- Name: Ryan
- Location: Athens, Ga, United States
Our son Ryan was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma in 2004. In 2007, my wife Missy was diagnosed with stage 2 triple negative breast cancer. On July 8th, 2009, Missy lost her battle to this horrible disease. 2 days later, on July 10th, Ryan also lost his. Together forever, they both watch over our family now from the heavens above.
Below is our families journey through Ryan's treatments, along with the joy and laughter we tried to instill into our daily lives. Those days helped us all cope with the pain and suffering that comes with cancer and it's deadly treatments. Both Missy and Ryan endured high doses of chemo, radiation and surgeries. Over 150 nights spent in the hospital and many, many more days. More transfusions than I could count. Yet both Missy and Ryan took on each day with a positive attitude and warm smile for all their friends. We miss them terribly. They will always be a shining light in our lives.
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Sunday, May 29, 2005
Happy Memorial Day
Special thanks to all the men and women that have served and kept this country safe. The antibiotics seem to be doing the trick. No more fever, and he feels much better. Ryan's wish party was a lot of fun for him. His hat is like Mickey's wizard hat! A big thanks to these wonderful volunteers for making it so special. We have had a great time pouring over all the papers for the cruise and planning our excursions. The kids want to snorkel and feed the stingray at Blackbeard's Cay and take a catamaran out to snorkel at a reef. We picked up some snorkels and masks, and they have been practicing in the pool. A local limo company, Embassy Limousine, has kindly offered their services to take us to and from the airport. Ryan is sooo excited. We have to leave the house at 5:30 am so it will sure be nice to just step into a car and be whisked off to the airport! Ryan had a visit yesterday from Jena and Will from the Prince of Hope Pageant. He was pretty quiet, but told his Dad later that beauty queens make him shy. They were so great to bring him some beach toys. Heidi leaves for 4-H camp tomorrow morning for a week :( and Ryan gets to head back to the clinic on Thursday for a check-up. Everything is running smooth at the Morgan household. Thanks for stopping by and for keeping Ryan in your prayers.
A Sweet Start to Ryan's Wish
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Hopefully, this little scare is behind us. Ryan seems to be feeling better, and his fever has stayed down to at least low grade. He woke up crying with pain in his tummy on Monday morning, which freaked me out. Those were his exact symptoms last June, but I am a little wiser since then with my pseudo-medical degree that I have earned in the meantime. During his bout with tiflitis during the first transplant, one of the docs told me that if your tummy hurts around your belly button, it is probably gas. That is good medical advice to store away somewhere. So, after a few mylanta gel-tabs, no more tummy pain. :) I went ahead and called our wonderful nurse, Erika, at the Aflac clinic Monday morning, and she encouraged us to see our pediatrician, which we did. Dr. Morrison and his staff were so happy to see Ryan again. He hasn't been in their office for almost a year. He thinks Ryan might have an ear infection, so we started on Amoxycillin. He also wanted to x-ray his left index finger, which I neglected to mention that he hurt when he and I flipped over Will's four-wheeler on Saturday. Silly me, I thought he could drive it and evidently, he can't. So we were back in Athens this morning for an x-ray, and I am so happy to report that his finger is not broken, just bruised and swollen. Ryan says it feels "like plastic". We had to stop by the pet store on the way home and check out all the cute puppies. We are still wanting a dog. We are thinking of getting one after the cruise and after the Lighthouse Retreat. He still has his heart set on a "Chinese guard dog", whatever that is. The other great news is that Ryan's drawing was chosen for the 2006 Aflac calendar. He drew a wonderful Valentine picture, so that sort of makes him "Mr. February", doesn't it? We have to go down to the clinic tomorrow for a photo shoot. It would be so great to be able to stay home at least one day, but at least this should be a fun trip. Tonight is his Make-A-Wish party. Our cruise documents are being delivered, and they want to make it special for him. It will be nice to get some of the details so we can begin to really plan. Thank you all for your prayers.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Hopefully, the first fever is the scariest
Ryan started running a high fever around 11 last night. We have been fighting it on and off. He doesn't seem to feel bad, but he wants terribly to go see Jeffrey today. Please pray that this turns out to be nothing and goes away very soon. As we approach the one year mark since diagnosis, it is amazing the little things you think of that you thought you had forgotten. We have a lot of exciting days ahead in the next month, maybe that will keep us distracted.
Darth Vader, headed to the movies
Saturday, May 21, 2005
SCHOOLS OUT FOR SUMMER!!!
School was hardly out an hour before we had Jeffrey at our house playing. He and Ryan have been good buddies since kindergarten. Unfortunately, Jeffrey is leaving for China on Monday for the summer, so Ryan is having lunch at their Chinese restaurant tomorrow. He is going to miss his friend. We saw Star Wars today on the IMAX screen. I have to say it was awesome. Ryan was in total Darth Vader gear and donned his helmet as Darth Vader was fitted with his on the big screen. It was so cute. We bumped into another classmate, Seth, while standing in line. They sat next to each other during the movie. The cream we got from Dr. Marcus seems to be doing a pretty good job. I don't think his skin is quite as bad this time. His lips are still very dry. We have another week to go. We had a fun game of baseball in the yard this evening, and we rode bikes for a while. What fun normal stuff!! Please keep praying for us. Thanks so much, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
3 More Days of School :)
We are all doing great. We are counting down the days till Ryan's Make-A-Wish Disney Cruise in early June. We are expecting to get all our documents on that this weekend, so we will know a little bit better how to plan. We are already stock piling sunscreen. I drove by a blood drive last week and stopped and donated. The nurse said there was such a shortage that my blood would be given to someone within 24 hrs. I did manage to talk someone into donating platelets. That is next for me, too. Please participate in one of your local blood drives. So many children are in need. If you want to donate platelets, you must contact the Red Cross to schedule an appt. It only takes an hour. I will get Les to put a link to the Red Cross on the site. We were so lucky to have my Dad donate platelets directly to Ryan, so he only had to wait once to get them. Sorry it has taken so long to get these pictures up on the site. Seeing them reminds me that Ryan also sold 50 of the green "Reach the Day" armbands. Please continue to pray for Ryan's cure and for a cure for this horrible disease for all the little children. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Heidi, in the orange, doing what she loves
Will, doing some time in our Relay jail
Selling lemonade at Relay for Life
We got 1st place for our banner!!
