Thank You, A Million Times Over

Good evening everyone!  It is such a blessing to be able to continue to write to all of you.  It’s an honor to share our story, our journey, and our feelings.  I hope and pray you all can experience the heartfelt love, friendship, support, and commitment we experience on a daily basis –  from old friends to new friends; from immediate to extended family.  As I have said before, I pray I can take this burden from all of you, that none of you have to go through something like this.  However, God and life have a way to teach us in ways we could never imagine.  He has a way of allowing us to slow down, reflect, and enjoy the moment.

In a strange way, my life is more blessed than ever.  Yes, I have cancer, and it is very serious.  I dare not mock it or take it lightly.  However, at the same time, I do not let it control my life.  I am healthy.  I am, at the moment, pain free.  I can exercise, eat right, and enjoy life as I did before my disease.  However, I do have a constant reminder by looking down at my chest and getting a sinking feeling every day knowing inches below my chest are rogue cells trying to take over my body; trying to destroy me.  I refuse to let that happen.  I refuse to go out without a fight.  I have an amazing family, network of friends, and enormous support group.  The amount of love and support you all show myself and my family is priceless, amazing, and very humbling.

I cannot explain what this week has meant to me.  I have so many things to talk about, and they are all positive.  This week follows one of the worst weeks of my life.  I put my trust in God.  He got me through last week, and followed it with a week full of sheer joy, laughter, and love.  It is the best way to take round 6 of chemo head on!

Last night (Friday, September 7), was a night I will never, ever forget.  My high school friends through a bowling fundraiser for us.  The turnout was amazing.  I could never have dreamt how well it actually turned out.  I was anticipating a perfect time, but what ended up happening was unimaginable.  What a night!  It was a high school reunion of many class levels with people I have shared so many wonderful memories with.  It also included new friends I now consider family.  I consider them very special to my heart.  I reminisced, reconnected, and smiled so much that my heart was full of joy, my face muscles hurt, and my mind forgot all about my disease.  The only thing that would have made it better was if my wife and children could have joined me so everyone can see how and why I have the strength I do.  Regardless, it was a night I needed, and a night I never wanted to end.  For all of you who were a part of this night, whether you were present or not, my life is forever changed and touched by your love, generosity, support and kindness.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for giving me a night I will never forget!

To add to our joy and happiness, we were reminded on Saturday that we could not have possibly moved into a better subdivision.  When you first move to a new place, it is always nerve racking to figure out your neighbors, to get to know them, and to figure out how well you actually get along.  To say we love them all as family is an understatement.  They are an extension of what we believe in.  They are what gives me hope about this world and how I can smile, knowing that no matter what happens to me, my family will be taken care of and very well looked after.  They are amazing.

Just as many people did for the bowling fundraiser, our neighbors worked tirelessly and with great effort, every day for the last couple of months to throw an amazing golf outing for our family.  No matter how often I offered to help, or how often I asked for details, they kept it to themselves and told me to just concentrate on my family and healing my body.  They said it is all taken care of.  Surprisingly, being a type A planning personality, I did not worry.  I’m glad I didn’t because today was amazing.  God blessed us with a gorgeous day, and He blessed us with many new friends.  The turnout was remarkable, and the time spent with everyone on the course was priceless.  Our neighbors are part of our family.  They take care of us as such, and we would do the same for them.  Thank you for your love and support, for your selfless acts not only today, but every single day of this journey.  You all make sure a day doesn’t pass without us knowing you are thinking and praying for us.  You are the best neighbors a family could ask for.  Thank you for today and for caring so much about us.  We love you all!

This journey is difficult and long.  However, I do not find it unique or special, nor do I think I  deserve all of the support we have gained and continue to gain.  Life is full of people suffering every day and some are far worse off then us.  Fortunately for us, a lot of people are rallying behind us, praying for us daily, and supporting us in many different ways.  We will be forever grateful for the love and kindness towards our family.  You have all touched our lives.  It is very difficult for me to put in to words what your messages, prayers, and support do for me; how they help heal me; how they help get me through the darkest of days; and how they help build my strength and will to fight!

Thank you for all you do and continue to do.  You will never know just how much your support means to me and helps me get through each day.  I can tell you I get through weeks such as last week because of you.  I fight for my family.  I fight for you.

Lastly, I do ask one favor.  If you know somebody going through a difficult time, be by there side.  You may not like the person.  You may not agree with their decisions in life.  You may not know them well, but I promise your support will go a very long way.  As you have all shown us, support presents itself in so many ways.  Quite honestly, support can mean the difference between healing and losing any battle.  Nobody should go through adversity alone.  Ever.  Every one needs a safety net and support group to constantly fill their life with positive and uplifting words of encouragement.  Nobody should fight alone in life.

Thank you for loving us so much.  Thank you for lifting us up in prayer constantly.  And thank you for showing us how great the world can be.  Each and every one of you have a special place in our hearts.  We love you all from the bottom of our hearts.  Have a great rest of the weekend everyone.  Make it a great day!  🙂

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4 Responses to Thank You, A Million Times Over

  1. Kim says:

    WOW, what a wonderful weekend! God is so good, all the time placing so many wonderful, loving, and giving people in your life! I’m so thankful for your Amazing weekend! YOU ARE LOVED RYAN- A TON!!!!

  2. Grandpa Humphrey and Grandma Humphrey says:

    Ryan, glad you had such a great time, you deserve.
    Keep the faith.
    Love Grandpa and Grandma Hump

  3. Rachel Peters says:

    Ryan you are such an inspiration, even in your darkest moments you still find positive things to say… After you beat this cancer and this chapter of your life is behind you, you really should consider writing a book or SOMETHING because you have such a great outlook on life that your positivity is contageous and believe it or not, you keep me uplifted and thankful for what I have, my family, health, shelter, employment, a vehicle, etc… things that I take for granted that make my life a whole lot easier but would be difficult if I was without.. So THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your daily words of inspiration and encouragement…. God Bless you and Keep you….

  4. Barb L says:

    So glad things went so well this weekend. I am looking forward to next Sunday’s gold outing in Macomb! The night before I will be modeling a bra made by a friend at an event called “Bras for a Cause”. It is a fundraiser for Gilda’s Club in Royal Oak. All the models in the fashion show are breast cancer survivors. This is my fourth year working the event, and first year modeling. I’m a little scared about that part. I will report the results to you on Sunday! 🙂 In the meantime, stay in good health this week so you will be at the golf outing on Sunday. I will give you a Zach update. He is doing VERY well!!

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