Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Round 2 in the books...

Hi everyone,

I hope your week is off to a good start. Things are going ok for us. This morning, at 2am, Levi had the last of his second round chemo treatments. That meant that they were able to disconnect him from his IV for a little while, and hopefully the nights will be a little less interrupted and a little more restful. This also means that his counts will bottom out very soon. We are guessing they will go down tomorrow. When they do go down, he will be back in neutropenic precaution, which means no more fun trips up and down the hall on foot or in the little red car. This makes things tougher for Steph, as the four walls of the hospital room start to close in when he gets frustrated and stir-crazy. Not that we can blame him though, the little guy finally feels well enough to be active and can't quite understand why he's cooped up.

Caylee is hanging in there. She started her second week of preschool today, and seems to be loving it. I also, for the first time ever, got to yell "Caylee - sit down and do your homework!" tonight. But I seriously doubt it will be the last... She is settling into our new routine without too much difficulty, and I am proud of her enthusiasm and coloring capability.

As for mommy and daddy, well, we're tired... Today was kind of rough on Steph, as Levi was pretty ouchy and didn't give her many chances to sit down and rest. As for me (I'll be a little vulnerable here), having my family split in half was really weighing on me today. As I've mentioned before, some days are rougher than others, and today was one of those days.

There seems to be this nagging feeling that makes it's presence known on days like this; it is not easily suppressed, and tends to spin out of control when left unchecked. I had a good talk with a friend of ours at work yesterday, who has been through the exact same situation as the one in which we find ourselves. He labeled this feeling for me ... guilt. I feel as if others who have gone through battles like this will know what I'm referring to. I feel guilty when I'm up here with Caylee because I can't be down there with them. I feel guilty when I'm in the hospital visiting Steph and Levi because I am not with my little girl. I feel guilty when I call Steph and hear Levi crying in the background, the weariness evident in her voice. I feel guilty when I'm staring into space, lost in my thoughts, and Caylee taps me and asks "What's wrong Daddy? Are you ok?" I feel guilty that I can't be with all who need me at the same time, stetched too thin to meet everyone's needs. That's a tough feeling for me.

This is not the first time I have struggled with guilt. When Levi got sick this year, I was struck hard with it. Plaguing questions raced around in my head. Was I not thankful enough that Levi got better last year? Did I not tell enough people about how God took away his sickness? Did I mess up somehow that this is some sort of punishment? These doubts and questions were devastating. Thankfully, I received some much needed counsel from some strong men of faith, who explained that we live in a broken world that is reeling from the effects of man's fall, which won't be healed until Christ's return. In that I put my faith and find relief from these guilty feelings. Additionally, there are a couple of passages of scripture that have helped me deal with these thoughts.

Romans 8:1-3
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.

Additionally, a story from John helped me put things in perspective.

John 9:1-3
1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

I pray that through Levi's battle, the works of God might be displayed. I am trusting Him to guide us down the path that will bring Him the most glory. In closing, I wanted to say that I realize I may have gotten a little deep there for some of you; not all of my posts end up quite like this. However, I feel like there may be some out there who needed to read this.

Thank you for your continued prayer and support. We love you all. Your encouragement means so much to us, and help give us that lift needed to get through the tough times.
Michael, Stephanie, Caylee, and little Levi


  1. Michael, I was rolling in my own pity tonight. But I was able to put my children in their own beds tonight...not when I asked them to go there and much later then they were supposed to, and not with the water cups I forgot BUT in their beds. Praying for you, Steph, and Caylee and Levi. Praying God continues to shine through Levi!
    -Me. Dearing

  2. I have wanted to post a comment many times but just could not come up with what to say. When you took levi to the hospital for his second fight and amy told me how he was doing i cried. My son is less than a month older than him and i could not imagine. I started praying for his health to return and for your strength to make it through this. Thank you for keeping us posted and showing us that even threw the hard times you can keep your faith in God! The picture of him walking is amazing and I will continue to pray for strength for you all!
    ~the Jones'

  3. Dear Michael,
    It takes a real messenger of God to pour out his
    heart and soul the way you did in this up-date. Through God's Eyes you are doing everything humanly possible to help and be where needed for your Family. Your Love and Faith are always with your Family even when you are not there physically! They feel it in their hearts because as I said earlier, "You put your heart and soul into all you love." We Love You and Pray that You can take comfort in knowing that YOU ARE BEING ALL THAT YOU CAN BE!! xoxo Brenda&Gene

  4. Dear Michael,
    After reading the message from Brenda and Gene all I can say is AMEN. You are an awesome husband and dad and your God-fearing and loving life is reflected in all you do and say. Never feel guilty about not being together. You will be very soon and you will appreciate it even more.
    Grandpa and Grandma G.