Sunday, April 29, 2018

Yellow for Hope: What I'm Wearing

I don't wear yellow well, so I rarely wear it willingly.  I've made exceptions for the yellow shirt I earned in the 2014 Vancouver International Marathon -- you can see me hiking up a very big hill in it here, and I even wore it to run in Paris with my sister.  But there has to be a very good reason for me to don this colour. . . .

And this morning there is:  I'm donning a yellow T-shirt and heading across town to a Daffodil Dash, a 5-kilometre fund-raising walk/run to support the mission of the Canadian Cancer Society. Really, though, I'm participating to support my nephew and his family as he lives so courageously and inspiringly and wisely and hopefully as a new dad.


Many of you will remember that last summer, I posted about my nephew's diagnosis of Ewing's Sarcoma within weeks of his daughter's birth. You responded so compassionately and generously at the time, and some of you have enquired since about Ryan's health. I've responded individually to those enquiries, but otherwise I've respected the family's privacy through the year of watching their beautiful baby grow to toddlerhood while Ryan went through a gruelling regime of chemotherapy.

However, a week ago, my niece-in-law Carly posted a celebratory photo on Instagram (and that gorgeous -- inside and out! -- young mother wears herYellow T-shirt beautifully), and I thought I could share that with you.

In the photo, Ryan holds up a poster that says,"Last Day of Chemo:  14 Cycles, 42 Doses, 70 Mesnas, 98 Gastrofil Injections, 10 Months -- He Did It!"

The text accompanying the photo: "Today was Ryan’s last day of chemotherapy! 10 months ago the oncologist told us we would be extremely lucky if Ryan was able to complete all 14 rounds. Therefore, today was huge for us. Although, Ryan is not feeling very well and still has pain, we could not be happier with how the last 10 months have gone. Today was hopefully the end of this chapter, and will be the beginning of our new lives of Ryan living with stable cancer. Everyday I have been in awe of his strength, determination, and perseverance. There is no doubt in my mind that Ryan will continue to defy the odds. I love you and I am so proud of you! YOU DID IT!!!!!!"

A bit of research makes it clear that Carly is determinedly positive in her celebration of "living with stable cancer." Ryan's cancer hasn't been vanquished, nor is it in remission. But it's stable now, and this sweet, strong couple have got to where they are today by being just this positive.  So when Carly began organising a Team Ryan of family and friends to celebrate Ryan's progress so far, to support this next phase of living with stable cancer,  and to contribute to research that brings more hope, I was happy to sign on. Even happy to wear that yellow t-shirt.  

Wish us a good walk, wish us hope, wish Ryan many years at Carly's side, watching their daughter grow . . . 


36 comments:

  1. I wish Team Ryan hope,happiness,well being,joy....and of course: great walk today!
    Yay team Ryan!
    Dottoressa

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  2. Wishing Team Ryan a good day today, and joy and hope always!

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  3. Just being positive is truly EVERYTHING. Who understands the trajectory of one's life (except that it will one day end, but hopefully after much joy and having learned as much as possible)? I often think of your nephew and his family, wishing them all the best. How wonderful that they are strength personified (with a few moments of great difficulty, to understate things, I suspect). What an example for their little girl!

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  4. That is good news about Ryan. I wish them the best.
    And thank you for the "Honorable Woman" recommendation in your previous post. I am three episodes in and loving it. Brenda

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    1. Thanks, B.
      It's a very good show, isn't it?!

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  5. Congratulations and my very best wishes to this brave young family. Have a good walk today. It may feel mostly symbolic, but it will certainly help in some way, however small - if only by raising public awareness.

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    1. Eleonore - I could not express this better myself.

      Frances - Yellow is a colour of hope and thus strength so wear your shirt with quiet fortitude.

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    2. Yes, symbols are very important, and hope . . .

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  6. All the very best to you as you head out on your walk and especially to your courageous nephew and his wife. May they be buoyed and encouraged by the support of those around them.
    Frances from Sidney

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    1. Thanks, Frances -- I think they were. There were 85 of us who showed up in the rain to walk as Team Ryan.

