You have prepared for this moment. You can do hard things if you surrender to your WILL.Tj Aneca
I began writing this post back in the fall when Ryan was diagnosed with Stage 4 T-Cell Lymphoma but I just couldn’t finish it without turning into a sobbing mess. My thoughts were all over the place and it didn’t feel right , so I paused. The last few weeks I have been thinking a lot about this chapter in Ryan’s story. Friends, there is not a doubt in my mind that we are preparing for certain moments in our lives where our strength will be tested on a scale that we cannot comprehend. Where, we ourselves, will wonder if this is worth the fight. I say this because I have watched my brother, my hero, our warrior, take on the biggest fight of his life. I recall sitting in his bonus room with him, watching a movie as he waited to see what the doctors would say about his diagnosis. To me, he looked a bit lethargic, tired, and stressed. The hardest part was watching him breath. It was so labored! As we chatted about the “what ifs”, I remember him saying, “I don’t care what it is, but if it’s cancer then let’s just get this show on the road and get it done”. From the second he said that, I knew he was prepared for his “moment”. Although his moment was unknown, he had the WILL.
SEPTEMBER 3, 2020
The last few weeks have been a complete whirlwind for our family. Ryan, one of my younger brothers, was diagnosed with Stage 4 T-Cell Lymphoma. Now, I’m not gonna lie, but when I hear cancer my mind goes to a dark place. A scary place. A place where hope doesn’t really exist. I cried…because that’s what I do to release what I’m feeling. I am angry. Angry that it is him. Angry that I can’t fix this. Angry that his family will also have to endure this as well.
My brother, although younger by 15 months, has always been my protector. He’s been more of my big brother for many reasons. I remember him teaching me how to ride a dirt bike when we were teenagers. You see, there was a boy that I was trying to impress, so I asked Ry to show me how to do it. He gave me a quick 2 minute lesson and I was on my way down the dirt road. Of course, I stalled it because I failed to listen to the part where he was trying to tell me to gear down when coming to a stop. So, here I am yelling down the road for Ry to come help me but at that point I was a km away. I could see Ry start to run towards me. As I’m waiting for him in the hot sun, cute boy that I was trying to impress drives by. Yup…complete embarrassment as he stops to ask me if I need help. Of course I say the most logical thing that my brain could think of….”oh no, I’m fine. Just stopped for a minute. I’ll see you down at the lake later” He then drove off as I waited for Ry to rescue me. He’s rescued me on several occasions…probably more than I’d like to admit. He also tried to teach me not to go too fast on gravel roads…ya, I didn’t listen and well, let’s just say that I learned my lesson. I also remember when my Grandma Takahashi passed away and I was having a hard night. I needed to just get in the car and drive. I ended up driving to Ry. I walked in his front door and he just held me as I sobbed. My brother is not an emotional guy or does he share his feelings with anyone but you just know that he loves you and that he would be there to rescue you no questions asked.
SEPTEMBER 6, 2020
I was able to be at the hospital with Ry this evening. I was so nervous. I was worried I would upset him with my tears. I know him and I knew that he would feel bad for me seeing him in the state that he was in. Again, him trying to protect me because that’s what he does. As I approached his room, he was sitting in his recliner with no shirt on and his blanket from home draped over his lap. I could see that he was swollen, way less than the pictures I had seen, but still not his strong physique I was used to. He seemed tired but he was trying to be a good host. I kept reminding him that he could go to sleep if he was tired but he wouldn’t. We had a good laugh when I brought one of our favourite childhood movies with me for us to watch together. “Back to the Beach”. We still knew some of the words to the songs! We laughed at how we used to record all of the music from the VHS to my tape player so we could sing the songs. When it was time to settle for the night I could see his anxiety set in. I had never seen that side of him, which was partly from the medication he was on, but once again, he tried to protect me from witnessing that and told me I could go. Of course I declined because if I could get more time with him then I was going to take it. After he settled and he fell asleep, I left. Leaving was hard. I sat in my car and cried for a while and then made my way home. Thankful for the time I got to spend with him.
JANUARY 29, 2021
“Teej, it’s Dad. We just got the best news. Ryan’s numbers are climbing!”
This brother of mine is an absolute beast! He is such an inspiration to not only me but to so many other’s. I don’t want to share his journey (plus, it’s far from over) because that is his story to tell but what I can tell you is, that he didn’t know it but he had been preparing for this moment all along. For those of you that know him and have followed his body building chapter, you know that he made a promise to himself to build up his strength and nothing was going to stop him. And believe me, we tried to tempt him just for funsies! But, being the man that he is, he kept that promise to himself and did what he set out to do. I believe THAT core value is why he is still with us today. In one of Brandi’s posts, in the “Raise it for Ry” Facebook group, she shared that on one of the “rocky” days where he wasn’t feeling great at all, he got up and began to ride his stationary bike. She told him that it was okay to rest that day but he replied with, “I made a promise to myself that I would ride everyday and you’re only as good as your word”, so he was getting on that damn bike even if it was a short ride. If we all share that same WILL and DETERMINATION, then we will all be prepared for our moment….whatever that looks like.
“THERE IS NO WEAPON MORE DEADLY THAN THE WILL”Bruce Lee
For anyone wanting to donate to Ryan and his family at this time, please click on the link below and let’s “Raise it for Ry”!