christmas break!" I'll call to plan things :)(I'll bring sugar cookies!) Looks like you guys are doing great! we will continue to keep Ryan in our Prayers! we love you guys!