The Mind Bender–Status Update 9/4/12

I thought that I would go ahead and share the most recent news and events that have affected my life over the last 20 days. Shortly after my last status update, my oncologist and surgical oncologist presented my case to the board (@Emory) about my surgery. The board decided that pursuing the Esophagectomy ( at this time was not in my best interest. What a bummer! I was so excited, but quickly reminded about how every single cancer patient that I have spoken to said that the journey is a roller coaster chain of events.

Knowing the cancerous lesions on my liver had decreased in size, the doctors were still unsure about the makeup of said lesions. On 8/21/12, the doctors then ordered that I go and have an MRI completed on my abdomen with a focus on the liver; this would illustrate a much clearer picture of my lesions than the prior CT Scans. On 8/23/12 I completed the MRI and the waiting game for the results endured yet again ( over the weekend).

Monday 8/27/12- Monday morning started off with the usual complaints about the side effects of chemo and so forth. Then around noon, I got an email that would shake me to the core. Whitney Rybert, one of my newest friends and gal pals had passed away after her fight with a super rare and aggressive cancer. Whitney was one of those people that I had only known since April 21st (Yes, I remember her first email to me) and had instantly become a wonderful friend. Although we have loads of mutual friends, I had never had the opportunity to meet Whitney in person until late April. Shortly after we shared our stories, I could not get over her positive outlook on life amidst the cancer diagnosis. All of Whitney’s friends and family can attest that her positive attitude was soooo contagious! Along with Whitney, Hollis Youngner (my other new gal pal and chemo buddy), helped me in ways that words cannot describe. Whether it was a quick note via text or facebook, they both taught me the true meaning of perseverance, courage, and strength. Whitney- we love you so much and there is not a day that goes by that we don’t all think about you. You are sorely missed!!!! XOXO and F-Cancer!

Tuesday 8/28/12- We met with our oncologist to review the MRI results from my liver scan…The liver scan is vital to the whole process for the following reason. The surgeons (across the board) say that it is critical that my liver is almost completely clear of lesions prior to doing the surgery. During the recovery period from the Esophagectomy, my body will be healing for 2-3 months and receiving chemo therapy during that time is not conducive to my health. They do not want the liver spots to be spreading during this down time…make sense? Ok, so here is a bit of good news (Finally)…My oncologist shared that I only have one lesion left on my liver at this time and it is only about 5MM! 5MM is roughly the size of a pea and considering that my liver is the size of a football, I think that is pretty good!

That brings me to my next steps for treatment. As of 30 minutes ago, my oncologist spoke with the board again (Friday evening) and they all recommend that I continue my current chemo therapy treatments for another 4 weeks and then have another evaluation. I am ok with that, I have taken all necessary steps both physically and mentally to do so. I know that the chemo is working its magic and the sooner I get my liver disease free the sooner I can have surgery!

I want to thank you all for the continued support and love and please say a prayer, or send positive vibes/thoughts to the Rybert family.



17 thoughts on “The Mind Bender–Status Update 9/4/12

  1. Sounds like progress to me! You’re going to blast that pea to smithereens! Excited to hear next steps in 4 weeks!! Thinking of Whitney’s family and friends. How devastating.

  2. Continued prayers and good vibes for you Hayden! So proud of you and the progress, and I agree with Kris-that pea should be gone in no time with your determination! Lots of love to you and Shelly! So sorry to hear about Whitney-prayers going up for her family!

  3. We are continuing to pray for you in Birmingham. I’m sorry for your loss – we will add Whitney’s family to our prayer list too. 2 Cor 4:16-18

  4. I am so proud to be your Mother. You are a fighter and will not give up. We “WILL” beat this cancer!!! Your strength and determination are an inspiration to all of us.
    God is watching over you. Prayers and more prayers are headed your way!
    I love you my son.

  5. Thanks again for the update! You WILL beat this. Stay positive and keep fighting. You are always in our thoughts and prayers! Stay strong!!

  6. LOVE to you and Shell! you are the strongest people I know! that pea will be gone in no time! want to get up there and visit soon! love and miss you and praying always!!!!

  7. Hayden you are an inspiration to all! That pea will go away in no time. You are so lucky to have such a wonderful family and great friends praying for you every day. And they are lucky to have you !! We love you and sending positive vibes to all of you. You keep up the good work!!

  8. Hayden, I am so encouraged and impressed by your positive attitude and focus! Not only are you extremely intelligent as displayed by your grasp of the complexity of your case but you are able to write about it in a way that the rest of us can understand. I respect you so much and I am inspired with your positive outlook and determination to beat this thing! Shelly is a lucky girl! You are a keeper! I love your analogy of your liver being the size of a football. That’s the spirit! Go Seminoles! 🙂

  9. Keep it up Hayden! You are constantly in me and my family’s thoughts and prayers. This blog that you have created has opened my eyes and enlightened me in so many ways! It’s truly inspirational! It saddens me to hear about your friend, Whitney. Continue doing what you’re doing! I look forward to hearing about your future successes as you continue on your journey.

  10. Hayden,

    You probably don’t remember me, but I live in Jackson MS. I have known your mom and her sisters forever, literally, and have met you several times although I haven’t seen you since your early college years. I’ve been following your blog, and keeping up with you. I will be praying for you! Keep up that positive attitude! I know it’s hard sometimes, but I swear it helps. My husband has prostate cancer, and has had it for about 4 years now. It’s a constant battle, up and down, but you have to trust the doctors and medical professionals. Medicine makes remarkable advances every single day, and you just never know when it’s “your day” to be HEALED!!! My thoughts and prayers are with you! Send my love to your mom.

    Stay strong – Kim Lyle

  11. Hey Friend,

    Tripp, Niemann and mom have been keeping me informed of your tremendous progress. Know that you are in our daily prayers and that we have added you to every prayer chain we can find. You can never have too many prayers.

    I’ll also wanted to tell you another survival story… my neighbor and close friend has survived Stage 4 Breast Cancer for 8 years and has been cancer free for 7 of them!!!! We won’t mention the year of hell she went through you know that all too well. Her tips are exercise, clean, organic living and that includes a little tequila every now and then and the love of a good man…in your case a really great woman!

    Pet the pup for us:)

    Much Love and Big Hugs, Janis Sullivan

  12. Hayden you have an amazing way with words and an outstanding spirit that is so admired. You truly are our hero inside and out whether or not you would ever recognize it, we do!! The fact you have to endure this doesn’t seem fair because we love you so much beyond words. However never once have you ever made us truly realize how difficult it is. We will never know until we walked in your shoes but you have lifted us all and touched so many lives in the process. Whitney is up there with God looking down asking him to please please help you get done with this soon. She is expediting all of the most powerful and potent prayers, love, and health your way!!! xoxo

  13. Hayden, so sorry about your friend Whitney. Sounds like she was a real trooper…just like you are! Her positive spirit clearly helped to propel you forward…and hopefully, you will keep fighting hard to beat this thing. My niece is McKenzie…and I had the pleasure of being introduced to Parker this summer. How nice it is to have such a wonderful brother and so many dedicated supporters in your court. I know how much that helps! Keep your chin up…you are doing all the right things. Hope your next report will bring even better news! You are in my thoughts and prayers. xo

  14. Keep up the good work, Hayden! We are praying for all of you and Whitney’s family and friends. I keep forgetting to take pics with my bracelet, so I think I am just going to photoshop some in 🙂 Love and prayers to y’all! Reag

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: