Thursday, August 16, 2012

At home, and happy!

Hello friends and family,

I would like to happily announce that this blog is being written from the comfort of my living room in New Era, Michigan.  Ryan and Steve and I returned around 3:00 AM yesterday morning.  It has been a very busy time trying to get things settled, organized, and for life to kind of return back to normal.  To give some perspective, Ryan and I have only been home for about 6 out of the last 14 days!  Naturally, there are a lot of bills to pay, laundry, housework, and bags to unpack (I hadn't even unpacked our suitcase from going to Zion for scans last week before we left again).

Ryan is doing pretty well, but has a long way to go before he's "normal" again.  Right now his demeanor and stamina is kind of like what it is after he gets an infusion.  But the story is, essentially he had a simple infection that has started to go systemic.  Actually, because his white blood cell counts were so low, it advanced extremely quickly.  He was pretty much fine last Thursday, and he was septic by Friday afternoon.  He also had a small spot of his body that was hemorrhagic because of the infection, so his oncologist is giving Ryan another full week off of treatment to completely heal from this.  That puts his next treatment around August 28th.  That will be an entire month off, which is the longest he has gone for the last sixteen months without treatment.  Although I celebrate that he has some time off to recuperate from a very, very long stretch of chemotherapy, I would be a liar if I didn't say that I was slightly nervous about losing ground.

Speaking of momentum, we found out from a CT scan this week that his tumors are dying quickly.  The two spots that I mentioned he still had last week had shrunk noticeably in only one week.  We are praising God for this news, as it finally seems like we have struck the right chord in treatment.  Radiation? New chemo regimen? New nutritional lifestyle? Just simply God's timing and healing?  We aren't sure which combination of those four things it is, but we are grateful that the Lord has chosen to move in this way.

We are also extremely thankful for the people that helped us through this.  We are especially grateful for Steve, who accompanied us on what was SUPPOSED to be a short trip to the ER, and turned out to be a multi-day ordeal in Zion.  Cathey and my parents took care of Colton and Tuff, our dog.  Corey picked us up when Steve's car broke down and took us to Zion, and then he let us use his car the rest of the trip.  Chad, Ryan's friend and coworker, looked after our horses and even made sure that they made it to the farrier.  Lots more people offered their help and support.  And we could not be more encouraged and grateful for the support that people have given us through our blog and Twitter and Facebook.  We are floored by the love and the excitement and concern that people have demonstrated to us the last couple of weeks.

In spite of the unexpected infection and hospital stay, we have had a VERY positive August.  We could not be more thrilled with the news we've received and are riding a tidal wave of happiness.  Medically speaking, Ryan should not be alive, and he should not be doing as well as he is.  By God's grace, we are in this position, and we give Him all the glory and honor.

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