Sunday, February 28, 2010

Home Again

Ryan was able to come home today. I picked him up around 11 and then we went to my parents to have lunch with our family. Ryan has napped pretty much all day and he is a little sore from the bone marrow biopsy they did the other day, but otherwise he is doing well.

He has some bloodwork and an appointment with Dr. Marinella tomorrow morning and then we head to Columbus again on Tuesday for the final tests and meetings before we head there for admission. There are still many things to be taken care of this week.

I ask for prayers for strength for both of us - Ryan physical strength because he needs to build up as much as he can before the radiation and chemotherapy begin again. Me for physical and spiritual strength because there are many things to do this week and we have our "normal" lives to live as well. I plan to head to bed early each night this week because I believe the days will be long and full of activities.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Trip to Columbus

Well, we've made our first day of appointments at the James Cancer Center. It is a little scary going over there and hearing them tell you everything that's going to happen. I read through the huge packet of information they sent, so nothing they said was anything that I read/heard before, but it seems a little more real once you're there and they say it in person. Ryan had tons of bloodwork done and a chest x-ray. He also had a bone marrow biopsy done. He was supposed to get a lumbar puncture done, but his liver enzymes were a little too high, so they're planning on doing that when we return Tuesday for our other appointments. We had an education class about what to expect throughout the whole process and we talked with a social worker about housing and money, etc.

The whole process is a bit scary, but we both know that God has told us: "I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." That was one of the verses that helped me get through my first year of college and I know I will cling to it and many other pieces of scripture throughout the long process.

There are many complications that could happen, and although it is reality that we might face them, we choose to look for the positive and believe that after a few months in Columbus, the three of us will come home again to our house and get on with our lives. God is a faithful and true God and we will trust that he is walking right beside us, likely sometimes carrying us through the next few months.

Prayers will be very helpful as we face the transplant and road to recovery.

On a happy note, Ryan is most likely going to get to come home sometime tomorrow, so we're thankful for that. Things have been working as they're supposed to. He's on a soft diet today and he just ordered lunch, but the doctor has already been in and told him that they'll plan to ship him out tomorrow.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Looking Up

Well, God always has a plan, we don't always want to wait for it. Dr. Marinella did come in last night, around 9:30. He told Ryan that today he could go back on a liquid diet and that he would make a way for him to get to his appointments on Friday. He wasn't sure if he'd discharge him yet or if he would just go on a "leave" from hospital. When Dr. Marinella was in today he decided that Ryan probably needed to stay until Monday, just to make sure his stomach and bowels were working correctly as he started eating again.

Because he's just getting out of the hospital for one day, and he's technically still admitted, he has to go by ambulance to Columbus tomorrow and then return by ambulance. So, we get to be chauffeured to Columbus tomorrow. I'm not really excited about being bound by the ambulance as our transportation, but at least I don't have to do so much driving! I'll be able to read :)

Ryan has been able to go to the bathroom a couple of times today, praise God for that. It seems like things may be beginning to work right again.

We continue to pray that we can see God's plan unfold and that as we go into the transplant all will go well and Ryan will accept the new cells and recover quickly.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Not Much To Report

Ryan has been up walking a lot today, but not much is happening. Dr. Marinella was in very early this morning and hasn't been back since. Ryan thought he said he was coming back, but I think 9:00 is a little late to expect that. Dr. Marinella consulted with a surgeon who was in last night and again today, he told Ryan he thought he looked a little better today than yesterday.

Otherwise, keep praying that things will begin to move for Ryan and he can get everything cleared up and on to the transplant.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Better Ending

Well, the day has ended better than it began, for me at least. When I read Aubrey's Bible story to her tonight, it was about how Habakkuk found joy in the Lord, just because he was God. So, I will take a lesson from my daughter and go to the Lord to find my joy and strength.

When the doctor was in this afternoon he said that Ryan has teflitis (I don't know if that's spelled right). That means that his bowels are swelling again and they are backed up. We need prayers that they will not swell completely closed as they did last August. Ryan is not allowed to eat for the next two days and is supposed to be up walking every 2-3 hours to try to get things moving again. The nurse did hear some noises when she listened tonight, so that's a good sign, but Ryan needs to get things cleaned out.

