Monday, October 6, 2008

join the cheering section

Today was a great day!

I could just leave it at that but I won't, sweet reader.

Ethan and I had our routinely Monday morning trip to Boston for his outpatient visit. This was going to be an interesting visit because last Thursday they held off giving him a blood transfusion because of certain indicators that implied he might start developing red cells on his own. Therefore, they didn't want to give him blood until they tested their theory for a few days. Well, two things happened when they his blood results came back, that have never happened since we were admitted to Boston for Ethan's transplant back in early August.

Drum Roll, please....

No, seriously, this deserves you tapping your hands on your desk or table right this minute.

Are people looking at you yet? Wondering what you're doing? If you're alone, are you looking at yourself, wondering what you're doing??

Good! Because then you can tell those staring at you AND tell yourself that you are about to witness even more proof of a magnificent miracle that has taken place in a little baby boy's life. Side note, feel free to insert the words "cute" or "most adorable" or "baby model material" in your description, if you so desire.

Okay, okay... I'll tell you now. Like I said, this has never happened in Ethan's body since his transplant. Actually, it's never happened on his own since his diagnosis of cancer back in April, without the help of medications promoting/helping. The first blessing is that his platelet count did not drop in number - it in fact stayed the exact same as it was last Thursday. And don't be tempted to think that is not worth your drum roll, because this is huge (I'll explain in a sec)! And the second blessing is that his red cell count went UP slightly in number - also a very huge deal! See, these two indicators mean that Ethan's body is starting to create platelets and red cells on its own. His marrow is working! Did you read that? His marrow is working!! His bone marrow was at one time, only a few months ago, killing his body. Physically killing his body. And now, his bone marrow is working hard to create all that was lost, and it's doing so on its own. This is simply more tangible proof that God is who He says He is. More tangible proof that our faith should not stand in the facts or even in the most professional of opinions, but only and fully in the power of God.

And trust me, that's worth a drum roll!

You want to do it again don't you?

Heck, you could even stand up and give a standing ovation to the wonder of God's handiwork! Go ahead.... I dare ya. I double-dog dare ya! Why? Because taking a stand for the cause of Christ is the best move you can make. I assure you of this.

Ethan's cancer is in remission. The transplant is considered a success. And I'm excited to see, in the years to come, the rest of the miracle that will come to fruition.

Rest of the miracle?


We received a laundry list of long-term side effects and limitations to expect from various areas of Ethan's life as a result of the intense treatments he received before and during his transplant. Cataracts, infertility, significant decrease in his overall height, graft-versus-host-disease, delayed development, and the list goes on. And I sit here tonight, believing and knowing God's miracle is not limited to any one thing or area, because God is not limited by any one thing or area... and I look forward to this gift from Him, that will keep on giving in the years - many years - to come. I look forward to checking off next each area of the list of "limitations" that we've been told to expect, the word MIRACLE. MIRACLE. MIRACLE.

I've witnessed answered prayers many times in my life. And I am soooo thankful for those times. But I have never witnessed a miracle. I've read about them in the Bible. Believed that God was/is always capable of doing the impossible. But, I've never seen with my own eyes, God's power in the form of a miracle.... until I met my son.

And now you have, too.

Is "miracle" too strong of a word? No. Absolutely not. All you have to do is look back in my previous posts from Ethan's initial diagnosis, or 'google' the type of leukemia he had (JMML), and you'll see... the odds were stacked against him from the beginning. Kids do not often survive this rare form of cancer. In fact, it's so rare, that the treatment plan is often a sort of trial and error. Ethan was never expected to do well. And the treatment and transplant was expected to be very difficult for him. But it wasn't. And he has done VERY well! Oh goodness, now I'm crying again.... but you just take my word for it..... this was certainly a miracle. And it's a miracle and gift that will keep on giving in the weeks, months and years to come.

Thank you for praying. You have been here waiting, watching and believing right along with us. I owe you so much. I love you so much.

One last thing before I call it a night...

When we were discharged from the hospital a couple of weeks ago, we were given a set of guidelines from a nutritionist and a physical therapist in which we needed to be working towards with Ethan. Well, since we are constantly shoving a syringe of medicine in his little mouth 9 times a day, he has developed an oral aversion to taking a spoon/jar baby food. If it ain't a bottle, he wants nothin' of it. However, introducing jar foods and other finger foods is necessary for his development, etc. Also, Ethan isn't sitting up by himself. Not a huge problem, but again, an area that we have to work at. Hitting these milestones with his food and physical activity is important to illustrate and help us gauge different things. So... if you could be in prayer for these two areas specifically, I would greatly appreciate it. I'm having fun "practicing" with him, however, I would like to see some progress being made. Rest assured there will be more areas of development that I will need your help in praying for down the road, but right now, these are the focus.

Thanks a bunch.... for everything!

Isaiah 26:4 - Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:


Lizzie Fish said...

you knew it all along

my husband is wondering what's wrong with me and i can't WAIT to tell carly when she wakes up tomorrow. i am jumping up and down with you! PRAISE GOD! what a wonder!

Moz + Pam said...

Rejoicing in God's providence right along with you & Adam! Praise the Lord!

Aimee said...

I have been reading your blog, almost since the beginning. I am now sorry that I never "de-lurked." I have read every post that you have posted about your journey, and I have prayed for your family, and I am just so happy for you right now!!! Praise God!!

huntsouth said...

This is so exciting! Tear-jerking! Satisfying! Restful!
I have to say that it was easier knowing that Ethan would be healed by the Lord, because your faith was so evident. It kind of led the way to believe the improbable.
How comforting it can be to just rest in knowing that the Lord's plan is excellent and that He is able to give what we ask.
We will pray for Ethan's sitting and that he continues to grow and to flourish.
God bless you, Daddy and Mommy.
Every day is special!
Love, the Hunts

Dave and Elaine said...

