- 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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Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Haven't slowed down, yet!
I think we have been busier since school got out than we were before. Swim team has been going for a few weeks, and we have a few more days of evening practices before Heidi and Will start their 7 am schedule. We actually have a practice meet tonight. Ryan is very disappointed and mad that he can't swim on the team. He has been a little Barracuda since summer of '03 and just can't understand why we don't want him in the public pool. He can swim in our pool all he wants, but that just isn't enough for him. It should be easier for him to deal with when the kids start their morning schedule. He is going to help out at the practice meet tonight handing out ribbons and selling candy in the concession stand. His bone marrow aspirate is scheduled for tomorrow at 10. We are hoping he will do as well as he used to. He had a considerable amount of pain afterwards when it was done in April, but he was also lying in the bed and that might have had something to do with it. Please pray that his marrows are clear of all cancer cells. We likely won't get any results until the first of next week. Round 3 of chemo starts next week with scans on Wednesday. Also, please pray that his scan is much much darker. He is really looking forward to a fun event this Saturday. Ferrari of Atlanta, Camp Sunshine, Yashin Corp.,and the Ronald McDonald House are sponsoring "Dream Ride for Kids". He gets a police escorted ride through Atlanta in either an exotic muscle, sport, or classic car. We will post some pictures on the weekend. Thanks for checking in on us,and please continue to pray for Ryan and for all the children who are fighting!! Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Sunday, May 27, 2007
School's out for summer!
Ryan went to school 4 days last week. He had a lot of fun with all the end of year activities. The picture above is him and some of his buddies with their school awards. We had fun yesterday. His friend, Matt, came to play, and Ryan went home with him to spend the night. Our friend, Kellie, also came out to our house for some fun. As you can see, they strapped "Peg" to a major bottle rocket and sent her off. This little doll has been the object of, well, basically abuse. Ryan cut her hair, clothes, arms, and legs off (thus, she is Peg). We are looking forward to a fun, relaxing Memorial Day weekend. Hope ya'll have the same. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Monday, May 21, 2007
Weekends are too short
Ryan ended up leaving the hospital as expected at 5pm for the 2 hour ride through Atlanata traffic. He slept half the way. We had a great weekend. Matt came over on Saturday for a full day of swimming, four wheel'n and shooting things with their airsoft guns (they shoot plastic bb's). Missy and I went to our Lighthouse friends, the Howard's daughter Sara's wedding shower and the kids were happy to spend the night at their nanny and granddaddy's on Saturday. Ryan's little bald head was a little red Sunday morning from all the sun the day before, oops! We took the kids to see Shrek 3 then back home to finish up yard work that had been filling the rest of our time. 3 day weekends would be so much better! This is the kids last week of school. They are so pumped up for the summer off. Ryan isn't be going to school the first part of the week but we think he should be fine for the last 3 days. We were so fortunate for the short stay at the hospital this round! Thanks so much for sending good thoughts Ryan's way. Les, Missy, Heidi, Will and SuperRyan.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Just waiting to go home!!
We have gotten the good news that if Ryan has no more fever he can go home after he gets his platelets. The only bummer is that there aren't any platelets here and they have to come from the blood bank which could take a while. We've already been waiting a couple of hours and no word yet. But, hey, I am not complaining if we get to go home. Ryan got unhooked from his pole for a few hours and we went over to the clinic for the "Flashes of Hope" photo shoot. Ryan wasn't too happy about having his picture made with me, but even took off his hat to have pictures made with Dr. Rapkin. We made a trip to the Koi pond for popsicles and visited the gift shop, of course. We got the schedule for his next round of chemo and his scans. Looks like we will have a week off! Hooray!! His bone marrows will be done May 31. Chemo will start June 4 and go each day that week. His MIBG injection will be June 5 with the scan on the 6th. It will be nice to know that the chemo is working, but I am already nervous about it. We are pretty much all packed up and waiting for the platelets to arrive. Knowing my luck we should be done right about 5:00. God must know how much I love sitting in Atlanta traffic! :) Thanks to all of you for your prayers for Ryan. We are so happy to be going home. Have an awesome weekend! Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and Ryan
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Hanging out, again.
Ryan's fever was up and down yesterday, and he got blood, which helped a lot. His fever hit 100.5 around noon today, but hasn't returned. (knock on wood!) We have had some visitors, and that has really perked him up. Thank you, Kellie, Linda, and Steve and Lauren. He made a plaster of paris brain yesterday with Kellie and his Dad. We have been learning about what goes on in your brain and all its different parts and have given it a coat of paint. Tomorrow he will paint the arteries on it. We have also managed to get in some math worksheets. He doesn't mind doing it. It's just tough getting him started. I guess it's kind of like me wanting to go home and clean toilets and mop floors. You just can't get too excited about it. We saw quite a few doctors today. Drs. Rapkin, George, Lew, and Miller (twice) all made it around. Everyone thinks he looks great. His white count was .4 this morning and platelets were bordering on transfusion. I will be interested to see what they are in the morning. We will definitely have a better idea in the morning of when we might get out, if he has no fever and after we see his counts. The pictures are from our Easter dinner and our trip to Nevarre on Spring Break. It is crazy how you can take simple things for granted. Please keep praying for Ryan and for all the children here in the Aflac unit and all our little friends. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Unhappy lil' boy
Headed back down to Scottish. He woke up with a low grade fever at 5am. We held off as long as we could, hoping it would go down (ryan) knowing it wouldn't (dad). It will definitely be a least a couple nights but we are seriously hoping it's not another 5'er. Lot's of love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and a sad SuperRyan.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Happy Mother's Day!
