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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.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Is it Friday, yet?

What a day it has been! What a week!! First, the good news--Ryan had a good checkup today with Dr. Anderson. His counts were ALL in the NORMAL range!! This is the first time since June of 2004, and even probably before that. There isn't really any bad news, except that 1) we forgot to pee in the cup, so we won't be getting any catecholomine numbers next week, 2) we had to cancel his hearing appt., and 3) Ryan got a flu shot in the front side of his thigh (ow!). It was such a crazy morning. We started out with a trip to Egleston to take donuts to our wonderful doctors, nurses, child-life specialists, social workers, nutritionists, etc. that are part of the most awesome Bone Marrow Transplant Team. It was just a small way to say thank you for the exceptional care we all received last year. Today is the first anniversary of Ryan's first stem-cell transplant. We lucked out and got to visit with Dr. Horan, Ellen, Erika, Becky, Sarah, and, Dawn. The picture is of Ryan and Dawn. He was so happy to see her. He talked 90 miles a minute. He showed them a few of his karate moves. It was so great for them to get to see Ryan as he really is and not so terribly sick. We took a magnet board and magnets for the kids to help keep count of their laps they must walk everyday. We hope it will make a yucchy job a little more fun. Ryan used to get paid BMT bucks for all his jobs, like walking laps and doing breathing exercises, even for taking baths. I took this picture of him this morning holding some of his BMT bucks. It was so hard to leave Egleston. Everytime we started to go, we would run into someone else that we just had to visit with. So... we were late for our audiological appt. They were over-scheduled, so we will have to reschedule for another day. The real bummer was that Les had left work and gone down to meet us for Ryan's appt. I heard from his school today that a sound-field amplification system will be installed in his classroom in early January. He is just not ready to talk about hearing aids. I have taken little opportunities to bring it up and he gets pretty upset about it. I know this system will help. We have been offered a great opportunity to go to the Festival of Trees---in a limo!! The kids are going to love this. The festival will only be open for the Aflac families Sunday morning. There will be 30 limos carrying Aflac families from Egleston to the World Congress Center with full police escort. Our Social Worker, Becky, said it was a really fun event. We feel so fortunate to be able to go. The Festival of Trees is a yearly tradition in Atlanta that benefits Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. I can't wait to see all the beautiful trees, and the kids are going to have so much fun. Ryan had his heart set on seeing Santa Claus today. We stopped by Perimeter Mall before his appt., but Santa was gone to lunch. He was pretty disappointed, so we stopped at Gwinnett Place on the way home so he could rattle off a long list of toys on his list :) We are trying to help him remember to share toys with children less fortunate. I forgot to mention in my post earlier this week that Ryan had lost a tooth at school on Monday. He was glad for it to finally come out. Also, I took the kids to see the new Harry Potter movie late Sunday afternoon. I probably didn't mention that because I was pretty upset that Ryan just wanted to lay down during the movie. That just wasn't like him, but I keep reminding myself that it was the end of a long holiday weekend and he had stayed up late several nights and played pretty hard. I had another day like that yesterday. His teacher emailed me and said he had been falling asleep all day at school. That really upset me and I went to get him. Les reminded me later that we had given him an Alavert that morning. Well, duh! No wonder the poor child was falling asleep. I felt a lot better after that. So it has been a week, and a very long day. I seem to be having trouble getting the pictures to publish tonight. If they don't make it up this time, I will try again tomorrow. Thank you so much for your prayers for Ryan. Please continue to pray that his scans next week will be undeniably clear. Much love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

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