Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spring Break in the ICU...

John just completed an intensive 5 weeks of chemotherapy that left him extremely exhausted and weak. It has been a difficult few weeks. We were very emotional as we saw our son get weaker and weaker and lose that sparkle in his eye.

John came down with a fever last week and was admitted into Childrens. His ANC count was close to zero, which means he has no immune system to fight off the infection. They gave him a platelet transfussion and ran every test in the book. We were moved to one of the isolation rooms in the ICU where we waited for a few days. Fortunately, his blood cultures came back negative, his fever dropped and his counts finally started to rise. Most exciting to us, we were able to see a smile return to his face.

Under normal circumstances, John would not have been in the ICU during this recent stay. However, the 5th Floor (oncology Floor) was full. CHO had nine new cancer diagnoses last week. We were relieved to be released after just a few days, but we left with bittersweet emotions as we realized that those nine families were about to embark on their own journeys battling pediatric cancer.


  1. Johnny we are so glad you are home. We are thinking of you.

    Love, Candy, Roger and Adam

  2. keep batteling johnny! We all love u!!!! You are in our prayers!!!
    kelly Griffin

  3. Carol and BartApril 14, 2010

    Johnny - The Porters never stop cheering for you!!!! So happy you are home. Keep up the great fight. We send our love and our prayers to you and to your family.

    Love, Carol and Bart

  4. The Curran'sApril 15, 2010

    Keep strong Johnny! We think of you often and can't wait to see you up and about and back on the field... your amazing catch has become an OBA legend for the Pinto league!
    Sara, Mike, Charlotte and Declan Curran

  5. Dear John,
    I know we didn't have the best week off of school, But I still had fun parting at the ICU!!!!! I love seeing you up and around!!!!

  6. Dear John,
    We are so sad to hear that you were feeling so lousy over Spring Break but we we are very glad that you are back home. We are so proud and amazed at how strong and brave you are. You are always in our thoughts and prayers.
    The O'Neills

  7. Dear Mollie, Mike and family,

    I haven't posted comments recently, but you are all in my heart and not a day passes by that your brave and amazing Johnny isn't in my prayers.

    Your loving words about your siblings and your parents also touch my heart. In the midst of your trials, your willingness to see the Grace surrounding you blesses all of us. Thank you, Mollie and family, for allowing us to witness the courage and love of Johnny and his beautiful family.

    Love to all as John enters Phase 5 and new beginnings!

    Kathy Simpson and family

  8. John,

    Thanks to you and your family for sharing this blog. We love to read and hear how brave and awesome you are. Love the baseball stories and hoping to play catch soon!

    Reed and the entire Callister crew

  9. Devon GalushaMay 05, 2010

    We are thinking of the entire Ricksen and Harrington family during this difficult time, and are holding Johnny in our prayers. What a brave and strong boy he is.
    Our love,
    The Galushas (Greg, Devon, Hope and Graham)

  10. Grama JudyMay 05, 2010

    John--thank you for letting me have your mom for a couple of days to celebrate Mother's Day. She will be back with you on Sunday for your celebration. I think of you every day and am so happy you are feeling better now. I will be up soon to be with you and help celebrate your birthday. You are a rock star!!! Love, Grammy Judy