Agh, where to start?
In the fall of 2009, Rhyan’s whole world had been turned upside down. A trip to Pymatuning lake eventually turned into a trip to the emergency room at the Greenville hospital. What was assumed to be a sinus infection turned into much much more than that. CAT scans and an MRI confirmed a tumor. From there, a biopsy was sent to the lab which furthermore confirmed a PNET tumor of Ewing’s Sarcoma in his sinus cavity. (Primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET) is a malignant (cancerous) neural crest tumor. It is a rare tumor, usually occurring in children and young adults under 25 years of age. The overall 5 year survival rate is about 53%.
Rhyan sustained lengthy chemotherapy and radiation treatments for the first year during his prognosis. Losing his hair and exhibing blisters in his mouth, feet and hands were just a few symptoms of what this beast made Rhyan endure. Rhyan was in remission for about 2 years before the nightmares started all over. He had relapsed. The tumors spread to his ribs. Along came chemotherapy and radiation treatments again shortly after removing 2 1/2 of his ribs. By this time, the tumors had metastasized greatly. This then led into his bone marrow transplant. A very painful procedure as most of you can imagine. Rhyan caught a break for a short 3 years before he relapsed again. This time, the tumors came back only to his right hip and femur. Back at it again, countless chemotherapy and radiation treatments occurred, only this time his treatments were nonresponsive. He was placed on a Phase II trial for 4 months. Rhyan responded to treatment for the first 2 months. After a scan at month 2, the tumors were not growing. At the end of the 4th month, he was then placed on a Phase I trial. Within 1-2 months, the tumors were nonresponsive to the treatments. He underwent another MRI, CAT scan, and PET scan. (Positron-emission tomography is a nuclear medicine functional imaging technique that is used to observe metabolic processes in the body).
These scans indicated the tumor remained in his right femur; however spread to both hips, his pelvis, and his lower back. Rhyan entered the hospital for a week stay, came out for a few short days before having to return for his final time. After being heavily medicated, Rhyan was able to undergo an MRI that confirmed the tumors were located higher up in his spine, both sides of his ribs, and his chest. Rhyan requested to be released from the hospital, and was discharged on October 13, 2017 to be home while hospice provided services and pain medication management. Rhyan's family administered countless doses of Dilaudid through his Mediport line, Methadone, Ativan, Haldol, and other medications as needed for anxiety and restlessness. Rhyan was able to celebrate his son Breyson's 2nd birthday on October 22. After that, his life came spiraling downhill. Rhyan's pain medication was consistently increased to make him comfortable until he was ready to join Jesus. Rhyan peacefully passed away at home surrounded by his loved ones on October 27, 2017.
Rhyan's legacy will live on, as you look at the face of his son, Breyson. He will be incredibly missed, but is in a much better place now. A place without pain and suffering.
This fundraiser was initiated by myself, Rhyan's sister Courtney, in hopes to alleviate some of the financial burdens my family takes on. All monetary donations and contributions will be allocated to funeral expenses, and any additional donations will be given to the Make A Wish Foundation. I want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read my brother's story. A piece of my heart has been taken, but I know Rhyan still lives in me every day already. Godspeed to all of you, and God bless y'all. Much love!
Miss you Rhy*
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