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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.

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.

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