Saturday, January 5, 2013

Moving Forward

It might not be the easiest thing to do, but it is certainly not the hardest.  Moving forward after a terminal diagnosis is in a way a new beginning.  It is like a new book yet to be written.  The outcome is up in the air and the chapters will be written in the coming months.  I know they are few and far between, but people have beat this monster.  People are 10-15 years living past their diagnosis tumor free and healthy.  I plan on being in that minority and living the shit out of life.  Most people live their entire lives in question; worrying, stressing, hurting and wanting, wanting, wanting.  I have found since December 26th I have found a strange sense of peace.  One would think it would be the opposite, but I know that anyway this goes I am happy with the way I have lived my life.  You become so much more appreciative of everyday, every person and every moment shared with the ones you love and who love you.  Food seems to taste better and even though I am still healing from my surgery, I have felt healthier than I can remember in a long time both mentally and physically.  I enjoy every encounter with the people in my  life and appreciate everything they have to offer, every flaw and every beautiful thing about everyone.  Now moving forward I am focusing on healing.  I am devoting every ounce of being to beating this ailment.  I will take every step I can in the direction of healing and overcoming what so many have passed from.  It will be a monumental day and a grand celebration when I know inside that I have beat this.  It will be the best day of my life, and moving forward I will forever know how precious life truly is.  

It is a strange thing knowing that my brain has switched teams and is now trying to carryout execution orders on itself.  It is almost as if my brain is forcing me to commit suicide, seeing as how it is my brain- ironic isn't it.  It almost angers me in a sense that I truly felt that I have treated my body well and have tried to make the right decisions health wise, yet I fell victim to the dreaded 'C word."  Sure I have had my share of fast food, surfed in waters I know I probably should have avoided, and perhaps exposed myself to some toxins unknowingly, but all I am left with is questions.  Where did this come from and how at such a young age am I falling victim to a disease that affects less than 1% of people under 30.  This is the hardest part to accept, this is the part that I find ironic and unsettling.  There is so much speculation and every person has their own idea of how this dreaded ailment begins, but the truth is that nobody really knows.  It is a big of a mystery as is why we are all here in the first place.  

Moving forward I have a tentative plan of action although nothing is set in stone.  As of now I am asking anyone who has experience with any form of cancer to send me any information you might have.  I am open to try anything that has worked for others.  If it has worked before, maybe it can work again!  I still want to get to Houston to hear what the people at the Burzynski Clinic have to say on my diagnosis.  I have my doubts and I have heard both the positive and negative, but I want to hear what they have to say to me personally.  Aside from that, my course of action will be laid out for me on Monday and Tuesday.  I will have to decide exactly what I will be doing by January 14th.    This is when they want me to start chemo and radiation.  On Tuesday I will be meeting with the neuro-oncology department of UCLA medical school to learn about a trial drug being passed through the system called "Velcade."  Not too sure how it works or what it is, but I will find out everything on Tuesday.  Monday is my initial appointment with the radiation team which will decide how to proceed.  Monday is also a day I am fearing.  The cancer which I have is known to grow back- extremely fast.  I will be doing another MRI scan to see how much (or if any) of the tumor has returned already.  From what I have heard, these tumors can grow back within a month to full size.  I am praying that mine is the exception!  

After I hear from all of the doctors, see my MRI results and do some heavy soul searching I will make my 'final' decision on what road I will ultimately take.  I am already certainly going to be changing my diet completely.  I will also be looking into things like intravenous vitamin c injections, mushroom supplements, and any other crazy Eastern remedy that may or may not work.  I said it from day 1, I will fight this with everything I have.  With my friends, family and anybody who wants to join us we will weather this storm together.  

I am beyond thankful for everyone who has helped, donated, prayed, or done anything for me.  I hope in return I am inspiring you to live a life worth living.  I hope that one day I can truly repay you all for everything.  I have been receiving e-mails from people all over the world and for all of my new friends, welcome to the party!  I hope you all follow up and join me on this 'epic battle.'  A special thank you to my wonderful girlfriend Natashia, she has been so strong and my rock.  She is a champion and I love her!  My family has been exceptionally awesome and thank you guys for all the help!  Thank you to everyone in Portland and especially the folks at Hand and Stone and everyone else in Portland, OR I have never met, but find it in their hearts to help me.  And thank you to all my friends.  You guys have kept my mind occupied when I need occupation the most.  Thank you to all my new friends who have joined me on this path to recovery, you guys inspire me as much as I inspire you and without you all, I don't know where I would be.  We are truly in this together and I know first hand that often times those who love the one in pain often hurt worse than the one suffering.  I am here to asure you all I will be just fine.  Anyway this goes, I will be just fine.  I will fight the good fight and I will stay strong!

