Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 16th, 2009

A year ago today, temporarily, the world stopped turning. At 1:57pm, on April 16th, 2008, I got a call that I will never forget. It is one of those moments in time you will never forget. I remember being in Physics 101 at OSU when I heard the news that the space shuttle exploded on take off. I remember walking out of Columbus Radiology getting in my car and hearing Magic Johnson's press conference about him 'acquiring' aids. I remember little details like the word acquiring? And I remember being at work ready to make a presentation rolling out our new branding campaign for Battelle's recruiting efforts. It was almost 2pm and I was standing with Pat at the front of the room when I got the call....... Dad, the doctor just called and told me to pack a bag and go to Children's Hospital. They saw a spot on my MRI and I have CANCER! The world stopped turning. I couldn't get out of the room fast enough. I couldn't get to his side fast enough. This has to be a mistake. He is a healthy 18 year old. He can't have cancer. That is for old people. Kids can't have cancer!

Fast forward to today. Oh what a difference a year makes. Life will never be the same. We have fought long and hard. Ryan has given it his all. We have all given everything we can. Yet, we stand here today with our only option being a miracle. 1 month ago today, doctors told us of the relapse and that our medical options have run out. Ryan was deteriorating fast and they didn't expect him to make it another week. Then we found Decadron. It has provided us another short term miracle and the ability to enjoy borrowed time. Ryan is living life as best he can. He is trying to live life to its fullest. One of the support people in Hospice told us when we first came home that hospice isn't about going home to die, but going home to live. And Ryan has a zest for life and a spirit to live.

Ryan continues to have good days and bad. Our most current issue is his bodies lack of ability to make platelets. He needs infusions almost daily. He has various issues that threaten his life. Yet, he continues to have a remarkable spirit and zest for life. He is so looking forward to the Blue Jackets game tonight in Detroit. Any coincidence that the first playoff game is on his anniversary? I guess we will see tonight. If they have Ryan's spirit with them, they can't lose to the Red Wings. He believes that we will win. I hope that the guys play with Ryan's fight, if they do, they can't lose!


kenneth said...

Brad as I sit here reading this at 3am I'm reminded of the first day you told me Ryan was diagnosed with cancer.I was so shocked and could see the hurt in your face.I know this changed all our lives and the past year has been very trying to say the least. You Susan & Ryan have really shown me how strong you guys are. The courage to fight this amazing battle has to be an inspiration to everyone. Ryan you have touched so many people with your strengh you are an amazing guy and we all love you so much. Please enjoy everyday you have left and let me know if I can do anything to help make your time more enjoyable. I love you guys. Keep fighting and may God be with you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Ryan and family:

I know this year has been unbelievably painful and I wish I could erase the pain.

I hope you know there has been so many blessings that have come thru - so many lives that have been touched.

You have given true meaning to the word hope. You have shown us what it means to live life to its fullest and what you have taught us will live on.

Keep enjoying each day as it comes!

Cathy & Dale

Aunt Lissa said...

Brad & Ryan (& Susan) We think of you often. Your fight is amazing - your zest for life is wonderful. ALl the pictures you've taken are a wonderful memory I only wish we would've been that smart to capture every moment we could. You're amazing! What a difference a year makes and how much you do have to be thankful for!
Oh yes - I was never a major hockey fan - but now I'm addicted and think of Ryan every time I see them playing - so Go Jackets!

Anonymous said...

Ryan, Brad, Susan and the whole Salmons family:

It is a privilege to know and love you all. Your strength, courage and faith have changed the lives of all who know you and so many who only know your story. Prayers as always to all of you. And love and thank you to my rock solid hero Ryan.

Michele VanDyke

Anonymous said...

Wow- a year of battling and yet your family remains so strong. Your strength is amazing! Enjoy the game tonight!


Mark Toskin said...

To Brad: That was a brilliant write-up on the events in your life in the last year. I speak for many in thanking you for continuing to post information to the masses of people praying for Ryan.

To Ryan: I am one that also believes in what some call 'coincidence', I call 'miracles'! Just the fact that our beloved CBJ enters their 1st ever playoff game on your 1 year anniversary is testimony enough for me!

