Saturday, September 24, 2011

All you need is love...

Ahh, the weekend...

Hope everyone is doing ok - as I write this post, Levi is passed out in his crib and Steph is passed out on her daybed/loveseat/couch thing in the room. So, I've got my earphones in and ready to write you all a good ol' update...

We had a pretty good week, Levi is doing well. His counts are still up there - a couple of them are coming down a little, but his ANC is still above a thousand. The doctor told us today that it was unusual for the counts to stay high after a round of chemo, but since his MRD came back negative, they're all good cells, so nothing to worry about. I guess we're not sure if he's going to bottom out, and if he does, it may take a little while. Levi's fine with that, though, as he has been roaming the halls and hanging out with the nurses.

He really is something to see when he walks/runs down the halls. It's like he owns the place with his little chest stuck out. Every once in awhile I think I can even detect a slight swagger... Of course, the nurses all love him, so he's pretty much got the run of the place. He'll walk right behind their nursing station to hang out with them or see if there's anything he wants to play with. Somehow we have a calculator in the room right now that he swiped from their desk drawer. He even tried to sneak a kiss from one of the nurses last weekend. He flirted, waited for the right moment, then went for it all puckered up. It was pretty cute; I'm just hoping we don't get a hostile work environment report filed against him. They had a snowcone party in the play room this past week, here's a picture of him rocking his sunglasses and waiting patiently for his tutti frutti snowcone. It is so good to see him enjoying life, even if it is from a pediatric ward.

Caylee and I had the opportunity to walk in the Light the Night fundraiser walk in Warsaw on Thursday with the Bennetts. It was a pretty cool experience, and all the proceeds go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The walk raised over $30K. We carried a white survivor's balloon with Levi's name on it along with the red balloons for those supporting the sick.

Caylee rode with her buddy Cale in the wagon, and as soon as the walk started, Levi's white balloon, which had been flying high the whole time we were staging, sunk down a little and hovered right with Caylee for the whole walk. It was an emotional reminder of how close those two really are, and how much we long for them to be together soon.

Caylee and I came down to the hospital last night. We walked in the door of the peds unit, and there was Levi and mommy, roaming the halls. The kids sprinted towards each other and embraced, then got right down to playing and turning the normally peaceful 4th floor into a rowdy raceway. Caylee hopped in a wagon and Levi pushed her up and down the halls, both of them laughing and squealing with delight. I made a few feable attempts to keep them quiet, but realized pretty quickly that all attempts were futile and just let them be brother and sister for awhile.

Nate, Amy, Xavier, and Cyrus arrived at the hospital a little while later, and we enjoyed a nice visit with them in the playroom while the boys and Caylee deconstructed that room as well. Levi just soaks these moments up, playing hard with his sister and little cousin for a few minutes, then taking a couple of moments to sit on someone's lap for just a bit to get loved on. They took Caylee back down south for the weekend; we're very appreciative of their help. Steph's parents are coming sometime this afternoon, and we're going to try to sneak out for dinner and a movie. Not sure where we'll eat or what we'll see, but I honestly don't really care. I just want to spend some time with my sweetheart.

I wanted to thank you all again for the outpouring of love that you shown us. I know I've talked a lot about faith in the past couple of weeks, but love - unconditional, unending, unwavering love - is so important to us right now. Love that Stephanie and I have for each other, love that we have for our children, love that we get from our family and friends - all is essential. Without it, this journey would take a turn for the darker; we would feel isolated, demotivated, and worst of all, defeated. This would not be good for Levi or his recovery. Here's one of my favorite passages; it's familiar to most people, as a portion of it gets read at most weddings. But read it with a different context in mind; read it and apply it to your current situation. What are you doing right now - today - this weekend... Does any of it matter if you don't have love? Or do all of your actions become hollow because there is no love behind them? This passage tends to jolt me out of my daily routines, making me examine whether there really is any true meaning behind my routines and mindless activities.

1 Corinthians 13

1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

We love you all. I hope you have a great weekend loving on your families. That's all that really matters.

Michael, Stephanie, Caylee, and little Levi


  1. Michael, After reading this, the song "Love Is The Answer" popped into my head. You are so on target with your messages to the world!!!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Love You All and Praying continually! KEEP THE AWESOME UPDATES COMING! xoxo Brend&Gene

  2. Dear Michael, Stephanie, Caylee and little Levi,

    It is so good to read your awesome updates. They are so inspirational to us and it does our hearts good to hear what is going on with all of you. So glad Caylee, Levi and Xavier can play together. That is the first picture of Xavier we have seen since he was a baby. What a handsome boy he is. Can't imagine he is that big. They are certainly three precious great-grandchildren.
    We want to wish you and Steph a very happy anniversary. Hope our card arrives on time.
    Until next time, know that we love all of you and you are always in our prayers.

    Grandpa and Grandma G.

  3. PRECIOUS....makes me have "leaky eyes" to read the joy C. and L. bring one another!
    So thankful they can run, play, squeal, and be rowdy!
    Praising God for your strong boy and praying for is parents and sister.

  4. Hi Mike

    Cliff shared your situation with me over dinner in Shanghai last week. It's sad, yet heartening and encouraging to read your blog. God obviously has a larger Plan and I pray that you will continue to wait upon him and draw on his strength. You are so right - he Is awesome and powerful and his will will be done. Let's trust and I will continue to keep Levi and the whole family in prayer.
    Take care my friend. Mark