From the Friends of Caleb

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

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.

November Update


On 11/1/2012 7:24 PM, Sarah Evins wrote:
November 1 Greetings from 4th floor at Sunrise Childrens Hospital. Caleb was promoted this afternoon to the pediatric floor. When the Drs made rounds today they said that they had done all they needed and would he like to go to the peds . He gave a very enthusiastic nod. Tomorrow he would have been in the hospital for 8 weeks. Unbelievable to see what the Lord did in that time. Caleb has improved so much. He
 is still on clear liquids and still struggling with nausea but things are looking up. Tomorrow starts some pretty intense physical, occupational and speech therapy so please pray that he will be strong and will succeed. On Tuesday, after Craig got here I was able to go to CA for a day and visit my family and see my wee nephew. He was cute as a bug in a rug. It was fun bonding with him and my sibloids and mom. Got to Las Vegas late last night and was able to visit with Craig for a little while until he had to leave at 4:30am to get back to Bullhead City this morning. Thank you all so much for praying. You don't know how much your prayers and encouraging notes mean to us.
November 2 and 3 - no updates.
November 4  Yes, I see that I have not written since Thursday and no we have not been abducted from the 4th floor. Caleb keeps improving daily and we are so grateful. He needs to overcome some obstacles like getting his strength back so he can walk, or retaining fluids in his stomach for longer periods so they can start giving him more than clear liquids or as his kidneys start to work better that he will be able to keep up. Craig and the girls came up Friday night and it was nice spending time with the fam. Then I came home with Esther for a few hours and did laundry, mail, etc. Esther put up some fall decorations in our house. She did a nice job. Then we had fun welcoming my brother Hovsep and wife Cathleen and little boy Eli to Bullhead City. Then went back to Vegas late Saturday and Craig and Esther went back. Today Jeanette and I bonded and spent time with Caleb. Then Craig came back with the girls, Grandmother Jean, and Caleb's buddy Eriq . Caleb had his PS3 game system and was able to get a game that had just come out through funds that the NHS at Mohave had sent him. They had also sent him some other fun stuff like a stuffed football that when turned inside out becomes a Cardinal. So thankful to the Lord for his provisions. For his unfailing love and mercy. His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness. Thank you all for encouraging us.

Update for September and October(Caleb's stay in the ICU)

We haven't updated much on the blog-but this is a compilation of Sarah's facebook updates while Caleb battled a horrible Virus caused by the Chemo:  

September 26 I am late today with my update. I am sorry. It was a busy morning. It actually started last night just as Craig and Jeanette walked in. I had called Craig earlier to say that Cal eb was feeling better and was beginning to communicate so they decided to come. Just at shift change Caleb started to get really nauseated and started to throw up. WE noticed that the area around the PEG tube was really

distended. So despite manual and high automatic suctioning Caleb remained nauseated. So later that night they put the NG (tube through the nose and into the stomach)tube back down and suctioned a large amount of gastric fluid. So they left in the tube. He had a new-to-him nurse last night. He had been a medic in the military and then gotten out and trained as a nurse. He told us he loved his job. We stayed a little and helped change his sheets. Then the Colostomy nurse came and we visited for a while. She thought the stoma looked good. Then we went to the RMH to sleep. We got up early and were back with Caleb. He looked peaceful. The nurse told us that once they had put the tube down he had settled and had been able to sleep. This morning dialysis was about to start. Caleb looked good and he was in the mode to communicate so at times by mouthing words and other times by nodding yes or no we did our best to understand him. His kidneys are producing more urine today. It seems that there is some activity in his bowels. So overall he had a pretty good day. The Dr told us that she is pleased with his progress. Everytime they see progress they warn us that he is still really sick. Thank you all for calling and asking and praying. We love you all.

September 27th
Caleb's night nurse, who had been a medic in the Air Force, who also is a Christian, who shared his amazing testimony with us last night, told me that Caleb had had a good night and had not done anything naughty. Caleb also confirmed this when I asked him this morning. He is more alert and aware and communicative this morning. He is listening to ESPN right now. He says he can't see the TV but can
 
listen to it. Craig called and told him about school and how the kids have been asking about him. Then Craig told him "I love you" and he mouthed "I love you too" back. His nurse today had him about a week ago and says he is a like a new and different patient today. His kidneys are still producing urine and even though not enough have been able to keep his electrolytes balanced. They just did a KUB (kidneys, ureters, bladder) xray but I don't know the results as far as the GU system goes but the surgeon who did his colostomy just showed us his xray and showed the air that is in his intestines and how encouraged she was. The Colostomy Nurse last night was pleased with his stoma and there is air in the pouch. Thank you all for praying. Psalm 27 is our encouragement today.


