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.