Saturday, July 30, 2016

Steps in the Right Direction!

Thank you for reaching out to us and for caring about Caleb and our family.  Our family, friends, colleagues, & everyone's prayers have helped keep us sane this past week!

 Things are definitely looking up, though Caleb is still at high risk.  His fever finally broke the higher numbers and is hovering around 100.  He's starting to eat and laugh again, which is comparable to a harmonic symphony to our ears.  :)

The IV medications are OVER!!!  He is thrilled to no longer be "tethered" to a pole!

Here's the biggest announcement of all:  he's going to recover now at home!  Specialists feel like he has stabilized.  The important blood counts they're watching are still at "0" and his fever is considered low-grade and no longer a threat.  They have cultured everything imaginable, and all of the tests have come back negative - which is HUGE and fabulous news!

Texas Children's Hospital recently changed their protocol with children in similar situations.  Since Caleb's blood counts are not recovering in the hospital, they feel like he will recover faster in the comforts of home!  His own bed, sleeping through the night without interruptions, all of his favorite homemade foods, and a little sunshine are officially what the doctor ordered.  It is a HUGE responsibility, since he is so vulnerable to infection right now.  We are in the shock 'n awe phase, because in just a matter of days, we've gone from talk of the possibility of an ICU transfer to him going home! We think doctors are spot-on with this idea!
As soon as Caleb found out he was going home, he busted out a filter on my phone and started being silly again.  Surely laughter will help build those white blood cells.  I will begin my research of foods to prepare.... I'm thinking super high protein... to help strengthen his fragile body.

THANK YOU for helping get us through this crisis.  When I was sitting in Caleb's hospital room, & he was sleeping all of the time with a high fever, I felt so helpless.  For the first few days of his hospitalization, we tried to keep it quiet and just deal with it.  When things weren't looking up, and we felt like we were going to lose it, we reached out, and you helped get us through it.  Once we started the prayer chain, a peace came over us.  Knowing others "had his back" made us feel like warriors.  It wiped away that awful emotion (called fear).  When we found out that Caleb's favorite radio station, KSBJ had a moment of prayer for him, even Caleb told us he KNEW everything was going to be OK, because he loves their motto:  "God Listens."  We can't wait until this cancer journey is over for Caleb, and he can just be a kid and not a patient, and we can concentrate more on helping others in crisis. 

A Chaplain from our church spent time in Caleb's room encouraging us and praying over Caleb.  It is amazing how God put people on this Earth who know the right things to say and strengthen us in such a beautiful way.

 As a friend reminded us, 
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Caleb's new favorite board game is Disney trivia, so I've got to go now, so he can beat me again!  '-)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Prayer Chain, Please

Caleb had to be admitted to Texas Children's Hospital on Tuesday.  His blood counts have continued to hit an all-time low, and his white blood cells have now bottomed-out. 

Doctors are racing to test everything possible to figure out why, as he has been off of chemotherapy now for 9 days, to help the numbers go back up.  They just started a fourth IV antibiotic, in an attempt to treat whatever is causing this and to help keep his fever down. 

A blood transfusion does not help white blood cells, so there is nothing anyone can do now.  We just have to wait for his levels to start to rise on their own.  

Caleb is not allowed visitors, as his body is too vulnerable right now, so his family of four is there by his side.  I slipped out of his room, before the sun came up, for work this morn.  My managers are amazing!  It's a huge blessing that they allow me to leave right after the newscast to be with Caleb, so I will be back at the hospital before he even wakes up.  His dad and big bro are by his side until then. 

We are praying that God wraps his arms around his body, protects him from germs, and raises his blood levels.

Thank you for always being there for our family.  We keep reminding Caleb:  only 5 months of treatment left!  We're almost there.  God bless you. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tell Your Heart to Beat Again

That's what my family keeps telling each other.  Do you know the story behind singer Danny Gokey's song "Tell Your Heart to Beat Again"?  If not, I highly encourage you to watch this quick clip and listen to the song.

It has been an interesting few months for Caleb.  

