Tag Archives: cancer

Brian Is A Medical Anomaly…

Well, ladies and gentlemen, the news is in…Brian’s cancer results are back from the Mayo Clinic.

The doctors diagnosed him with adult osteosarcoma (the adult part is sometimes questionable).  And apparently, they told him that the type he acquired is so rare that the Mayo Clinic has only seen 15 cases where the more common type is about 1,500 cases per year.

Okay, so here’s the good news — Brian will not need chemotherapy and the doctors believe that he is clear of the cancer.  They will continue to monitor him every 3 months instead of the normal 6 months, as a precaution.

Brian won’t be able to work for a while because he is still getting that new knee up to speed but it is coming along nicely and the doctors are pleased with his progress.  And thin boy needs to put back on a few pounds.  One step at a time, one day at a time.

I would like to thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes.  I truly believe in the power of prayer.

Best wishes to you all from me and my daughter’s family.

Jay 🙂


Posted by on March 25, 2015 in cancer, family relations


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A Daughter’s Note…A Woman’s Note…

“Well, we got an update from the doctor yesterday… possibly will be doing chemo and might have to have a second surgery to fix his knee because the thigh muscle is not working properly with the replacement. The tumor did test to be malignant, but they had to send it out to a specialist pathologist at the Mayo Clinic because they cannot seem to figure out what type of sarcoma it is, they are at a complete loss and calling him a medical mystery. I guess he has been the talk of everyone at UCLA for the last two weeks and they are wanting him to come meet the whole board in two weeks to try to figure out a treatment plan because they don’t know what to do because they can’t figure out what cancer he has. Please continue to pray and share, we really appreciate it!”

As the dad of an only child, reality often gets in the way of desire, desire for her to have a life of happily ever after…

I remember some 18 years ago telling my daughter that though we called her our little princess, she was in reality, not a real princess and was not afforded the benefits of such a title.  She was of course, devastated with the news.  It couldn’t be undone.

We as parents always want our children to be safe and we hope that their lives are easy, fruitful and prosperous…we don’t want them to suffer reality.  If we’ve done our jobs though, we will have raised them, trained them, or at least lived our lives in a way that they can have a positive view of how life should be lived.

The note she sent me appears simple, an update on her husband’s doctor visit for his recent knee replacement because of a break from being hit by a car and a cancerous tumor on his bone.  The note appears simple because it isn’t written from my little girl, it is written from a woman.  Yes, a woman who is a wife, a mother of four children (ages ranging 9, 6, 2 and 8 months), the 2 1/2-year-old little sweetheart of a girl who has special needs in the form of hypotonia (she was a floppy baby who still has difficulties but now can walk, run, talk and sing–things the doctors weren’t sure would happen); a woman who was always “trying” but no longer asks, “Dad, what should I do?”  Instead, she now let’s me know what she is doing.  She’s looking up information on the internet; since the surgery wiped out their savings, she and Brian have set up a go fund it page in hopes of obtaining some financial assistance from wonderful people who can and are willing to help, while waiting for organizations to come through with whatever assistance can be provided.  She is in contact with people who have knowledge, and organizations who can help in these situations.  She is a woman taking care of her family.

Sometimes, young women have the help of their mother in times of trouble, but Ashleigh’s mother passed away a few years ago.  So, I think that makes things a bit more difficult, overall. Yet, she prevails.  I am thankful that she(they) have friends and family in Bakersfield who can and are willing to help.

And what does dear old dad get to do?  Well, I get to be proud of my daughter for stepping up and becoming the woman that she has become.  The woman who discovers what her family needs and what it takes to fulfill those needs; the woman who stands up, takes charge and carries out the plan of the day.  I get to pray for her to have the strength and wisdom necessary to do all the things she must do and is doing.  And, I get to be the listener on the phone from nearly 3,000 miles away and provide words of encouragement.

And, I’m blessed to have an outlet to express my love and admiration for my daughter, Ashleigh.  An outlet to let as many people, as are willing to read my words, know that I am proud of the woman she is today.

Jay 🙂


Posted by on March 12, 2015 in Daughter, Woman


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Yes, Brian Has A New Knee…

For the many of you who responded to Brian’s plight and battle with bone cancer, thank you for all your prayers and well wishes.

The surgery was yesterday and lasted several hours.  The doctor told Ashleigh that they believe they were able to remove all of the cancer cells (yea!).  They removed bone and replaced the entire knee.  I’m not sure of everything involved but Brian is up walking right now as I type this update.  He is in quite a bit of pain but I would hope that is small compared to the alternative.

I give thanks to the Lord for this outcome and pray for a complete and quick recovery period.  He’s still a knucklehead but he’s our knucklehead.

Again, thank you all for your concern, compassion, prayers and well wishes.

Jay 🙂

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Posted by on February 21, 2015 in cancer, encouragement, family relations


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Yes, Brian Has Cancer…

What do you say or do when you find out someone in your family, or even a friend, has some form of cancer?