Everything is in God's hands. He knows the past, the present, and yes, the future. If you need further proof of his power of knowing how things align well before their time, take some time to visit
Applied to this story, I believe!

Go Jackets!

Anonymous said...

You are an inspiration to us all. You have such passion for life and keep pushing through it no matter what is thrown at you. I admire your spirit and courage.

Emily Cochran said...

You continue to show me daily not to ever back down. you have been more than an inspiration, there really aren't words for how amazing you are. Thank you for the time you have spent with me, you always put a smile on my face. I love you hero!

Brad, Susan & family,
I have realllly loved getting to know all you. You are also the strongest family I know. I want to thank you also for letting me be part of ryan, and your lives!
Love you all!!

Anonymous said...

Your family is totally amazing...Especially you Ryan. You have given so many inspiration and have touched lots of peoples lives.

I know that everyday is difficult one, but you continue to have a smile on your face. Many prayers being said for you. I hope you enjoy tonight and hope the BLUE JACKETS WIN. I will never see or hear of the Blue Jackets that I don't and won't think of you.

Anonymous said...

Wow..that post gave me chills. Cancer is a bad joke, one no one ever ever wants played on them! No one ever said life is fair...when in fact we all know it is far from fair. But you play the cards dealt you and if you have an ounce of what Ryan has, you put your happy face on and trudge through. Ryan, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping. The Jackets play in the playoffs tonight..and For Today..Just for Today the World is GOOD!
What an incredible,strong young man you are Ryan!!!!!! You make all of us proud just to have known you!! Enjoy the game tonight..and the sunshine today!!

Anonymous said...

Ryan & Family
We don't need a scoreboard to know that you guys are WINNERS! You and your team are the best.

Praying for the miracle.

Uncle Larry & Aunt Janet Burns

Anonymous said...

Ryan & Family
We don't need a scoreboard to know that you guys are WINNERS! You and your team are the best.

Praying for the miracle.

Uncle Larry & Aunt Janet Burns

Anonymous said...

that post gave me chills more than once aws a i read over it. ryan your emore than an inspiration and a hero to me. i love you very much and i look up to you like i never have anyone in my life. im so proud of you in how you come and how strong you are. youve kept fighting even with a smile on your face. you never fail to make me smile or make me believe in myself. good luck on the game tonight! youre in my prayers and thoughts every night and every day! i love you ry! keep fighting!

go jackets!

CateLeigh said...

WOW - sitting here with tears in my eyes...I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said. We'll be watching the game - and thinking of you!

Cathy & family

Lori Brower said...

Hey Brad:

I remember when I first heard of Nick's diagnosis exactly two years ago - I was on a flight back from Chile to Salt Lake City. I had 5 hours to absorb, cry, panic, pray, recompose. I admire your courage and strength; you have done a remarkable job in embracing Ryan's life and celebrating each amazing moment and opportunity. But I know it is Ryan who is strong. I like to say I don't take the blame for when my kids mess up so I don't take the credit for when they are outstanding. However, Ryan's support system, especially his parents, has obviously impacted his outlook and attitude.

We're all right here with you - with love and prayers.

Lori Brower
Mom to Nick Raitt

Anonymous said...

We’re behind you Ryan… and also the BJ’s Blessings, Aunt Carol

Laurie Grossman said...

It was great to visit with you and the family.You were one of my favorite kids, I always knew you were special, but I didn't know how special until I saw you the other day. What a wonderful spirit and attitude you have. We should not let time and special people in our lives get away from us. We are still praying for a miricle. We saw one this year.I don't think 2 is too many to ask for. Tell your dad and Susan we enjoyed seeing them too. You are all an example to the rest of us. If you need anything,call and hopefully we'll see you soon.
Laurie Grossman

Anonymous said...

