Sunday, March 8, 2020

Ryan’s Remission

Sunday March 8th , 2020
  I figured it was about time to update everyone on what has been going on in our lives . Ryan just had a pet scan in  January of this year and we are so thankful to announce he’s in complete remission. No cancer what so ever in his body . Praise God !!! He has been such a miracle and even his doctors have been amazed at his recovery. I really wanted to take a moment to truly thank everyone who supported us in this time . When we first decided to do the go fund me it took turning away pride to say we really needed the help . The donations flooded in and we were incredibly blessed . We had received extremely negative comments from friends and family almost upset at the response we got . Let me just let everyone know . Every single penny was spent on rent , food , medical bills and necessities. People helped bring food , I had random strangers pay for our groceries at the store, God richly blessed !! In the end there was not a cent left and it protected us right to the end . I would not wish what we went through on anyone and don’t think people understand the financial burden of cancer . When Ryan left his job he left all protection. No life insurance , no pay off , no unemployment and many denied necessary medical treatments. We cannot express our gratitude enough! We cannot wait to pay it forward! After Ryan’s cancer God opened the door and blessed him with a great job and opened some new doors for me as well. Ryan will follow up every couple months for check ups but so far he’s regained health and hair lol . As far as me still the same not much changes when you have chronic health issues. My gallbladder removal caused my liver and pancreas to have some issues. I will be going in for surgery in the next month for my pancreas. In the mean time we are believing God to do many miracles . We had 5 miracles we gave to God in January of this year and he’s already performed 2! Thank you to everyone for reaching out sorry for the lack of the updates but my health had taken priority. 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Ryan’s Chemo #3

July 1, 2019
Monday morning started just like every chemo morning we’ve had. Getting breakfast and heading to the center . We got taken back to get Ryan hooked up and started. Soon after we came in the back the nurse informed us that our appointment got cancelled for his follow up neulasta. Immediately I was livid , I asked why and she told us because our insurance will no longer approve it. I almost started crying right there . The one thing that has been so important to me this whole time was knowing that shot was keeping him healthy. Ryan’s blood work is already on the edge with the shot. I asked them why and they said because insurance wants to see his white blood cells drop before they will approve it. I’m so terrified of infection and knowing that Ryan is at higher risk has really stressed me out. We tried to see if we could pay out of pocket for it but sadly the shot is $6-9000 and we just can’t afford that per shot. They got started with his meds and Ryan started feeling a little sick during his first round. Each time he goes in the side effects become more and more severe. During this visit his neighbor had an allergic reaction to her antibiotics. She started ringing her emergency bell and the nurses started running . Soon she had 6 people surrounding her giving her shots and making sure they didn’t need to call the ambulance . Poor lady was so embarrassed and kept apologizing for having an allergic reaction. We left for the day and during the week ryan definitely felt more weak, tired and nauseas than he normally does . His hip pain is doing better again but we’re hoping this is more permanent and that the cancer and chemo are not playing tag. I noticed this past week he looked a little more sick than normal and then I realized why, he’s losing his eyelashes and eyebrows. I think this bothers him more than losing his hair. He has his fourth chemo tomorrow and then we re image, we are praying and looking forward to his results . I’m praying the cancer is gone and life can go back to being somewhat normal! Thank you for all your continued prayers and support.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Marissas Surgery Journey

It was the night of May 18th when I begin to feel a little sick and  started having some belly pain. I woke up around 3 am and could not stop throwing up. A couple hours later I begin to have severe belly pain and told Ryan that we needed to go into the emergency room. I was taken back and had my heart checked out because of some chest pain . They decided to do an X-ray and found that I had something called colitis and enteritis . I was given a gi cocktail and pain medicine, I started to feel better so they sent me home. Two hours later I was in severe pain and told Ryan something was wrong . We went back in and they did ct scan of my belly which showed that I had a large amount of fluid in my belly and my appendix was swollen. The doctors believed my appendix was perforated and they took me back for emergency surgery. I was really upset because I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to care for brinley while I was recovering . I was taken to pre op where I received ddavp a medicine for my bleeding disorder and they drew special labs . The surgery took a lot longer than expected and Ryan sat waiting . The doctor came and spoke with him to let him know that although my appendix was swollen it was normal. They took it out because of the risk of rupture anyways . He called in an obgyn during the surgery who diagnosed me with endometriosis. She also found some cysts and abnormal findings with my uterus . The doctor said all my other organs looked fine but they didn’t know why there was such a large amount of fluid.  Recovery was supposed to be easy but it was horrible ! I had horrible sharp pain in my shoulder , pain in my stomach that was unbearable and I continued to vomit. Two days later the doctors were trying to send me home . I began to cry knowing something was still wrong. Soon after asking God please just let them keep me,  Dr. Charles  came in and said something didn’t seem right I should be feeling better not worse. He asked me if I ever had any gallbladder issues and I told him about the attacks I had been having but every time we came in they said my gallbladder was fine. He ordered a hida scan to look at the function of the gallbladder and sure enough even that was normal but barely. I started having serious pain after the test which is a sign your gallbladder is not actually working. He decided to go with his gut and just take it out. Thank God ! The next day I was in surgery again and honestly I didn’t feel much more pain then I was already in . He told Ryan that my gallbladder was odd is shape and was green and tan . I showed signs of chronic infection and sure enough the biopsy came back with chronic cholecystitis . Overall I’m not having anymore gallbladder attack’s and do feel the surgery was very beneficial. A week later again I went back in because I developed pancreatitis. So now we had another organ that was not happy. Fast forward to now I am not doing that great and my liver isn’t either I’ve been diagnosed with Ascites again and my liver enzymes keep elevating . I am seeing some specialist and we are praying for answers along with healing !! Thank you all for following our journey I know it’s been a rough ride for the both of us but it’s becoming more and more obvious how big the miracle is going to be !!

