Saturday, July 9, 2011

Act I, Scene IV...

Hi everyone,

Today was day four of Levi's first round of chemo. Levi is doing ok, but still seems like he is in a lot of pain. They have upped his morphine dose, and I think it may be helping. We were worried that he might be getting too much, but the doctors reassured us that the doses they were giving him were fine and that the priority was getting him comfortable. Seems like the chances of any sort of addiction are very slim. The staff here is great, and they're monitoring him closely to make sure all the medicines and nutrients he is getting are doing the trick. His blood counts are still up in the normal ranges now, but they are starting to drop, and we should see them dip pretty low around days 7-10 of his treatment.

I came down to spend the night with Steph and Levi today around lunch time. It was great to see them both, and after Levi woke up a little he wanted me to hold him, which made me feel good. No matter how sick or weak he is, those little blue eyes of his are powerful, and he gets me every time. We also had a visit from Nate, Amy, and Cyrus. They spent most of the afternoon and evening with us, and Steph was even able to get out a little and do some shopping at the local Target. I think the fresh air and sunshine did her some good. Steph's Uncle Jeff and Aunt Sharon brought in donuts and coffee this morning for Steph, and brought us some awesome lasagna and garlic bread for dinner (thanks guys!).

Steph is a trooper - she is diligently staying by Levi's side making sure he is comfy and comforted. She was able to finish up some craft projects she had going, and is now working on a massive quilt project that consists of a whole lot of needlepoint. She also acquired a Kindle from her Aunt Sharon, which should help pass the time.

Caylee and I are doing pretty well at home. As you know, we got home Thursday night, and things were in good order thanks to our awesome neighbors Ken and Sharon. Several members from our CMA chapter came over to pray with us that evening, and it was good to see them all and give them updates. Last night Caylee and I went to the lake with the Bennetts, and enjoyed a cookout, swim, and boat ride. Made things feel pretty normal again, although we missed Steph and Levi like crazy. They also took Caylee to Indiana Beach today for the company picnic, and from how it sounds she had a great time with them and her buddy Cale.

Steph's parents are bringing Caylee down tomorrow, and that will really brighten Steph's day. Being apart as a family is already hard, so we are treasuring the moments we have together, even if our surroundings or situations aren't ideal. I look forward longingly to the time we can all be back home together, just the four of us, hanging out and playing, laughing, and loving one another.

Many of you have asked what our accomodations are like here at Resort Riley. Here are a couple of pictures, one of the hospital from the outside, one of our room (please don't mind the mess), and one of the view out of our window (looking north towards US 31). It really is a nice hospital, it was built new in 2005, and looks more like a hotel inside than a hospital. We are thankful to be at the north location and not downtown; it makes things so much easier and shaves at least a half hour off the drive from Warsaw.

Some of you have also asked about sending cards and letters. This is welcomed and greatly appreciated. You can send them directly to Levi and Steph here at the hospital - I have posted the mailing address on the right side of this web page, but here it is again...

Indiana University Health North Hospital
Attn: Levi Whitesell, Room B410
11700 North Meridian Street
Carmel, IN 46032

Please refrain from sending fresh flowers, fresh fruits, and fresh vegetables (not sure who really sends veggies - nothing says "thinking of you" like a head of lettuce, but it must happen :). These items tend to harbor bacteria and other bugs that won't be good for our little guy once his immune system is suppressed.

Thank you for continued prayers. Please pray specifically that we can find a bone marrow match for Levi, that Steph and I can stay healthy so that we can stay with Levi, and that God grants us safety and traveling mercies while we are on the road. We are doing pretty well so far, and are relying on Him for continued peace, strength, and wisdom. In closing, I would like to leave you with a couple of passages that give me context for what we are going through and hope for the future.

Romans 5:1-5
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Romans 8: 18-19
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

We are reminded that no matter how difficult the times are that we are experiencing, it cannot compare to what lies ahead. We always have hope. I continue to thank God for His evident hand in all of this, and rest in the knowledge that He is in control of little Levi's battle.

God bless,
Michael, Stephanie, Caylee, and little Levi


  1. Michael, Stephanie, Caylee and Levi,

    You are always in my thoughts and prayers everyday. I look at the pictures you post of my Little Dude and see that light that shines in those very blue eyes. This little kid is a fighter and that light shows us that. Love to you all.

  2. Michael, Stephanie, Caylee and Levi
    I want you to know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers. I'm holding Levi close to my heart.......I don't know you all personally but Chris has shared what a wonderful family you are. Stay strong and know that a prayer chain has been started in Missouri for all of you.....
    God Bless......