September 28th
Caleb had a good night last night. The nurse told me that he was able to sleep for about 5 hours. She tried to cluster her cares so she could give him a good chunk of sleep. He looks good today. They have not done dialysis today as they had hoped because his labs look pretty decent. His kidneys are working pretty good. They took him off the ventilator for about an hour and he did really well. They
put it back on so he would not get too tired. Also PT and OT (physical and occupational therapy) were also here and got him to sit up for about 5 minutes. He did not want to lie back down!!. They are weaning him off the blood pressure increasing medication. They were also talking about putting down his pain med a little. The fungus smear of his stool was negative and the the preliminary report of fungus growth from his stool was negative. The bacterial cultures are also negative. His hemoglobin and platelets are low so he will get blood this afternoon. He just checked his facebook!! So now he is tired and sleeping. Craig is coming up in a few hours. So looking forward to that. Psalm 28 is so encouraging. Love you all. Thanks for praying.

September 29th
Craig's update!!  Today I'm enjoying watching football with Cal. We really enjoyed the Baylor/West Virginia game-lots of touchdowns. 

He's had a decent night and day-just a few issues with his stomach and blood pressure. Those problems were quickly taken care of. They have been taking a bunch of tests-because of various places of possible bacterial infection. Hopefully they can keep these under control. We are waiting and praying that Caleb's digestive system will kick back in soon. Everything seems to be doing ok-but it just hasn't kicked yet. Please pray that this would happen soon. Thanks for all of your concern and love.!


September 30th
Caleb keeps battling on. He is still sleepy but appropriately responsive to questions. His kidneys are working. Still not much excitement around the stoma. His abdomen has fluid and they are considering opening it and draining it. Physical therapy has been here and are sitting him with his legs dangling off the bed. He has had fever over the past 24 hours so they have sent more cultures from diffe
rent sites. I had gone home for a 24 hour period and Craig stayed with him. They bonded over football and movies. It was nice to go home and get caught up on some things. Its not fun seeing his empty bed. Praying that he will occupy it again soon. He is off blood pressure raising meds. He is holding his own there. They have been taking him off the ventilator for 1 hour at a time. Today they will do this 3 times. Thank you all for praying for him. God bless you on this special day of praising and worshipping the Lord who can do above all we ask or think. Psalm 30 is very encouraging today. So was Matthew 6.

October 1st

Caleb had a new nurse last night and he told me that he had a good night. He had dialysis last night. It finished around 11pm and then we turned and tucked Caleb in. Some treatments are being done to his trach today and the surgeon will do that at some point. He has a fever today as well despite his cultures coming back negative. The infection control Dr was just in and he is concerned about some
fluid that has built up in his abdomen. It seemed to be oozing out yesterday but there is no sign of that this morning. His kidneys are still struggling. He is doing well with physical therapy. He sat longer yesterday with his legs dangling. His stomach is still draining large amounts of gastric fluid both from the NG tube and the PEG tube. The ICU Drs want to put something in the stomach to see how he will tolerate it but the GI Drs don't want that because of the large amounts coming out. They are hoping these fluids will start moving down soon. He still seems to be in good spirits. He is still responding appropriately. He wrote "im thirsty" on the laptop and the nurse wetted his mouth with a wet sponge. He is still on insulin and lasix. Thank you all for praying. The road seems so long sometimes. Psalm 31 was encouraging along with Matthew 7. Craig, the girls and Grandmother came up yesterday. It was good to have them here. Caleb watched Montsters Inc last night and has started with Fiddler on the Roof. He usually feels pretty good after dialysis.


October 2nd AM Craig's update. Caleb has been alert and responding to us here at Sunrise Las Vegas, Nevada. Today he will have a procedure to drain off the fluid from infections from the operation. These problems were anticipated. Pleae pray for him as he goes off at 11:00 am. He continues to be critical so there is risk in the procedure. We are uplifted and greatly appreciative of your prayers. God is in control and sustaining through all of you. Continue to pray!

