Hurricane Harvey

July 6, 2018
Yes, like many other families in Houston, Ryan and I lost our home, automobile, and all our personal belonging due to the flooding from Hurricane Harvey. Although we are not strangers to overcoming adversities, since were are both Cancer survivors, Hurricane Harvey was devastating. Combined we have had 5 cancer diagnosis in a period of 6 years. In our last battle, we were diagnosed 15 minutes apart and went through treatment simultaneously. One of the things that has helped this us get through those difficult times was knowing that at least we had a roof over their heads and clothes on their backs. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.

There was over 5 feet of water throughout our apartment. Luckily we were able to get to safety from the flooding and were able to get a room at a local hotel. We were able to save what we could carry out including 5 days of medications and our cats, "Peter" & "Parker".

If you could tell by the name of his cats, Ryan is a huge Marvel Superhero fan. He is also a Houston sports fanatic (Astros, Texans & Rockets). Ryan had an immense collection of signed memorabilia from celebrities that have visited Texas Children's Hospital, his Make-A-Wish, and various conventions. Most of his collection was destroyed in the flood.



 

What a Christmas Gift...

February 24, 2016

Thank you all for your prayers and support! Ryan finally was able to open his eyes on December 23 and was moved out of ICU the night before Christmas. 

Ryan was taken to Texas Children's Hospital on Sunday, December 14 for stomach pain and headache that we just could not get under control. Ryan had started taking human growth hormones (HGH) and these can cause a rare (like only one reported case) of brain swelling. The ER doctors wanted to release Ryan and have an eye doctor see him as an out ...


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Welcome to the Family

January 13, 2016

Finally, enough time and healing has pasted since Ryan's bone marrow transplant that he can now have pets again!  We adopted Peter and Parker from the LMN Feline Rescue in August 2014.  Above is a picture of Peter and Parker with their new PS Pet Tags from Cool Cat Collars. Can you guess who they were named after?


Parker


Peter
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The Softer Side of Kid Rock

January 13, 2016


When people think of musician Kid Rock, they typically picture the long hair, skinny, sunglass wearing "Bad-Ass; " but that's just his persona.  Ask Ryan, he will tell you otherwise. 

When the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLS&R) concert series announced that Kid Rock was going to perform this year, I got two tickets.  While neither husband Mike, nor daughter Lauren wanted to go, I wasn't too concerned about finding someone to go with me. 

About a week later, while Ryan and I were talking i...


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Chili's Benefit in Pearland Texas

January 13, 2016

Have you ever been greeted at a restaurant with, “We’ve got another one for you Ryan”? Usually I get, “Hello, welcome to Chili’s!”  Well, there’s a first time for everything and that was the greeting I warmly welcomed along with dozens of others at the Pearland Chili’s on February 13th.  Chili’s graciously hosted a fund raising benefit in Ryan’s honor, donating 10% of all sales to his medical fund “Ryan’s Warriors” to any table with a benefit coupon.  Although genero...


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Summer in the Sun

January 13, 2016


In June of 2011, Ryan and his mom, Nicki, were invited to come spend a few days with Grandpa Corky and his family on a Shasta Lake houseboat trip. Ryan had never met his Aunt Kim and Uncle Chris and their 2 boys, Cody and Casey, and Grandpa Corky wanted them all to get to know each other.  Ryan, Cody and Casey hit it off right away. 

While we were driving around on the lake trying to find a place to tie up the Houseboat, Ryan wanted to ride the Jet Ski. Grandpa Corky, being the first willing s...


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Lake Travis Adventure

January 13, 2016



This August Ryan enjoyed another week on Lake Travis.  The freedom he enjoys on the water is the antithesis of the confinement he experiences in a hospital room.  Lake Travis affords Ryan the opportunity to embrace his adventuress side.  His love of speed and danger are embodied in some of his favorite activities:  jet skiing, tube rodeo and lake diving while attempting to catch a football.  

