Saturday, October 15, 2011

And so begins Round IV...

The room is quiet, the shades are pulled, Levi's asleep in the crib, Steph just passed out on the daybed, and I have my headphones on... Perfect time for an update.

Round IV is officially underway. We arrived at the hospital yesterday right on time at 10am after dropping Caylee off at Steph's parents house. It was a pretty uneventful morning, both kids did great and we got everything and everyone loaded into the van like clockwork. But it was still pretty tough, and there were more than a few tears that fell between Warsaw and Indy. They got Levi right in to perform his little checkup and draw his labs in the clinic. Everything looked good, so we got ready to head up to the floor. Then we found out that the floor was full, so we had to wait a few minutes for them to get a room ready. Needless to say we didn't get room 410, our familiar stomping grounds. We are in room 412 right now, which is actually a PICU room. Hopefully tomorrow 409 (the much-coveted corner room) or 410 will clear out so we can move. At least this room has a view to the outside, and the trees across the parking lot are turning some beautiful shades of orange and red. Just another reminder of how fast this summer has slipped by.

After we got to the room and got everything settled, they put Levi under conscious sedation and performed the bone marrow aspiration and the spinal tap with a dose of chemo straight into the spinal fluid. We've been through this a few times at this point, but it doesn't get easier. While he was still out, I slipped out and grabbed some lunch to bring back to the hospital. He was fully awake and bouncing around his crib when I got back and was very excited to eat. He did very well for not having anything to eat since dinner the night before. We enjoyed the rest of the day together, and thankfully we were all able to take a nap later in the afternoon.

Levi is doing well today, we've had a busy morning of wrestling on the bed, racing his Hot Wheels on the window sill, and destroying his cheese omelette and toast with a good portion of it ending up on the floor. He is in good spirits, and adapts so well to being back in the room. He remembers all his routines and games with the nurses. He does so much better with all of this than the rest of us. He has had a few low grade temps of 99 or 100, but we're not too concerned - they could be from the flu shot he received yesterday or the increased dose of chemo he is getting. We'll just keep an eye on them to make sure they don't spike. If they persist or go up, the doctor will administer an antibiotic just in case there is an infection.

We had an interesting comment yesterday. Steph mentioned to someone here at the hospital that we were looking forward to having only one more round of chemo after this one. She then was told that we had one more "planned" round, and that we shouldn't be cocky. I have to admit, that one set us back a little and made me think. What is the difference between being confident and cocky? I am confident - I will be the first to tell you that. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is confidence in what we hope for, and that's exactly what we're hoping for. I posted something on Facebook about it, and got some great feedback from many of our friends. After reflecting on it a little more throughout the night, I have come to this conclusion. If I was placing confidence in my own abilities or boasting about what I had done under my own power, then absolutely I would be cocky. I would be attributing Levi's progress to something that I had done. But this couldn't be more contrary to how I feel. I learned very early on that this battle is out of my hands. There are no tools in my daddy's toolbox that can fix this thing for my son. I am empty, my human abilities to fight this are non-existent, and I cannot affect the outcome. However, I am placing my confidence in someone who can. And that someone tells me in His word that I should have faith and that He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion (Philippians 1:6). Therefore, yes, I am confident. And I'm not going to give that up.

Please continue to pray for us. These times are tough. Unfortunately, the highs of being home and the joyous tranquility of having everyone under one roof dissipate too quickly when we bring our son back to the hospital, haul up his blankets and stuffed animals in a little red wagon, and hook those clear tubes back up to the lines under his t-shirt. Each round has brought about its own demon to face. The first round brought disbelief. The second brought fear. The third brought weariness. And this fourth round has brought anger. These emotions are not indicative of the tremendous progress Levi has made, and I know I won't make the honor roll in the School of Tough Situations with this list of struggles, but they are very real, and each needs to be dealt with head-on.

The start of this round has been emotional for all of us. I was on the phone with my beautiful little Caylee Grace a little while ago, and she asked me where I was. I told her I was at the hospital with bubby and explained that we had to keep giving him some more medicine so he would get all better. She then told me in an innocent, yet tired voice that she wanted to be a family. Her statement shot straight through me; I also want that, so badly. But to hear it coming from my daughter, who I fear is often the one who gets left out in this struggle, really hit home. I know we're doing the right thing, but I can never forget that all of us are impacted by this sickness. The weight of this burden is shared by all involved in different ways. This includes Levi, our little family of four, and all of you, our family and friends who pick up a piece of the burden each time you hit your knees and offer it up to God in prayer. You all mean so much to us, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping us carry this. We love you all. Remember, our God is stronger.

Michael, Stephanie, Caylee, and Little Levi


  1. Michael&Stephanie,
    I think the word cocky was VERY INAPPROPRIATE! What you have is HOPE and FAITH that there will only be ONE MORE ROUND. As TRUE BELIEVERS We KNOW and FEEL ALL THAT IS GOOD AND POSITIVE IS AROUND US. We call Him GOD!!! So KEEP THE FAITH KIDS! lOVE&FAITH from you Faithful Praying Warriors xoxo

  2. Dear Ones,
    I, too, agree that the word "Cocky" was not used by a Christian who has faith in God. God tells us if we believe that He will answer our prayers, then we will receive that for which we pray. Do not let one person cause you to doubt this. We continue to pray for all of you and know that God will keep His word. He has never failed us and never will.

    Grandpa and Grandma G.