Wednesday, June 9, 2010

More on the plan going forward...

Hi everyone,

It's been a few days, but hey, we're on vacation, and I just now felt motivated enough to dig my laptop out of my bag. We've been having a great time in Tennessee - it has been a very nice break for us all. I am writing now from our balcony watching the rain wondering whether to head to the motorcycle store or back to Bass Pro Shops...

Now for an update on Levi; our regular doctor was back from vacation and in the office this week, and gave us a call on Monday. He was very pleased with last week's test results, and wants us to plan on heading down to Riley monthly now instead of weekly for Levi's checkups and bloodwork. This is a welcome change, and if all continues to go well, we look for these visits to possibly decrease in frequency in the future. We are going to call him when we are back in town next week to schedule his next appointment. We are expecting it to be sometime around the first of July.

We continue to praise God for Levi's progress, and know that He is still working in Levi's life. We ask that you join us in this praise, as well as continue to pray that God removes all the remaining cancer cells from his little body and that he will never have to experience it's return. Additionally, please continue to pray for all the other little lives that are impacted by this disease and that researchers will find a cure. I know that our family is looking at ways to support this fight against cancer. One great way is to participate in the Relay for Life, or consider sponsoring someone who is walking in it. Here is a link to the RFL website in case you are interested.

May God bless all of you, and thank you for your continued prayers! We will keep you posted!

Michael and Stephanie

Friday, June 4, 2010

Results from Levi's bone marrow tests...

It's really hard to type with tears in your eyes. All the keys start blurring together, and you can't get the words on the page fast enough to keep up with your racing thoughts. There have been many tears shed throughout the past six weeks, but the tears this morning are nothing less than tears of sheer joy.

The doctor's office called this morning, and although not all the pathologist tests are complete from Levi's bone marrow biopsy on Wednesday, he did have some preliminary results.

Levi's leukemia level has dropped to 3%. A month ago, on May 3rd, it was at 30%. This is huge. He told us that they performed some special testing because it is hard to tell the difference between regular cells and new leukemia cells, and in that testing it did not look like there were any new forming leukemia cells. Additionally, he said that they don't consider it leukemia unless the levels are over 5%. This means that they are considering him in REMISSION!

We don't know what the next steps are in regards to additional tests; our regular doctor is on vacation, so he will call us sometime next week. But I can tell you what our immediate plans are; we are probably going to cry a little more, then we'll finish up packing and head down to Tennessee on vacation, and will be praising God the whole way!

Thank you all so much for your prayers, and please keep them coming! He still has additional tests coming, and we know his little battle is not over. However, we are counting today as an enormous victory, and we know that God is continuing to work in his life and our hearts.

Our God is stronger!

Michael and Stephanie

PS>> Here are some verses that we are considering as we praise God for these test results!

Mark 11:22-24
22"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. 23"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

John 16:23-24
23In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

Acts 3:10(b)
...and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Romans 5:2(b)-4
And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we[b] also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope.

2 Corinthians 1:10-11
10He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Levi's bone marrow test this morning...

What a long day... Stephanie and I are exhausted, and the kids definitely are too. Caylee just went to bed about an hour ago, and we just finally ate dinner at 9:45 pm. Ah, how life changes when you have kids. We often wonder - what did we do with our time before kids? But we wouldn't change a thing...

Our alarm clocks went off at 4:15 this morning. We dropped Caylee of at daycare around 5:30, and headed down to Indy. Thank God for flexible daycare providers and Dunkin Donuts coffee! Levi went into surgery at 9:30, and was only back there for about 40 minutes. They were able to get an IV started and draw the bone marrow sample without having intubate him or give him an LMA. So, of course I had to ask what that meant, and the short of it is that they just used a breathing mask instead of sticking something down his throat. That was great, especially since last time he had a pretty sore throat after his procedure. He did just fine in surgery, and despite being pretty grumpy when he woke up (understandably so), he did fine in recovery as well. It didn't take him too long to return back to his happy, smiling self.

Before we left the hospital, the doctor told us that his blood work came back pretty much the same as it was a couple of weeks ago - everything looked fine. Like last time, his hemoglobin was still just a tad low, but still ok. This was very encouraging, especially since we didn't have any bloodwork done last week after the IV fiasco. The doctor said that it was pretty "thrilling" how well Levi was doing, and said he would be shocked if the bone marrow test wasn't clean. He was very optimistic. I even think our post-op nurse had tears in her eyes.

We should find out by Friday sometime what the bone marrow results are. We are still praying expectantly that it comes back ok, and definitely appreciate your continued prayer! It isn't difficult to deduce why he is getting better, especially since the doctors have not actually administered any type of treatment to this point! Your prayers are working...

Special thanks to Levi's Grandma Sharlene and Grandpa Richard for hanging out with us at the hospital and for taking us out for lunch for our birthdays afterwards!

We will post an update as soon as we know something more!

Michael and Stephanie

Psalm 34:17-19
17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.

18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all;

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hope you had a great weekend...

Hi everyone,

We hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend! Levi and Caylee have great-grandpa's on both sides of the family who served our great country. While we are saddened that neither of them are with us anymore, we are committed to instilling their respect for the flag, love for their fellow man, and sense of selfless sacrifice in our children. Additionally, there are many people we know and have graduated with that are currently serving or have just come off of deployment; please know that you have our greatest respect, gratitude, and admiration. You are the reason I can write these messages without the fear of oppression or censorship.

Stephanie and I are heading down to Indy early tomorrow morning. We are dropping Caylee off around 5:30 am at daycare (thanks for being flexible Chris!!). Levi has to be at Riley at 8 am, and his procedure is scheduled for 9:30 am. He will be taken to the OR and put under general anesthesia to have his bone marrow drawn.

Please pray that they are able to get an IV started, that he does just fine during the procedure, and that his leukemia level has dropped from the 30% that it was a few weeks ago! We will keep you updated as soon as we know more!

Love you all,

Michael and Stephanie