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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, January 29, 2008


Hangin' in there.

Please pray for strength and courage for our Lighthouse friends, the Millers. Their sweet and beautiful daughter, Taylor, passed away yesterday after a very long battle with bone cancer. Taylor has two sisters who will miss her very much.
Ryan had a good checkup today with Dr. George. He is starting week 2 of the three weeks of chemo. It doesn't seem to slow him down. He got an excellent report card yesterday. He was really proud of himself.
We haven't learned a whole lot more about the pathology report, except that there was no skin involvement. We had been a little worried about that earlier on. I have had one of the drains removed, and another one is ready to be taken out, but I am not looking forward to that. It hurt like heck getting the first one out. I have an appt. to go back to Emory to Dr. O'Regan on the 11th and will get all the answers then. Thanks for checking in on us. Much love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Friday, January 25, 2008


One step forward, Two steps back

Oh no, the lymph node pathology came back late this afternoon. the result was about 25 percent were still cancerous. It's back to the dreaded chemo. We will get a lot more info early next week. One day at a time. Les

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Check that off the list.

I am home and feeling better. Thank you all so much for your posts and prayers. You have lifted me up incredibly, once again! I just don't know how we would make it on this crazy journey without all of your support. Thanks to everyone who has brought or sent food, flowers, treats, smiles, and warm wishes. It is nice to be home (which I, for one, have always known!) . :) Thanks, Jean and Linda for coming and checking on me and keeping Les and Karen company at Emory. I've heard it was a long day! I have felt better each day. I have slept a lot and really started eating today. I think I had stored up food from our cruise to last me! We are grasping onto our routines of basketball practices, etiquette class, and kid's birthday parties. I don't think things ever slow down around here, and for that, I am thankful. So, I will be taking it easy here at home. Les is taking excellent care of me, while managing to keep track of everything the kids need. He is putting my mommy-skills to shame! Thank ya'll again for caring for us. Love, Missy

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Our Super Patient update

We will be staying here until Friday. Her pain has subsided for now and we just completed one lap around the nurse's station, slow and steady. We got her freshened up, out of the hospital gown and into her own PJ's. No lipstick yet, likely tomorrow. As soon as her head hits the bed she's out like a light. Ryan can't hardly wait till we get back home as we can hardly wait to get back there to see all three of them. So far so good, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will and SuperRyan



It looked like it was going to be a great morning. Up at 3:30 and out the door by 4:40am. Missy's friend Karen came down with us to Emory for a 6am pre-op, surgery at 7:30, 12:30 post-op and hit the room at 2:30.....HaHaHaHa... oh, the drive down to Emory was great, but the rest of the plan quickly fell apart. Missy had been moved from 1st round at 6, to 2nd round at 9:30. It gave her a little more time to ponder what was going to happen to her while under the knife. Emory has a cool electronic board in the waiting room that allows you to track a patients progress while you sit and wait. Yellow for pre-op, green for the in-op and purple for post-op recovery. Missy's changed from yellow to green at 10:40. She had said the Dr's would take an hour to an hour and a half each. So quick calculations tells us 2:40 on the outside. Dr. Wood came out to the waiting room at 12:30 and said removal went very well and he also removed several enlarged lymph nodes for pathology, (we will get those results in a week). We watch the hours tick away and at 4pm her number went purple, getting close! The plastic surgeon called an hour later and said his portion of the surgery went very well also and she should be out of post-op around 5:30 and transfer her to the 8th floor. At 6:30, we asked if we could slip into post-op and check on her as we felt they had held her long enough. None of the nurses in post-op were too happy to have the 2 of us there and made that pretty clear. They assured us they were processing her and to head back out to the waiting room. When 7:15 rolled around I asked the clerk in the waiting room to find out what the hold up was, she said they were waiting on a room and that we could move all our stuff up to the 8th floor waiting room to wait there, (nice change of scenery. I directly checked in with the nurses station and they said that 822 would be ready shortly. We moved Missy's stuff into the room at 8 and turned on Idol. We called to post-op 2 more times and again, they were processing her. By 8:45, we went back down to post-op and this time they did not want to let us in and we could see Missy waving at us. I cruised on in anyway. The nurse said she was still working on the paper work and she would be up in 20 minutes. Finally by 9:45, almost 6 hours later, she made it through post-op and into her room.
We have been completely spoiled by Ryan's nurses and the administration at Egleston and Scottish Rite but I feel all patients and families deserve the same treatment no matter what hospital you are at. I certainly expected more from Emory. So it is the morning now. Karen made it home safely through the snow at midnight and I was back in the room by 1am. Missy rests comfortably while the morphine and Percocet are working and she's sleeping. She is supposed to get up shortly to walk a little and have something small to eat. I can't believe it but they say she might go home tonight, possibly in the morning. Thanks for all your calls and emails. I have shared your sentiments with her although she was still pretty fuzzy!. She should be able to talk on Friday. Many thanks again, Love Les, Missy, Heidi, Will and SuperRyan

