Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy Birthday and Message from New Team Salmons Supporter

Today is Ryan's 19th Birthday! Let's everyone shower him with birthday wishes by posting a comment at the end of this article. HAPPY BIRTHDAY RYAN!

On a completely different note, I had a special opportunity to meet Dick Vitale today. It Was Awesome Baby! He is doing some noble work in support of his dear friend Jimmy Valvano's V-Foundation for Cancer Research. Jimmy lost his fight in 1993 but his legacy is alive and Dick shared a couple of his fundraising initiatives with me. Dick shared with me how he is determined to raise $1,000,000 for research grants for pediatric cancer. I shared a little about Ryan's battle and he was kind enough to send this special video message to Ryan. Thanks Dickie V...YOU are Awesome Baby!

video


As an aside, if you are unfamiliar with Jimmy Valvano's story, I encourage you to watch or read his acceptance speech from the first annual ESPY awards on March 4, 1993. I think we all can learn something from his speech.

As an update to last week, Ryan spent a couple of days in the hospital battling a urinary tract infection which was the cause of his high temperature. After arriving at the hospital they quickly got him on antibiotics and his temperature came down. They have determined his sore throat was a side effect of the chemo from the week prior. This is a side effect he has not experienced before..so next time, he'll be ready for it. Now, he is home and he is feeling much better.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Request and Mid-Week Update

First, let me start with the request. Ryan has not been feeling well today, he feels run-down, has a soar throat and is running a high fever. This means, as I type this update, he is being taken back to the hospital for evaluation and treatment...probably antibiotics. Please pray that the fever is quickly controlled and that he feels better soon.

Now for the brief update. Ryan has had a good week in spite of dealing with the continued side effects of last week's 48 hour treatment and Monday's Vincristine treatment. He has been getting progressive stronger each day.

On Sunday he was invited to go up the Mid-Ohio Indy Car race and tour the Danica Patrick garage and meet some of the drivers. Pre-race the rains came and Ryan spent the rain-delay time in the Tony Kanaan garage. He was not able to stay for the race, but he certainly enjoyed his time at Mid-Ohio.

Thank you all for your support and prayers! God Bless!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Update

Ryan is now home again. He left the hospital late yesterday afternoon. He wasn't feeling the greatest during his treatment but I thought he looked good. He didn't sleep much at all on Wednesday night so hopefully today will be a day at home playing catch up with sleep in between appointments he has lined up. He'll go in next Monday for a push of Vincristine. But then I believe he won't have any chemo treatments until the end of July. So, I hope that he enjoys every minute of being at home.

~Amy

Monday, July 14, 2008

Update

Hey Guys,

Before i go back to the hospital tomorrow while i still feel good i wanted to post an update and tell everyone a little about my week without chemo. First off i would like to thank everyone who has helped out, donated money, or has sent thoughts and prayers. Like i said i had the week off from chemo and i had a great and strong week. Once i got the chemo from last week out of my system i was able to be sitting up and standing up all day with no problems. Before when i was sitting or standing i would get light headed. Throughout the week i got to do some activities and make a few visits that i wanted to. One of my favorite hobbies before i got diagnosed with cancer and got put in the hospital for so long was to work on cars so this week i took out one of my buddies good speakers from his truck and put his factory speakers back in because hes selling his truck. On friday night i went up and visited the Dodds. This was very good for helping my spirit because i got to see all of them and talk to the all of the neighbors that i know because they were all together. Saturday morning i got up early to go down to cinncinatti to one of my good family friend Mark Congdon's dads funeral. Mark has always been here for me so i wanted to be there for him. When i showed up i could tell how much it meant to Mark which made me feel awesome. When i got back from the funeral i just hung out for the day. On sunday i cleaned up my dads motor cycle for him. So overall i had a great week.

I would like to clear up a rumor that i have been hearing. I have heard a rumor of me, my dad, and step mom not wanting people to visit or come around. That is the farthest thing from the truth. my dad wants whats best for me and wants me to be happy and if thats me wanting people to come visit then people are going to come visit. There was a time when i was in the hospital a month or to ago that i felt terrible and i told my dad and step mom that i didnt want any visitors that night and they told everyone for me. maybe some how people mistaked that. so if you want to visit you are more than welcome to but call me first.

I go in for chemo tomorrow(tuesday) morning and i go home Thursday night. I hope to give you an update personally but if i am not feeling up to it i will leave it to Barry or Amy.

Thanks, Ryan

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Update and Conquer Childhood Cancer Act

Ryan has been enjoying his time out of the hospital. He wasn’t feeling very well at the beginning of the week but is improving as each day goes by. He is in the day clinic at Children’s today to get his standard labwork done.

Ryan wanted to make sure to thank you for all of the fundraising support over the last several months. Because of you, he was able to order his rehab treadmill and looks forward to getting it in about a week. We'll be sure to get a picture of Ryan on it to share with you all.

When we entered this new life in April, I began to do a lot of research on cancer, especially childhood cancers. It is devastating and there are not enough words to describe the trials that these children and their families face day in and day out. I found some statistics on Tyler Alfriend’s blog which is written by his dad, Kyle. Tyler has also been fighting this battle and is now is remission.