Ryan also embraces the quality time he spends with friends and family.  Often the activities are as si...


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Lil' Rustlers Rodeo

January 13, 2016


Peeking from under a cowboy hat that swallows half his head, 7-year-old Ryan Calderon, rope in hand, ventures into the rodeo arena to try his luck at lassoing a "bull" -- a bale of hay with a plastic bullhead at one end.

For the last 22 years, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has held a very special event for some particularly distinctive kids. The Lil Rustlers' Rodeo is an event held each year to allow children with illnesses and disabilities in on the fun.

The kids are invited onto the di...


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Once In a Lifetime

January 13, 2016


In March 2011, Ryan got the chance of a lifetime - a ride in an A60+ airship, better known as the MetLife Snoopy Two blimp.  MetLife teamed up with the Believe in Tomorrow National Children's Foundation to provide children with life-threatening illnesses an unforgettable experience.  Ryan was allowed to bring one guest on his flight and I was honored to be his companion.

As we arrived at Ellington Airport, Snoopy Two was soon seen approaching with her current load of passengers.
  We watched Sn...


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War Games

January 13, 2016


"Shhhhhh, I think they are right over that hill," whispers Ryan.  "Let's go get'em!  Mom and Mandy won't see us coming... "

One warm, summer evening around 9:00 pm, a Nerf War of Capture the Flag developed surrounding the 8th hole of Southwyk Golf Course in Pearland, TX, just south of Houston.  Complete with tactics, Nerf guns, camo, face paint, and a "hilly" terrain, the battle was on between "The Moms" and "The Warriors."

"The Warriors" consisted of Ryan, Lauren (Ryan's sister), and me, and "...


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Screaming Line Drive...

January 13, 2016

A perfect summer day. Bright sun. No clouds. The sweet smell of nachos, stale popcorn, sweat and infield dirt. Baseball. McKaylan is at first base. His mom is right behind him yelling final instructions from the dugout. A.J. is at third. Bubba is behind the dish. That’s what baseball players call home plate.

I hope that Bubba stays there the whole game because I’m back-up catcher and I think that I forgot to wear my cup. Yep, I did. Dad is on the mound. And oh yeah, “Sho...


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"I Love You, Ryan"

July 14, 2013
Beyond words that can even begin to tell you how much, I hold you and your happiness within my heart each and every day,

I am so proud of you and so thankful to the years that have given me so much to be thankful for.

If I were given a chance to be anything I wanted to become, there's nothing I would rather be ... than your mother.

And there is no one I would rather have ... as my son.
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The Bond Between Mother and Son Lasts a Lifetime

July 14, 2013
The bond between mother and son is a special one.  
It remains unchanged by time or distance.
It is the purest love - unconditional and true.
It is understanding of any situation and forgiving of any mistake.
It creates a support that is constant while everything else changes.
It is a friendship based on mutual love, respect, and a genuine liking of each other as a person.
It is knowing that no matter where you go or who you are, there is someone who truly loves you and is always there to support a...

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Day 326 - Eleven Months Post Transplant

February 21, 2013
Eleven months post-transplant and Ryan is ready to face the world again.  Ryan Calderon was born a healthy baby on June 9, 2003, but all that changed when Ryan was only four years old.  During Memorial weekend in 2008, Ryan became ill.  Ryan was taken to the emergency room at Texas Children's Hospital where he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic leukemia.

Ryan was admitted to the hospital and began chemotherapy treatments immediately.  After almost four years of chemotherapy and radiation t...
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Day 138 - A Non Typical Bone Marrow Transplant

August 15, 2012
I thought I would start this posting with a broad overview of a typical bone marrow transplant.