We still have appointments at Columbus for Friday and next Tuesday and we're believing that things will move quickly at Miami Valley and Ryan will be home to go to his appointments so that the transplant can occur on schedule.

We're thankful for all we've been blessed with, our little family feels right tonight and we continue to pray for God's healing of Ryan.


Hurry Up and Wait

Well, I think I'm being taught patience again. I'm not getting this lesson very fast and it is frustrating me. I thought we were on a good track and had everything set up with Ohio State to get the ball rolling, but it doesn't look like Ryan will get to come home from Miami Valley until at least Thursday and so we've already missed our first appointment there. I spoke with them yesterday and they were going to try to reschedule to keep everything on track, but we have more appointments on Friday so if those get backed up then I'll think everything will have to be rescheduled.

Last night Dr. Marinella had more blood drawn to culture and he also order CT scans for Ryan's chest and abdomen. Ryan was supposed to go for those at 6 this morning, but when he called at 7:30 they hadn't even brought him the contrast stuff to drink, so they're obviously behind on that schedule. I believe that Ryan is feeling better, he didn't have nearly as much pain yesterday as he had on Sunday or Saturday.

I think I'm the one who needs the prayers today. It already frustrated me that I had to change work plans to go to Ohio State, not that I don't want to go, but because I had meetings planned with teachers and now we're on hold at Ohio State and I'm working and I could be having the meetings I already canceled so I'm feeling a little upset. Unfortunately I take that out on Ryan - and it isn't his fault. I had a rough day yesterday and it doesn't seem better this morning, but I'm praying for it to look up as the day goes on.

We thank you for all you do for us.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Trip to the ER

Last night after a wonderful supper with Uncle Don and Aunt Charlotte, Ryan had some shivers and so he took his temperature and was running a low grade fever. He called the oncology doctor on call and the doctor just told him to follow protocol - if the fever gets to be over 100.5 then he needs to report to the ER at Miami Valley. After putting Aubrey to bed, he took his temperature again, it was 102. He did not want to return to the hospital, so he continued taking his temperature for about 5 minutes, but it didn't change.

By the time we made it to Miami Valley, he was complaining of back pain and could hardly stand up. They took him back and took blood and x-rays and a CT scan. He's got backed up bowels and was still running a fever, which they don't know the cause of yet, so they admitted him at about 4:30 this morning. He was still running a fever this morning, but when the nurse was in a little while ago the temp was down to 97.7. He had some chills prior to her coming in, so maybe the fever has broke. That would be an answered prayer. We are supposed to go to Columbus on Tuesday and so Ryan's a little disappointed that this might back things up (no pun intended :), but hopefully he'll be able to use the bathroom and if his temperature stay down maybe they'll send him home tomorrow so we can still make his appointment.

We continue to be blessed by your gifts and prayers and ask that you pray that Ryan is able to use the bathroom soon and relieve the pain he's feeling. He's also coughing but they said that his lungs looked good on the x-ray they took last night.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Feeling Tired

Ryan has been feeling pretty tired the last couple of days. He called the doctor's office yesterday to see if he should go get his blood drawn. They called at 4:30 and said that yes, he should get blood drawn. So, he had to run to Greenville before they closed to get his blood drawn. His white count is low again and so he had to get a neupogen shot. We had some here so I was able to give that to him. He's been sleeping most of the morning already.

Ryan will be admitted at Ohio State on the 9th of March and will receive chemo and radiation to prepare him for his transplant the following week, March 16th. He will then be in the hospital for a few more weeks until his body shows that he's accepting the marrow and beginning to make cells on his own.

We have 2 appointments there next week and 1 more the following week where we'll find out more details about the whole process.