His health has given us a few big scares, and his cancer has made us cherish family more than ever. 
 Because of that, we have spent the past few months packing up our home that Caleb has grown up in and moving closer to my parents and all of our family.  We expected to spend so much more quality time with them.  Then, we got the shock of a lifetime.  Last weekend - Caleb's grandfather, my dad, was taken by ambulance - lights flashing- to the hospital. 
A few hours later, he was diagnosed with a rare terminal illness.
Caleb adores his granddad.  He has always been the picture of health.... never sick a day in his life... the only person I've ever known in their 70's to have never needed a prescription medication.
This is a brilliant man, who takes the time to teach the boys all kinds of things!
 How can it be - that doctors are now numbering his days and apologizing that there is no cure?  We have had to dig so deep to stay strong, rely on our faith, and keep our eyes on Jesus.  
My dad is a loving man to his children, grandchildren, and has been a wonderful husband to my mom for 53 years!
I cannot emphasize enough how very important it is to cherish loved ones every waking hour of the day.  We all know that tomorrow is not promised to us, but until you're hit with something like this, I think it's easy to take loved ones for granted. We think they will always be here with us. 

We are asking for prayers to help make my dad, Don Wilson, comfortable.  To get him off of oxygen.  To allow him some more time on this Earth.  To keep him positive.  To keep him strong.  He's one of the Godliest men I've ever known, and that is going to get him and all of his family through this.  

Caleb is unexpectedly off of chemo this week.  His blood counts took a big nose dive.  We are working to lower his stress levels.  He can't go anywhere in public, as one germ could be detrimental for his health.  It was tough for him to not go to the hospital to see his granddad, but luckily we're hospital-free now and my dad spent the evening with us last night.  

To backtrack, Caleb wrapped-up baseball season, and we were so happy he got through it. 
The smile shows you how much he loves it.
Unfortunately, many games ended up like this - with him sick and recovering for a while afterward.  He has decided to take a season off and try out for spring season.  He'll be off of chemo by then and on the road toward building strength and new muscle tone.
One of the biggest scares of his treatment happened in May.  Doctors feared he had contracted meningitis, the form that few survive. 
He was so very sick and our attempts to cheer him up didn't work for days.  It ended up "just" being a spinal tap leak, and we have never been so thrilled, relieved, and thankful in our entire lives. 
Caleb was shocked that doctors gave him the "green light" to eat sushi.  Crazy kid loves fish so much in any & every form. 
The start of the summer was fun for Cal, as he turned 9.  Our precious friends, Mark & Heather, threw a surprise party for him at their ranch. 
Heather is the amazing friend who came up with the "Courage of a Lion" for Caleb at the first of his diagnosis, and he relies on that all of the time!
One of my besties, Beth, also came up with an all natural dye-free paleo cake and spent hours making it for him!      
 When we moved, Caleb wanted his new room to be as bright and happy as physically possible.  He chose bold red chalkboard paint.  
He loves being able to "legally" write on his walls!
We really enjoyed going to a celebration of life and end of chemo for Cal's friend, Nolan (far left.)  All four of these boys have been cancer fighters.  They have so much in common.  It's powerful seeing them together and knowing how strong they've all had to be. 
Caleb just attended his 10th golf tourney that I host for Children at Risk.  How is 10 possible?  Because he was there with me when I was 9 months pregnant with him, too!  ha ha.  

The Houston School of Massage therapists on the course REALLY spoiled him this year.  Now he's ready for next year's tourney RIGHT NOW.  
My thoughtful boss also provided lots of fun entertainment for the boys!
Daddy David gets creative when Caleb isn't feeling well - and takes him on a walk anyway... the manly way to do it!
A precious woman from a local church made this beautiful afghan for me and had it delivered to my job.  
She even had her pastor bless it and pray over it in my name.  It is so meaningful.  Unfortunately, the card got lost in our move and I haven't even been able to reach her.  If you happen to be reading this and know who it is - please let me know!  I want to hug her precious neck.  She also made Caleb a matching pillow. I will rely on this blanket now, more than ever, for multiple reasons. I will cherish it at hospital visits for my son and dad and many times in between! 
I'm also wearing my "Courage" lion necklace for added strength.  Thanks, Laurie!
 For now, I'll keep telling my heart to beat again.  Words fall short in times like these, when the world draws you to your knees.  I want the shadows to fall away, and I want to step into the light of grace.  As the song states, all of our stories are far from over.  Why a child is diagnosed with cancer in Kindergarten or why a Godly man, who has earned many more years on this Earth, is diagnosed with an incurable disease is impossible for me to understand.  I know I can't question God.  I know it's in His plan.  I know we will all be together for eternity. 

1 Peter 5:7 
He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.