Thursday, January 7, 2010

Crying a River

Lots has happened since the last post and unfortuanetely it's not what we had hoped. January 2 Ryan continued to develop more weakness on his right side and they did the MRI right away. We got the results within a few hours and were devastated to learn that it was the tumour progression that was causing the new symptoms. The difference in the December 21 to January 2 MRI's was significant and the biggest issue is that it's moved to his brains stem.

He was discharged from the hospital and we went home to figure out how to cope with the news. Tuesday we spent most of the day at the Tom Baker Cancer Center. Ryan's doctor had tears in his eyes when he told us that there's nothing else they can do for him now. That he has fought am amazing fight against this tumour for the past 12 and a half years, but now that it's entered his brain stem things could progress quickly.

It's now Thursday morning and I can't even remember what we're doing in the next hour. Ryan has been assessed by Home Care and now is on a waitlist for a hospice. It will be up to him whether he takes the bed when one comes up, but the doctor is strongly recommending he does. He then told him that if in a week he improves and can walk out of the hospice, he can come and punch him out. Ryan of course said - you're on!

Ryan has a cane to help him around because walking is getting more difficult. Stairs are the hardest for him, but he continues on with such determination, I am stunned at his strength.

Over the last week, the news has come fast and hasn't given us the time to adjust. We have cried pounds of tears and I feel like it could probably make a river. I don't know what to hope for at this point. That Ryan's end is near and he doesn't have to suffer any more physical challenges, or that it is far and we have him here longer.

We appreciate all of your love and support - we will continue to need it!


  1. I too was in your situation and the principal of my son's school recommended the book "Final Gifts". I will send you a copy if you like.

  2. You are all held so deeply by so many. May you be at peace and simply be.
    Much love and care
    Jim & Donna

  3. I originally saw Ryan's story on Global last year and check in on you all every couple of months. I'm so sorry to read the latest news.

    Just wanted to post and let you know that I'm sending positive thoughts and energy your way that Ryan will beat this latest setback. Ryan's beat the odds before and I believe he can do it again! You 3 make such a beautiful family!

  4. I feel deeply for you all, and thank you again for sharing your story with everyone. My own cancer has taken a turn for the worse, and I'm in danger of losing my mobility entirely because of a spinal tumour. But I guess that's not the end. I'm sending wishes that this is not the end for Ryan, either.

  5. You and Ryan are true inspirations to all of us. Ryan the world is a better place because of You. Thank you, for just being you. We are so blessed to have been touched by your friendship and love. Your picture with Tash and Talyn say it all. You light our world and we are sending you and Tash all our love and strength.

    Lucinda, Rob, Mackenzie and Nick xoxox

  6. Ryan, you rock buddy! Sara and I are praying for you and your family. Let us know if we can do anything for you guys. Jeff and Sara

  7. Hi Tasha,

    My wife and I are praying for complete healing for Ryan. Even we are miles away from Calgary, we are there with you and Ryan in spirit with our prayers & support.

    Aydin Coskun
    Ex LVS(er)

  8. You don't know me because we've never met, but I'm Aydin's wife (former co-worker in IT department at Shell). Aydin had me read your blog and both of us feel your burden.

    Just wanted to let you know that Aydin and I feel very strongly for your family. I went through a similar situation with a family member a year and a half ago, and have complete compassion for you. Don't give up hope, and lean on God for strength and answers. That was my biggest strength that kept me positive and moving forward. It's surprising how turning to a Higher Power in these kinds of times can be uplifting and nourish our souls, giving us a new outlook on life, courage, and even peace.

    We'll be praying for you & Ryan (and our church will too), and hoping for the very best in your situation!

    Best Regards,
    Janell & Aydin Coskun

  9. Tash, I wrote to Ryan a bit earlier as well, but I want you both to know that if you ever need to talk to someone who has been through this, you are more than welcome to contact me. Not that I have anything in the way of words of wisdom, and I know there is nothing I can say at this moment to help or make it better - but I understand, and I have found that sometimes having someone who understands is helpful. I know a big part of what has helped me through this past 8 1/2 months is talking with others who have been down this road.

    As to your question about how Ryan's path will go from here - I struggled with this a great deal when we knew Elias' time was running out. I won't go into details on your blog, but it was exactly how he wanted it to be and that gives me some peace - I guess since it had to happen it happened as it should have for him.

    I also took a great deal of comfort after Elias passed in reading 'Death is of Vital Importance' and have suggested it to Ryan as I think it's just a book anyone should read, regardless of their health status. I really wish both Elias and I had the chance to read it before he passed away.

    Anyhow, I'm sorry to ramble, but I just want you both to know that my heart is with you, Ryan and Talyn.


  10. You don't know me and I don't know you, but I am a wife and mother. I can't imagine your pain. My thoughts and prayers are with you!!!