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Abell Family Allies
11/21/2016 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
While the rest of the world was reeling from the results of last week's presidential election, we were struggling with the shock of more personal news. Ryan was having some back pain and went to the emergency room Monday night. He was admitted to the hospital Tuesday evening and the results of a CT scan and biopsy surprisingly showed that he has stage IV colon cancer. He hasn't had any symptoms, so we had no idea he was sick. He is young, strong and otherwise healthy, which gives us hope.
Today we had our first meeting with his oncologist, who confirmed that the cancer has spread to his lymph nodes and a large portion of his liver. The doctor said he is not a candidate for surgery because too much of his liver is affected, but the good news is that there are many more therapies available nowadays and we've been told several times, "this is not a death sentence". The truth is that Ryan's life has been shortened. Until we see how the cancer responds to treatment no one knows how long he has, but the hope is that he will be with us for years to come.
We plan to be aggressive in this fight. The oncologist ordered a few additional tests and Ryan also has to have a port implanted. Then he'll start a six-month period of chemo on December 8th. We are also planning to incorporate alternative care to help him cope with the side effects of treatment.
This isn't "Ryan's Story"; there is so much more to him than this diagnosis. This is just the story of how his battle with cancer began. Please visit this page for updates and to see how he's doing and how you can help. You're our allies in this fight! Thank you for all your love and support. It's needed and appreciated now more than ever.
In coming weeks, we plan to add more ways to help like bringing us a meal or helping with a household chore. Right now we wanted to get the word out and let everyone know what's going on.