Today marks the start of Round 3 of Ryan’s chemo treatment – the final round! We are in nervous anticipation of what is to come this week. Ryan is weaker than when he started the last two rounds, so we are treading carefully this week. We honestly just don’t know what to expect, so we are hoping for the best but expecting the worst.

As usual, his round starts off with “ugly chemo week” where he has to have treatments every day Monday through Friday for approximately 4-5 hours per day. He has prescriptions that he takes twice daily for the side effects, but they have side effects of their own (and then he takes more prescriptions for those). Ryan complained this morning that he took his pills and within minutes he already started feeling the effects. He says the pills are worse than the chemo, but we both know the chemo would be so much worse than the pills if he didn’t take them. Cancer really is brutal, no matter how far medical miracles have come today.

This Saturday was a bit crazy with our church hosting a pancake breakfast, the girls both had birthday parties to attend, and Meagan had gymnastics. Plus I decided to start some early Christmas shopping and picked up an item from craigslist for Noah – which was about 30 minutes away.

But that evening, we asked Linda to watch the kids and we headed out for a final date night while Ryan is on chemo. We know he won’t be up for another night out for at least 3 weeks. It was a bit celebratory, and we tried to avoid talking about sickness, chemo and the week to come. It was an enjoyable evening out and the food was fantastic. We really didn’t know where to go and then we saw this big shiny building, so we decided, why not? I mean really, who could resist a big sparkly restaurant?

my-shanti

When we returned home, we discovered Meagan was up to her usual antics and tried to fool Linda into changing her bedtime. This girl keeps us on our toes!

bedtimes

Sunday was church in the morning, followed by an unscheduled communal lunch due to the leftovers from the pancake breakfast. It was a great morning/afternoon of friends and fellowship. But it completely drained Ryan. He was tired and desperately needed some quiet time. We first stopped on our way home to have his blood work done, which has now become part of our Sunday routine. Every week. This is necessary to make sure Ryan is holding up well enough to sustain his chemo treatments, before he receives treatment every Monday.

Which brings us to today. The start of our last “ugly chemo week”.

At the risk of sounding redundant, we are so thankful for all of you. From prayers, meals, baking, helping with our kids, being there to listen and sometimes just to pick us up and help us refocus, giving us goals and future plans to look forward to, financial assistance, cleaning assistance, an encouraging word – and from some sources we never would expect! From family, friends, strangers – seriously, we are completely overwhelmed.

For those who “wish they could do more” or “are sorry they haven’t done anything”, please don’t. Your prayers, kind words and empathetic ears are sometimes all that we need. We appreciate the fact that you say ANYTHING to let us know you care, instead of nothing at all. I know it’s hard when you’re trying to think of the “perfect” thing to say, but there really is no perfect thing. We have yet to hear someone say the “wrong” thing. Anything means you care. And we greatly appreciate you for caring.

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