We know that God is guiding everything, but some days it seems tougher than others to trust that everything will work out for the good.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Normal Day

I would call today as normal of a day as there can be right now. I again, did not have to work, so we slept in and then made breakfast. I have been wanting to eat Pizza Hut pizza, so we went to New Bremen and had the buffet for lunch, Aubrey really enjoyed this. When we got home, Aubrey napped, Ryan napped and then left to run some farm errands with his Dad, and I watched a movie. It was a nice distraction to all that's been going on.

We continue to be thankful for the prayers and support that we have from you. We hope to know details about OSU by Friday.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Long Chemo Appointment

Today, I took Ryan to get his chemo, it was a long appointment, but better than the 7 hours he spent in the hospital getting blood yesterday. I have been reading the book, My Sister's Keeper, so while he was playing games on his computer, I got a lot of reading done! Ryan played with Aubrey some this morning and she really enjoying having him here.

We had a call from the insurance company tonight and they have talked with OSU, so Ryan's going to try to get some information from OSU tomorrow. We're hoping to get things moving sooner than later, but we are trying to be patient with everyone's timing. I'm sure that God has a plan for when this is to be done, but His timing isn't always my timing, and sometimes I'm not good with that (honestly, most of the time I'm not good with waiting).

We continue to appreciate all your prayers and support given to us. We truly thank God for all our blessings each day.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Getting Blood

That's how Ryan spent his day today. After going to his doctor's appointment, he went to Wayne Hospital and spent about 6 hours laying there getting blood. He made it home right before Aubrey went to bed and she was very happy to see him. She spent some time today "talking" to him on her phone.

Aubrey was supposed to go to the doctor today as well, but her doctor was sick, so we had to reschedule her appointment. Aubrey got to go to Sandy's (her babysitter's) today for a couple of hours while I also went to the doctor. What a fun day off!

I'm supposed to go back to work tomorrow, we're supposed to get more snow - we'll see what wins out!

Ryan is feeling a little run down tonight, we're hoping for a better day tomorrow.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Busy Weekend

On the way home from the hospital Friday, Ryan informs me that his tractor troubleshooting team has practice in North Star on Saturday and he'd like to go. So, he got up and made us breakfast and then left for a practice with his students. I know it does him good, but I think it was also very tiring for him. After we ate lunch, he landed on the couch for a couple of hours. I went to a baby shower and then he took me out for supper for my birthday. It was a nice dinner, but they were packed because of Valentine's Day and so we were out late.

We went to church this morning and then to my parents' to celebrate my sister-in-law's birthday as well as mine for lunch. Ryan slept for a couple hours before we headed home, then he slept more here. He's already gone to bed for the night.

He has a doctor's appointment tomorrow and I'm wondering if he's going to need blood - when his hemoglobin is low, he gets really tired.

Tomorrow is a day of doctor's appointments, so although we get the day off, we'll be busy again!


Friday, February 12, 2010

Homeward Bound

Well, it took most of the day to get him home, but we finally made it. Ryan had to get platelets today, but they didn't come until around lunch time, so it was almost 6 before we left the hospital. We enjoyed a nice supper at Bob Evans on the way home and then stopped for prescriptions and made it home about 8:30. Ryan is tired, it is almost 9:00! But he was glad to be home to put Aubrey to bed. It will be nice to have him here for a few days.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Breaking Free

Well, I broke out of the house today. I got down to the hospital about 1:30 this afternoon, right before Dr. Marinella came in. Ryan's white count is 2600 today, well over 1000. His platelets were a little low today and he might need them tomorrow, so instead of trying to run to Greenville and then wait for platelets, etc. They decided it was best that he just stay tonight and then come home after he gets platelets, if needed.

He said he didn't sleep very well last night and he's been sleeping for about 2 hours this afternoon. The nurses shaved his head yesterday, so now he's a bald man again.

Aubrey and I are glad that we got out of the house for a while and happy that we'll get Ryan back home tomorrow.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tired of the Snow

Well, I've had enough of the snow for this winter. It is keeping me away from Ryan and it is too windy and cold to take Aubrey out to play in it. Ryan seemed to be feeling really well today each time I talked to him on the phone. He even called my aunt to ask her to bring Chinese food for dinner. I concluded that he must be feeling pretty good if he's asking for Chinese food. I think he's ready to come home because he's decided that he has eaten everything on the menu and he doesn't want to keep ordering the same things over and over. I'm ready for him to come home, but then that means I have to cook!

