Friday, July 31, 2009

More Ups Than Downs

Well, there is finally some good news! Sorry that I haven't written since Tuesday - I took Aubrey to the aquarium and King's Island and haven't been around a computer. On Wednesday Ryan's legs started to swell up greatly. Aubrey and I visisted Wednesday morning and he was pretty much the same as he had been Tuesday. During the day Wednesday, his legs began to swell more. When I came to see him last night, he was really swelled up. Although the swelling in his legs hasn't gone down much, I believe the swelling in his stomach has. He is able to pass some gas and had a small bowel movement today. Dr. Marinella was happy with his abdomen scans today, said they looked much better than the last few have looked. The surgeon was in and didn't stay long, but told him to keep doing whatever he was doing because it was working!

It will still be several days in here before everything is back to normal, but I truly think we are now on the up side of things. Keep praying that Ryan will make improvements each and every day.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Rough One

Today has been a rough day, more for me than for Ryan. His pain has pretty much gone away, he is still taking some pain medicine, about every 6 or 7 hours. He is coughing up some flim which is helpful for his lungs. Last evening they did some scans and found that from the inflammation that his colon had swelled shut in one spot. Most likely, all the swelling in his belly is caused because nothing can get out. They put an ng (?, not sure if that's the real term) tube in his nose to pump the bile out of his stomach. They are hoping that this process will help relieve the pressure in his stomach. They are watching his stomach closely and if things don't get better within the next 24-36 hours they may have to do surgery to remove part of his colon and maybe more. We don't really want to go down that road and we are praying that God will use all the procedures that the doctors and nurses have decided upon to relieve the swelling in Ryan's stomach.

Ryan's been on 2 or 3 liters of oxygen since he's been here last Friday. They had him off oxygen for a little while this morning while they were doing some tests and he did ok, but they thought that it might be best to keep him on one liter because when he's sleeping sometimes his oxygen drops. His blood pressure has been high and they were worried about his urine output this morning. His blood pressure has stayed high all day, but Dr. Marinella doesn't seem especially worried about that. They had to put a catheter in for the urine and he has made more urine since then, good news for the day. It is also not nearly ask dark as it had been the last few days.

I have had a rough day and in addition to praying that the swelling will begin to go down so that surgery is NOT necessary, I ask that you pray for me. I'm getting frustrated and I want Ryan back home to help me prepare for Aubrey's birthday. I know he wants to be there too, circumstances are causing frustrations right now.


Monday, July 27, 2009


Ryan has been sleeping a lot today. He said he didn't get a lot of sleep last night because he's on so many antibiotics that they beep finished almost constantly. His stomach and legs have swollen up quite a bit. The doctor's say that that is a side effect of his bowel being messed up. When Dr. Marinella was in today he was a little worried that Ryan was on oxygen. They will be doing some chest and abdomen scans later this afternoon to check on his stomach. It looks like it might be a few days here in the hospital before they get him off some of the antibiotics and his stomach starts to look better.

Please continue to pray that all the infection is gone and that the pneumonia begins to get better. It could be several more days here in the hospital before he is even feeling like he could come home.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Little Recovery

Ryan is feeling a bit better today and he is now getting to have a clear liquid diet, so he was excited that he was able to have a popsicle today. His white count is up to 1.8 today and the doctors and nurses feel that once his white count recovers a little more that the inflammation around his colon will go down and he will begin to feel a whole lot better.

He didn't get a lot of sleep last night because they were in and out checking on him and he said he was awake about every hour. He is resting now, waking up and talking a while and then falling asleep again. Towards evening yesterday when he would stand or sit up his oxygen level would go way down and his heart rate would go way up. The nurse called the in-house emergency doctor to check on him and they did another chest x-ray and an EKG, but they thought everything looked fine. They believe that once he starts getting a little more than fluids in him and when he starts feeling a little better that those issues will resolve themselves. Please pray that that is the case.

He also has a bit of pneumonia and so they have treated that with antibiotics and he has a "pickle" (a green breathing apparatus) that he breathes into when he can to help break up the infiltrates in his lungs.

He is feeling better, but he still has a little ways to go before he will get to come home. Please pray that the doctors and nurses continue to be conscious of him and watching his numbers. Please pray that each and every day he will continue to get better and gain strength back. Please pray especially for Dr. Marinella as he works to decide what the best course of action to take after Ryan is recovered.

Thanks to everyone who is on our side. We appreciate you all.


Friday, July 24, 2009

One Week Too Early

Well, Ryan has landed back in the hospital. He is at Miami Valley with pain in his abdomen. We went to Wayne Hospital this morning and he had a slight fever, but then started complaining about pain in his abdomen. Dr. Marinella talked to Ryan on the phone and decided it would be best that we head down to the Valley. They transported Ryan by ambulance, I drove down. When we arrived, his temperature had gone up a little, Dr. Marinella was waiting on him. He examined and told us what is possibly could be. He ordered him pain meds and at CT scan. When the results of the CT scan came back they found that his colon is enlarged. This is caused by a combination of things - the drugs from chemo, having low counts for such a long time (this whole week), a bacteria, being dehydrated. So, he is on antibiotics and heavy pain medicine.