October 2nd Mid afternoon, Sarah's update. Caleb is back in his room and he was able to recognize us even though he as not able to open his eyes. He had a bit of an adventure during the procedure. First a seizure then arrythmias. They did a CT scan of the brain that showed a bleed. We don't know the details of this yet.They also started him on epinephrine, dopamine and levophed. They were able to get into the abdomen and put 3 drains in wi
th their own particular functions. One is to drain the others to irrigate. The tummy is softer and really hoping that this will allow the inflammation to go down and give him a chance at recovery. Thank you all for praying. The Drs had warned us that being so sick he possibly might not survive but he is back.
October 3rd AM  When Caleb came back from surgery/procedure where they had drained infected fluids and had irrigated his abdomen they were really concerned about his vital signs and kept a close watch. They medicated him more to keep him rested. They also did dialysis on him to drain fluid off. So, true to form, when he was close to the end of the dialysis and his pain med had started wearing off a little he opened his eyes wide and was communicating with us. He told us that he was cold and when Craig asked if he wanted to watch a movie he chose Captain America. So they watched that together about halfway when Caleb started dozing off and Craig had to go back to Bullhead City. The night nurse was the Christian Medic now RN who had brought violin and cello worship music for Caleb to listen to. Caleb liked this and helped him relax. Then we had some edifying conversations about how faithful God is. The I left to go to the RMH to do laundry!! This morning I was told that he had a good night. The drains that they have put in him are working well. They have to irrigate one every 4 hours and the other has a bulb suction on. The surgeon came by this morning and was happy with how things look. They feel the abdomen is looking better. The kidney dr also came by and has decided to skip a day for his dialysis and see how he does on his own. He has an output but still hoping for more. He is still putting out a lot of gastric fluid through NG tube and PEG. Occupational therapy came by and she was very impressed by his strength and ability to follow commands in moving his arms. Still has a bit of a fever. And the bleed in his brain was small and they are not concerned about that right now. So encouraged today. The Lord is good. Thanks for praying. Again, fully encouraged by God's word, Psalm 33 and Matthew 9.

October 4th AM  Caleb  had an interesting evening involving a move to a new room. They were on the last portion of cleaning and it was right in front of his room so he had to move to a new place.  He did well and has continued to do well especially concerning his lungs. His RT told me this morning that his playing the trombone has probably helped him keep his lungs in good shape. Yesterday they had him on CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) with him instigating his own breaths. He was supposed to be on that for a short time but when I came back this morning he was still on that and still doing well. So they have decided to totally take him off the ventilator two times today for one hour at a time and he seemed to be doing well with that. His blood pressure also was up some so he had to have a couple of small doses of Hydralazine which brought it down nicely. His blood sugars have been stable with minor adjustment to the insulin. He has not required blood in the last couple of days. His stomach is still producing a lot of bile colored gastric fluid. His stoma is looking good but still little to no activity in his bowels. The drains they put in the day before yesterday are working well. His kidneys are producing urine but still not as much. He did not need dialysis yesterday and I don't know what the Dr will decide today. Physical therapy will be here at some point to sit him up. He really enjoys that. Craig will be here this afternoon and I am going to Bullhead City to be at the Choir concert at which Jeanette has a part. Will miss having Caleb there but he is ok with it. Again, we want to thank you for your MANY notes of encouragement. You keep uplifting us and caring so much. Thank you for praying. God is answering prayer. Now if we could get those bowels and kidneys working maybe we can come home!! That would be amazing. Psalm 34 and Matthew 10 for today. Again more encouragement from the Lord. October 5th, Craig's update. I had a good day with Caleb. It was nice to spend time with him. We got to work with the voice therapist and Caleb was able to talk to me a little. For some reason he didn't sleep good last night-so he's been very sleep today. There was a little problem with his oxygen and blood pressure dropping too low while he slept. Pray that his energy level will be better tomorrow as some of his friends from home will be here to see him. I have been here studying for Sunday and I was encouraged from 1 Peter 4-you know the passage that tells us to "Count it all joy!" I am blessed to be able to say this because of our many friends who are helping us through this trial. Praise God for all of you.