What a glorious know that Ethan is in remission!!!!!!

Carrie Comstock said...

Amazing! Amazing! Amazing!!! What wonderful news. So, so exciting. Thanks be to God!!

YOU have known since the start of all of this. God whispered that promise to your heart. What a privilege to see this all unfold.

To God be the glory.

Heather said...

Thank you for allowing us to witness a miracle from God!!

Benetta said...

TO GOD be the GLORY! I took your double dare challange in hopes that Adam would walk out of his office and see me praising GOD. For the WORD says if we don't praise HIM, the rocks will. May God continue to smile upon YOU,ADAM & Sweet ETHAN. God Bless!

Lorri said...

Praise God! wish I knew how to make that in a giant font!
Love, Lorri

April R said...

Whoo!!! That was a good old-fashioned shout! It truly is shouting time! Casey-the word verification on my screen below starts out God..!

Heather said...

I'm crying tears of joy with you as I read your post. I am so happy for you and your family. May God continue to pour his blessings out on your family.

choelzel said...






Carol Hoelzel

Barbara said...

We have never met, but I have followed Ethan's journey, and prayed for you all daily. Our God is a mighty God. Nothing is bigger than He is. What a wonderful testimony Ethan has to share!

Anonymous said...

Faith, hoped for and not seen. Now we rejoice with the visable answer to what we have asked and believed by faith. All your prayers for Ethan's body when he was born before you knew he had cancer must have and will continue to protect him.
Love to you all,
Nancy G.

kathy seamen said...

Praise the Lord! I just keep saying it over and over again - Praise the Lord! He is truly watching over Ethan and taking care of him! Now we pray for Ethan's food and physical development. No biggie after the past several months, huh? :) Would love it if you posted some new pics of the little fella. He's such a cutie! And smiled through everything, didn't he? My best to you, Adam and Ethan.
Kathy Seamen

FalkFamily said...

Thank You God! I am sitting at my desk crying and excited to call all my family that has been following you through my reports! Continued prayers for eating and sitting and all the other fun baby things to come!

Anonymous said...

Praise God, the amazing miracle-worker! I'm so blessed to witness this MIRACLE along side of you! God never ceases to amaze. I learn and grow from your devotionals each day! We can never lose because God is on OUR side- ALWAYS! Many hallejuahs sent your way, Jennifer and Lainey Jaetzold

Megan said...

Praise the Lord! I can't find a big enough word to explain how I am feeling. Grateful just doesn't seem big enough either. We are celebrating with you. I just want to shout to the Lord, "Thank You for all our answered prayers."
We will keep praying for Ethan and your family. I really hope I get to meet you all when you come visit Amy someday in Washington. I can't wait to give you all a huge hug.
God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Our God is an awesome God!! Praising him with you, and rejoicing with you and Adam. Give sweet Ethan a hug for us.Megan P.

Sharon said...

Awesome news and I'm celebrating here tonight with you :)

As for Ethan not sitting up, do you have a bumbo for him? I had put AJ in his bumbo chair a little before he was diagnosed and that was one thing I always had in our hospital room for him and a couple times throughout the day, I would sit him in it. Although AJ is delayed with many things, he was able to sit at 5 months old. And after being down (much longer than Ethan was for his transplant) and especially our visit to the PICU on the vent, he was able to sit again with no problems. Try that, I hope it works.

Also, do you know when they'll do Ethans chimerism/rflp test? I was told that after the inital test on cord blood transplant patients, the future ones are just for informational purposes. AJ has had 2, one at 30+ days post BMT and another at 100+ days post BMT and both has come back with 100% donor. I know Ethan's is the same result!!!!!

Thanks Be To God!!!

Adam said...

I'm so proud of you and am thankful for all you do for Ethan and our family. Thanks for the strength you show every day. I love you so much.

Hollie said...

BEST NEWS I'VE HEARD ALL DAY...ALL MONTH...ALL YEAR!!!!!! Rejoicing with you guys! HUGS!

sara said...

Praise the Lord! We are soooo excited for your family! God is so awesome. It has been such a joy to witness the power of God and be able to show my boys how God will work in our lives if we put complete faith and trust in Him. We will continue to pray for Ethan, especially that he will take a spoon and sit up on his own. My 4th boy was a bit "slow" on moving along, but I am so thankful - cause now he never stops unless he's sleeping! Hooray! Love you all! Sara Rockensock & family Phil. 4:11-19

Jenifer Humphries said...

Praise the Lord!!!!!!!!!! I love you girl, and can't wait to meet your little boy and give you a great big hug. I know one day I will get to and hear first hand all the wonderful miracles God has done for you and your family. PRAISE THE LORD!!!
-Jenifer Humphries

Anonymous said...

Many babies refuse purees and go straight to finger foods - he might to the same. :)

The Sonniers said...

HI...I'm just a passer by that came across your blog through a friends blog...but I want to say what a blessing it has been to my heart to read some of your entries. We also welcomed a little Ethan into our family recently in July. This somewhat explains my curiosity in your blog...but I often feel like God directs so many things throughout my day and today in reading your words I was encouraged and blessed to see faithful followers and those who have literally given it all up to our GOD. I pray he continues to shower hope and blessings on your family and think of you today especially in your most recent trial with your husbands hand. Please feel free to visit my recent attempt at beginning a's very much in the beginning stages. God Bless you and your little Ethan!
Megan Sonnier