Where to start?…

A little more than a week ago, Brian, my son-in-law, left work and arrived home in the wee hours of the morning.  While taking care of things and securing his vehicle in the Bakersfield, California, tule fog, he noticed something going on at his neighbor’s a few houses down.  Having been burgled recently, Brian decided to check out the scene when he noticed a couple of young lads taking things from his neighbor’s garage.  Brian took out his cell phone and attempted to capture the events on camera when the lads scrambled, jumped into their vehicle and proceeded to run Brian down.  With a broken knee and some bumps and bruises, Brian was still able to call 911, while my daughter, Ashleigh went to his aid.

In the hospital, the doctors confirmed the broken knee but also they noticed a tumor in the area of the break.  They transported Brian to UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, California.  Doctors there ran their test and told Brian that some surgery would need to be performed to repair his leg but they would wait a while to see what type of cancer they’re dealing with before progressing forward with the procedure.  Surgery is scheduled for this Friday for them to do something to repair his leg, which will probably entail removal of tumor from inside the bone then either repairing with rods and plates or replacing the knee (and surrounding bone), what ever will be most productive.

So far, so good, right?  Well, let’s learn a little bit about Brian.  Brian you see is a bit of an unknown success story already.  Brian was raised in adversity, a not-so-great family environment; and a little bit of trouble along the way.  However, this did not stop Brian from doing something with his life that many would see as good.

Many people (family and friends) call Brian, Bear or Da Bear.  I’ve called him a few things over the years, more endearing terms like knucklehead and Brain and son.  Ashleigh calls him her best friend and her husband; the four grand kids call him Daddy.

Brian hasn’t always had a smooth path but has made the most of life and has done the best he could with what tools he had to work with.  But one thing most people don’t know about Brian is his personal dedication to family and friends.  Ashleigh and Brian met some 15 years ago–I vaguely remember meeting him some time ago but it was a quick event.  I never thought much of any guy my daughter was associated with then or since but I know more of Brian now.  He was there with Ashleigh when her parents went through a very unpleasant divorce; he was there with her when she had growing pains with her mother; he was there with her when her mother died prematurely; he has been there with her and their four children through hard and good financial times and he is there now, with his leg in a brace waiting to be fixed.  Just imagine what would go through your head in the same or similar circumstances.

As most daughter’s fathers, I’m not sure that I really thought that Brian would ever amount to anything but he of course surprised me.  When getting jobs is tough, Brian has been working several part time jobs plus taking care to be with his family ensuring quality time with his children at any opportunity.  I’m not sure when he slept but I’m sure he had to at some point.

Brian works on cars; he dips cars (some type of plastic funtastic coating applied for looks); he is learning and does furniture upholstery; he DJs karaoke at local clubs and also DJs weddings and events from time to time.

So, what do you say to a family member who has some form of cancer? I said goodbye to my mom 25 years ago (I was in the Navy and couldn’t be there)–my brothers, however, gave her physical support and went through her last days with her; and I have given love and moral support to my dad with his cancer battles over the past 20 years–of course, he only lives 1,200 miles away.

What do you do when you know you can’t personally fix it?  I spoke to Brian over the phone all the way from here in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to let him know my wife and I are concerned for him, we love him and we are praying for him and the family.  I let him know that I hope his heart and mind, like never before, are open to Jesus as his Lord and Savior and that his relationship with God grows closer.  I know that I can’t personally do anything to make it well.  I can’t fix the cancer, the bone, the head or the heart.  I can only show love and support.  For this has happened to Brian and indirectly to his family; we’re all affected greatly by these events and hope for the best possible outcome.

You see, Brian is almost 28-years-old and has a lifetime ahead of him.  I am an olderly guy who wants Brian to have that lifetime with his family so, I pray.  I pray first, that God’s Will be done; then I pray for Brian’s comfort and healing; I pray for the learned doctor and his team to have all the right stuff to carry out their duties; I pray for Ashleigh and the kids, for their comfort and strength to deal with this mess in their lives and that the Lord provide them insight into why He is there and how He is there for them first and foremost.  Although I do not know the outcome of all of this, I keep faith in my Lord and God that He is the one that knows the best outcome–for from a bad event, He let it be known there was a tumor in Brian’s bone.

I wanted you to know a little about a young man that much of society would not put much stock in because he hasn’t done things as society dictates, he hasn’t lived a so-called perfect life.  I want you to know that sometimes, as much as it would be nice to gripe about the weather, gas prices, world events, terrorists, congress, and a piss poor president, there is a person who needs the love, if just for a moment, of a few good people to may be able to provide him support during a difficult time in his life — perhaps the most difficult time of his life.  So, if you could take a moment of time and please join me in saying a prayer for Brian Ransom of Bakersfield, California, and his family–I would greatly appreciate it.  And while you’re there, say a prayer for the rest of the people out there going through similar things in life…you know who they are.

Let’s bring something personal to the fight–let’s bring names to those who may be suffering alone and let them know that they are not alone.  Those of us who are affected by their plight are with them in love and spirit.

Love and God’s blessings.

Jay 🙂


Posted by on February 18, 2015 in cancer, encouragement, family relations, perspective


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