From the Friends of Caleb

This blog is to support Caleb Evins and his battle with Cancer

Friday, May 27, 2016

Like Navy Seal Training

Not sure if my analogy is perfect-but I've always been intrigued by the cool movies and videos that show the difficulties of the Navy Seal Training that takes place mainly off the San Diego Coast.  I admire anyone who has gone through that kind of difficulty for such a lengthy amount of time.  It is amazing to see these men and women struggle as they are sent out to sea in full gear and try to float for immense amounts of time.  The grueling physical challenges that are faced is truly an amazing tribute to the American Spirit. 

So, I think Caleb's recovery from not being able to breathe at all by himself is a little like this.  One difference is that he didn't ask for the horrible disease and treatment plan that followed.  At least the Seals are there because they love the physical challenge that faces them.  Like a Navy Seal-Caleb these last two weeks wakes up facing an incredible physical endurance battle.  His battle is to breath-like the Navy Seal trying to keep his breath under water or wallowing in the sea with his full gear on.  Caleb's battle is to deal with all of these strange tubes entering his body in every place imaginable. It just "sucks" as kids say today.  Except that word isn't even close to describing the struggle he's going through.  It is hard to watch my young son suffer-he is suffering much more than I ever have experienced.  Yes, those that know him know that he is a very tough kid.  He has a special ability to focus his mind and soul on whatever task is at hand.  I've seen him focus on music where he will practice his Tbone for hours every night.  The goals was the all-state band-which took him four years to achieve.  It was a goal that he never gave up on.  I admire his ability to reach the goal.  Some of you may have heard about the young man from Dobson High School who missed a bunch of school while receiving a bone marrow transplant.  I heard the admin did not allow him to walk yesterday because he was 2.5 credits short  Well, Caleb dealt with a similar situation.  The only difference is Caleb got all the credits.  His situation was different and I totally agree that the admin should have made an exception for this young man-but Caleb was ready to graduate with his sister's class if need be-he wanted to walk having reached the same goals as everyone else.  My prayer is that Caleb will be able to focus and endure through this recovery-so he can get back to normal.

Through the trial I am thankful for the amazing support we receive from so many.  Your prayers are so appreciated. 

Ups and Downs

So, yesterday I went home from the hospital to be at the MHS graduation.  I left my son in what I thought was the most difficult state since he first go so sick.  His heart rate was going up, blood pressure really high and the swelling he was having was at its worst.  His body literally looked like it was about to burst-I was scared and left pretty depressed about what might happen in the next few hours.  We still had not seen our sons eyes since this ordeal began.  I prayed all the way home that God would preserve him.  I arrived home and Sarah returned a few hours later drove back to the hospital.  When Sarah arrived around 3 or so she greeted him and he opened his eyes and nodded his head that he recognized her.  When she told me this-I was amazed  and thankful for answered prayer. It was a great day of encouragement as I took a second Sunday off from preaching for the first time since I had surgery several years ago.  It was great to hear Dr. Dick Fellars challenge us on "Faith in Crisis" from Job.  His perspective was great to hear as we continue to question why Caleb is going through this.  Job gives hope for the trial!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Another Larger Mountain

So, its time to return to the Climbing the Mountain Blog once again.  My last post was at Caleb's graduation from high school-if you go back and read it-I told of how Caleb had recovered and hurdled the Chemotherapy mountain into a total remission.  From there he has completed three complete semesters of college.  He's done well living on his own in the dorms.  He went from Greenville, South Carolina to closer to home at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix for the two years of college.  Yet, in the back of our minds we always knew the possibility of relapse was actually better than 50%.  This is a hard truth to live out.  We learned that "one day at a time" is the best philosophy to employ with such a dark truth hanging over you.  So, in the middle of Caleb's Spring break of his fourth semester of college Caleb was re-diagnosed.  His treatments have taken an amazing double-minded paradox.  In one way of thinking he has responded incredibly well to treatment-popping into remission very quickly, yet enduring all of the side effects to the max.  Wow-three diagnosis' of sepsis.  The first two were quick recoveries-but the third totally knocked him down.  Today I sit in the hospital room playing Disney favorites-music he loves no matter how old he gets  Caleb has not been able to communicate normally since this time last week-5/13/16.  Yet his eyes twitch crazily when I ask him if he hear's me.  Pretty sure he's hearing things.  Yet, we wait-praying for each small progress to normality.  Last Saturday the doctor gave us the prognosis that it didn't look like Caleb would be with us before the day ended.  Yet, God in His grace preserved life once again.  My son is still here-improving steadily and hopefully looking forward to final healing with a bone marrow transplant from his sister Jeanette.

