Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ryan's Fight

Ryan started radiotherapy on December 2. But the day before that, he had a mild seizure. This was the first day for us that reality started to hit us right in the face. Ryan has only ever had one grand mal seizure and that was in 1997 and before they ever found the tumour. So, although the doctors had told us about the significant progression, we were able to dismiss their news because Ryan was doing so well.

On the evening of December 1, Talyn and I were sleeping and Ryan was in the basement watching a show he likes. He describes a sensation of tingling all over his body and then knew he had to get to me. He got himself up the stairs and turned on the light to our room and by that time he had lost the ability to speak and fell to his knees to get ready for more. For the next 5 minutes his vision got fuzzy, he couldn't speak and we just waited for more. After 5 minutes he started to return to normal and we were hit with a cold dose of reality.

The doctors checked him out the next day and increased his anti-seizure medication, but seemed pretty relaxed about everything so he continued on with his treatments. He immediately felt much fatigue, but otherwise continued to feel well.

On Friday, December 12 in the morning, Ryan had a very similar mild seizure and after 5 minutes he returned to normal. So, after we knew he was okay, I drove Talyn to school and went back to my other life. Someone from Ryan's office drove him to his treatment that morning, but when he got there he felt off.

He went to go find his radiation therapists but by the time he got to them he couldn't speak. He then started to seize for 9 minutes. They called a Code 66 on him (a code the we listened to many times for others at the hospital) and the ER doctors rushed over to get to him. However by the time they got there, he had had a second seizure. They administered some meds to try and stop them and he seized a third time. I arrived to the hospital shortly after that and they took him to the ER.

There were many scary things about this. One was that there was 3 seizures in a row, but more concerning was that he wasn't able to regain all of his functions completely before another one came. He was rendered paralyzed on the right side and could not speak. They ran a CT Scan of his head and found inflammation, which can be a side effect of radiation. So they started to give him some steroids.

Throughout the last 2 days, we have watched Ryan regain most of his speech and all of his right side strength. He does continue to have some problems with language and vision, but they think that as the steroids continue to attack the inflammation, that should all return. He has spent the last 2 days in the ER while they wait for a bed and last night he was finally moved to the Neurology Unit.

I continue to be amazed at how alone I felt when this happened, but how in the background everyone worked around us to create a plan for Talyn and to make sure we were okay. So many people have helped us get through the last couple of days and I want to send a huge thank you to you all! We hope that Ryan will be let out of the hospital tomorrow and then we will chat with his Cancer docs to see if this changes the plan.

So many times before in my life I have seen mugs, magnets or books with various sayings like "live like there is no tomorrow", but I continue to find out exactly what that means. Life is a gift, continue to cherish it and those around you.


  1. Hi Tasha,

    I have been checking your and Tricia's blogs from time to time. I will pray for Ryan's health and both of your continued strength. We take so much for granted every day. Thanks for sharing your story with others and the message that life is precious and we should cherish each moment!
    Catherine Patterson (nee Robertson)

  2. Hi Tasha and Ryan,

    It's Chelsea here in BC - I spoke with Ryan last month after our story ran on the news. I love to read Ryan's posts as he has such a great attitude, and when I saw the link to yours recently - it was amazing to me that it was just like reading my own thoughts!

    My heart is with you both, and Talyn. Next time you're in BC look us up!