Monday, March 16, 2015

The Joys of Taking a Hike!

Hiking over Spring Break is just what the doctor ordered, & it felt GREAT to leave the woes of cancer treatment in our rear view mirror!
   This peaceful trip to the Ozarks was wonderful for our hearts & souls!

 It was tough to come home though & have to face Caleb's all day hospital stay for his spinal tap and intravenous chemo. 
 Time for another round of steroids, too. It will be interesting to see what funny cravings he'll experience this time - that should keep us on our toes!
A few complications today meant many extra prayers over his sweet little body.
Caleb's blood levels are a little too good, so he'll be taking a stronger dose of chemo to keep those awful cancer cells away.  Spring baseball season starts this week, so it's going to be a big challenge for him to adjust to taking more chemo.  We hope it won't sap his energy too much! 

This unpredictable flu season has continued to be a challenge to protect Cal from the germs.  
Luckily, our darling friend & retired teacher, Mrs. McDonald, helped Caleb stay up-to-date, while he had to take more time away from school.  He loves working with her!
We are so proud of Cal.  He does his best to always remain positive and to rely on his faith on good and bad days.  I had to fight back the (happy) tears, when he received the Christian Character Award at his school.
 It was heartwarming to hear the whoops, as his name was called & to be reminded about how many wonderful children & teachers cheer him on each & every day, not just during an award ceremony.
 A big thanks to his teacher, Mrs. Ashmore, for allowing him the joy of this award.  It means so much to him!!!

 Back to that hike.  We just got back last night, and it was a glorious break on many levels.  It was yet another reminder about how important Caleb's faith is to him.   

As always, he found his inner strength & was able to push himself beyond belief.
Caleb always wanted to be in the front to lead the way & be the first to see each nook & cranny of the mountains.
Our "Cal-Boy" loved horseback riding...
& even a very dirty snowball fight brought out tons of smiles...
One of our most special moments was visiting this amazing chapel, tucked deep in the woods on a mountaintop.  Thorncrown Chapel has to be one of the most peaceful places on Earth.  Prayer always empowers our family, but we felt super-charged when we left there. 

It's intriguing that a child would be drawn to churches, but Caleb wanted to know all of the stories behind this historical church.
He also marveled at Christ of the Ozarks and loved hearing how much this almost 70-foot statue & its grounds used to mean to my grandparents, when they traveled here.
This statue couldn't be more fitting of Caleb's hero, the lion, this past year.  He braved a rainy day to pose in front of the Lion and the Lamb at the theater where we watched the fantastic production of Jonah.   His troubles seemed overwhelming in that whale's belly, a lot like we have felt at times on this cancer journey.
I truly believe that we can learn a lot from the "c" word. Cancer does have its advantages and makes you realize what is most important in life.  It's nothing money can buy.  It's not where you can travel.  It's your health.  It's your family.  It's your friends.  For us, it's certainly our belief in God. 
Caleb has been saddened today that his Great Aunt Nina left this Earth to be with the Lord, early this morning.  We feel at peace knowing this precious angel will be watching over our little boy.

God bless & RIP Aunt Nina.  We will always remember you so fondly and will always love you.