TYPICAL BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT

Bone marrow transplantations (BMT) is a medical procedure used to treat diseases once thought incurable such as leukemia.  In patients with leukemia, the stem cells in the bone marrow malfunctions, producing an excessive number of defective or immature blood cells or low blood cell counts.  The immature or defective blood cellls interfere with the productions of normal ...
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Day 100 Post Transplant

July 11, 2012
We had big plans for day 100 post transplant.  Antwaun was going to take Ryan out for a fancy meal since he would be able to eat out again and since it was so close to July 4, we were going to set off a bunch of fireworks later that night.  Unfortunately, our plans were changed.

Instead, Ryan's day 100 started off with a 4:00 am ambulance ride to Texas Children's were we found out that his red blood count was only 4.1.  Ryan received 5 pints of blood throughout the day to bring his red blood c...
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Day 79 Post Transplant - Father's Day

June 17, 2012
I wish I had better news, but another holiday spent in the hospital.  Ryan has been in the hospital for 90 days now (minus the 5 days he was paroled) and he is tired.  On the positive side, he is improving and we may get to go home tomorrow after his bone marrow biopsy and spinal tap.

I wish I had more to say, but its been a pretty touch couple of months and I don't want to recap on all the medical conditions he has had to overcome, but they have been a lot and much more then we expected.
 
...
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Day 60 Post Transplant

May 29, 2012
It's been 60 days since Ryan received his transplant and we are still in the hospital.  Ryan did get to go home for 6 days but was not feeling well for most of the 6 days and was happy to come back to the hospital so the doctors can get him feeling better.  We are waiting on a CAT scan today to determine what's wrong with his lungs so that we can get the proper medication going, but the CMV and BK viruses are getting better in his blood stream.

When Ryan found out he was going to have to go ba...
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Day 38 Post Transplant

May 8, 2012
YES, WE ARE STILL AT THE HOSPITAL.  We keep thinking that Ryan will get released but we are having a hard time getting the CMV virus under control and unfortunately the medication they need to give him for it can ONLY be given in-patient.

Other than that, Ryan is doing great and although Ryan doesn't hold the record for being the longest in-patient post transplant patient, he is getting really close to breaking the record.  The sad part is, most patient have to stay in an extended stay facilit...
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Day 28 Post Transplant

April 28, 2012
Its been 4 weeks since Ryan's bone marrow transplant and we are still in-patient at Texas Children's.  We did not get to go home last week as we hoped.  Ryan developed a few common side effects from his 4 years of chemotherapy, radiation, and most recent transplant.  I will attempt to summarize below:
  • 4/16 - 4/19:  Ryan received a drug called GCSF to help with the engraftment process.  As a result of receiving this drug, Ryan started to develop high fevers and back pain. 
  • 4/21 CT scan:  Since R...

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Day 19 Post Transplant

April 18, 2012
It's been 19 days since Ryan's received his bone marrow transplant and a friend of mine reminded me that's its been awhile since I posted an update.  Sorry about that...time just got way from me.

Ryan was doing fairly well up until last night when he spiked a fever of 102.3  We are hoping that the fever is due to one of the medications they gave Ryan to boost his white blood cell count but we won't know for sure until the blood cultures come back in 48 hours.

Prior to that, Ryan was doing great...
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Day 2 of Post Transplant

April 2, 2012
Ryan's big day took a lot longer then planned.  We thought Ryan would be getting his bone marrow transplant around 1:00 Friday afternoon.  As it turned out, Ryan did not get his transplant until midnight because his donor was in Germany and the bone marrow had to take a long flight to get here.  

As were were getting ready for the transplant, Ryan got a little nervous and his blood pressure skyrocketed so the doctors had to give him some medicine before we could get started.  After that, every...
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Day 0 of Transplant Treatment

March 30, 2012
Well, we are finally at Day 0 of 100 and its time to get Ryan's bone marrow transplant.  The 9 days leading up to today has been a mixer of good and bad days.  For the first 4 days while Ryan was getting ARA C (Chemotherapy) he had high fevers and was not feeling well at all.  All he wanted to do was sleep on the day bed in the room and have mom rub his head or back.  