Saturday, May 14, 2005
5 More Days of School!!
The kids are excited about the thought of summer vacation. Les and I presented some books to the school media center at the last PTA meeting. The books focused on compassion and were dedicated to FORM. We couldn't think of a better way to show our appreciation to these awesome folks than to do for something we share a compassion for, and that is the children at our school.
Ryan goes back on his Accutane tomorrow. He really struggles internally with the dryness and sores on his face and lips. We will be trying a new cream so maybe it won't be as bad as the last time. He and his Daddy played in the pool today. I thought he was going to drown from all the laughing. He is trying to learn the Butterfly stroke and to do a flip turn. The 6 & unders don't do either, but he has to keep up with Heidi and Will. Matt came and played. They had a great time swimming and building with leggos. It is amazing what boys will build. He helped Les put out some azaleas. After being given the chance to dig with the shovel, he decided that it is hard work even though it looks like fun!! I am still working on the pictures. Look for some new ones soon. Thanks, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Ryan officially re-joined the Swim Team yesterday. He was so happy to be going to practice. He had to quit last year mid-way through. He had a little fever yesterday morning and stayed home with me. Maybe there was a hint of selfishness on my part. It was my birthday, after all :). It is so really great to have our lives be chaotic the way they used to be and not because of cancer. As crazy as it sounds, it is comforting to be running from the orthodontist, to soccer, to a band performance all within a few hours. Ryan doesn't have to go back to the dr. for a month!! Wow!! I won't miss the 3 highways. Ryan always wants to know when we hit each one. Thank you all for your encouraging posts and e-mails.
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Happy Mothers Day!!
Isn't it great to be a mother (or dad) We had a special combination Mother's Day/ my birthday celebration at our house today. My parents were here with both of my sisters and their children and the one great-granddaughter. We cooked out, and all the kids played in the pool. Ryan fell asleep on the chaise before it was over. We had four cakes !!! Relay for Life was a lot of fun on Friday night. Ryan sold over $120 in lemonade. He led the survivor lap to get it all started. All of the kids (all 5) had to go on stage and state their name and how long they had been a survivor. He said he was Ryan and he had been a survivor for 6 years. I am so glad he just doesn't get it. I don't know how much our team raised yet, but our jail was hopping all night. Will even had his principal arrested and hauled to the jail, but her husband bailed her out right away. The kids would have stayed and played all night, but us old folks had to go home. The luminaries were beautiful. There were lots there for Ryan, and we purchased some for our cancer buddies that are here and in heaven :(. The Gwinnett paper had a picture of Ryan, his grand-daddy, and Matt selling lemonade. He has another week off the accutane, but he still has his Bactrim on Monday and Tuesday. It is nice to get a chance for his face and hands to clear up. We will not be going to New York for the monoclonal antibodies. Les was finally able to talk to the doctors after passing some e-mails back and forth. Ryan is too far out of transplant for it to be effective. It would be a treatment option should the cancer ever return (which it isn't going to do !!!). I am having some technical problems getting pictures on, but hopefully I will get it all worked out soon so I can post some pictures. Thanks so much for all your prayers, and we hope ya'll had a wonderful Mother's Day. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Sunday, May 01, 2005
First Round of Accutane Down, Literally
The dryness actually seemed to improve the last few days, but we are glad to be off the accutane for 2 weeks. Friday was Field Day at school. Ryan's teacher, Mrs. Wheeler, was out sick, but I spent the day with his class, and we had a ball. I may have been more tired than Ryan! We have a clinic appt. this Thursday. We will be speaking to the docs at Sloan-Kettering in NY about a new treatment for Neuroblastoma. Les added the link to learn about the monoclonal antibodies. This Friday is Relay for Life, and Ryan will be walking the Survivor lap and selling lemonade. A schoolmate's grandfather made him the lemonade cart. He associates the "survivor" lap to the Survivor reality-TV show. They have made that the theme at school. The school has divided into two tribes and are having a penny war. This past week they raised over $1700!! The kids are so excited about it. Ryan's Taniki tribe is in the lead. Unfortunately, Will is on the other team, ugh! It seems that Will's soccer season will never end. Every other game is rained out and is rescheduled at season's end. Heidi's team has had better luck with the weather. We are looking forward to a day around the pool today just relaxing and having fun together. These are the days we enjoy the most and the days we want more of. Please keep praying for Ryan's cure.
Mrs. Wheeler's Wizards
A Fun Field Day
Ryan and his buddy Jeffrey
All the CureSearch folks at the Tour de Georgia