  • Less than 3% of all cancer funding is granted to pediatric cancers.
  • The first ever tissue bank to study teen cancers is just now in the planning stages.
  • In the past 25 years only one new drug has been developed for pediatric cancer.
  • Teens and young adults (age 15-22) is the only age group where cancer survival rates are decreasing, and have for the past 25 years.
  • The cause of most childhood cancers is still unknown.
  • Due to the lack of new drugs, most pediatric cancer treatments are little more than mega doses of adult chemo treatments.
The Conquer Childhood Cancer Act was just approved by the House and was renamed The Caroline Pryce Walker Conquer Childhood Cancer Act of 2008. Caroline, the daughter of Representative Deborah Pryce, lost her battle with cancer at age 9. The bill authorizes $30 million to go towards childhood cancer research. This is the amount that we spend every 2 1/2 hours on the war in Iraq. This bill will go to the Senate later this summer. But there are many Senators that are either opposing it or blocking it. Why??? That is my big question. If it is yours too, please tell Washington how you feel here:

http://capwiz.com/curesearch/home/

And very important, please sign this petition:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/CureChildhoodCancer

You can read through the comments of so many others impacted by this terrible disease and tell everyone you know to go and sign this petition as well. Every little bit helps. If you know me, you know that I’m not a very political person at all. But, this is something that is so important and this is a chance for us to do our part to try and stop this nightmare from happening to so many other children and families.

~Amy

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Ryan is home again

Ryan left the hospital a little while ago and is now back home. He is looking forward to staying at home until his next chemo treatment in about 1 1/2 weeks. Ryan hasn't been feeling very well the last day or so because of the effects of the chemo. And, he hasn't been able to sleep comfortably at all the last few nights. So, I'm hoping being at home again will get him back into shape soon enough. Now that his port is in place, he no longer has the pic lines in his arm which is giving him a lot more freedom. Please pray that Ryan will begin to feel better very soon and that he'll be able to enjoy his time at home. And of course, that he'll be able to sleep soundly until noon again :-)

God Bless,
Aunt Amy

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thursday update

Nothing much new to report...Ryan had a pretty good day today after his 3rd day of chemo. He's planning on watching Columbus' Red, White and Boom fireworks tonight from a hallway off of J-5 that has all windows and faces where the fireworks will be displayed in the sky. All of the patients on J-5 can view the fireworks in this hallway and have their own celebration with their family.

Have a Happy 4th!
~Amy

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wednesday update & Biopsy results

First of all, the bone marrow biopsy results came back late today. The doctor said that they were negative and that his bone marrow didn't show any signs of cancer. I wanted to jump through the roof when I heard him say that. Another answer to prayer for sure. I keep saying one step at a time...One by one each spot in Ryan's body will be fully healed and cured of cancer. I am certain of it. It seems like a long road ahead now because of the aggressive course of treatment. But, it will be all worth it in the end when Ryan is fully in remission.

I was blessed to be able to spend the entire day with Ryan [thank you again sooo much Grandma and Grandpa for watching the boys for me]. Ryan had a great day and slept well last night. He ate very well once again. Like I mentioned before, he's had a huge appetite. So much so, he's gained 8 pounds since he was admitted to the hospital on Saturday night! His second day of chemo was completed this afternoon...only 3 more days to go. So far, he's been doing pretty well with it. Ryan was walking some laps around the floor today to get in his physical therapy. He had made so much progress with his physical therapy while he was home that he's not going to let being in the hospital stop him from continuing to build strength in his legs :-) He was doing great and walking at a pretty good pace.

Tyler Alfriend and his mom, Kathy, stopped by to meet Ryan this afternoon. It was so wonderful to meet them and hear Ryan and Tyler compare their stories of being in the hospital and of their experiences with their chemotherapy. Tyler has fought his cancer into remission. Praise God for that. You can read more about Tyler's journey here. Please keep Tyler and his family in your prayers as well as all of the kids [and adults] that are currently on J5.

Ryan is looking forward to Sunday when this round of chemo will be over and he'll be home. The plan is still for him to be in the hospital until Sunday afternoon. Next week will be a chemo-free week.

God Bless,
Aunt Amy

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ryan's Surgery

Ryan did have his surgery yesterday morning at 8am. And, it went very well with no problems and he was back in his room by early afternoon. Once he was out of the anesthesia, he really didn't experience any side effects which is great news. He was doing very well yesterday and had a huge appetite. It sounds like they couldn't give him enough food to eat :-)

Ryan now has a port which will make things easier for administering the chemo and any IVs. Ryan was having some pain in his hip where the biopsy was done and soreness in his chest/right shoulder area where the port was put in. But it could, for the most part, be controlled with pain medications. They pulled Ryan's pic lines out with no problems and with very little pain.

Ryan had a good night and slept well. He is preparing for his five-day chemo regimen which will begin sometime today. Please pray for his ability to withstand the effects of this type of chemo. We are hopeful that the second time around will be easier for him.

Thank you so much for your prayers before, during and after his surgery. Ryan's attitude has been very good, especially considering everything he has gone through. He is expected to be in the hospital through Sunday. The biopsy results should come back later today or tomorrow. I will update more when I find out.

Thank you again for everything.

God Bless,
Amy