October 6th, Sarah's update. We are all at Caleb's bedside. He is sitting in bed listening to the UofA vs Stanford game. He has quite the pleasant look on his face. He is not jumping up and down nor telling the ref what to do. His Dad is taking care of the animation needs for both of them :-) He had a pretty good night except that when he sleeps he drops his his O2 sats and stops breathing occasionally and for short periods.
 So they are considering leaving him on CPAP at nights and during the day keep him stimulated. They decreased his pain med hoping that he'll be be more alert. They took out his arterial line and his vital signs are stable.The kidney Dr is here and happy with his progress. The stoma looked good and had some output. I got to change the ostomy bag by myself for the first time. Still extremely minimal bowel sounds. There is still a lot of green output from his gastric tubes. The other drains are happily draining away. He only spiked a temp once yesterday. Overall he is doing better today. The Christian Club kids are coming up to see him today. Thank you for praying and encouraging us. Countdown is on for my sister Virginia coming in 3 days and my brother Hovsep and family coming in 6 days Yay!!!!
Oct 7th AM When I came in this morning he was sleeping soundly and making approprriate sounds that went with that assumption. He was still on CPAP. His nurse told me that he had slept well listening to the brass praise CD that Aunt Connie had sent him. Pretty soon they started coming in. The wake up crew. First the RT and took him off CPAP (this is only on at night) . Then came the surgeon. She was quite ple
ased that he was doing well and that there was stuff coming out of the stoma and that the drains are doing well. She revisited the surgery idea and they are talking of consulting with an adult surgeon, not that the surgeons are not adults but one that does surgery on adults and they told him that he is verging on being an adult and that this was a good option. When she left,Caleb was wide awake so we read Psalm 37 then put on one of Pastor Fellars sermons called "Looking Unto Jesus" . We were quite edified with the portion we were able to listen to when the ICU intensivist Dr came and liked what he saw and gave orders to decrease his pain med. Also told us that they have consulted with the surgeon and that he would come today sometime. Then came PT who got him out of bed and sat him in a chair. Now he is watching the movie "The Patriot" and keeps saying he feels good. As he was sitting RT also put on his speaking valve and he has been able to talk. Thank you all so much for praying, and caring and being there for Caleb and us. The kidney Dr just came too and said that he will wait on dialysis today and see how he does getting rid of fluids on his own. He said he had more urine output in the last 24 hrs then before.

Oct 7th PM Having weighed the pros (good labs, better urine output, no fever in 24 hrs) and the cons (stool in abdominal cavity and potential for deteriorating fast, beginning to have fevers) they are hoping to do surgery on him today to remove the section of bowel that has the perforation. The pediatric surgeon who has been with
 Caleb from day 1 and the head of the surgical trauma dept along with the PICU intensivist and the oncology docs feel like this is his better option than waiting. Craig and the girls and grandmother are on their way. Tentatively surgery is planned for late afternoon. Thank you for praying.
Oct 7th night Caleb is out of surgery. The Dr said that his vitals stayed stable throughout. He lost a lot of blood but they gave him 5 units. They took out a large amount of of his large intestines out. There were a lot of adhesions which they cleared. Also there were adhesions around the stoma which they took care of. He is back in his room and on Vecuronium to keep him immobile while the surgery heals. He might be on this med for a couple of days to help his surgery heal better. Thank you for praying. Needless to say we are happy to have him back.

October 8th AM  Caleb did well through the night. He is looking pretty stable but still having issues with his blood pressure. He's still pretty unresponsive because of the meds he is on. His dressing looks dry and intact. He has one of those dressings that has laces to allow for easy access to his incision and also allows for swelling. The surgeons came by early today and they were pleased with his status. They
 
want him to get off the paralytic med and want him sitting up in the bed a little later in the day. So far things are looking good for the state he is in. So we bathed him and rubbed his back and packaged him nicely and he is resting now not that he was not resting before but its hard to tell. A neat and encouraging thing today was hearing the nurse humming "Jesus knows all about our struggles" Of course this led to meaningful conversation and an addition to a peaceful morning. Thank you so much for praying.

October 9th AM
Craig came last night mainly because he had forgotten his backpack and also his evenings are pretty full this week but I wasn't complaining. So we hung around in Caleb's room. He was doing well post surgery. No fevers and was beginning to come out of the paralytic med that they had to give him. He was beginning to communicate on a limited basis as he was back on the ventilator. They have been moni
toring the pressure in his bladder which gives an indication of the pressure in his abdomen. So increasing pressure would mean that there would be increased swelling in his abdomen which could lead to limited or no blood supply to the remaining good bowel and thus causing more damage. So he was pretty stable so Craig and I went back to the RMH and had a yummy meal prepared by one of the volunteer groups then went to bed. We got a call from his nurse at 1am saying that the pressure in his bladder was increasing and that they were going to be putting him back on the paralytic med hoping that the abdominal muscle would relax and thus decrease the pressure. Caleb had been concerned mainly that the paralytic med would have more of a permanent then a temporary effect so Craig and I talked with him and encouraged him and he was ok to do this. This morning, with the major fluid shifts happening in his body, they have decided to put him temporarily back on the CVVHD machine to continuously monitor his intake and output of fluids and electrolytes. They have also taken him off the paralytic and he is beginning to move around again. Read Psalm 39 and Matthew 11 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

October 10th
Yesterday is merging into today. Yesterday he had a good day. Basically stayed quiet. I went to an ostomy support group and it was encouraging to hear all those people who have ostomys for so many years and how they have learned to cope. When I came back from the meeting the night crew was already here. They were very caring to Caleb and in a little while I went to the RMH to sleep. In the morning
 the nurse said that he had had a good night and that he had tried to talk to them. As he is waking up they are changing some of his pain meds where they don't have to be drips but can be given on an as-needed-basis. Some of the meds are making him agitated that almost looks like he is going through withdrawals. His abdomen looks pretty good except for he has an area on his incision that is looking red and the dr was concerned. His kidneys are still not working well but being on CVVHD it makes kidney function harder to evaluate. Anyway, keep praying that the intestines and kidneys would start assuming their function.