Once he completed his ARA C treatment, Ryan bounced back rather quickly and was ready for visitors.  Ibrahima and Helen stoppe...
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Short Delay in Transplant Schedule

March 15, 2012
Unfortunately Ryan's transplant schedule is being postponed for one week due to Ryan getting a cold.  Ryan was able to complete his cranial radiation (central nervous system) this week, but his central line surgery, admittance and full body radiation is being postponed by a week.  His new schedule is as follows:
  • Day -9 Wednesday, March 21:  Central-line surgery at TCH
  • Day -8 Thursday, March 22:  Admittance to TCH to prepare for transplant (Day 1 of a 4-6 week hospital stay).  Round one of ARA C...

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Getting Ready for the Bone Marrow Transplant

March 6, 2012
Well, its been a busy couple of weeks for Ryan and I, but things are moving along as smoothly as possible.  My bilateral mastectomy was performed on February 27, 2012 and everything went well with no complications.  During my admission however life was not put on hold, I was so looking forward to my surgery so that I could get a couple of days of rest, but that was not the case.  From my hospital bed, I had a consultation with Ryan's Radiologist that will be performing his central nervous sys...
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Keep our Mind Focused on Good Health

February 24, 2012
Oh Lord, I find it hard to remember what it was like for my son to be healthy.  Help me keep my mind focused on good health and strength.  Help me be positive about the course of treatment his is undergoing.  And let me always have faith, great faith, in your presence in my life and your glory in his health.

Lord Jesus, you came into the world to heal our infirmities and to endure our sufferings.  You went about healing all and bringing comfort to those in pain and need.  We come before you no...
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Top Eight Blessings in the Past Two Weeks

February 12, 2012
In the past two weeks, Ryan and I have been very busy with moving, doctor visits, medical testing and unplanned hospital stays so I just wanted to apologize first for not being able to provide everyone a more timely update.  However, once you read our top eight (eight because Ryan is eight) list of miraculous events that have occurred, I hope you will forgive me:

TOP EIGHT BLESSINGS

  1. We have an awesome garage sale today and sold almost everything.  The house has been cleaned and ready for its ne...

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Kashi Clinical Labs - Bone Marrow Testing

February 2, 2012
Several of you have said that you would be tested for a possible bone marrow match for Ryan but did not want to be included on the National Registry.  If you are interested, you can be tested through Kashi Clinical Laboratories.  It cost $165 for the standard TAT kit and there are three easy ways to order:
  1. Log on to www.bonemarrowtest.com and click on the left ORDER NOW tab,
  2. Call Diane at 877-626-4363, or
  3. Call the Lab directly at 877-527-4452
You will need the following information regarding Ryan...

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Day 17 of Induction Therapy

January 25, 2012
It's Day 17 of Induction therapy (or Wednesday evening).  Ryan has been in the hospital since Sunday evening when he came down with a fever and it looks like he will be here a couple more days.  On the positive side, he has completed his steroid treatments so the food cravings are getting less and his stomach is starting to go back to normal...and his is smiling again!

We are still desperately looking for a suitable bone marrow match for Ryan.  We got the test results on his sister and unfortu...
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Day 12 of Induction Therapy

January 20, 2012
It's day twelve of induction therapy and we have already been admitted to the hospital once, been in Triage twice and Ryan is having difficulty walking from all the steroids, but he is still in good spirits.  We were just at TCH to see if Ryan needs a platelet transfusion and thankfully he did not.

On January 16, 2012 we had our first bone marrow registry drive at Frontier Collision in Pearland, Texas.  Thank you Mike and Amanda Rackliff for hosting the event and everyone who came out to suppo...
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About Me


Ryan Calderon Not once, not twice but three time cancer survivor by the age of eight. Check out My Story, Updates, and my photo gallery to get a glimpse into what I have been up.