The question why constantly lingers over our heads-and some in our family have struggled with this in human thinking.  I am thankful that God has shown himself so many times to me that I continue to hang on to the great Sovereignty of a Loving God.  This life isn't the end-there are so many amazing things that lay ahead when we are with the Savior.  It is hard to look past what we can concretely see-but there's more.  God's Word is plane on this.  I can't answer why-but my loving and wise God can  His love is so great and present.  These words from Paul are helpful in understanding this truth:

1 Corinthians 13: 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

For now I support my only son with love and compassion-and leave the rest to God.  These Words from Mark Hall have been an amazing comfort-

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name,
Would care to feel my hurt?
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart?

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done.
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are.

I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow.
A wave tossed in the ocean.
A vapor in the wind.
Still You hear me when I'm calling.
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling.
And You've told me who I am.
I am Yours, I am Yours.

Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love and watch me rise again?
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me?

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done.
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are.

I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow.
A wave tossed in the ocean.
A vapor in the wind.
Still You hear me when I'm calling.
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling.
And You've told me who I am.
I am Yours.

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done.
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are.

I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow.
A wave tossed in the ocean.
A vapor in the wind.
Still You hear me when I'm calling.
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling.
And You've told me who I am.
I am Yours, I am Yours, I am Yours.

Whom shall I fear?
Whom shall I fear?

'Cause I am Yours, I am Yours.

These words give great comfort to me-may they to you.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Over the Mountain

I suppose that is how we might feel since Caleb's graduation on May 21st, 2014.  At diagnosis we never could have dreamed that Caleb would have a normal kinds of graduation with all of his friends (the incredible Mohave High Class of 2014).   But, God's goodness has been poured out in our lives and he "walked" with his friends and enjoyed every bit of being a graduate.

So these last two weeks we are enjoying what feels like the after scaling the mountain part of our lives.  We are "partying" (of the non-alcohol variety) with the wonderful friends we have made since Caleb entered high school.  Each weekend we have celebrated with the graduates.  Spending time with Caleb's friends has been great-because at the same time we have spent time with his friends parents.  

Now it is time for the after-high school stage of life.  We don't know exactly what this will bring-but we are trusting the Lord each step of the way.




Saturday, July 27, 2013

Good New for Senior Year

This week marked the first complete week of school for Caleb since he was diagnosed in April of 2012.  That's a pretty long time for normalcy to return.  We also were encouraged to hear that the most recent bone marrow test came back negative.  This is really the  third or fourth negative test since diagnosis.  Caleb really has not had a positive bone marrow test since the first diagnosis.   We are extremely encouraged that God has given healing.  We are trusting Him to finish the testing that we are going through.

Caleb is looking to finish his schooling in fine fashion.  He is signed up for two college level classes and an Honors class (of which I am the teacher).   It is our prayer that he will finish the year out right along side his devoted friends.  We are praying that he will be able to reach both his academic goals as well as his music goals.  His biggest one being to make the Arizona All-State Band.  He would love to replicate his father's achievement of 1981.

So may the 36 weeks left of school be covered by the Holy Spirit and may God lead us and protect us from whatever may come our way.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Ups and Downs

Right now I'm sitting with Caleb in his ICU room. We are enjoying Anquon Bolding making spectacular catches in the NE/BALT AFC Championship game.  I'm working on the computer and he is busy on his Kindle doing Facebook and surfing the net.  If it weren't an ICU room with all the beeps and alarms-I might think we are at home. 

Caleb has had another unstable stay in the hospital.  After being home for a good two weeks during the holidays, he reacted to another Chemo with fevers.  The last week has taken Caleb through tnumerous tests to find out what is going on.  They've found an abscess below his lungs which they had to operate on.  After his surgery we thought for sure things would get better fast.  Well, they haven't and now they are trying to figure what has made him continue on with fevers.  After a tough day-things have turned for the better.  Caleb insisted on listening to preaching fo this Sunday before we turned on the football game.  He has enjoyed visiting with his sisters and is in a great mood. 

Such are the ups and downs of the impact of chemotherapy on Caleb and our family.  