Ryan's white count was 700 today, and he needs to get to 1000. Hopefully tomorrow will be the day. Regardless, Aubrey and I are breaking out of here and going to see him. Well, Aubrey probably won't get to go tomorrow yet, she's still coughing and trying to get better.

Thank you all for your continued prayers as we'll be learning more in a week or so about when we'll be headed to Ohio State.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snowed In Again

Well, today the snow kept me away from the hospital. Although I really wanted to be there, it probably turned out for the best. I had to take Aubrey to the doctor, she's got a bad cough and fever, and she has an ear infection. So, Aubrey and I spent the day together, curled up on the couch.

Ryan's white count was at 400 today and there are more neutrophils so he's making white cells, they just need to grow! We hopefully will get to bring him home Thursday or Friday.

I called his this afternoon and woke him up from a nap, otherwise, I think he had an ok day.

MVCTC will be sponsoring a spaghetti dinner for Ryan's benefit on Saturday, March 6. Tickets are $5.00. I have tickets if anyone is interested in purchasing them.

Thank you for your continued prayers.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Feeling Better

Ryan was feeling better today than he had over the weekend. It looks like it maybe will be Wednesday before he gets to come home. His white count was at 200 again today, but he had some neutrophils (baby white cells). He didn't have any of those yesterday, so it seems that he is starting to make some cells. Now, if we can just get the weather to cooperate with us, we'll be ok.

Ryan and I had a good visit tonight, but I'm tired :)


Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Tired Day

Ryan's counts have been bottomed out for the last couple of days, so they should be building up anytime soon. I keep on praying that anytime will be by Tuesday! He has been tired and feeling blah for the last couple of days because of his counts, but I think he'll start feeling a little better and have a little more energy when the numbers come up.

Aubrey and I went to church this morning with my aunt and uncle and although Aubrey didn't want me to let her down, even to do my hair and make-up, before we left for church, when I asked her if she wanted to go to the nursery and play, she said yes. So, she went to the nursery, cried for a minute, and then took off like the outgoing, joyful girl she is. Well, I'm not sure she "took off," the same lady that took her from me was holding her when I went to pick her up, but she wasn't crying and she told me she had fun when I asked her. After church we picked up lunch and went to visit Daddy. You should have seen me carrying her, the overstuffed diaper bag, 2 McDonalds bags, and a cup carrier with 3 drinks in it! I had two people tell me I had my hands full. That's the truth :)

Anyway, Aubrey knew as soon as we stepped off the elevator where Daddy's room was, she tottered right down the hallway, through the doors, and into his room without any direction from me. She was excited to see him, as he was also excited to see her. We apparently have a daughter who prefers real food to McDonalds because she only ate about half of her hamburger and wanted no fries, but when Papaw and Grandma took her downstairs to the cafeteria, she ate salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, and oranges.

Ryan and I went for a walk to the maternity ward this afternoon, there's a long walkway and it makes for a good distance to get some exercise. His counts are only 200 so he has to wear a mask when we go out of the bone marrow unit. After the walk, he crashed into his bed and is now napping again. At least we got the walk in. He had a little nausea after breakfast this morning, but ate a big mac for lunch and hasn't complained about his stomach any since I've been here.

We're still praying for Tuesday, it will be so nice not to make so many trips to the hospital if he gets to come home.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snowed In

I suppose if you have to be stuck in the hospital, this is a good weekend to be stuck. If we were home, we wouldn't be going anywhere today anyway, so we might as well be at the hospital, I don't have to cook here!

Ryan had to get platelets today, they were 8 this morning, they were up to 29 this afternoon. His red blood cell count dropped a little from yesterday, but we're praying that it will rise tomorrow. His white cell count was 300 today. I continue to pray that he will get to come home Tuesday, that would be a good birthday present. I am, however, praying that whatever God's will is will occur. I don't want him to come home before he's ready and run the risk of getting an infection that might delay the beginning of the transplant process.