I heard about Ryan's ride on the radio today. Later I came across Nick Raitt's site through a mutual friend's site. I didn't know the connection right away, but then I read "alveolar rhabdo" and immediately thought about Ryan. I am moving this week and starting my new job as a NP at Cincinnati Children's but I wanted to let you know that you are constantly in my prayers. I pray that Ryan has many more days of feeling good. I doubt he remembers, but one day a while back, Ryan remembered that I had grown up on a farm and I promised him I'd bring the steaks if he would grill them. If there's ever a time he'd like to take me up on that, definitely get in touch with me! Love & Prayers,
Nurse Jodi P

Anonymous said...

Susan, Brad and Ryan,
As I sit here in amazement of the strength you have all shown in the past year that has unfolded in your lives...I can say HONESTLY say that you dont have to meet a HERO to know one. I am a dear friend of your moms (Susan) and I am embraced by the wonder of YOU (RYAN). I have not had the opportunity to meet you yet but I know I will soon. May you know how love you are by both your Dad(Brad) and your Mom (Susan)you have truely been a blessing to them as I am sure they have been to you. I look forward to meeting one with such courage and strength!!! My prayers and love go out to you and your famliy. Keep your faith and "GOD" will carry you on your blessed journey. My love to you all. Tammy Burke

Anonymous said...

Ryan, Your zest for life, your attitude and faith are so awe inspiring to me. I haven't met you in person but I did see you on J5 back in December when I was up visiting Trey Martens. I saw you laying in bed, I believe you were praying, as your eyes were shut but I know you weren't sleeping. i was drawn to you but I didn't speak to you (I was now that I had) but God wanted me to see you for a reason. Just letting you know. I have you in my prayers DAILY. I know you are so special and that God has his plans for you, I sure wish I knew what they were but I'm trusting in him and his will for your life.

Sorry about those Jackets...I'm a huge fan. Last night was tough to watch, but guess what....more games to come! Were new to this PLAYOFF stuff. We'll get em' Saturday! Everytime they take the ice I think of you and Mason Woods, (Mason #1 our goalie) I want them to win so bad...not just for Columbus, not just for the francise but for you! And they will. They are winner and so are you!

Praying for that Miracle.....sending you love and hugs! If there is anything I cand do e-mail me. I'm only 30 minutes from you and I'd be honored to help in any way I can!!!

Tina Korpieski

I don't do this for everyone but I'm also including my cell and home # for you and mom and dad!

cell 614-580-1824
res; 740-549-2430

Lisa Hartong said...

Brad- as I read the one year anniversary posting I realize, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree; Ryan must get a lot of his courage and strength from you. You continue to amaze me with your spirit. Praying for the miracle that you all so deserve.


Anonymous said...

Brad & family:

My family will be thinking of you and praying to keep Ryan strong and for that miracle you were talking about which you definitely deserve. Love Robyn

Anonymous said...

Ryan, I have been following your story for a while now. You are an amazing person. I have never met you or your dad but, "WOW". I can tell your dad loves you so much!You are so fortunate to have such a support system along this journey. What keeps me going in this crazy world is my hope for the future. I look forward to the time when sickness and death will be no more. I look forward to the Earth being a Paradise again the way God originally purposed for the Earth. Won't it be wonderful to live here forever with all wickedness and sickness and death gone. There will be peace , love and our families to enjoy this beautiful Earth with with never having to say good-bye.
If you have any questions about my hope for the future please contact me.740.272.0583

Sharon La Scalla said...

Ryan, I have read about you and even written to you in the corvette forum. I just want to say again how courageous and inspiring you are. I am a Registered Nurse in NYC that works with children that have serious illnesses. It's a shame that a lot of people take time to complain about problems they think they have, when they don't realize their problems are nothing compared to someone who just got a diagnosis of cancer, or any disease or condition that puts their life on hold. My mother was diagnosed with cancer out of nowhere in July of 2008. I was with her everyday and prayed for a miracle. The agonizing platelets and blood transfusions, the prednisone, decadron and antibiotics, the chemo and the nausea and mouth sores. I watched my mother have good days and bad days. She passed on Jan 6, 2009. I will never forget the will power, the battle, the change in all our lives when the diagnosis came. I stand by you, support you, pray for you, and hope you are not having anymore pain issues. Your family and friends are angels in disguise. I am thinking of you.