Moving forward, everyday is a new day.  Everyday is another chance to live an awesome life.  Everyday you wake up, be thankful for the ones you love and who in return love you.  It has been said since the beginning of time, you don't know when your last day here will be so live like it  like it is today. 

The artist, the piece and the guy with the head scar.
The Piece that Tony made for me!  Epic if I may say so!

I love my friends!

We are still looking for anything anyone thinks would be good for a raffle or silent auction or anything to help in the benefit show coming up.  If you or anyone you know wants to help please e-mail me at johnryancoffelt{at}gmail{dot}com.  

Follow my instagram @coffsauce for some epic battle photos and feel free to share my story with anyone!  For those asking, sorry I don't have twitter.

"Do not dwell on the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."  Buddha



  1. Ryan...I am so proud of you. It is so easy for people on the outside to make judgments about what you should do (including me) but the ultimate goal is for you to make the right decisions FOR YOU. I'm not going to lie....I am thankful you have decided (?) to consider traditional Western therapy...but I do agree with you in your pursuit of Eastern therapies as well. No reason not to take all that potential and mesh them together...covering ALL your bases. Chemo/Radiation therapy has so far saved my life. Without it, I wouldn't be here. Unfortunately your experience and exposure to chemo with your mom was a bad one...and I'm so sorry for that. Nothing is 100%. But what I've learned as an Oncology nurse and ESPECIALLY as an Oncology patient do whatever the fuck you can to survive. And if the current Western med therapies prolong survival until the next best up and coming lifesaving discoveries are uncovered...then more options/potential cures are available.

    I so admire you spilling your guts and letting the world know what's going on in the soul and spirit of someone going through this eye opening experience. Not sure if you realize how many lives you are touching. You are the epitome of strength, courage and soul exposure. I am blessed reading your words. Sometimes I need a little reminder and you are blowin' that shit up for all of us. I thank you.

    Love and Grace,


    1. Amy,

      I had a feeling you weren't too happy with me when I said I wanted to pursue other routes! But I know what I am up against, I am not dumb and if the chemo and radiation can help prolong my life until they find something better, I am willing to suffer a bit. My only hold up was the diagnosis I was given and that in contrast to the 'typical' outcome of what I have. I am scared that I might spend what time (if it is in fact a short amount) I have left sick and in bed from the affects of the medicines. That and the ridiculous amount of radiation they plan on pumping straight into my brain will all but set me up for some future ailment that will perhaps be just as severe as my current ailment. But like I said, I need to do some heavy soul searching once I hear all of my options. I will fight this to my death, but at the same time I don't want to become a lab rat and waste away my time (if this is my final leg.) I hope I make sense, but regardless thank you for everything, and YOU are MY inspiration and living proof that people can beat the C word!


  2. You make all the sense in the world...and I've got your matter which route you choose. This is YOUR life...YOUR battle...and I'm just one of so many honored to support you and love on you during this ultimate self-discovering time. Surgery and diagnosis face time...Time to make cancer your bitch.

  3. Ryan,
    Page 116 in the Anti-Cancer book describes the effect of turmeric/curcumin in making glioblastoma tumors more sensitive to chemo...

  4. Good luck, Ryan! I will be following you and hope for the best outcome, whatever you decide that is.

  5. I don't know you Ryan, but we do have mutual friends. The thing to remember is that all the doctors have for you is statistics and expected outcomes, just numbers. They don't know you. The most important factor in treatment for any ailment is a positive outlook. Too many people I have known were told that they only had months to live or years to live or should be dead already, and they all beat the odds. In retrospect, it may be that they were too stubborn to die and too arrogant to believe that the doctors knew anything. Follow your heart and you'll make the right decision.