October 11am  Yesterday was a bit of a trial for me because, if you remember, in one of my earlier statuses I had mentioned that I did not pass lipreading 101 and yesterday my abilities were being taxed to the max. Mr Caleb had woken up and was very eager to talk.  The nurses thought that part of his excitement was because of the meds that he was being taken off of. So we tried to keep him as calm as possible. Today his night nurse told me that he had had a restful night. He is still eager to communicate but not as hyper. RT has been very kind with him and have repeatedly put him on the Passy-Muir valve to help him make sound while he is mouthing the words. Last night he really wanted to talk before I left to go to the RMH so we put on the valve and he said to the nurse "You are doing a good job". Must confess we were quite moved and speechless. He has needed Tylenol and  is on a cooling blanket as he battles fevers today. His GI Dr thought she hears some rumbles in his tummy and he has had some output through his stoma. They took out his NG tube and are talking about maybe giving him some nutrition through his PEG tube. PT was here and did some exercises with him. Possibly will get him to sit up tomorrow. The CVVHD (continuous dialysis) came off last night at 10pm and his kidneys have started to produce urine again. Still need to see more. Prayers are still needed for his kidneys to work at their best, for the bowels to start working, for the fevers to go away, that he'll regain his strength as he gets up. We read Matthew 13 today. Praying for seed to fall on good soil  and good fruit to come from all these trials. Thank you for your interest and your kind ways. Forgot to say that he is on CPAP again and doing well.
October 12  Caleb had a pretty good night last night. He had a bit of oozing from his incision but after changing his dressing, giving him a bath and changing his linen he was able to rest. His temp stayed low grade so the nurse basically just increased and decreased the temp of the cooling blanket to accommodate the ups and downs of his temp. He is able to stay pretty comfortable with the meds he is on right
 now and not requiring much extra support such as Hydralazine or extra Dilaudid. The surgeon was by this morning and drained his incision some and they will observe this over the weekend and then do a cat scan on Monday to see how his abdomen is doing. His stoma continues to look good and is putting out small amounts. His PEG tube is not draining as much gastric fluid. His NG tube is out. His kidneys put out more over the last 24 hours than even before his surgery. He is back on CPAP and they are trying to see how he can manage to breathe on his own again. Yesterday he was off 6 hours. We'll see how he does today. My sisters Lily and Virginia came yesterday and it was so nice to catch up with all their news. We left to go to the RMH around 10:30pm and it was thundering and lightning and hailing so by the time we got there we were soaked. But we stayed up and talked til about 1am. Hoping to go hear the Thunderband tonight. Craig will come up after work and I'll go down for Friday night. The encouragement today from the Word is from Psalm 42:11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

October 13 Dad's update It was Dad's night with Cal so Dad is doing the update. :) Caleb had a pretty good night. We watched a couple of movies together and Caleb was pretty into it. His incision from the surgery is bleeding, so they are trying to figure out what to do about it. Please pray that things would start healing ASAP. Caleb is putting out almost normal urine-but the color isn't the right one. it is a typi
cal color for what he's been through-but pray that it turns the right color soon. We watched the band show that they will be doing for competition today and he enjoyed it. But, I know he was yearning to be on the bus today. He always informs us that the band rides are always the funnest part of a band trip. :). Caleb has returned to us from the out of it stage right after the surgery-but there still is plenty of recovery. He still is in need of God's supernatural hand of healing. Thanks for all you who are so supportive. We are overwhelmed and joyful for how you've picked us up through this trial. :)

