- 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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Yes, finally a picture of our SuperRyan! This is him and his buddy, Matt, at Awards Day last week. As you can see they raked them in. You can also see that his hair is coming back. He looks great. He has finished two rounds of the oral vp-16 and goes back next week for another check-up. I don't know when they will repeat his scans, but I am thinking it will be soon. He is playing soccer and having a good time. All the kids are playing. Heidi is actually playing both JV and Varsity at Apalachee. The Varsity had a pre-season scrimmage on Saturday, JV won their game on Monday, and she played Varsity again last night. She was so excited that they let her start the game!! We missed the very beginning. We were running about 5 minutes late from Crawford Long. Les and I ran down there (just a quick jaunt, don't you know?) to get my last drain yanked out. HOORAY! I am officially drain-free (after a mere four weeks). I am really hoping that after the little hole closes up in a day or two, I will really feel like I can move around more, and that will definitely make me feel better.
I went to Emory on Monday and met with the onocologist, Dr. O'Regan. She really wants me to have four rounds of doxorubicin (adrimyacin in the breast cancer world) and cytoxan to try and get rid of any microscopic disease hanging around. She feels this is my best chance of not relapsing. So we got started on that right away. The doxo is just a push and the cytoxan runs over an hour. I will go every other Monday again. We got the Neulasta delivered to the house and Les gave it to me last night. Again, I learn more empathy for Ryan. I didn't think that was still possible. That little shot burned-and for awhile! It was great that Ryan was there to hold my hand and make me feel better. It has been very important to him that he comfort me during all of this, and he has done an awesome job.
The nausea hasn't really set in. They expect it to in 5-7 days, which means the weekend. Yea! I did come home with four nausea drugs that I have been taking-except for the phenergan. It just zonks you out. I really haven't needed it-maybe this weekend! So, we are trying to keep all the routines going. Heidi has yet another soccer game tomorrow. JV this time. I am working, and have been for a while. My job is really not physically demanding. I see special-ed hospital-home bound students in the mornings and do my speech-kids in the afternoon. I only have groups of three of them so they are all very manageable. The teachers at Bethelehem are all so very supportive and keep me lifted up everyday, and for that I am very thankful.
I do want to ask for prayers for two of our cancer friends. Luke Webb is a friend of ours from the Lighthouse. He actually relapsed last year after we met them. They live in Florida, and his mom Carrie is taking care of him and his brother by herself. The chemo he has been taking isn't working anymore and they put him on Ryan's chemo, but it didn't do too much either. She is taking him to CHOP in the next week or so. Please pray for them to get some good answers and a new direction that will lead Luke back to NED and offer them many more years together until we can find a cure. Also, another NB mom could use your prayers. Her daugher Sarah is on a maintaince chemo similar to Ryan, and she is trying to get a definitive diagnosis on breast cancer. I should say on not having breast cancer. Any words of support you could offer would be welcome, I am certain.
Thank ya'll for checking in on us and for your many prayers and kind words of support. Love, Les, Missy, Heidi, Will, and SuperRyan