Saturday, July 12, 2008

Happy Anniversary !?!

How surreal that a year has passed since we heard the words "Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia" or ALL. I can feel that surge of hurt, disbelief, and utter helplessness when I go back to that moment. The pain that James endured is truly unfathomable (i.e., through being poked with needles, being held down for dressing changes, having a raw bottom from the unpleasant combination of chemo and steroids, all the while having brief periods of respite in his mommy and daddy's arms). As I think back to those moments, I cry and remember that love that has continuously surrounded us every step of the way - a love that can only be adequately described in God's Word (1 Cor. 13:13). While thinking back can produce much sorrow over what may have been potentially lost through James' diagnosis, we choose to press on, take hold of James' excellent prognosis, and remember this past year for how far we have come in our faith in God, our faith in our friends in family to be present and willing to open their lives, and our faith in each other as husband and wife. It is truly amazing to think all that has transpired this past year. While we are not promised a healthy tomorrow, we know unequivocally that God is always present and giving us strength when we have none.
While we have teared up reflecting on the past year, James has shown us the value of living for today and not being bogged down by the trials that we face. For instance, James began this morning with a bang. It didn't take a CSI team to figure out that he was highly irritated that he wasn't promptly gotten after awakening this morning. In his non-steroid induced Hulk moment, he shredded the book, What God Made. He also pulled off his pajamas and was likely about to break through the slats of his crib with a little Kung-fu action.We decided to go to IHOP this morning to celebrate James' excellent prognosis with a hearty breakfast. Before we left, you can see the wind-up car that we got James to celebrate his anniversary.Seriously, a neighbor brought over a Smart car for James to see and sit in. It was surprisingly roomy for a 28 pound 2-year-old. After sitting in the clown car, we ran a few errands, with most of the day being spent playing, reading, and attempting to hit the baseball. You can see in the sequence below that James intently watched for the ball, then after grazing the ball with his stubby bat, he threw his hands up to indicate home run. When I told him, "run, run, run," he promptly hurled his bat across the room and ran about ten feet before returning to home. He ended the pre-nap day with a round of golf and some light reading.
Today is a good day and we are most thankful for the friends and family that have rallied around us, been consistently available, and have gone the extra mile to help us when we had little emotional strength to press on. Thank you!
I am so proud of Joy as she will be completing the half-marathon in January with Team in Training as her sponsor. She is consistently getting up, training early in the morning, and pushing through soreness to do the best she can do. If you feel led, check out this link ( and consider donating to Team in Training, as all donations go directly to the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society.


Jana said...

I love your outlook to say, "we celebrate his great prognosis." That shows the great hope that God is revealing through you. Thank you for continuing to share your story. We look forward to "celebrating" with you when you head this way.

Lorren said...

Love you guys. Thankful you allow us to follow your story.

Sam McClure said...

your sweet family constantly encourages me! thanks for letting us peek into your world! sherry

Chuck and Angie said...

I can not believe it has been a year since that day! We have all been so lucky to travel this journey with you through this website and watch how you have perservered through it, all the while trusting in God every step of the way. Chuck and I have no idea what you are going through, and you have touched our hearts, so I can only imagine the impact you have made on other families who are going through cancer. You have used this experience to glorify God, and I have no doubt that you have touched some lives along the way! We love you and are with you all the way!

Chuck and Angie

Julie Marler said...

Well done Ryan Family for such perseverance and determination to follow God no matter how much it hurts! You have done an unbelievable job!
Giving God all the praise and glory! Thank you for sharing the good and the bad!
Robin & Julie Marler

sandy said...

I have been priviledged to walk from a distance with you and your sweet family thru this difficult, but inspiring journey. Both you and Greg have been an inspiration to us all. God bless you all and I will continue to lift you up in prayer. Love you guys!