Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    1 Year

    Today marks the one year anniversary of when we checked into the hospital to begin Cole's treatment for ALL. In many ways, this has been the longest year of my life. But, in many ways the time has flown by.

    You guys have read the long part in my blog (if you haven't, I especially recommend the beginning, around the middle of November, through mid January, that was probably the toughest time). Let me tell you about why it has been so short.

    Personally, I have been stretched and moved in ways that I never thought were possible. Never did I think that I could endure something like this. The challenges have been physical as well as mental and emotional. It's required more patience of me than I thought I had, more stamina of me than I thought I had and more perseverance of me than I thought I had. In all the ways except one (Cole is still alive, praise God) this has been a true tragedy, but my, these things have a way of shaping and changing you which I do not regret.

    Mine and Dalynn's marriage has also grown. We had no choice but to pull together as a team in order to ride this thing out. But, in that process, we have done more than ride it out, we have thrived. If you consider that just over two and a half years ago we were separated you begin to see how amazingly God can work things out. I feel that we are now stronger than we have ever been and being forced to pull together has a lot to do with that. She is my teammate and my partner in all that we do now. I don't often consider how I will respond to a situation, I consider how we will respond to a situation. I like where we are now, and I look forward to all the years that we have in which we can figure more of this out.

    As is quite obvious, our family has continued to grow. We're now expecting our 3rd, a little girl. While we know that it will be difficult, being a team gives me confidence that we can handle the challenges that having 3 under 4 will present (and one of those in treatment for cancer). I'm also blessed with perspective now, as far as my family goes. I can often look at one of my boys and think "How blessed am I that he can walk?" Seeing either of my boys running around is a joy, and that joy has a lot to do with the perspective that cancer has brought to our lives.

    I've seen Cole grow. Physically, he's about twice the size he was when he started treatment. Especially recently, he's really started to shoot up. He no longer looks like a baby, but instead looks like a little boy (much to his Grammy's lamentation). I'm also seeing his full personality emerge, and while I know that cancer will play a role in shaping that (such as making him innately more cautious than a lot of his peers), I can see how cancer has not stunted his spirit. From Cole's perspective, everything is a mystery, and the questions "Why?" and "What kind?" are going to unlock that mystery for him! I certainly hear them enough during the day to convince me of that! His cheerfulness is infective if not a little exhausting and I love the way that I can see things new through his eyes as he witnesses things for the first time.

    Then there's Logan. If it can be studied, he will. If it can be climbed, all the better! If it thwarts him, he'll definitely let you know and generally in a very vocal and foot stomping manner. He's a sheer delight and I look forward to seeing his personality come out, as well. He doesn't have much to say, but he communicates loudly.

    Cancer has visited this family but it has not left us distraught or destitute. It has left us stronger and more fully capable of enjoying every precious second of life. While I never would have chosen this for our family I find it satisfying that we can thrive even in the midst of all of this.

    I would like to thank all of you for the support that you have offered. Having this outlet in which to express my thoughts has been invaluable, especially during the difficult times. Then there's the support both in prayer and monetarily that you have offered. Without prayer I don't believe we would be thriving and without the monetary support things would be very difficult indeed on our family. So, thank you all for all that you've done.

    I'd like to leave you with this thought from Romans 8:28:

    And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.


    Anonymous said...

    That's so awesome! I'm so happy for you guys. You are always in our prayers.

    Anonymous said...

    Hey Mike, this is Ryan Hedreen! I have missed so much these last few years, amazing how fast time does go by. I don't know how often you check this but when you do send me an email at
    God Bless!


    Heather said...

    That's really sweet! And...I think Logan looks like Dalynn!! LOL! hmmm.... Jerry and I are glad everything's going well! HeatherL

    Heather said...

    That's really sweet! And...I think Logan looks like Dalynn!! LOL! hmmm.... Jerry and I are glad everything's going well! HeatherL