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Good news and not so good news

The good news is we had a great trip far far away from reality, the not so good news is there was no miraculous hand from the heavens to wipe away Missy's need for surgery in the morning.

Our trip started out with a 2 1/2 hour rush hour ride down to the airport. We thought we would miss our flight for sure. Thanks to pre-printed boarding passes, curb side check in and no wait in security, we just made the plane. It was all smooooth sailin after that. We had a beautiful ship and cabin and absolutely perfect weather. 85 and sunny. We toured Cozumel by Jeep and found a few grass thatched huts that just happened to serve ice cold cocktails! We ended up both getting tattooed in Mexico (bet a lot of people have said that). Missy walked away with a Superman logo on her shoulder and I am sporting Ryan's favorite message "some beach" on my massive bicep. ( by the way, they were spray on ) As always, the entertainment and food were awesome everywhere. Missy is not to concerned about the "no food or liquids" tonight or tomorrow! neither am I.

We are headed out to Emory at 5am for a 6am start. She should be out of surgery by 1 or so. I'm thinking about putting an "x" on the right one just to be on the safe side.
I am going to take a little time at 10am to meet with Dr. Durden at Egelston to get some advice on a new treatment for Ryan. I sure am hoping for some enlightenment.
Say a few special words tonight for Missy as the next couple weeks are going to be very difficult for her both mentally and physically. Lots of love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will and SuperRyan.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Bon Voyage

Ryan got a good check-up from the clinic yesterday. We don't have his counts, yet, but he weighed a record 48.8!! He is supposed to go back in 2 weeks for another check. We are planning on getting labs at Coach Gary's clinic, and maybe save ourselves a trip to Atlanta. Les and I are very excited about our trip tomorrow. The kids are excited about spending time at my mom and dad's. They love being on their farm.
We are thrilled to report that Lunch for Life (The Christmas Giving Trees) raised a little over $250,000.00. That brings their grand total to $1,163,536.23 for neuroblastoma research. Thanks again to everyone who bought ornaments.
Ryan got a special surprise from his buddy, Morris, at the hospital. He made Ryan his own employee badge (as he is always stealing everyone's). We will post a picture our little "Chief of Doctors" soon.
Thank you all for your prayers for us. Please say a prayer for our friends, Taylor and Maddie. Taylor's family is going through what parents should never have to, and Maddie has scans this week. We will post pictures next week from our trip. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Happy New Year!

You can see who managed to stay up and ring in the New Year. Will's buddy, Jackson, celebrated with us
, and Heidi had quite a few friends over, too. It was a quick holiday. We had to go back to school on the 2nd. It was nice to sleep in everyday and get some rest. We took in a movie or two and the boys got to go shoot paintballs. How do you like our new car tags?? There is a link on the left of this site where you can order your tag ( any state). We are excited about raising more awareness of pediatric cancer. Ryan seems to be doing ok on his oral chemo. He did get a sandpaper-like rash on his arms, legs, and back. It itches occasionally. He has a check-up on Tuesday at the clinic. After this week, he will get a week off the meds, and then we repeat the cycle over and over again. Please pray that it is working .
Les and I are sneaking off on Thursday for a little R & R. We are taking a cruise to Cozumel. We are really looking forward to it and really need it. I have been feeling better. Food finally tastes good and I was able to go for a pedicure today. That was a major accomplishment! We'll get back just in time for my pre-op. As much as I am dreading the surgery, I am really looking forward to getting it over with. Please pray that it goes well and that the chemo has killed all the cancer.
Thanks for checking in on us and thanks for your prayers. A friend of ours could really use your prayers, as well. Please pray for Taylor and her family. They are having a rough time right now trying to control her pain. We hope that 2008 holds much happiness and good health for all of us. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan

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