We have had a good week for the most part. Ryan has really started to slow down today, but he has had a major weekend, too. We started out this morning for Cracker Barrel for Mom's Day with my parents, but it was so crowded, and Ryan was nauseated. I gave him a phenergan and we tried to wait it out, but just couldn't. We decided to go for Japanese, and it was a real hit (until he came over and threw up between Les and I). He felt a lot better after that and ate his lunch. He swam for a little while this afternoon, and is now watching some scary sci-fi movie. We had a great time at Relay for Life last night. Ryan's school raised over $10,000. My only wish is that even a portion of it was going to help all the kids that need it. We are giving some serious thought to doing our own fund raiser for Neuroblastoma. We will have more details on that soon, I hope. Thanks to Jena and all her team including her mom, grand-mom, and Candler for making it such a fun night for Ryan. And thanks to his teacher, Mrs. Frye, for coming out and bringing her family to support Ryan. Please remember her in your prayers as she gets ready to have her third baby, a girl this time, just after school gets out (we hope!). Ultrasounds have shown that the baby has a cleft lip, and we are hoping and praying no other involvement. She has been such an awesome teacher for Ryan, and a great friend for me! It was so great to see so many of our friends Friday night at Relay. Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement and your prayers for all of us. My sister made some really neat luminaries with Ryan's pictures on them. He really loved that! Please keep praying that the chemo is doing just what we need it to, and please pray that Ryan will make it through the next 10 days or so without any fevers. I don't think he will go back to school this year. Another child in his class went home on Friday with the chicken pox. Thank you all for your cards, posts, and emails. We feel very blessed to have so many friends praying for Ryan. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
You just wouldn't believe the day we've had!
What would have ordinarily been a terrible day just seems manageable now. Our trip to Scottish Rite this morning took over 2 1/2 hours!! It seemed like there were accidents on every road we travelled. Then, on the way home we got rear-ended on 85. I couldn't see any damage to the car and fearing we would get run over any minute, we got the heck out of there. Our day at the clinic, though, went really well, and that was the most important part of our day (even though the most special part of our day was breakfast this morning- we had cheesecake for my birthday!). We stopped at Target on the way home and picked up some more Garbage Pail Kid cards. They were really entertaining in the car this morning. Ryan has been working on getting his collection in a notebook so he can look at them all. He has been feeling good, and eating good. Hopefully, he won't get a fever after this round. Please continue to pray for Ryan and all the other kids in this fight. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Monday, May 07, 2007
One day down.
These pictures are from Lauren's Run yesterday. It was great to see some of our friends there. It was really great to finally meet little Izzy, Catie's new sister. What a doll! I got to really see her awake and alert today at the clinic. Her mommy and daddy were there to bring the nurses a big cookie for nurse's week. What an amazing family they are. Their strength is inspirational. We continue to lift them up in prayer, and I hope ya'll will, too. Ryan's chemo got off to a late start this morning so we weren't able to leave the clinic until 4:30. The port access went fairly well-no tears! He did have to look at the needle first, though. Our nurse, Ericka, is so awesome. She just went right to it, and it was done. No time to fret about it. My dad went with us to keep Ryan company, and Ryan loved that. My mom and dad are taking him tomorrow. We feel so lucky to have their help. We did learn that they will recheck his marrows and repeat the MIBG scan the last week of May. Please everyone start praying today that this scan will be ALOT darker than the last and that his marrows will be clear of any cancer cells. Thank ya'll so much for your love and support. You don't know how just your kind words can lift us up. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Friday, May 04, 2007
A good day.
We had a much needed really nice day yesterday. I went with Ryan's class on their fieldtrip to the Blue Willow Inn. They had lunch and a lesson in table manners. We were disappointed that Matt didn't get to go. Ryan really misses him. His chicken pox is just about over with. His birthday party is Saturday, and Ryan is really looking forward to it. Ryan's hair is coming out slowly. Today is Hat Day at school so he won't be the only one wearing one! We have Lauren's Run Sunday morning. You can send donations to this awesome group at http://www.curechildhoodcancer.org/home.htm. They are funding research at AFLAC and Emory for our cure. Ryan collected all the pennies in our change bucket yesterday for the Relay for Life penny war at his school, but we agreed that we would give all the silver to Lauren's Run as it benefits CURE. You can scroll back to our entry from last year (March, I think) to see how Relay does not give to children's cancer. Our relay is this coming Friday night and Ryan will be in the Miss Jr. Relay pageant with his buddy Candler. They won last year because they raised $1000.00 just on that night. He should be able to participate even after a week of chemo. He starts back on Monday. Please pray that he avoids a fever after this next round. Thank you, Heather, for the new Relay sign in the yard for SuperRyan! The pictures are from yesterday's field trip and Heidi's 8th grade dance last Friday. She went to Chattanooga yesterday with her Beta Club and brought Ryan a necklace of a shark's mouth that actually opens and closes. He loved that. Please continue to pray for Ryan and all the other children who are battling this disease. Please pray for a cure. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Ryan's Dr. called this evening to give us the bone scan news we had been dreading. There is activity similar to his original diagnosis. It is just so hard to comprehend how fast the cancer has moved. How can he go from clear, to stage 4 again in less than 3 months? We are still in a state of disbelief and just trying to catch our breath. We desperately need these rounds of chemo to get this monster back under control and pray that we are lead in the right direction to bring Ryan back to remission. Please pray for Ryan. Les, Missy, Heidi, Will and SuperRyan