October 14 Last night was one of those days where I just had to leave and go "home" and pray. I typically like to tuck
 Caleb in before I head out but I had just come from Bullhead with Virginia and Craig has been with Caleb all day. Caleb had had some pretty heavy bleeding from his abdomen where they were needing to change the dressing every 1-2 hours. When I came the nurses were in report and when they were
 done they were busy trying to contain the flood. So I asked them if there was a way we could put something on him that at the very least could hold the bandages in place. The idea I had would have held the bandages in place but would not put enough pressure to stem the flow. Craig had to leave to get back to BHC in time to pick up Jeanette who was arriving back from Competition in Phoenix. So many things were happening so the tucking in time was nowhere in near sight. By that time they had thought of putting on an abdominal binder but they were looking for one. Also the nurse had put on worship music so already the atmosphere was on the mend. So I kissed Caleb and said I had to go and that they would take good care of him. He was ok with that. This morning the nurse was beaming. He said we were able to fix the dressings with the binder and it really worked. Caleb looked neatly packaged and happy. This morning the GU, GI, Oncology and PICU docs have all been by and have decided to wait out and see how he will do until tomorrow. Caleb's vitals are stable. He is back on CPAP. His temp was up so they've dealt with that. His BP was up so they've given pain meds and this has brought it down. He keeps saying he has no pain but his BP goes up when we fuss with him. His hemoglobin and platelets were low so he got 2 units of blood and one of platelets. He is now resting. We are waiting for Craig and the girls to come up. The high school is out for 2 days so we'll spend some together with Virginia. So nice to have her here. We are having a Hercule Poirot marathon. Thank you for praying and encouraging us.

October 16 I started writing an update but the computer decided to shut down just as I was writing the last sentence so I lost my note and my chance. Craig and the girls were here so they got to watch a lot of movies together. Virginia is also here and she is being such a big help. After I wrote my update the day before yesterday Caleb had a visit from his choir teacher Mrs Wilhelm and her husband. Caleb was
 so encouraged and was asking her details of who has signed up for regionals and disney competitions and was making faces to match his feelings of sadness or gladness if they his friends had decided to try out or not to try out. Caleb really wants to be up and about by December so he can be ready with his piece by end of January. That was Sunday. Mrs Wilhelm was the highlight but otherwise pretty uneventful. Monday the decision was made to do his CT scan of his abdomen. The initially planned it for 8am but was delayed until 2pm. I think it was harder for me than on him to wait. By the evening we had found out that there were some issues in his abdomen that would declare themselves over time (possible abcess, possible obstruction, ilius, possible fistulas forming) but othing seemed urgent that required immediate intervention. So they decided to give him a small dose of Mag Citrate to see if they could see any movement in his intestines. He has been on CPAP with his respirations and has tolerated this well. Trying to move to get him off the ventilator soon. Thank you all for praying and and uplifting us. We are continuing in Matthew with Jesus teachings and miracles. We keep looking to Jesus for healing for Caleb and we are asking that his will be done. Matt 8:2.

October 17   Well, here I am, writing a status before noon.
 Caleb is sitting in the chair playing his computer game. He has a pleasant look on his face. He is so happy to be sitting up. When the Drs made rounds today they were happy with his overall state. He still is getting fevers. His kidneys are working well. His lungs have some fluid on them so they will do dialysis today to get the extra fluid off. They 
are weaning him off the pain meds. The goal is to get him off the ventilator by the end of the week. Keep praying that the problems that were discovered on the CT scan of his abdomen will resolve themselves and that there would not be a need for another intervention. We keep being encouraged by God's abundant mercies showered on us in the form of your prayers, encouraging words and actions, visits. Matthew 25:25-40


October 18 am
I was blessed by the visit with my brother Hovsep and sisters Lilyand Virginia . We talked by Caleb's bedside then we went out to eat in the evening and talked some more. It was great having them here.They were a big help. It had been a fe
w years since we had all been together. Hovsep and Lily went back home already and Virginia is here a few more days. Caleb had not been feeling real great today. He's had fevers and vomiting. His cultures have come back negative so not quite sure where the fevers are coming from. Also they had given him a medicine to help move his intestines that have made him very nauseated. But now they gave him Zofran and stopped the nauseating medicine so he is feeling better and wants to sit in the chair like yesterday. They came by this morning and he did not feel well enough to do this. The Dr is on track to get him on a trach collar by this weekend. This will allow him to be off the Ventilator and on his own . They dialyzed him yesterday to take off excess fluids. His kidneys are working well. Thank you all so much for praying. We appreciate your love and concern so much. Matthew 18 was the encouragement for us today. Love the old hymn "The Ninety and nine" that goes with this passage. We used to sing this when Caleb was small and he really liked it.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c84EXhjcpXE&feature=related


October 18 pm
Almost time to go to bed but wanted to say that Caleb had started to feel better by the evening. They had stopped his continuous pain med. The stopped the Lasix drip. They have decided to give those meds round the clock at scheduled times along with theTylenol. We were specially blessed when Michelle's husband showed up with a care package from Ironwood. That was so sweet. Thank you all so much. Please pray that flushing the stoma would be successful tomorrow. Goodnight!!

