Back in September, I posted some vague information indicating that Ryan would be in an upcoming national television commercial. I still can’t officially release specific information (due to contract restrictions), but I will be able to give full details on Thursday when the advertising campaign launches. Stay Tuned!
As you may recall, I last updated that Ryan was having some potential issues with gut GVHD. He had an endoscopy and something similar to a colonoscopy, but not as extreme (I can’t remember off the top of my head what it was called). They took tissue samples from four different locations along his GI tract, and I am very happy to report that the biopsies all came back negative for GVHD. Whew! So, why was he nauseous and not eating much? Well, let’s just say that the plumbing was quite backed up… I guess things are just not yet back to full speed with all of the medications he is on.
Halloween was a rare opportunity for Ryan to do kid stuff. He wanted to be a mummy, which worked perfectly with the mask I made him wear. We did take him trick-or-treating, but we had him stay away from groups of kids and wait until other kids were not at doors before he could go up and knock. Then, he had to wash and sanitize his hands as soon as we got home. I also took rubbing alcohol to the outside of all of his candy wrappers before he could sort through his loot. He did have fun, but it was a little sad seeing how badly he wanted to join in with the other groups of kids. At one point, he got excited and started to run toward a group of kids (they were asking him to join), but we had to quietly call him back. Next year, he should be able to join in as much as he wants.
We were also able to get out of the house for awhile yesterday. It was really sunny here (although chilly) so we took a drive to a local resort that is currently in the off-season and enjoyed some outdoor time. We walked the grounds and some docks that run along the
. The pictures of the kids were taken there
(Alderbrook Resort – shore of Puget Sound ). Union,
At his last clinic appointment, Ryan had to start phlebotomy. Remember all of the blood transfusions he had to have before transplant? They left behind a significant amount of Iron - to the extent that it shows up in his liver on an MRI and, if not addressed, will start to damage his organs. Ironically, this is treated by taking blood from him! They take enough to temporarily make him anemic; causing his marrow to quickly generate red blood cells to replace what was taken. Those new red blood cells need iron, so they pull it from other areas of his body (ideally, in his case, the liver!) He will need to have this done for at least 3 months. Then, at some point, they will do another MRI to see where things stand.
Other than those few minor issues, Ryan is doing remarkably well. He looks great and he seems to be feeling pretty good too. With appointments being spaced out further and things starting to settle down a bit, I have been thinking more about Ryan’s donor. We cannot have direct contact with him until the end of May (assuming he is willing). However, I recently remembered that we can attempt to contact him anonymously. I think it is probably a good time to send him a letter. I am just stuck on what to say. A simple “Thank you” seems so inadequate!