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

April 22, 2010

I wanted to let everyone know that a lot has happened in the past week. Ryan has not been doing well and we knew things were not looking good. At his appointment this week, we were told that more treatment is not an option at this point because his body is not recovering the way it needs to in order to receive more chemo.

So, we will be starting hospice today and the doctor is giving Ryan approximately 2 weeks.

Although we feel much sadness, we also have so much joy in our hearts with the knowledge that we have:

We KNOW that this is God's will and that Ryan will return to be with our Heavenly Father, free of pain and sickness... he will be whole again. We KNOW that because we were married and sealed together in God's holy house, that we will be a family, forever. We KNOW that the Lord will continue to provide the strength and comfort that we will need to get through this. We KNOW that God loves us and we are NOT alone.

"When thou are in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God; he will not forsake thee...)" Deuteronomy 4:30-31

Thank you all for the continued prayers, fasts and for all the love and support!

April 14, 2010


At Ryan's appointment, he was running a slight fever. They did the standard tests to check for any possible infection: blood and urine cultures, and scheduled a CAT scan. We were hoping for chemo, but his platelets were TOO low to receive more. Ryan's platelet count was only at 17 and they need to be at least 50 for more treatment....

Had the CAT scan

All tests came back negative. The CAT scan showed that his pneumonia is improving, but otherwise, nothing new. His hemoglobin was very low and he received two units of red blood for a nice little boost. Again, we were hoping for more chemo, but his platelets were still lagging. They did jump a tad bit ( to 21), but still not nearly enough.

So why NO platelet transfusion to bump up the platelets?
Every time Ryan has a platelet transfusion, his counts only increase by 2 or 3. Since the increase is so small, It would take WAY to many transfusions to get him to 50.


Ryan needs chemo in order to help suppress the cancer. Getting the cancer under control will allow him another shot at his brothers stem cells. Right now, Ryan is in limbo waiting for these counts to rise, which is NOT good for his aggressive cancer.

Ryan is still coughing quite a bit because of the pneumonia, but the cough is doing MUCH better. The mucositis is still painful, but Ryan is finally able to get softer foods and certain liquids down.

The next appointment for labs and check up is on Monday.

*Please pray that Ryan can continue to heal and that his counts can rise, so he can start treatment once again*

Keep up the fight Ry
We LOVE you


April 12, 2010


Ryan is HOME!
After 24 hours of being fever-free, they decided it was time to give Ryan the BOOT. He has been taking it easy and just enjoying every minute with the family.

He has an appointment today to see if he is ready for more chemo. His platelets need to be at least 50 in order to receive more... as of Saturday, they were only 13.

Let's hope his platelets continue to rise so he can get MORE chemo and get this cancer UNDER control!


April 9, 2010

A lot can change in 24 hours...

In case you didn't read the previous post...Ryan came home yesterday.
Guess where WE are headed?
Did you think since Ryan was released just not even 24 hours ago, that we were hitting the road and getting out of town?

Ha...we wish!

Unfortunately, Ryan was running a fever this morning and they told him he needed to come back in for observation.

So here we are pulling up to Ryan's FAVORITE place:

Good ole' UMC- he just CAN'T get enough of it!

As of yesterday, Ryan has spent 3 of his last 10 months in the hospital. It really has become his 2nd home.

Driving in the car, we realized that Ryan still hadn't even taken these off from yesterday:

GEEZ, he hadn't even been home for 24 hours!!!!!!

BUT, Ryan still continues to be happy...

...and knows that he will just keep ON fighting, whether in the hospital, or at home!



April 8, 2010

Non-stop SMILES :)

Ryan had a MUCH better week!
His WBC stayed around 4.2 (which is GREAT), and as the days went on, his mucositis and pneumonia got a little better.
Since Ryan was doing better, we started bringing in the kids to see Ryan. A visit to see Dad wouldn't be complete without:
...some of Dad's food notes

and OF COURSE...

a TEAM RYAN sign
Courtesy of the kids and nieces and nephews

Ryan LOVED each and EVERY second with the kids. He just smiles and watches everything they do- he misses them SO much!

Ryan was even feeling well enough to slurp down a little of this:


see his cute and chubby lil' niece

visit with his sister and nephew
He had such a great visit and a BIG ole' smile on his face!

Why the random IV pole...and where is Ryan?

Here he is...
WITHOUT his "ball and chain"
One night, Ryan was able to get about 6 hours without having to be hooked up to his IV. He was so happy and LOVING the freedom!

As the week went on, and things continued to improve, it was time to start making the transition to going home. Ryan went off the PCA pump and started taking MOST of his meds orally. His fluid retention was still pretty bad and they needed to get the water weight off before he could come home. In one day, he lost about 15 pounds of WATER WEIGHT, and boy it felt great! During the week, he was struggling with his oxygen intake and needed some O2 for walks and nighttime.

Here he is getting ready for a walk

Of course we have to find humor in things...
Ryan frequently joked that he felt like an OLD MAN because he had an oxygen tank.


We had so much to push around, that we took up MUCH of the hallway. On walks, Ryan pushed his IV pole and whoever was with him, was the lucky PUSHER of this little guy:
Walking was NOT the highlight of Ryan's day, but all the nurses LOVED seeing Ryan out and about!

Then last night (Weds), a little someone pulled her tooth out and was SUPER excited to show her Dad
During her prayer, she said, "Please bless the Tooth Fairy to fly here safely..."

I couldn't help but was too CUTE?


So WHY are we all still smiling?








That's RIGHT!!!!

He's home...and we COULDN'T be happier!

Welcome HOME Ry

April 4, 2010

WBC on the RISE and some GOOD NEWS!

So the past few days we've been MIA...
Nothing new- the pneumonia was still lingering, Ryan's mouth was in pain and he had been recieving blood products EVERY day:
(Ryan's red blood is now stable, but his platelets continue to be VERY low)

Between the different meds and lack of sleep, Ryan was exhausted. Since we were not bringing the kids in to visit and he couldn't talk, he often texted Hallie and I to keep in touch. Here he is trying his hardest to text Hallie back:

During this time, Ryan started retaining fluid, gaining about 30 pounds in a couple of days.
So standing HURT like crazy:

Then, over the past few days his WBC went from
.3 => .5 => 2.1 Then today it JUMPED to over 4!

And when the WBC comes up, things start to get a little better!

He has been able to eat a tad bit more...

He was able to visit longer and go for walks...

Stay awake long enough to watch some conference...

But this is how I knew he was feeling better:

I was in bed resting and I looked up to see Ry on the computer. I asked him what he was up to and he replied, "Just reading..."

Me: What are you reading? (I was pretty sure I knew)

Ryan: Oh, just Motor Trend...

I KNEW he was feeling MUCH better to be reading articles and forums on the Motor Trend website :)

* * *

We decided to do something fun for the kids because it had been about a week since they last visited Ryan.

The Easter Bunny left a note saying that something special was waiting for them at the hospital...

They were able to see their Dad and get their Easter baskets. How great it was to be together as a family, not letting a hospital stay get in the way of our fun!


Ryan had a MUCH better day today.

He is improving so much, that he may be coming home in 2-3 days!

We have so much to be thankful for...
Happy Easter

***Go TEAM Ryan***