Sunday, March 3, 2013

Day three of my internment... I mean being admitted...

Oh, where to begin?

I'll try to give you a succinct update but there have been so many things that have arisen, changed, are very detailed, or are still up in the air that it is hard for me to remember all the details and the timeline. What else is new right? I've been on a steady stream of Dilaudid as well so that my have something to do with it. But I'm very happy. :-)

We were discharged on Thursday from CTCA to go home and immediately get admitted on Friday. Doctors at CTCA were worried about some of my blood count numbers, liver enzymes and proteins, and a few other medical indicators. They were also concerned about the source of the fluid that has been draining consistently from my abdomen since Thursday. If you saw me in Pennsylvania while I was teaching Monday through Tuesday I probably looked pretty "puffy" in the belly region. No I don't have a beer belly, it was just a lot of fluid accumulating.

So we tried to get admitted back home and long story short the hospital wouldn't admit us with out checking us through ER first. Once in ER they determined they were underqualified to deal with my case. I could have transferred to Grand Rapids a much larger hospital but we felt more comfortable just heading back to Chicago, where my doctors who know me, know my case, and have all the experience you could imagine with complicated cancers.

My dad and I got into Chicago around 8:00 EST. After checking in (they were waiting for me) it was a matter of 20-30 minutes before I was admitted. The gave me two units of blood Friday night. However they didn't start until around midnight and at about 2.5 hours per unit. I spent a lot of my night getting woken up by nurses who were just doing their job, so I hold no grudges, it was just a long night.

Yesterday and today the focus has been on getting my counts back higher which they appear to be doing. My hemoglobin has risen by 2 points, and my biliruben has dropped by 1.5 points. Other liver enzymes and proteins appear to be normal or close to normal. The fluid draining has seemed to slow down a little bit, however there is still a lot of blood in it which is concerning for the Dr.'s.

One of the priorities for the Dr.'s tomorrow is going to be trying to discern the source of the leaking. They seem to think it might be the tumor close to the colon. If this is true that colon is "weeping" or "seeping" fluid which is not abnormal. The good news is the chemo we're looking at starting if effective should really attack the fluid discharge from the tumor. So treatment might start soon!

Really I don't know much more at this time other than my counts seem to be improving and there are many doctors coordinating on my case. They will all meet tomorrow sometime to put the plan together. Once we have that information, hopefully we'll know rough timeframes for how long we might be here, what the severity is, and how we're going to attack it.

Kendra and I are doing relatively well. The medical part is very difficult for Kendra, however the separation might be the most difficult. I'm staying very positive about my prognosis, and view this as a speed bump. However, an indefinite stay at a hospital (no matter how amazing and incredible it is) is not my idea of how to spend my time. I've had to cancel a couple speaking engagements that I was really excited about. They were, of course, very gracious.

Please pray for my family and my extended family. There are many, many unknowns and as we've experienced things can change so fast either to the good or to the bad. What we take peace, confidence, and joy in, is that my God, the God who created me for His purposes is running the show and calling the shots. I've had a number of opportunities to share my faith, encourage others, and be a light to those around me. Pray for more opportunities.

Feel free to send notes of encouragement and scripture. It is such a blessing to hear from others. Just as an FYI, you can comment below (you do not have to have a google account), or you can click "Contact Us" up above and that goes straight to our email.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isaiah 26:3 and more cherry juice! Prayers your way brother. -Andy-

CJ Gilbert said...

You are such an effective witness and powerful encouragement - I pray for God to sustain your family and to heal you.

For [the Lord God] says,“In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.”
I tell you, NOW is the time of God’s favor, NOW is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:2 (emphasis added)

Dani said...

Rush Creek was praying for you today!

Anonymous said...

Ryan my friend... I am always in awe of you & your ability to carry on with such grace, love, hope & joy... you are an inspiration to me & give me so strength in my own battle with cancer. Know that you are loved by many & prayed for everyday. <3, Juanita

John Waldo said...

Praying my whole way to Gull Lake. Sad I won't get to see you and hear you speak. Continuing to pray. -John Waldo

Ryan said...

Thank you so much guys! I can't tell you what it means to us.

Juanita I'm so blessed to now God has used my story to make an impact on your life.

John, I'm really bummed to not be there as well. It's a highlight of my year. God has better plans though. Take good notes and share them, also now you won't waste a session listening to my rambling stories :-)

Chad Saxton said...

Ryan and Kendra, praying for you today and always. Will miss seeing you at the conference. We will be in your area for a week soon and hope to get to see you.
Chad

Anonymous said...

You and your's are always in my prayers. Your strong faith in our Lord is a wonderful thing to see and read. You are such a blessing to so many and have inspired more than you could ever know. Behind you is a huge number, all praying and cheering you on. We love and pray for you and your loved ones.

Cheryl said...

Praying for you and Kendra and your entire family as you continue to walk this path. I praise the Lord for your testimony and know that He is using your story and your example of faith to touch many other lives.

byhill said...

Praying for you guys Ryan!

Byron

Brian VanTimmeren said...

Psalms 139:1-18 I find it every encouraging. God knows everything and even more so, he knows you. Cancer, rogue fluid, and whatever else weird bodily stuff you got going on, God knows about it and is much more powerful than it. What an awesome thought! Praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Ryan, while you're "hanging out" in chicago, I don't know if you have internet access, but if you get a hance, look up Craig Marsh, from Australia/New Zealand? He has an amazing story of God's healing that I think will encourage you... Here's the link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYKL9lL6u20 Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeIgDzvmcEA Part 2 Love and prayers,
Jaye

Barbara Lockwood and the Grandkids said...

Love and prayers are with you always and forever.

Anonymous said...

I am praying for you today as well as you precious family.

Anonymous said...

Ryan our prayers are with you and Kendra. The whole Rush Creek family is thinking of you. Take care brother. In Gods love.

Ann Daly Herrygers said...

Even though we do not know each other very well, you have truly been an inspiration to me and I keep you and Kendra in my daily prayers. My recovery from a very bad car accident in 1991 almost had more to do with the faith, belief and prayers all of my family and friends so we do know the power of the Almighty. God speed Ryan!