Friday, July 19, 2013

Another Cancer Birthday

It doesn't seem possible that it has been two years since Michael's initial cancer diagnosis.  On one hand, it seems like so long ago; on the other, the memories of that day are so fresh that it could have happened yesterday.
 
Seeing Michael's puzzled face and feeling my heart sink when our pediatrician got the blood test results and asked me to step out of the exam room with her . . .  Quickly packing bags for the other four children and trying to calm them while we all faced the unknown . . . Racing to Children's Hospital . . . Hearing those horrible words:  "Your son has cancer." . . . Trying to comfort family and friends while we shared with them Michael's news . . . Today we can replay each vivid scene and experience again every raw emotion; they seem to be frozen clearly in our minds.
 
The wonderful blessing is that while in the whirlwind of all the cancer-diagnosis chaos, we knew without a doubt that Michael was created, loved, and sustained each day by the GOD of the universe!  It was God's plan for Michael to begin his fight with cancer, and while we did not know the outcome, God did and would walk with us down our path.  He provided strength, hope, courage, comfort, love and kindness from so many of you, and healing to this point for Michael.  Our hearts are full every day, but especially on milestone days like this one.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Blog Reboot

After several months and many computer issues (imagine my huge, impatient, non-computer-savvy "siiiigh"), we are finally able to access and update the blog.  We'll try to get you caught up with just the highlights of the challenges and blessings of the last months.  Thank you for your continued interest in Michael's story.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Biopsy Day

Tomorrow Michael will undergo another bone marrow biopsy.  It is hard to believe that four months have passed since the last biopsy, but the months have come and gone quickly and without any major incident.

Michael has a full day ahead of him.  He will first visit the oncology clinic and then have his biopsy. The afternoon holds tests on his heart, lungs, and ears.  We should have biopsy results in about two weeks.  The other tests will determine if the chemotherapy and radiation have caused any damage.  Those results will trickle back to us over the next week or so.
 
During the last biopsy, Michael required additional anesthesia during the biopsy.  While not cause for alarm, it may indicate that the frequent sedations are taking their toll on his body.
 
It will be a long day for Michael (and his sad mom who will not be able to be with him this time).  Thanks again for praying with us.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Michael hit a milestone last weekend.  His immune system is one year old!  He did not appreciate my efforts to celebrate:  I tried to sing "Happy Birthday!" and repeatedly commented about "what a big boy" he is now.  He prefers to keep things a little more low-key. 
 
Since all of us weren't even together much over the weekend, it was difficult to have an official celebration.  We just spent every opportunity we had together remembering October 27, 2011--the events, the fears, the hopes, the intense physical struggles, the prayers, the people, the love and kindness, the blessings and victories.  Each one of us had a different perspective on the bone marrow transplant and the months that followed, but we could all agree that the last year has been an amazing miracle.
 
A year ago, the doctors, nurses, and coordinators were teaching us about all the side effects and complications that could occur as a result of bone marrow transplants.  In spite of all their promises and warnings, Michael has been free of complications.  The worst side effect Michael has suffered has been a mild skin rash.  It is simply hard to believe that the child I look at today is the same child who was so desperately sick one year ago.
 
I know I've shared before the prognosis that the doctors have given is that if Michael can remain in remission for two years, they do not anticipate the cancer ever returning.  One year down; one year to go!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Once the school year starts, life always seems to take on a prescribed routine.  An exciting, chaotic, unpredictable routine!  We have settled into the crazy routine for a month now, and Michael seems to have made the adjustment without any problems.
 
Playing on the soccer team seems to be the most exciting part of the school year so far for Michael.  The physical effort and long hours on game days tend to exhaust him, but he enjoys every minute.  When I sit and watch him play in a game, I am simply overwhelmed.  Just one year ago he was so weakened by chemotherapy and preparing to face the fight of his life with a bone marrow transplant.  Soccer was the furthest thing from my mind then.  What a year it has been!
 
Michael's clinic visit last month was uneventful.  All bloodwork and his checkup were fine.  He'll have another visit next week.  We remain just amazed at and thankful for God's goodness to Michael and our family.

Our next big day will be sometime in early December.  Michael will have another bone marrow biopsy.  Until then, we'll keep taking each day and its "routine" excitement one at a time.

Friday, August 31, 2012

A New Start

The school year has begun!  We had some days shortened due to heat and ended the week with a tornado warning, but according to Kristen, our new Kindergartener, it was the Best Week EVER!  All the kids are adjusting well to another new school year.

Michael is doing well with juggling the physical demands of being a part of his soccer team and adjusting to attending school at school instead of at home.  He's been tired, but just being "one of the guys" again has encouraged him.  This will be an exciting school year.
 
Our first day of school
 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Good News!

The phone call we'd been waiting for finally came!  The results of Michael's biopsy are back.  We are so thankful to report that it's all good news:  there is currently no sign of cancer or the Philadelphia chromosome.  The new, healthy marrow is still 95% engrafted.  Only one more test result was pending, but the doctors were confident that it would simply reaffirm what the rest of the tests showed.

Thank you for praying with us.  We remain incredibly grateful for Michael's continued health and are excited to see what God's plan is for Michael's future.
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