Pathology Reports

I’ve been a guinea pig in every aspect of my life over the last seven years. We kind of love it, we kind of gravitate towards it, we kind of thrive in it. We love the experimental element of it, we love being on the edge of something unknown, we grow tired of the already and has been…but that was all true until today. Today we found out that the type of cancer I have is one in a million. No wait, one in a few hundred million, maybe even more. Turns out virtually nobody has what I have. The Mayo Clinic is not done testing and retesting my tumor, they’ve even begun to look and re-look at my original MRI scans. They’ve invited other doctors to check and recheck it all out as well because its all so rare and unknown. They know what it is, it’s a level four astrocytoma called a glioblastoma. The only hang up is that they are not supposed to be in your spinal cord. Mine is. Spinal cord astrocytoma’s act and look differently than mine does and they therefore are quite baffled as to what to do with it.

Here’s what we know, we know that if it’s in your brain you have a six-month to five year life expectancy more or less. But mine is not in my brain. We know that this type of cancer spreads rapidly in the brain, that within three months it can spread and take over all of it. We know that people over the age of sixty are usually given less than a year to live, that children are given a 25% chance to pass five years…if its in your brain. We know that my cancer is in my spine…which changes everything. It means that there’s no precedence for how to treat it, no expectation for how it will move, no cases on which to base things. It is good news that there’s no signs that it’s in my brain right now and it gives hope that my life expectancy is longer than what they’re saying. We know that I’ve got chemo and radiation ahead of me, we know that I’ve got lots of tests ahead of me to discover if its growing and if its anywhere else in my body. And most importantly we know that we’re going to fight this hard. We know that God has been faithful thus far not in just bringing healing to my body but even and especially in transforming this shit into something beautiful and life changing. There is no reason to think or believe that things will be any different as we move forward. We know that we can count on all of you to continue to lift us up in prayer and to continually show us what tangible love looks like. We know that this sucks and that we were hoping for an easier journey but we’re up for whatever life throws at us (ok, we don’t have a choice, but with our faith, our friends, and our family beside us we can move forward with confidence!)

Ugh, this sucks, our hearts are breaking thinking of the potential long term effects of this are. Short term we’ve got lots of meetings with doctors, lots of tests to be done, chemo to start, radiation to begin, and who knows what else! Thank you all for getting us this far already. Here we go for round two.

21 thoughts on “Pathology Reports

  1. I am so sorry that you are facing cancer, particularly sorry that it is so rare and uncharted. I will be thinking of you and your family in the comic weeks and months.

  2. You don't know me, I"m just a friend of a friend of your sister's. Just know that this extends FAR beyond the people you know personally, that people all over are praying for your family and expecting God's best faithfulness in your lives.

  3. You don't know me either (Ben Ries is my cousin). I just wanted to let you know that we are praying for you and your family.

  4. i'm not cursing God, but i'm cussing at him. a lot. it's a bit of a temper tantrum actually. not that it does you any good i realize.

    i'm impressed by the depth of your faith and the power of your faithful confessions. who can know what God's got in mind, or what the coming days will hold (for any of us, really)…but if God is who he says he is…if those promises are truly true…well my cussing can only last so long before I join you in faith speaking, calling God out to back up his word with action.

  5. Ryan, as with many others I pray for you constantly. You are so special…but we would rather you weren't in this case!
    With love,
    Kathy (jtw's mom)

  6. Ryan, your dad was my youth minister long ago in North Bend. I've been keeping up with your illness over the past weeks. I am so very sorry to hear the latest diagnosis. My heart hurts for you and the family. I am praying for peace, wisdom and something miraculous. When you are feeling low, please know that there are MANY, MANY people out there praying for you! – Kendra Koopman

  7. shit is shit and i'm sorry you are dealt yours right now. i believe that Jesus has this miraculous way of turning shit into some strange beauty. i remember you as a little kid and i pray for you now and join you in your fight. may the wild God who does things in ways we don't like, expect, or imagine show up in an intimacy for your heart that rocks your world like nothing else ever has or will.

  8. Friend of Tara's here to say I'll be praying for you and your family. I'm sorry for all that lies ahead for you and your family. I really hope, because it's in the spine, the outcome proves to be much more optimistic and your healing happens very quickly!

  9. Hi Ryan, You are posted on my friend Marlette's facebook. I need to tell you that I just finished listening to a 2 hr video about a doctor who successfully treats gioblastoma~~~as a matter of fact, I am now working with a client who has the same thing. THERE IS HOPE~~~Let me know if you are interested in talking. Only God!! Dawna

  10. Ryan, I was one of Tara's team mates in Portugal. I keep up with her on fb and constantly laugh out loud at her fb posts. She is such a wonderful woman! I saw the posts about you and just wanted you to know I will lift you up to our Father and spread the word here in TN so others can do the same. We will all start praying for God to heal your body and for His strength to fill you and your family!

  11. i know you guys from Camp Yamhill and now Facebook I see your post and am shocked. Life is crazy. crazy. I am sorry to hear this news and am praying for you and your family. It sounds like you have some amazing kids and a wonderful wife to support you through these times. All the best mate.

  12. We love you and we love your family (the whole extended lot of you!). Our prayers will persist for many things: healing, strength, hope, endurance, HEALING; but in my prayers for you this morning i am asking for every moment in your sweet family of four to BURST with ABUNDANT LIFE. Conversations, arguments, discipline, laughter, love, silence, meals, playtime…that God the Giver and Provider will overflow, by His Spirit, such LIFE among you, more than you have ever experienced. John 10:10 We love you in Christ–Cheryl, Jeff and the Cashlings

  13. Hi Ryan, you don't know me, but I read your story, and I relate to it very closely because I was also diagnosed with cancer, am a parent, and found myself in a test of faith. I was told I had a glioblastoma and had a short time to live. My tumor is far more common than yours, and yet the prognosis was flat out bad. However, I was diagnosed in 2001, and with only one recurrence, I'm now cancer free. I believe that without the prayers and support of people I received from around the world my case could have ended as dismally as predicted. I hope that you can find some peace in knowing that there are real miracles happening every day. I don't know why God chose us to pass on the message of faith, but our deep faith teaches our children and loved ones how to live everyday to its fullest. Loving God, and honoring each other. ~ Phoebe

  14. Prraying for all of you. Knowing that we love you guys and know that God is a faithful God and is holding your hand through this journey

  15. Hi Ryan,
    You do not know me I am a friend that went to school with Kori and your mom. I am praying for you and the doctors. Praying for your decisions on when, what and how to treat. I pray for you devine wisdom on what questions you might ask doctors. Wishing you the best outcome possible,
    Chris

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