Sunday, April 3, 2016

He is Risen

Caleb enjoyed an amazing Easter!  Celebrating Christ's comeback seemed to be a turning point for Caleb.  It feels like Caleb is beginning to rise again.

It was a beautiful & unseasonably warm winter in Houston, but it has honestly felt cold & dreary for Caleb.  It's hard to describe, so I've remained silent on his blog, because I haven't known what to say.  I'll keep that part brief.  After three years of daily chemotherapy, it was like Cal hit a brick wall.  He's old enough to realize that he has to struggle to keep up with his friends.  That's a tough realization for someone as competitive as Caleb.  

This is what many nights "looked like" when we brought out the chemo.  He became rebellious about taking it & struggled with his diagnosis. 
It's almost like he pushed himself so hard during the day to do well at school, that he was "just done" everyday when he got home.  

Organizations, like the Sunshine Kids Foundation, understand the reality of cancer and how tough it can be on kids.  They have worked hard to bring sunshine into Caleb's life. 

They invited him to enjoy "Dinner on the Dirt" with all of the major monster truck drivers.  He loved it!
Caleb, Zach, and their buddy Jake had a great time! 
The Sunshine Kids also invited Cal & Zach to a special Houston Texans Training Camp.  They got kicking and throwing lessons & were in awe of how much fun player Christian Covington is!
Baseball is in full swing, pun intended.  :-)  What a way to kick-off the season!  Caleb's Little League invited him to throw the first pitch, and they honored him for his courage to continue to play, even when he doesn't feel like it.  
David is his coach for the Cubs.  The games are the highlight of every week!
Caleb loves going to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo every year.  It's always a VERY long walk back to the car each time.  This year, we had some much needed help!  Zachary has gotten so strong, that he gave us a break & helped carry Caleb to the car.  It's quite the group effort.
Only 1/4 of a way there... but Caleb thinks it's more fun on big bro's back!
Some positive news in the advancement of medicine!  Texas Children's is now offering sedation for spinal taps under the power of "laughing gas".  We're told it doesn't work for every patient, but it was MUCH EASIER for Caleb!  He didn't get sick, as usual, and recovered much faster.  This is such a relief for our family for future procedures!!!
We've worked hard to get Caleb back on track.  Besides some alternative therapy, we took a long Spring Break and gave him undivided attention.  He helped plan the trip, and we poured every ounce of our positive energy into him, and added so much love & laughter.  It all seemed to really help.
His favorite was drilling a hole in the ice at a lake in Minnesota.  Thank goodness our fishing guides brought along this tent - b/c the wind chill was in the teens!  Thanks to my Aunt Nancy for tips about where to go - she used to live there!
Our ice fishing was prosperous!  We reached our limit in just a few minutes and had to just enjoy "catch & release" after that.  I cooked fresh fish for Caleb for days.  He loved it!
Snow tubing brought a lot of giggles, and that was magic to our ears!

We even got to go hiking.  His big bro pulled through again, when our backs got too tired to carry those little "chemo legs".

For some reason, Caleb has been obsessed with Mount Rushmore since Pre-K!  You can see how happy he was to finally see it for himself!

While we were away, my two AMAZING colleagues, Raymond Ramirez and David Canada shaved their heads AGAIN in Cal's honor.  Together, they raised about $6,000 for St. Baldrick's.  

Caleb and I got to "Facetime" and witness the action LIVE, which was very special! 
That's a lot of hair!  Thanks guys - for making a difference in others lives, through Caleb!
We all came back with renewed hope and with a spring in our step! 
Caleb had a great check-up and his "counts" are right where they need to be!
Caleb often lies on the couch at my little gym and watches Zach and I work out.  Even though he had on flip-flops last week, he kicked them off and "boxed" with Zachary.  It was an amazing sight to see!
I can't even describe how much this photo means!  Caleb - doing the carrying - this time!  WOW.  He was able to carry his little buddy, Angeli, all over the place.  Things are undoubtedly getting better. 
We just got back from a family wedding that was even more uplifting for Caleb!  He got to meet two amazing young ladies, who have been raising money in his honor for years! 

Caleb couldn't believe he could finally see some of the precious youngsters who have written so many special notes to him.  They are students of David's cousin, Rhonda, in Woodson, Tx.  Please keep Baylee in your prayers (on the left).  She is often in the fight for her life because of Type 1 Diabetes.  What a precious child to help Caleb, when she has to endure so much herself.
It was an amazing wedding at a ranch - in the wide open, beautiful outdoors, with so many fun games - who could ask for more?  It added even more sunshine to our lives.  Thanks Bri & Tommy! 
God is definitely answering our prayers and giving us so much hope.  Tomorrow is going to be a brighter day.  Thank you for your continued prayers.  Much love from our family to yours!