Monday, November 24, 2014

Home for the Holidays!

Our family used to just sing songs about "being home for the holidays", but that has more meaning than ever to us right now.  Caleb is up & out of this bed!  While it has been a tough time, he's gaining more strength each day.  This beautiful prayer blanket, with courageous lions and big cats, helped surround him with love.  (THANKS JILL & PAUL!)
We feel incredibly blessed that Caleb's fever finally took a hike, instead of a spike! 
 Unfortunately, Caleb's blood counts have started falling again.  We feel like it's a miracle he's home, but we just found out during his check-up in the Cancer Center today that his counts have bottomed out, so that means many extra precautions.  He's quarantined to home, probably for a few weeks.  We haven't had the heart to tell him that we've had to cancel our Thanksgiving plans in the metroplex, but we plan to make it extra special for him here at home, to make up for it. 
Caleb has been restricted from visitors, but luckily got to see his wonderful teacher, as well as the Head of his School!  That really helped cheer him up.

We were so happy when they rolled Caleb out of the hospital, but it is with mixed emotions, as we are concerned about how vulnerable he is to germs right now.  Caleb has also lost weight, so it's time to try to pack on the pounds with holiday goodies! 
This cancer journey is so bizarre.  We never know what to expect, but are very thankful for an incredible medical team, who helps us stay on top of it all.

The morning Caleb was hospitalized, he played in his Championship baseball game. He loved being on a winning team and was so happy to make several hits during his last game of the season.  We never would've guessed, only a few hours later, his condition would dramatically change so quickly. 

That is why we have promised each other as a family to cherish every moment and to count our many blessings.  We have made a vow to appreciate every healthy moment and to pray harder every day of the week to protect Caleb during his remaining three years of treatment.  I ran across this special poem and wanted to share part of it with you.  It's a prayer we'll be sharing in a few days on Thanksgiving.  We're certainly thankful for you, our dear family and friends.  Thanks for being the people we can always count on to pray for Caleb.  We hope you have a special week filled with love and many blessings.   

Cherished Ritual
Lord, as we pause in our busy lives
to gather around the Thanksgiving table,
sharing the precious bond among family and friends,
let us remember that this abundant harvest,
this feast of delicious and nourishing dishes
is the fulfillment of our faith
that You will always provide for us.
We thank You
for the joy and happiness you give us, to lift us up,
and also for the sometimes difficult lessons and challenges
You give us to make us stronger, better,
and more aware of our need for You.
Thank you for the support and courage You give us
to get through troubled times.
Thank You for answered prayers
and also for the times You said "no,"
to keep us from stumbling off Your path for us.
We know that in all things,
You are working for our good.
Now, as we draw together in unity
to savor this wonderful dinner,
we are thankful for those who prepared it,
for those who join us to enjoy it,
and most of all, we thank You, Lord,
for the many different kinds of blessings
You continually grant us.
We pray that You'll bless this food,
and bless all of us as we gather together.
In Jesus' name we pray; Amen.
By Joanna Fuchs

Thursday, November 20, 2014

103 Degrees, Go away please!

Caleb had a tough night battling his 103 degree fever again, which seems to be the temperature his body has adjusted to all week.  Going on Day 6 of his illness, and it hasn't let up yet.  

Caleb underwent a chest x-ray in his hospital room, to make sure his illness hadn't progressed to pneumonia.  Positive news - the sickness has not moved to his lungs!

Thank you for your prayers.  They have made a difference!  We didn't want to bother you all at first, thinking this would be a simple hospitalization.  Then, we started getting really concerned and requested your help with the prayer chain.  It worked!  Caleb's counts stopped dropping and are holding steady - super low - but steady!   That's HUGE.  

Our specific prayers are for his fever to break once & for all and not return.  He has severe "chemo mouth", and now it's too painful for him to even drink water.  That's tough - considering his continuous high fever.  He has not eaten since Saturday evening.  Our prayers are that his mouth heals and that he gets strong enough to eat.  He's too weak to walk from his bed to the couch in his room right now.  

There are many blessings to be thankful for, including Caleb's positive attitude.  He never complains and takes all of his medications with a smile on his face.  He is one tough cookie, and we are so proud of him.  He never "feels sorry for himself" & never asks when he's going to get well.  He just takes it day, after day, after day, after day, like a little man.  We thank the Lord for his strength.  It makes our job as parents easier, because he just acts as though all of this is "no big deal".   

Caleb is back on the Oncology floor of the hospital, where he was a year ago, when he was diagnosed with leukemia.  It has been a special reunion with all of his nurses & doctors, whom we got to know so well during those few difficult weeks of his first hospitalization.  They are AMAZING, full of positive energy, compassion, & love.  Our hearts are touched by his team of medical care workers.  It makes such a big difference during this trying time. 

A special friend just shared this Bible verse with me, and it's very fitting, because Caleb's little body is so hot, it almost feels like he's on fire:   Isaiah 43:2   "When you walk through the fire, you won’t be scorched and flame won’t burn you.  I will be with you." 

We have felt God's presence and power every day this week.  We know He's with Caleb.  Thank you for your love and support and for rallying around our little boy. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Prayer Chain, Please?

The warning signs on Caleb's door give you an idea of just how vulnerable he is.
Caleb was admitted to Texas Children's late Saturday night with a fever and low counts.  We felt confident he would heal quickly & be home in a few days.  Unfortunately, that's not the case.  He is battling a 103 degree fever now and his blood counts are still going down to even lower levels (and they were already VERY low).  
We are begging God to heal him quickly and help his white blood cells regenerate.  Will you please do the same for "our baby"?  Thank you & God Bless.