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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.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Happy Thanksgiving!!

Three years ago Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving) we checked into Egleston for Ryan's first stem cell transplant. Ryan seems to be feeling ok. A little calmer than usual. His chest is a little sore , but Tylenol seems to be taking care of it. I keep meaning to post that he has lost two teeth in the past week. I am just glad he was able to hold onto them until his platelets were up a little bit. He won't go back tomorrow for harverst. The cd34 is a marker they look for in his counts and it just isn't there, yet. Please say a prayer that it will be there on Wednesday.
I learned a lot today and have been waiting to post until I had some good info. I met with the surgeon, Dr. Wood today. He is such a nice man. According to the MRI, my tumor isn't shrinking as they expected. They had thought it would sort of go down like a balloon, but instead it is more like swiss cheese with holes in it. I won't be able to have a lumpectomy, but instead will have a skin saving mastectomy. They will be able to use my same skin, but tunnel out all the stuff inside. It will take some reconstruction, but I can't get that until after radiation. My surgery should be sometime the middle of January. I was really hoping to have it over the Christmas break so I would have plenty of time to recover. Dr. Wood said there was a possibility I wouldn't have to have radiation, but Dr. O'Regan felt strongly I should go ahead with it. I am going to arrange my radiation in Athens, and went ahead and set up an appt. in two weeks with the radiation oncologist at Emory so they can coordinate and manage the dosages. Two weeks will be my last chemo!! I will be celebrating on the inside for sure, but we don't want to make a big deal out of it in front of Ryan. His chemo isn't over. My last round has been the easiest so far. A few of my nails are looking pretty rough, hopefully I can keep them from falling off. Thanks to everyone who has sent hand creams, soaps, and food to the house. Ya'll are all so sweet to want to make this easier for me, and it really means so much.
The picture is from our trees in the front yard. They were so beautiful this year. We had a busy Sunday. Les got the pool closed finally (Hooray!!) and we started putting the Christmas lights on the house. We wanted to take advantage of the warm weather. We got about half-way finished and Les' knee gave out. One of these days we're going to have to get that fixed, too. Can you believe there was a time when we were all seemingly perfectly healthy!! Thanks for all your prayers for our family. Please continue to pray for our continued strength as we face each day ahead. And please pray for a bountiful harvest of stem cells for Ryan. Happy Thanksgiving! Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

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