Hi everybody! I created this blog so that you all could cheer Rory on throughout his battle with DSRCT. I know all of you care so much about Rory and want to be updated on everything going on and so I thought a blog would be the best way to do it! Thank you for all your love and support.


"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" - Proverbs 3:5

Prayers for Rory Wheeler from India

Friday, July 15, 2011

Days Go By

Lately, every time I sit down to update everyone on Rory's progress, I find myself feeling overwhelmed with the daunting task of reliving events that will haunt me for life.  I've decided that blogs are much more fun to update when I get to report good news.  But with more and more people inquiring about Rory, I figured I better buckle in to my "sleeper chair" here at the hospital and give you my Reader's Digest version of the past three months.  (WOW THREE MONTHS - I really am horrible at this).

I believe I left all of you blog readers hanging with our initial visit to MDA when Rory was put on Votrient.  So I will pick up with our return visit in May.

When we returned to Dr. Ludwig at MDA the PET scan showed that 20% of the tumors were responding to the Votrient and 80% remained stable.  HOORAY!  We have never had the news that Rory's tumors were responded to a treatment so we were definitely on cloud 9 and we were told we didn't have to return until July.  Now I know I said earlier that blogs are much more fun to write when there is good news to write, but this good news was VERY shortly lived.  The morning after we got the goods news was quite frankly one of the scariest moments of my life.  I had awoken early to give Rory his meds as I normally do.  Rory took them and then laid back down to get some more rest.  As I nestled in to my bed I began to notice Rory's heavy and labored breathing.  I jumped out of bed, ran over to him and found him gasping for breath and unresponsive.  Natural instinct jumped in and I sat Rory up in bed and 911 was called.  As I sat Rory up, it must have opened an airway because he began breathing normal again and became responsive but his eyes were wide open and my heart rate must have been through the roof.  After several tests, scans, and doctors it was determined that Rory had a pulmonary embolism.  At first doctors were concerned that it was due to the Votrient, but it was later determined it was not and that the Votrient was still safe to take.  Thank goodness.  With that giant scare, we spent a few days in the hospital and Rory was put on blood thinners and we booked our flights home.

Upon our arrival home, things seemed to be returning to normal until Rory started urinating blood.  We were instructed by our doctor to head to the ER and to stop taking the blood thinners.  During this hospital stay a slew of things happened.  First thing first was that Interventional Radiology placed a filter to prevent any further blood clots from traveling from his legs to his lungs (pulmonary embolism).  Next, it was determined that Rory's kidneys were once again shutting down and that the neophrostomy tubes would have to be replaced (not sure if I ever mentioned that they got taken out at one point).  So the tubes were put back in and things seemed to be going well until later that night when Rory's heart rate reached 140 BPM with a rising temperature and and "deer in head lights" Rory.  We were rushed to ICU where they began pumping him with fluids and placed on antibiotics.  They determined that he was dehydrated and that he has sepsis.  Slowly they were getting Rory's heart rate under control and Rory was feeling much better.  However, this lengthy hospital stay left Rory extremely weak to the point where he was having difficulty standing and or walking.

Thankfully, Rory was released from the hospital the Tuesday before the best day of our lives, our wedding!  Despite the hard month Rory and I had, the wedding was just what the doctor ordered as we were surrounded by all of our families and friends who have continually supported us throughout this battle.  A day that could have been easily filled with a somber atmosphere was instead filled with love and laughter.  While people frequently told us that they considered it a "privilege" and an "honor" to be apart of our day, it was Rory and I who were left humbled and uplifted by everyone who made it out to celebrate with us.  Rory and I are pretty confined to the house these days, but the wedding provided us with a "night out on the town" that we will never forget.

A snippet from our wedding day we would like to share with all of you! (Click on It)

That pretty much brings us to present day.  Rory and I have been married for a month now and I am proud to be Mrs. Rory Wheeler.  I couldn't have asked God for a better partner in crime to this crazy roller coaster of a life we live.  Rory's strength is a constant battle, but we are working with physical therapy and are remaining positive that with time he will regain some muscle in his legs and arms.

Just this past Tuesday (July 12) Rory was admitted to the hospital for a high WBC and is being treated for an infection.  Eating is a daily battle for Rory as his stomach is bloated and full of gas from lack of movement and he cannot eat more than two bites before getting full.  I know all of you continue to keep Rory in your daily prayers, but I would request that you pray much for frequently for him and pray specifically that his body releases the trapped gas (yes, it's ok to pray for Rory to fart... I do it allllll the time) so that he can eat more and that his strength returns.

Our entrance to the reception

"30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
   and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
   will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
   they will run and not grow weary,
   they will walk and not be faint."

~Isaiah 40: 30-31

Some more pictures from our wedding for you to enjoy!
Father and Daughter Dance
A little Disney magic added to the wedding ceremony!
Our lovely wedding party
Mr. and Mrs. Rory Wheeler


  1. Congratulations on your wedding and may God help Rory to regain his health and beat this! Stay strong; my thoughts and prayers are with you both!
    -Christina (Steiner) Nakazaki

  2. What a wonderful wedding you had! Congratulations to you and Rory! The video brought tears to my eyes because the love you both have for each other is amazing...and the Disney ideas were great...i also loved your dress and the colors of the suits for the guys and the dresses of the bridesmaids...very summery and lovely...i will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

  3. I recently just heard about Rory and was asked to check out your blog... Funny I had a dream about Rory a few days ago. We used to practice with the MSU Women's basketball team together. We had some great times. I hope that all goes well and I am impressed with your strength through the tough times. Please tell Rory's brother Brian that Matthew Horkey said hello... All the best

  4. Kristen: Just found this blog. Your story and journey with Rory moved me. You are a beautiful soul.

  5. Hi Kristen,

    The wedding pictures look beautiful. Your story and blog is an inspiration.

    My brother had DSRCT, and he fought it for two and a half years. While there were some great scans in between, the cancer was just very aggressive. He was also getting treated at MD Anderson. Unfortunately, he passed away in February.

    While my brother was getting treated, we knew the prognosis was low, but there was always hope that we will try to beat the statistics. Unfortunately, it did not happen for my brother's case, but I have full faith Rory will get completely cured. Your story gives me hope that we can beat this together.

    It is great to see that he has such a strong and caring woman by his side. I know just how difficult the treatment can get - and I think you are an amazing woman for dealing with it so beautifully and keeping your faith alive.

    Each day I pray to God to help those who have this terrible disease and ask him to cure them one by one. From now on, Rory will always be in my prayers and I wish you both a happy and great life.

    Take Care