October 19 It has been relatively uneventful day today. Not as many docs have stopped by to see
 Caleb so I am thinking this is progress. The main doc that came by was the surgeon who flushed his stoma and he tolerated this well. We have not seen any results from that but they are giving him more mag citrate and mucomyst to help stimulate and encourage his intestines to do what they were created to do. He sat
 in the chair for an hour and half first thing this morning. He is now sitting up in his bed and playing with his kindle. Today is the last home football game of the season and the last time the marching band will perform at the game so Craig is going to watch that and then come to Vegas. The MHS choir has a fundraiser at "Wash Me" car wash from 8am-12noon tomorrow where Jeanette will be busy. Esther has had the week off for fall break and is anxious to get back to school. Thank you for praying and encouraging us. We are humbled by the attention and the care we have experienced from you all.

October 20 Dad's report
Today we had a good time with Caleb. He sat up for most of the morning and played the board game "Life" on his kindle. He was off the ventilator and talking a lot! It was so nice to spend time with my son. We had some special visitors-old contacts from Immanuel Bible Church and Caleb's best friend's parents. It was so nice to be encouraged by these good friends. In the afternoon they took some more tests to see why he hasn't been able to get stuff through his digestive system. We are still in need of another miracle for this important step in Caleb's recovery. Once this happens Caleb will be on the downhill side of the mountain. We so appreciate every prayer and thought.

October 21 Dad's report 

Fun day with Cal. His buddy Andy came up and he talked with us more than we've ever heard since this crisis. He has been improving so much on the communicative level. Also, he's improved with many of the other tests they've given him. But, he just needs his digestive system to be restored! We need prayer for patience as they do everything they can to open things up. Sunday was nice as we enjoyed the Kelting,s again in church. We had a great lunch at our friend's Pizza place. We stored away some in the freezer so Caleb can have some later on. God is our ever present help and we are thankful for all the prayers.

October 22 Oopers, I guess we did not write anything on this day. Don't know why. Craig was with Caleb and I was in Bullhead City.

October 23  Today has been a good day for
 Caleb. He told me he had slept well last night and this morning he was still sleeping. Pretty soon the Drs came by and he was up getting in the chair with help from the PT dept and he got on his trach collar (off the vent) with help from the RT dept. He sat in the chair for about 1.5 hrs. They are trying to get him to space out the frequency of his pain meds so today 
he had moved from every three to every four hour pain meds. The PICU dr also told us that they had him off of all his antibiotics so all he has now is the antifungal. His vital signs look really great. He has been taking sips by mouth and so far his favorites are blue and yellow powerade, lemonade and mountain dew. And the big news of the day is that there was "gold" in his ileostomy pouch and quite a fair amount. The nurse was able to hear some bowel sounds. So we are very encouraged today and very grateful to the Lord for what He is doing for Caleb. These are definitely answers to prayer. Thank you all for praying. We love you.

October 24 Today was a pretty good day too except for
 Caleb was really sleepy a good portion of the day. They are trying to slowly wean him off of meds and equipment. So last night they had wanted to see if he will void on his own but he really struggled so they hooked him back up for today and will try again tomorrow. So they had given him a pain med this morning but it caused him to be real sleepy all day.
 He continues to take sips of fluids and he really likes this. He sat in the chair for abt 2 hours this morning.Hovsep and Mama came to visit us today and they took Virginia to Bullhead City with them. I am going to miss Virginia's companionship. Its no fun to be separated. We had one night where all four of us sibloids (as Lily calls us) were together and that so so nice. God continues to encourage us with progress in Caleb's health and wonderful notes from you all. Forgot to say that it was great to have Rhonda and her husband visit us today. We've been blessed by visits from Samuel and Christine andAndrew and Chelsea . Thank you all so much.
 Ocober 25  Caleb is continuing to make strides in the right direction. The team (drs, nurses, pt, rt etc) had a meeting today to discuss Caleb's progress and they are working on trying to get him well enough to go to an inpatient rehab facility in the next couple of weeks. Caleb is continuing to take fluids by mouth and tolerating well. He was nauseated once today and Zofran helped a lot. They've been clampi
ng his PEG tube for 2hours clamped and 2 hours unclamped. There is not much output from it which means it is moving down. There is output at the stoma, however and that is exciting. They are going to start his po chemo med tomorrow. He has been off of chemo since Sept 7th and his hair is coming back. He is beginning to look more like himself. He is quite aware of what is happening with him. He sat in the chair for 2 hours this morning. He said he felt stronger than yesterday. He is playing some game on Kindle right now. Craig is coming up to spend the evening with us. So excited to see him. God continues to encourage us through His word and acts and your words and prayers. Kids have their last band competition in Flagstaff this Saturday. Tonight is their last marching band mega practice. Its been a good season. MHS did well. Craig is here so gtg. Love you all.