Unless something goes bad, this problem will solve itself when his white counts return to "normal" levels. So, it will take a couple of days for his counts to recover. He is in pain. Please pray that the pain meds will do their job and allow him to sleep. He was very heavily sedated when I left tonight.

This also means that Dr. Marinella has to make some decisions about his last round of chemo because the drugs he will be getting the last round can cause this exact problem again and he doesn't want that. Pray that he will decide wisely what should be done.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Bit Tired

Ryan is feeling tired today. After his blood draw yesterday the doctor's office called and set up plans for him to get blood tomorrow. His hemoglobin was getting low yesterday, but not low enough to give blood yesterday. I think he probably needed it today because he has taken 2 naps and not felt much like eating this evening. He is actually already in bed and he has a slight fever, which I'm praying will go down with some rest and liquids which I'm making him drink. It is not to the critical point yet that he has to go to the hospital and I hope it doesn't get that far this round.

I am quite ready to be finished with this and I know that Ryan is too!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Only 2 lumbar punctures left!

I have to say that although we had to go to Good Sam North and Miami Valley today, this was the best doctor's visit that we've had. Although things took all day, we didn't have to wait around when we got to either place and things went smoothly. Ryan got his shot of vincristine and then his lumbar puncture all today. Dr. Marinella decided last round that he can do that all in one day, so we spend the whole day driving around, but we only have to do it once instead of twice like we were.

Ryan is a little tired, especially after he helped Russell sand the upstairs floor on Saturday, but he's feeling pretty good. Our upstairs is coming along nicely. If we keep moving at the pace we're moving then I think we truly will be finished by Aubrey's birthday. We're almost ready to start cleaning up all the dust and dirt and putting the crib together and decorating. I'm getting excited!!

Please continue to pray that Ryan's counts go up like they're supposed to and that this platelets and red blood cells keep in normal levels.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Is the suspense killing you?

Sorry that I haven't written in a couple of days. Ryan did come home on Tuesday night and when we got here, my parents were here working upstairs. We quickly had some supper and I did some homework and then we went to bed. Ryan is feeling really well. Yesterday he took some wheat to the elevator, drove himself to the hospital to get his blood drawn, he unpacked all his clothes, and did a few other things as well. He even helped our friend Dave do some work upstairs last night.

He was tired by bed time, but he's up already this morning, playing with Aubrey as I type this. We plan to walk at Relay for Life on Friday night - he's looking forward to it.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Getting Ready for Day 4

Day 4 will begin for Ryan at about 11:30 tonight. He is already on his final bag of chemo. This is a 22 hour bag and he should be finished with his chemo around 2:00 tomorrow, so he'll get to come home tomorrow evening. I have suggested that he get a lot of rest this evening and tomorrow because when he comes home we're going to have a marathon house working session :) We are getting closer and closer to being done, I can see the end and we are going to manage to get it done. Thanks to everyone who has helped us with the process thus far!

Ryan had a lumbar puncture today, only 3 more to go. It went smoothly and he's been relaxing flat on his back for a little while. He's going to take it easy the rest of this evening and rest up tomorrow until I come to get him.

Please pray that all goes well for the next 24 hours, I know Ryan is ready to get back home. Please also pray that his blood levels stay up so that he doesn't require so many transfusions while he's home between rounds.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Another Day Halfway Done

Ryan has now had 3 of his 6 small bags of chemo. He talked with the nurse last night and found that he should be finished with everything for this round on Tuesday around lunch time. He's got the papers that tell him that right close to his bedside so that no one forgets :). He has been a little sleepy today, but he feels pretty well. He didn't take any nap yesterday and it is Sunday, so I can't really begrudge him for sleeping, especially since I napped while we were watching a movie yesterday.

Please continue to pray that this round continues to go as smooth as it has been. We appreciate your prayers each and every day.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 1 1/2

Ryan has finished 2 of the 6 of his small bags of chemo. He is feeling pretty good and he actually ate Taco Bell for lunch today. The doctor said the he obviously wasn't feeling any nausea if he was eating Taco Bell. We went on a walk around the hospital today for about 20 minutes. He is eating supper right now and he has had a good day today. If all continues to go well, he will come home on Tuesday.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Back to the Hospital

We are at Miami Valley waiting to begin round 7. The doctor is here writing Ryan's chemo orders and then they'll get him started on things as soon as it comes from the pharmacy.

Ryan was feeling well at the doctor's office and they gave him the choice of waiting until Monday or coming today and we chose to go ahead and come and get things started. We are about three days ahead of schedule starting today, so hopefully that means we get finished a couple days earlier in August.

After the doctor's office, Ryan and I went out for supper at O'Charley's before heading to the hospital. We enjoyed our supper together and Ryan was happy that he didn't have to eat hospital food.

