It has begun! Caleb has officially completed all of his weekly IV chemotherapy. Now he begins what is called the Maintenance Phase for the next three years. After much research, physician consultations, expert opinions, and meaningful prayer, we selected Caleb's new regimen. Now we must remain faithful that out of five different options, this is the best for Caleb.
It's a bit on the experimental side, yet it is considered to be safe and effective for Caleb, and most importantly - cure his cancer!!! The big deal about this treatment - it's expected to help children in middle school & teenagers who are diagnosed with leukemia in the future. They often suffer terribly from life-long side effects. Caleb will hopefully help pave the way for doctors to decide if changing "standard care" can help their quality of life.
|Cal did well during his spinal tap today.|
|It was nice for him to have our whole fam with him for his ten-hour hospital stay.|
|After sedation, we could not get Caleb to wake up for other treatments, but loving medical workers figured out creative ways to help our own little sleeping beauty.|
|A nauseous tummy kept Caleb at the clinic after-hours.|
Looking toward the future, Caleb will now go to clinic every other week. He'll take chemo pills every single day for the next three years, then he'll get IV chemo, take steroids, & get spinal taps every 3 months.
Getting every other week off from clinic visits is a huge blessing! It will help him resume normalcy, & it will also help keep his blood counts higher, leading to a stronger immune system. It's finally time to start taking him back to public places. We can't wait to take him to church! David & I have been tag-teaming in the parking lot (one home babysitting Cal) and going to separate services, but we're ready to go as a family again.
Today was tough reality, following our family vacation that we just got home from last night. Caleb was a strong lil' warrior, who couldn't be stopped!
|He hiked up the steepest hills he could find...|
|He zip-lined through the Palo Duro Canyon, like the courageous champ he is.|
|He rode crazy banana bikes...|
It was marvelous to witness. I don't think any of us thought about cancer for days. It is the longest life has felt normal, since his diagnosis almost ten months ago.
|Caleb left a message for you, in the dirt of Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo...|
|That is... after leaving fun, LEGAL graffiti behind.|
|Then he came home to find a HUGE surprise from his "Auntie Caroline" & "Uncle Gary"... his very own water slide. Didn't even take time to put on a swimsuit, he was so excited.|
Caleb has truly taught us about perseverance. When his legs get weak, he just sits down (no matter where he is). He won't allow you to feel sorry for him or get a sorrowful look in your eyes. He hops up the second he can go on again. He never complains about anything, even as he battles nausea at this very moment. I have learned so much from this little boy. Even though it's been a terribly hard year for us all, I feel like we will be stronger forever. It's interesting to realize all of the important lessons we've learned from a Kindergartner.
It was incredibly quiet in the car on the way home tonight. When I stopped at a traffic light & turned around, I saw why.
Cancer is exhausting on the entire family. Caleb has taught us to make the best of it. We can just picture Jesus, leaving his footsteps in the sand & carrying not only Caleb, but his mom, dad, & brother, every step of the way the past year. With you by our sides, we did it! We feel like the worst is over. It's OVER!!!! Hallelujah and AMEN.