Ryan took a nap earlier this afternoon, then we tried to watch a netflix movie online. We found that the hospital wi-fi blocks online video streaming, so we'll have to wait until our first movie arrives in the mail on Monday. Ryan felt a little sick after lunch, but the nausea medicine he took helped with the problem and he hasn't been sick.

We appreciate you continuing to keep us in your prayers. I pray that Tuesday (before the next snow hits) I can bring him home.


Friday, February 5, 2010

A Better Day

Today was a much better day than yesterday. I could tell as soon as Ryan answered the phone this morning that he was feeling better. He is defintely doing better today. Dr. Marinella has started Ryan on neupogen. That is a drug that helps his body produce white blood cells. If his white count comes up over 1000 and he doesn't have any fever, and his platelets and red blood cell numbers are good, then he will probably get to come home Monday or Tuesday. We would love to have him home so Aubrey can enjoy seeing her Daddy each day. We are praying that his body will do what it is supposed to do so that we can take him home for a week or two before we head to Columbus.

Aubrey and I traveled in the snow down here this afternoon. The roads weren't horrible, but they weren't great either. We're staying in Dayton tonight so that we can visit tomorrow. Hopefully the roads will be good enough that we can head home again tomorrow night, but we'll see.

We appreciate your prayers for Ryan's counts to do what they need to do.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Rough Day

Ryan had a rough day today. His stomach has been bothering him a bit and I think it bothered him a lot today. I didn't get to visit today. After work, Aubrey and I went to get her 18 month pictures taken, then we had supper at McDonalds, and then went to swim lessons. We missed Daddy being there to watch us, but Aubrey had fun in the water and seeing her friend Brooklynn.

I ask that you pray for Ryan, that the bad feeling will pass for tomorrow and that he'll be in better spirits. I ask that you pray that his medicine is doing as it is supposed to do. I ask that you pray for peace (for both of us) in knowing that God has all of this under control.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 8

Today was another chemo day. Ryan got 2 drugs today, one that he got the other day (the shot in his arm) and one he's been getting since last March, vincristine. He is still feeling pretty good and not having too many side effects, but I think he's getting tired a bit more often. He went several days without a nap, but he's been wanting to nap the last couple of days. At this time, we still don't know much about OSU, Dr. Marinella was supposed to have a phone call with Dr. Devine today, but when he was in this morning, that hadn't happened yet. Ryan says Dr. Marinella didn't have much to say, except to keep at it. I guess that's what he's doing! We're keeping at it, just one day at a time.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Not Much to Report

Ryan's staying the course today. Not much going on. The doctor was only in for about 10 minutes, he didn't really have much to say today because there's not much going on. Ryan did have to get 2 units of blood today, but otherwise, things haven't changed much. His numbers are continuing to fall, as they're supposed to.

Aubrey got to visit with her Daddy some tonight. She enjoyed taking his phone off the hook and climbing underneath his bed. She also enjoyed the food in the hospital cafeteria :)

We had a good visit tonight and as always look forward to when we get to see Daddy again.

Monday, February 1, 2010

After a Week

This has been a rough 7 days, but things are finally evening out and we're into a routine. Ryan is staying in touch with his students and staff at CTC by his email, he is thankful for this. He's also trying to run the farm from the hospital room as well. I'm sure he'll be successful there too :)

I am working, going to the hospital and then going to get Aubrey, always hoping she'll be awake, but knowing she's probably already asleep when I get to her. I hate leaving her to see Ryan, but the joy I see on her face when I pick her up makes me happy at the end of the day.

Ryan's white count stayed around 500 for today and his LDH level feel again. The LDH is another marker they look for to see how his body is responding to the chemo. We are supposed to find out a little more Wednesday or Thursday about what the transition will entail from Miami Valley to OSU.

There are still many unknowns, but what we do know - God's never failing love - is guiding us and holding us up each day.