As I finish this post I need to recognize the "Climing the Mountain" quartet.  Caleb buddies in choir started an excellent men's quartet.   They've been singing during the holidays for groups and have been given several sizeable gifts for their excellent sounds.  Andrew Dell, Alexander Dubois, Eriq Valdivia and JD Gish are to be commended for their wonderful encouragement and generosity.  These young men are such a great blessing to Caleb and the Evins family.

Monday, December 24, 2012

December Updates


ecember 3  by Craig  "Well, disappointed the Wildcats didn't get the Las Vegas Bowl-but pretty encouraged when Caleb said-"well, we have relatives in Albuquerque, New Mexico." I'm encouraged that Caleb is feeling like he'd like to make a day trip clear across two states to see the Pride of Arizona Band-oh yea and the high powered Wildcat football team."
by Craig 

"Tonight we heard the MHS top two choirs sing for a group outside of school. We were surprised to hear the Men's Quartet-made up of Andy Dell, Eriq Valdivia, Alex Dubois and JD Gish-tell us their name tonight. They are called "Climbing the Mountain," in honor of Caleb. (it is the title of the blog I've written about Caleb's journey). Then these guys sang some great stuff. Later on the guys all gathered round Cal and had him talking and smiling like he hasn't in at least 11 weeks. What a blessing our Mohave Musicical Men are. :)"

by Sarah

"
Previous note from Craig, this one from Sarah. Today started with a bit of uncertainty. Which hour will Caleb want to go to school and will the car start when the time came to go? Caleb got up with great intentions but soon lay down and went to sleep . So mid morning I asked him if he still wanted to go to school and if he did he probably should get up know. So he did and my brother jumped the car
 so it was ready and around 9:00 we headed out. We left the car running in the parking lot and went to class. It was great to be in choir. Caleb was able to join in and sing as best he could and really enjoyed being with his choir buddies. After choir we drove to Walmart automotive thinking that if the car would die might as well be close to a battery source. Praise the Lord the car did not die and so we were able to come home. Then in the afternoon he decided to go to history class so off we went. It was nice to be there also. Then we had our weekly music lesson with the amazing Mrs Constanze Bender and then we went off to a concert where two of the MHS choirs performed and did a wonderful job. Nice day. Its so nice to be home during this season. Thank you Lord.
"

December 5 

"Caleb was able to go to a few classes on Monday and Tuesday. Today he went to the Dr for chemo. He tolerated this pretty well although he had some nausea on his way home. It was great having Pam and Randyvisiting. They are such a big encouragement. Will see how Caleb is tomorrow and if he'll be able to go to class. His labs were the best they've been since he was so sick. There are some issues with the liver function values so the Dr wants him to have an ultrasound next week to see how its doing. Thank you all for praying. We really appreciate you all."


December 8

"‎Caleb's hanging in there and trying his best to eat and drink as much as he can. He is having issued with high blood sugars so pray that God will help him figure out what and when to eat so his blood sugar will be under control. Today we went and saw the band perform at the winterfest of Bullhead City. They did a wonderful job. Thank you Mrs Ribelin for all the hard work you have put in the band. And thank you band members for practicing so hard and doing so well."

December 11 
Caleb has been readmitted to Sunrise with high blood sugar issues. Please pray that they will be able to regulate this. He will be missing the band concert tonight but would really like to make it to the choir concert on Thursday. Hoping that the band will do well tonight. Hope friends will post pics and videos, hint, hint :-)"
December 16

It seems that we have not updated on Cal for several days. He is still in the hospital getting his blood sugars regulated. He is also having to deal with other side effects of chemo such as low white counts and mouth sores. He is beginning to gain weight so we are happy about that. Finding out that the body is one big chemistry lab. I went to Bullhead yesterday to do some laundry and look at the house  (literally). It was good to see my Mom and brother and Cathleen and the little nephew, Eli. He is getting so big and cute. Craig was with Caleb all day yesterday and they watch some important games. Then Craig went home to be there for Sunday Service. Daniel Kelting preached today. And I got a call at 1130 from Craig and I am thinking why is he calling me in the middle of church service. He informed me that he had nursery duty :-) I think he was really enjoying himself. Anyway, today he came back with the girls and we had a nice visit as a family. Its so nice being all together. I miss those times. I should be going to bed so goodnight. God keeps encouraging us in the way he is healing Caleb, in the way you have cared for him and prayed for him. Today, I was praying that these times of trial would not be wasted and that we would all grow in the Lord as a result.