October 26 Did not post

October 27 I did not post yesterday because frankly I did not know what to say.
 Caleb is on his way to recovery and we only have the Lord to thank. He is now aware of his status and trying to assimilate all the info regarding himself that he missed while he was really sick. He feels a little down. He told me and the nurse that he was sad. He is in the position where he is going to have more input into his ca
re both by words and actions. One of the things that bother him is that he can't talk. They have given him the Passe-Muir valve that enables him to talk but he really has to work at this. He is getting stronger and stronger on his feet but this requires work on his side and he gets really tired. He sat in the chair for about 2 hours this morning and watched Avatar. He really enjoyed this. Now he is watching the game USC vs UofA. The score is 21 to 13 and Caleb thinks that UofA can gain their lead back and win!! So, go Wildcats!! They are clamping his PEG tube for 3 hrs and opening it for 1 now. Today they brought him a lunch tray for the first time. It had yello jello, orange frozen popsicle, apple juice and broth. He was not real excited to see the broth but was willing to try the others. The GU dr just came in and asked if he had any objections to taking out the dialysis catheter that is in his jugular vein. Caleb said that was fine with him so sometime today it will come out. So thanks for praying. Keep praying for him to get stronger and be able to start doing his normal functions and also that the Lord will give him the stamina and joy in Him as he continues the road to recovery. We read of Jesus' sufferings on the cross for our sins this morning. Matt 27. Thank you Lord for saving us and giving us new life. John 3:16.

October 28  Whew, what a day. Mostly spent caring for Caleb. Bathing, sitting in chair, suctioning, clamping the PEG for 3 hours and unclamping for 1, drinking juices, three attempts at changing his trach to a smaller size with the last one being successful, visit with his buddies Alexander, Eriq , Andrew. I am pleasantly overwhelmed. I feel blessed that he is doing so much better. Craig and the girls and grandmother also came up. What a blessing. More tomorrow Lord willing. Goodnight

October 29 No update

October 30

Its 1:30pm and Caleb is taking a nap. He got up and sat in the chair for about 1.5 hours this morning with the help of PT. He is taking longer steps and looks stronger. Speech therapy and occupational therapy also came and worked with him today. The one who is in charge of getting him his oral chemo meds also stopped by with some encouragement from Starbucks!! That was really sweet. His blood sug
ars have been stable so they are going to move his insulin from being a separate drip into his TPN. Then they will do scheduled blood sugar tests and give extra insulin as needed. That gets rid of a line. Then they have decreased his Lasix from 3 times a day to 2 times a day. They have increased the clamped time of his PEG from 3hrs to 4hrs. He is unclamped for 1 hour in which time he likes to take really huge swigs of his favorite drinks and of course watches it all come out almost instantly through the unclamped PEG. Yesterday the Dr mentioned that the goal is to move him downstairs to the pediatric floor by this weekend. This brought a huge nod of approval from him. Then today they were mentioning getting him up in a wheelchair and just give him a tour of the unit. He was really in favor of this also. Craig is coming this afternoon and bringing my Mom andVirginia . Craig will stay with Caleb and the tree of us will go on to meet up with our other 2 sibloids, Hovsep and Lily for a brief few hours before Virginia goes back to Armenia in a week and Hovsep moves to BHC. I also get to meet my new nephew Eli. So excited. I'll be back at my post tomorrow. We keep reading in the gospels and the Psalms and are really encouraged by God's word. Really love the relationship we have with God through Jesus' love and forgiveness of our sins. Mark 2. Still need prayers for continued stamina and grace as Caleb relearns old skills.

October 31 Today I got to spend the day with Cal (that's me, Craig). He had an even day-with one issue with breathing. He still has a bit of fluid that he needs to cough out every so often. Unfortunately we did not do that in a timely manner this morning. By the time we did get it taken care of it threw off his routine. Soooooo he had a tired day without much progress. But tomorrow the chief nursing off
icer will be here to make sure things role on without a hitch(I'm meaning our Sarah). Looks like Cal will be moving down to 4th floor here in a couple of days. After several days there they'd like to move him to a rehab hospital. There are two of the kids variety in Las Vegas. So continue to pray that all of this can happen in God's perfect timing (I wanted to say ASAP-but we know that's not for the best :) ). We continue to wait on the Lord. Caleb is getting better. His vitals are all almost normal. He is sleeping now and looks like he's having a peaceful rest. Earlier in this ordeal he just didn't have that look. So, God is good.