Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Hi everyone,

As I am sure you've already guessed, Steph and Levi have now moved out and have found a nice place on their own in Carmel. It's in a nice neighborhood, but it's a little small and the rent is outrageous. The picture above is from Levi's moving-in day...

Actually, yesterday was pretty tough for Stephanie and me, but Levi, as usual, did very well. We got to the hospital around 10am, and they got him right in. After some consults and initial exams from the doctor, we got our old room (410) back. Stephanie was relieved that she got a room with an outside view; I think there may have been some interesting conversations if they put her in another room. But, they're pretty good to us there, so we didn't have too much to worry about. It helps to have an incredibly adorable little boy that the nurses fight over...

Levi had his bone marrow test and spinal tap around lunch time. I went out during the procedure and got some groceries and take-out Chinese for lunch, for which Levi was very appreciative after he woke up, as he hadn't eaten since 8pm Sunday night. He was a little cranky when he woke up, but it didn't take long for him to want to be up and active. We had a good afternoon together and were even able to take a little nap before I had to leave a little later on.

Caylee and I made it home early enough to get in some swingset time before bed. Today was a big day for her - it was her first day of preschool! She didn't wake up too thrilled about it, but her demeanor changed once she got in her classroom and saw all of her new friends. She was pretty excited when I picked her up, so I am hoping that we won't have much of an issue with her not wanting to go. I think she'll really do well there.

Steph realized pretty quickly today that it is much different being cooped up in a hospital with a little guy who feels good and is mobile again. She sent me these pictures of him walking around his hospital room with his IV pole while he's getting his chemo treatments. It was heartwarming to see his smile and efforts to figure out the hospital room door, but I have to admit that these pictures brought tears for me pretty quickly. I am not really sure why, but I think they were partly because I hate to see him hooked up like that while I know how much he'd love to be playing outside and enjoying the summer days. And partly, or perhaps mostly, they were tears of pride for my little tough guy. There's been many times in my life when I've felt tough; like when I got my first car (and subsequent speeding ticket), shot my first deer, got my motorcycle endorsement and first bike - you know, the times when we as guys feel tough and just a little bit invincible. But my son has redefined for me what a tough guy is. It's not about image, looking cool, or impressing others. It's about rising above the situation you find yourself in and being extra-ordinary. He's a true tough guy when I see him curled up in his crib in the glow of his monitor lights, ignoring the IV cables draped over the crib rails and snaking under his shirt while sleeping peacefully without complaining; or when he tries to help the nurses flush his central line and draw labs in the morning; or when he tries everything he can think of to make you smile and laugh while he's playing on the hospital day bed with you; and when he laughs and reaches for you when you walk in his room even though the treatment he's undergoing would floor many adults. My son is a true tough guy, and I am a very proud daddy.

Well, time to head to bed; it's been a long last couple of days. We should know the results of his bone marrow tests tomorrow sometime. We are really hoping and praying that it comes back clean. The results will give us some insight into what the rest of his treatment may look like, including whether or not we will be pursuing a bone marrow or cord blood transplant. So, of course, we will be letting you know what we hear.

Thank you all for your continued prayer; we are glad this second round is underway, and are trusting God to guide us through the next few weeks of treatment and recovery.

-Michael, Stephanie, Caylee, and little Levi


  1. Levi is going to do great! So good to see him and Stephanie Monday morning. Thinking of you all.


  2. I'm a friend of Chris's and have been following your journey with Levi. What an incredible little guy and what amazing parents you both are. I keep you, Stephanie and Levi in my prayers and close to my heart in hope that this works and you can continue life with Levi as normally as possible. I know how hard it is to watch the little guy when all the other kids are normal and living life with no problems. Levi is a fighter and tough little guy. I am a stranger but I love that little Levi as if I'd known him all his life. Prayer chains all over Missouri and North Carolina have put Levi and your family on their list and I know the power of prayer......
    Thinking of you often

  3. Michael&Stephanie,
    Levi is the amazing,tough,good spirited little guy because of his parents. You two are the reason that Levi is all of these things. It's your Love and Faith in God that makes "All Things Possible!" We are SO PROUD OF YOU! Love Brenda&Gene xoxo

  4. reading this makes my tears flow! sending you love, hugs and prayers! love, haley ramer

    ps. michael you forgot another "tough guy time" the times on the pool deck when you could put your arms over your head and touch your back with your hands still together! a fun memory i have of you! :o)

  5. What a trooper! Thankful God has equipped Levi to FIGHT! Prayers from NV!