Sunday, August 14, 2011
Bittersweet Sunday night...
Sorry - it's been a few days since our last post. Things have been a blur here, but a happy, joyful blur. We have thoroughly enjoyed our week together as a family, and God truly blessed us with some awesome weather, some fun playtime, and a couple of great visits from family. Steph's parents were able to come up last weekend and see Levi, and my parents, sister, and little brother were able to come up this weekend to see him. And, to top it all off, Steph and I were able to sneak out of the house for a date night each time!
I think it was good for everyone to see Levi doing so well. He loved the visits, and just soaked up all the love and attention. Of course, Caylee enjoyed it too; she had a good week, we were able to finish her swingset and she got her first bicycle! Levi loved the swingset, and spent his days cruising around the house, terrorizing the cat, and picking on his big sister. We had our family pictures taken on Saturday (thanks Cliff!), so I will try to post a few of them on here for you later this week. I know I've already said this, but what a great week!
I also wanted to give you an update on Levi's counts. The home healthcare nurse came out on Thursday to draw blood, and the doctor called us Friday with the results. His white blood cell, platelets, and hemoglobin counts had all risen and were in the normal range. The big jump was his ANC - it went from 836 on Monday to over 3000! His little body must have been hard at work; I am convinced that long restful nights at home in his own bed just did wonders for him. Not to mention that he was so happy and active during the days!
As I am sure you can guess, we are sad to see the week wrap up. It is bittersweet; on one hand, we are not looking forward to splitting up again for another month. It's such a long time to be apart, and it does place a strain on our family. But the good side of it is that Levi has successfully come through his first round of chemo, and is getting ready to launch into the next one. One down, a few more to go; let's get started... God got us through the first one, so I know that He will be there walking with us through this one.
The gameplan for tomorrow is that Stephanie, Levi, and I are heading down to Riley first thing in the morning to move Levi back into his "apartment". They will perform a bone marrow test and a spinal tap around lunchtime, then he will likely start his chemo tomorrow night. There are some nerves in this for us; we are praying that his bone marrow comes back clean. That would be a great sign - it would indicate that his leukemia seems to be chemo-sensitive and that the first round was effective.
Please be in prayer for little Levi and Steph as they re-adjust to life in the hospital after a week at home. Steph is not looking forward to the stay, and with Levi feeling so much better and with him being considerable more active than when his treatments first started, it is going to be significantly harder to keep him entertained and happy in the room. Finally, please pray for good test results.
It is hard, at the outset of this next round, not to feel a little like this thing is going to last forever. We know we have several months to go on this journey, and it can be a little daunting looking at it from this end. Of course, we know that this is not true - just a feeling brought about by a little anxiety, a dash of occasional doubt, and a reluctance to realize the end of our break together. We can be encouraged, though, in knowing that everything in life has its season, and this too will pass. I love the passage in Ecclesiastes that talks about the seasons of life. Everything has its time, and Levi's battle is no exception.
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.
We love you all. Thank you for your continued prayers, support, and encouragement. I will keep you updated on how things go tomorrow!
Michael, Stephanie, Caylee, and little Levi