Monday, June 17, 2019

Chemo Treatment #2

Monday June 10th, 2019
Today was the big day , the day we introduced another new chemo. This one is called Adcetris it’s a target drug for the specific cancer Ryan has. Adcetris does not have your usual side effects it has some really rare and scary conditions that can happen. We knew to expect him to feel worse but we weren’t sure how much worse. We went it in at 9:30 and were taken back very quickly to the chemo area. They quickly started the access to his port and blood work. Ryan has always used the numbing spray when they access his port but this time he denied it and he said it was actually less painful. They ran his labs to make sure he was okay for chemo. Everything looked fantastic !! This course started with steroids, nausea meds then they did a round of Benadryl for the new chemo. The whole process takes about 4 hours from start to finish . The one thing that irritates me is that they do not have anywhere besides swivel stools for patients family to sit! Ryan really doesn’t feel much from his treatment at first besides a burning nose. We’re working on getting the burning pain under control so it’s not so uncomfortable. We went home and he was feeling great until about 9pm . This round was a little bit stronger and the increase really affected him. He had severe nausea and was extremely tired. His whole body was so week I was helping him get in and out of bed .

Tuesday - Sunday the 17th
We went it in on Tuesday to receive Ryan’s white blood cell shot called neulasta.This shot isn’t painful but for some reason it makes Ryan want to throw up when he receives it . The doctor discussed we have two more treatments then we will scan to see how the cancer is reacting. If it’s almost gone ( in Jesus name it will be ) they always do two more after the cancer is gone and then he will be considered in remission ! My parents take us to Disneyland every Thanksgiving so we have a goal in mind !! The doctor feels like Ryan’s body is responding to chemo well already. He’s had a decrease in fevers, night sweats and the bone pain from his cancerous lesions. We are so excited about progress.

The rest of the week Ryan has experienced the usual side effects of chemo and has spent the days trying to relax. Friday I went and saw Ryan’s doctor for some unusual blood work that I had and got a few more test done. My T cells are high and my B cells are low . It could mean anything but there’s a few specific things the doctor will be looking for . Depending on how those labs look will determine weather or not I will need a bone marrow biopsy . We have a couple scans for me and hopefully some answers . We joked with the oncologist that we now both get to bug him .

Saturday Ryan did some yard work and it wiped him out extremely bad but he still wanted to go to prayer. Ryan was told not to go to church during peak days 3-10 for his high risk of infection. He went anyways and did not wear a mask and guess who got sick. Ryan woke up on Father’s Day very sick with a sore throat and sinus infection . He was so sick we had to go into the er where they did some labs and he received a bag of antibiotics. Father’s Day was the first day Ryan really felt neuropathy in his hands and it’s really bumming him out.

Thank you for all your prayers , support and love. We had a really long and tiring week I couldn’t even get a moment to update !

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Ryan Losing His Hair

I want to start off by stating that i am so sorry for a lack of updates, I have had major issues with the website and bog. We have everything back under control just in time! This past week has been very eventful for us. I have multiple health issues and when ever i am stressed my body shuts down and does weird things. Last Friday night we ended up in the ER because i had a hemiplegic migraine which mimics a stroke. Ryan was not able to come in so he just slept in the car while i was inside.

Ryan is at a point where he has good days and bad days. I am sure this is a common thing for most people on chemotherapy. The problem is he does too much on his good days and makes those bad days much worse. Hes started experiencing some new symptoms and also started having hair lose. I told him he was starting to thin out and he kept telling me no. Sure enough the next morning he woke up and his scalp was extremely tender, which is a sign that the hair is turning lose. The next morning he had several bald spots and his hair was coming out in chunks. We decided it would be best to just shave it off to help with the amount of hair im cleaning up. He is definitely getting used to it as am I. I keep walking around the corner and I see him and almost have a heart attack forgetting its just him lol. Brinley was very confused by his hair and kept giving him weird looks. I wish i could of captured it. She just thinks its funny to rub his head. I want him to feel handsome and loved from me as much as i can. I've tried my best to compliment him and show him some extra love as i know that a man would never admit it but sometimes this kind of change can be hard on them too.

