Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ryan Update - Small Victories

We must all celebrate small victories...

There is no doubt in our minds the noon good vibes and prayers, along with the new treatment regiment Ryan is on, have started to work.  You heard me right, WORK!  Ryan's tumor markers have started to lower.  This is a huge victory for us, one that followed with tears of joy and intense thankfulness.  Our CTCA Doctors and Nurses celebrated with us with hugs and handshakes all around.  
We needed to celebrate this with all of you, you deserve to share in the good news too!

Round One CA19-9 Markers: 3600
Round Two CA19-9 Markers: 5600
Round Three CA19-9 Markers: 17,000
Round Four CA19-9 Markers: 21,800
Round Five CA19-9 Markers: 9610

We continue to need your help in passing on the energy, we truly believe that it not only helps us, but works.  Ryan has felt great fatigue and has been reacting to one of the chemo drugs in the form of a rash, but other than those two things, we continue to do well!

Until next time...
Jen + Ryan

Monday, March 25, 2013

AJC Food and More

Thank you to AJC Food and More for the write up today.  We are honored to be talking publicly about the Giving Kitchen.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ryan Update 3/19/13

Where we are in the fight.... in war, not every battle is won.

Friday (3/8/13) was the first major scan since diagnosis that determined our next steps.  Ryan has undergone (like a champion I might add) two full cycles of chemotherapy that resulted in a dead end.  The unfortunate circumstances show growth in his tumors and a significant rise in CA19-9 tumor markers.  We have made a change in his chemo treatment plan and have now started a new weekly cycle.  We wait... with determination, poise and humility.

All in all, we are doing great, looking at each day as a new start with fresh perspective.  We owe much of our strength to all of you for the well wishes and constant support you give.  We received a package in the mail a couple weeks ago from an Atlanta based first grade classroom with letters to Ryan on how to "feel better".  If I didn't know better, I'd go out and buy a Nintendo DSI, a giant teddy bear and a bag of gummy bears and call it a day.  We had another little girl write a story about Chef Ryan and his arch-cooking-contest-enemy Harris Cancer Muddball and sold bound copies for $5 each!  She made a killing!  From these letters to your generous donations and bountiful energy, we are fueled and immensely grateful.

Atlanta, you have rallied behind us and in a big, big way and now we are motivated to give back.  As some of you have witnessed at other events around town over the last few weeks (with Charlotte's Web and Bring Back Zach), we have started a foundation called The Giving Kitchen Initiative. You all get a sneak peek into this project and as we are ready to go live, more details will come!  We couldn't be more excited about the opportunity this will bring to help others in situations such as Ryan's. Through the tragedy of cancer we see hope, and with the help of all of you we will build this foundation with pride. Thank you all for the inspiration to push forward when times are hard and the courage to see through the veil of an illness to better days.

The Giving Kitchen Initiative supports the metro Atlanta restaurant community by lending a helping hand to industry members impacted by medical or other unanticipated hardship.  The Giving Kitchen Initiative also supports other charitable, scientific and educational projects to which restaurant industry members are in a unique position to contribute such as nutritional education for community schools or providing food to people in need.

We also have chosen to document our journey.  Along with an amazing production crew, we are capturing every moment we can through video, photography and story telling.  We felt compelled to gather Ryan's treatment, our daily life, meetings for The Giving Kitchen and more and share it with all of you.  We will keep you all updated on when the documentary is ready.  Below are a couple photos from last weekend.

To finish up, I sent out an update to our family and very close friends about a week ago and asked for a favor, something I do not do very often.  I asked for a "Prayer/Good Vibe" sequence chain to start.  At noon each day, please set your watch, smartphone, computer and brain to Pray for Ryan's Healing.  Whether it's a simple pleasant thought, an in depth prayer or a smile exchanged from you to another, that will supply us the energy we need to continue everyday with grace, fresh perspective and peace.  It doesn't hurt to ask you all, our Staplehouse friends too.

We continue down this path with you all by our side and appreciate every minute of what these days hold.  We will send out another update as things progress.