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  7. I wish Team Ryan a good walk today and hope for a very positive future for all. Wilma D

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  8. Such wonderful news for a brave family and friends. I hope the walk is full of good cheer and hopefulness. I had a family member go through the same treatment schedule, and it was awful so I really admire them for being able to deal with it while raising a small daughter.

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    1. It's been very challenging -- puts daily annoyances in perspective for me, regularly. . .

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  9. Such a good cause to run for. Such a fine result. The wonder of modern medicine.

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    1. It's a good start. Remission would be amazing, but modern medicine isn't there yet. . .

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  10. Ryan reaching this milestone in his treatment is tremendous news for him, his wife and your entire family. May the doctor's continue to find better and creative treatments that will result in stabilizing the disease and better chances of a cure, for your beloved nephew. For Ryan, and all those who are suffering from cancer, my fervent hope that those who are doing research to hurry up and find the magic bullet, soon, very very soon! You wear yellow sublimely well especially for Ryan, the Daffodil Dash and Canada Cancer Society. Amelia

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    1. Yes, sounds as if you understand what "stable cancer" means, Amelia. It's great that he reached this and we continue to hope for even more. . .Thank you.

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  11. It is wonderful to hear that your nephew, Ryan, has reached a "stable" time. With a little one, I'm sure that all those treatments must have been difficult. Yellow is a bright and hopeful colour. I'm collecting for the Cancer Society this March because cancer touches everybody's life at some time.

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    1. Good for you doing that volunteer work -- I can't imagine anyone untouched by the disease.

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  12. Thank you for the update on Ryan. I am a frequent reader but only a very occasional commenter ... I have often wondered how your nephew is doing, but didn't want to ask before you were ready to share. I continue to wish the very best for this young couple and for the whole extended family. Yellow is not my colour either, but I'm wearing it in spirit with you!
    Denise L.

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    1. You're very welcome, Denise, and thank you for commenting today (and for reading frequently). Thanks, especially for the good wishes.

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  13. This is such wonderful news, I’ve often wondered about him but didn’t like to ask ... them when I asked on IG, I thought maybe I shouldn’t have! To get to this point in his treatment is such an achievement physically and mentally. I wish for many years of happiness for Ryan and his lovely family....
    Thanks for sharing this Frances and good luck with the Daffodil Dash ....
    Rosie

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    1. You were just fine in asking, Rosie, but it's true that I've been careful about how much I share and when and how widely. It's also true that last summer you readers were so kind and generous in your support for Ryan that it's reasonable you'd want an update.

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  14. What an amazing way to define their life now, "stable cancer." Taking joy where one can find it. I wish the young family all the best, and cheered you from my imaginary sidelines here in California.

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. It is amazing, isn't it? Their world was so completely transformed, so instantly, by a diagnosis last summer, that Stable is constituted very differently now. . .

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  15. How wonderful it is to read this. The path to stability or remission is waaaay harder than any of us can imagine. I join in congratulating your nephew on his steadfastness, his courage and determination. I also send warmest wishes to his partner-in-courage!! What a story.....thank you!

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    1. Well, you've had a front-row seat to your own loved one's travels on that path. xo

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  16. It's always such a joy to post here after all these heartfelt comments have been made. I enjoyed reading each and every one.I have little to add , but love the concept of 'Stable Cancer.' Courage , wisdom , hope , strong, positive . Words worth repeating. And BTW , yellow ? Favourite colour .

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    1. I think it's a term they got from the oncologists, and I love the way it can bear a positive interpretation.
      Yes, I'm thinking of your yellow raincoat -- you wear it very well! (I don't!)
      xo

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  17. Tears prick my eyes as I read this, remembering a dear nephew who lost his battle with cancer almost 9 years ago. He left behind a wife and two sons. My sister rides in the bike ride for cancer each year and we are happy to support the research. Wear the yellow with pride, Mater.

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    1. And kudos to your nephew and his family for sticking with the grueling regime. So happy for the stable condition he's now in.

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  18. I almost missed this post . So glad I caught it as , like many others, I’ve been wondering how that lovely little family is getting on . I hope they are enjoying every precious day together
    Wendy in York

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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