There isn't much more to update with Ryan as we didn't have any Doctors appointments this week. However i did see an allergist and got an allergy prick test only to find out i tested positive for 33 allergens. I'm allergic to all grass, some trees,weeds,bushes,mold, and animals. The test did not include any food allergens so i wont be able to find out that until later. Those of you who don't know Ryans a landscaper and is around all of that consistently lol!

Thank you all for continuing to read our journey i will have more major update this week as Ryans chemo is tomorrow! We appreciate all the love and prayers!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Zion Trip

Saturday May 25th, 2019
We woke up and had Cracker Barrel a tradition for every Zion trip , then drove up the mountain and unpacked my parents motor home. The main reason we love going to Zion is going tubing down the river. The first thing we noticed while driving is how high the river was at the bottom. It was very high and moving very fast. I will attach some photos but really they do not do it justice! My little cousin came and was only there for a day, so she asked if we could go tubing while she was there. We got dressed and headed out. This was the first year Ryan wasn't able to come into the water. He wasn't healed yet from the port and didn't want to risk an infection. The moment i stuck my foot in the water it went numb, yes literally like ice ( 38 degree water). My mom purchased new tubes that had no handles and the holes were too large so we kept slipping. Me and Caleb flipped our tubes , I took about 75% of the rapids down without a tube. I hopped on my stomach just in time of the major drop. We made it around the corner only to realize the water was too cold and fast to continue. Next time we will be getting our normal tubes! We spent the rest of the day relaxing, making smores and playing games.

Sunday May 26th, 2019
I think Ryan really began to feel tired. He was not resting because he is stubborn and thinks he can tough it out. We've already had about 50 million tiffs about him doing too much. Ryan still had some side effects from his shot such as nausea, increased hip pain and a  new symptom vision changes. We will be getting him an eye exam to make sure there are no complications. Ryan spent the day watching me pull Brinley around and around in her little wagon. I also got to take her swimming and she started kicking her legs ! We stayed up super late playing games since that really all ryan can do.
Did i mention that we also slept in a tent because he wanted to and i wasn't going to let him be alone.

Monday May 27th, 2019
We had breakfast and packed up to leave it was raining and so beautiful! I will attach pictures down below. Ryan has this idea of keeping things as normal as possible and decided to drive back to my parents. He handled it well but was very tired by the time we got home. He barely ate dinner and went to bed early.

Tuesday through Thursday
There's not much to update on we have spent the past couple days getting things back to normal. Brinley has been extremely clingy but very happy to be home with momma. Its been a blessing to spend time with Ryan. He was constantly working and I felt like i never saw him. We have done our best to look at all the positives of this situation even though its weighing heavy on us. I Pray daily that God gives my husband the strength to fight !

Saturday, May 25, 2019

First Post Chemo Visit

Thursday May 23rd, 2013
Today was Ryan's firsts post chemo visit with a PA. We were instructed that after he got out he would need a shot called Neulasta. Essentially the shot is supposed to spike the white blood cells to counteract the low white blood cell count that normally happen with chemo. We sat in the waiting room and the first thing we observed is how many older people were there. Shortly after we arrived we were told of the cost of the shot was $2,000 out of pocket the normal cost without insurance is $5,000-$7,000 (ouch). Ryan will receive one of these after every chemo treatment so far that's 4. We got taken back to the room and Ryan was complaining that he was not feeling so great. I immediately went through the cabinets to search for anything he could puke into. The PA came in and asked us some questions and discussed with us the plan of action. I immediately noticed that she kept using the word remission. I asked her why she kept saying remission instead of cured. When we found out that Ryan had lymphoma we kept hearing the word cured. She explained that the anaplastic part of the cancer makes it harder to treat and that the goal is to get him as close to remission as possible. She also kept saying his prognosis, I asked her what was his prognosis. I was told they cant give us one because its so rare its the first case anyone has seen within Banner network. Afterwards they came in to give Ryan his shot, not long after he received it he got sick. I grabbed the puke bucket from the cabinet just in time. I felt so awful but also glad it happened at the office because they were able to take him back to the chemo room and give him nausea meds. This medicine is given straight through the port and works for 72 hours. Ryan started feeling better and after resting all afternoon he invited his parents over for some company.

Friday May 24th, 2019
Today was the day we were supposed to leave for Zion. We have had the trip planned and paid for, for over a year and Ryan really didn't want to miss it. We asked the doctor and they had no problem with him going as long as we took precautions. We at last minute hoped in the car and raced straight to Tuchan theater to see little mermaid. We are finally reunited with our angel!! She kept hugging me and wouldn't let go of me it was amazing. We watched the play and the first half was so bad that I couldn't stop laughing. It was almost more of a comedy show then anything. Ryan handled it well but was very tired and weak. We went straight to the hotel and to bed.

Thank you for all the love and support. We have received an outpouring amount of support and love during this difficult time and we appreciate it so much.