Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Keep fighting...

Hi everyone!

[placeholder for ubiquitous apology for it being a few days since I've posted]

I hope your weeks are going well so far. So, lots of stuff to catch up on here... Last time I posted, I had made it down to Riley, so you know that I was visiting Steph and Levi. We had a pretty good weekend together, Levi was all over the place. I took his basketball goal down to see if he would be interested in some hoops, and it was a huge hit. We figured that since he was staying in an IU hospital, he might as well be working on his baller skills. He wore us out shooting the ball and chasing it under the crib, behind the chairs, and pretty much every other inconvenient place a mini-basketball can fit. He was in good spirits all weekend, and it was very encouraging to see him so active. He is walking so well now, I would say he's pretty close to being back at full speed now.

The doctors are pleased with his progress, it seems that everything is pretty much right on schedule. His counts are bottomed out and his ANC is at 0, so we are on the "anti-infection", "anti-sickness", "anti-everything from the outside world" kick again. But so far so good, no fevers yet and his appetite is maintaining at a voracious level. The doctors did tell us that fevers and sickness are pretty much inevitable at some point, so we are going to try not to freak out if they do pop up. They did decide to hook him back up to the IV in order to give him fluids at night, since he's not drinking as much as he probably should be. This is common though for little ones going through chemo. The doctor commented that he was making "remarkable" progress on his weight. They re-weighed him today, and he has gained around two pounds since his treatments first started. You can mainly tell it in his face and in his legs; he's never beeen a chunky kid, so a little weight here and there is pretty noticeable. He's finally back up to over 20 lbs, which is an encouraging milestone for us.

Caylee and I are doing pretty well. We were able to sneak off to a baseball game in Fort Wayne last night with Wally and Cale Bennett, a much needed escape with great friends. Caylee is doing well in school, it's amazing how quickly she is learning and flourishing with her friends. She has some big events coming up next week - her first show and tell and her first class field trip! They'll be making the trek down the street to the bakery in Winona Lake - I am sure she'll come back fired up to do some baking. Despite a minor panic trying to dig a popcorn seed out of her nose a little while ago, it's been a pretty quiet and relaxing night tonight.

Stephanie is holding up pretty well, although I know she's tired. It's a lot of work chasing a toddler around, especially when they have to hook him back up to the IV to give him fluids or platelets (which he had yesterday). She's doing such a good job, though, it takes a special amount of mommy strength and patience to sacrifice one's own needs for the needs of your little one. Her level of dedication to Levi's care is admirable. God continues to provide the grace needed to keep fighting.

As you know, last week was rough for us. The burdens of this battle weighed heavy on both of us. However, we know we serve the One that gives us peace that passes understanding. In closing, I wanted to share a verse with you that reinforces the peace we have in Christ.

John 14:27
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

We are taking a stand against the fear that so easily takes hold, and are trying not to let our hearts be troubled. Some days are harder than others, but we thank God for the continued peace He gives us if we will just turn our faces upward and receive it.

Love you all,
Michael, Stephanie, Caylee, and little Levi


    Once upon a time there was a child ready to be born.
    So one day he asked God,"They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow. But how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?" God replied,"Among the many Angels,I chose one for you."
    "But tell me, here in Heaven,I don't do anything else but sing and smile. That's enough for me to be happy." God said "Your Angel will sing for you and will also smile for you everyday. You will feel your Angel's love and be very happy." "How am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me? I don't know the language that men talk." "Your Angel will teach you how to speak." "And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"God said "Your Angel will place your hands together and teach you how to pray." "I've heard that on earth there are bad men.Who will protect me?" "Your Angel will defend you even if it means risking its life." "But I will always be sad because I will not see You anymore." "Your Angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way for you to come back to me, even though I will always be next to you."
    At that moment there was much peace in Heaven,but voices from the earth could already be heard,and the child asked in a hurry,"Oh God, if I am about to leave now,please tell me my Angel's name." God silenced all fear when He said,"You Angel's name is of no importance. You will simply call her 'Mommy'.
    We love You xoxo Brenda&Gene

  2. LOVE the basketball goal idea! Praying for Steph tonight as being in a hotel room with 3 kids was tight, I can't imagine a toddler with IVs.

    Love to you guys!
    The Dearing