Please pray that this round goes smoothly and Ryan gets out as soon as he possibly can.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Couple More Days

Ryan should get to have a couple more days at home before he heads back to the hospital. Yesterday he finished up the combine and got it ready for his dad to use. He totally misses working out in the fields. I'm trying to get him to work on our house, but he keeps going out to the barn instead, I can't keep him in!

He is feeling pretty good, still gets tired very easily, but he's not having joint pain as he has in the past. Thank God!

He has a doctor's appointment tomorrow afternoon and then he'll probably be in the hospital over the weekend and through early next week. Please pray that this round goes quick and well and then only 1 more to go!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Finally Home

Well, after a few go around about which doctor was able to discharge Ryan, he finally got home from the hospital around 2:30 yesterday. He was getting tired by then so he took a nap before Aubrey and I got home around 3:30. He then played with Aubrey and worked on getting things lined up for upstairs. I'm putting him to work today! It is our goal to have Aubrey in her room by her birthday. We're getting closer. Ryan is still a bit tired but feels pretty good. His counts are looking good and Dr. Marinella told him to pack his bags for his doctor's appointment Friday afternoon because he'll probably head back to the hospital after that.

I'm complaining about two weekends in a row and also happy because that's about 4 days ahead of schedule and so that means he'll get done a little sooner in August!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Getting More Blood

Ryan is feeling lots better today, better than yesterday even. Although he couldn't convince the doctor to let him come home today, he was told that Dr. Marinella would come visit him in the morning and discharge him then. Aubrey and I are looking forward to having him home. His platelets were low again today, so they gave him platelets this morning. They also decided to give him two units of blood so he'd be ready to head home tomorrow. His white count is coming up already.

Thanks for all the prayers, we continue to appreciate them all!


Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Better Day

Although we would have rather not spent our 4th of July in the hospital, Ryan feels a lot better today. His fever has stayed below 100, fluctuating between 97 and 99.6 at different times during the day. He has eaten more food today than he has any day since Wednesday. He is, of course, ready to come home. As of earlier today, there was nothing growing on his blood cultures, but they wait 48 hours before they can tell for sure. That will be sometime tomorrow afternoon. He is hoping that they will allow him to come home tomorrow, I would enjoy that too, but we'll pray for the best situation.

Please continue to lift us up in your prayers that we get him back home soon for a week or so before his next round of chemotherapy.


Friday, July 3, 2009

A Small Bump

(We hope its small, anyway). Yesterday, Ryan spent a few hours at Wayne Hospital getting red blood and platelets so that he wouldn't have to be there over the holiday weekend, so much for that idea! When we left last night, he was running a low grade fever. The nurse said just to watch it. Ryan took 1 tylenol and it was down to 98 by a couple hours later.

When he checked it this morning, it was up too 100.3. So we got ready and went on into Greenville to get his blood drawn for labs. While there, his temperature went up a little higher and they called Dr. Marinella. He wanted labs drawn to test for cultures and also wanted him admitted. Dr. Marinella gave us a choice where to be admitted and so we chose to just stay at Wayne since they could get antibiotics started right away and its closer too home.

They got him to a room and his temperature spiked up to 103 point something. They brought in a machine to cool him down and his temp came down some, but he got really cold lying on the blanket used to cool him. They turned the machine off.

Right before I was ready to leave they checked his temp again - 105.2 - way too high. They turned the machine back on and I called just a few minutes ago. His temp has fallen to 102.7 (I think she said, 102. something) and he was resting and not shivering like he was before. The first time they had it one, he couldn't sleep. It is a good sign that he's sleeping now.

Please pray that his temp drops to normal and that when they turn the machine off that it doesn't spike again. We're believing that he doesn't have an infection and that his body is just so low on white blood cells that is the reason that he's spiking the temp. That would be he could probably come back home on Sunday, otherwise, we might be heading to Miami Valley earlier that we had planned.

Please also pray for me. The last few weeks have really been getting to me. July is here and there were things we had planned to do this summer that we're not getting to do and I'm ready for our house to be finished and it isn't moving as quickly as I would like. Nothing majorly horrible, I'm just ready for this to be over so we can do normal things for a while.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fortunately, Unfortunately

Fortunately, Ryan's mom was able to drive him to the doctor's today; unfortunately, he had to stay there about 5 hours because his potassium and magnesium were low and he needed fluids.

Fortunately, I had class today and didn't go to the doctor's; I would have been chomping at the bit because we probably wouldn't have planned for Aubrey to be at a baby-sitter's for so long; unfortunately, I didn't know what was going on because Ryan's mouth is so sore he can hardly talk.

Fortunately, the doctor gave him a prescription; unfortunately, he can't get it until tomorrow because the Walgreens in Kettering didn't have it.

Fortunately, Ryan came home and went to bed; unfortunately, April had homework do to and isn't in bed yet.

Fortunately, I'm almost finished with all my duties; unfortunately it is 10:45.

Fortunately, we have friends that will pray for us; unfortunately, it is difficult to describe everything we need prayers for.

Fortunately, God knows.