Friday, January 21, 2011

Ya’ll READY for THIS??

Mike has been cleared by neurology AND GI and is being transferred out of ICU!!! The bleeding in his brain has started to go down so NO SURGERY IS NECESSARY!!! His platelets and blood counts are holding well. They are going to keep him for monitoring for about a week, but we are continually expecting good reports.

He is about to eat his first meal in 4 days. He looks FANTASTIC and has expressed his complete gratitude for everyone’s prayers and support. You guys have all been amazing and I am not sure that we would have had the same outcome without all of you praying in agreement with us. THANK YOU! Please continue to keep us lifted up as we walk out the rest of this journey.

:-D !!!!GOD IS SO GOOD!!!! PRAISE HIM!!! :-D

Thursday, January 20, 2011

never doubt the power of prayer

So…here’s the latest:

Last night was scary, to say the least. Even with the faith God has instilled in my spirit, I was scared. I trust that God has a good plan, but sometimes He makes decisions for our lives that are beyond our understanding; I was not sure what the night was going to bring. Mike was so pale. I went in to visit him and he did not know who I was at first. He was also having trouble seeing out of his left eye from the swelling and pressure in his brain. He could not stay awake for more than a few seconds at a time and his body was jerking violently. I stayed with him for a little while, just to hold his hand and speak into his spirit. I kept telling him that his mind & spirit is stronger than his physical body and I believe in him and the power of God in him. Although he did not acknowledge my words, I knew that he could hear me. It was a brief, fuzzy soul mate feeling I don’t think I have ever experienced to that level. I left the room with peace in my heart, believing in my husband and trusting God.
As I have checked Facebook, emails and text messages, I have been completely overwhelmed by all of the support we are receiving. I am absolutely amazed. I am not exaggerating when I say that I have literally received hundreds of messages of encouragement and prayers from all over the world over the last 24 hours. Every prayer is heard and so appreciated. It touches me so deeply to hear people say that they do not normally pray, but that they are praying for us now. It is such a beautiful thing to be witness to and a part of. We are truly honored by each and every one.
Now for the good news… Mike looks like a completely different man today. His color has returned, his body is maintaining blood counts on its own and his platelet count is up to 54 at their last check. He was entirely alert during every conversation and shows excellent neurological function. The nurse was astounded by his progress over night. She said that this NEVER happens with patients in his condition. Everyone who enters his room says there is such a peace that is not experienced often in the critical care unit. Mike seemed back to himself, joking and laughing with the staff. It was such a refreshing sight; there are not even words to describe. I stand amazed by this incredible fighter, determined to see the glory of God fulfilled in his life & I am so privileged to be by his side. He went this evening for a CT scan to check the bleeding in his brain, as he is still having trouble with his vision. He is also going to be seen by the GI medical team to investigate whether there is internal bleeding in his GI tract. We are praying for good results to these exams and for Mike’s eyesight to return 100%. He is still being held in the critical care unit, but as he continues at this pace, he will be transferred back to a normal floor. We are not in the clear yet, but I am believing that we will be very soon. Tonight his mom and I are camped out in the waiting room – expecting to hear more good news in the morning. She is falling asleep now, singing peacefully. :-)
I attribute Mike’s recovery to all of the prayers that bombarded heaven last night and today and the amazing grace of a loving God. Please do not stop praying. Your prayers are being heard and answered!! I cannot thank you enough for the outpouring of love we have received. I can’t wait to share all of your messages with Mike so that he can see how loved he is all over the world. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! We appreciate all of you more than you know!!

still in critcal care - trying to stabilize

I am sorry I do not have much to update, other than Mike looks better today and was a little more responsive. They are trying to stabilize his platelets but the leukemia keeps eating them up and he is not stable enough for chemo to treat the ALL. Last count was 33, which is much better than 0, but he really needs to get to 50. Specific prayer requests today are that his body will stabilize and that the bleed in his brain will stop and re-absorb naturally. Pray for good test results today and good neurological responses. She said he is doing very well considering his condition - thank you for the prayers!!! Please keep them coming! I am sorry I can not respond to each of you individually - I am trying to keep up as best I can! I appreciate each and every one of you!! ♥

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

a day that went from bad to worse...

We woke up early to take Mike for early labs and doctor appointments. Within an hour of getting his labs drawn, he had bled out all down his chest from the needle prick in his port. The oncologist came in and immediately admitted him to receive platelets and blood. We moved ourselves upstairs and got settled in his room. They expected that it would take 4-5 days to bring his blood levels back to normal. When he was taken out for a CT scan, I went home to grab some items for his stay. It was the worst I had ever seen him. 45 pounds less than he was only 3 weeks ago, he had no color other than all of the petichial hemorrhaging that covered his body from head to toe. His lips were pale and dry and his eyes were dark and blurred. He has not been able to engage in too much conversation over the past few days – mostly dreaming out loud and having hallucinations. I was grateful that he was in good hands to start feeling better.
My mom had offered to run Mike’s clothes and items down to the hospital for me so I was looking forward to a night on the couch with the kids watching the American Idol season premier and then heading down to see Mike after work tomorrow. Then I got the phone call… I had to go outside to answer my cell because of the bad reception inside my house. The voice on the other end was compassionate but direct, “Mrs. Johnson… we have received the results of Michael’s CT scan and there is a subdural hematoma in his brain that is bleeding, so he is being transferred to the critical care unit. We are consulting with the neurosurgeon, but because Michael’s platelets are so low, surgery is not even an option at this point… I am sorry I have to ask you this, but have you prepared Michael’s final wishes?” …
I hung up the phone and I fell to my knees right there in my driveway. Any tears I had been holding back for sake of “being strong” up to that point did not recognize the walls I had attempted to build for them to hide behind. My dear neighbor came over to comfort me and my mom showed up shortly after. I was in a daze – trying to prepare items to take down for Mike, items for me to stay with him, making arrangements for the kids and the dog, calling my boss to make arrangements for work and contacting his family.
Upon arriving I had to wait over an hour to see him. The nurses were frantically treating him, trying to get blood and platelets going as fast as possible. When I finally did get to go back, he was incoherent. The nurse was able to get him awake for a moment because she wanted to confirm that he could identify who we were – which he did – and went back to sleep. I spoke to the doctor and she explained that they are trying to pump the platelets and blood into him enough that it will stabilize him & stop the bleeding. They will do that as long as necessary. At this point, still, surgery is not even being considered.
My mom and I are camping out in the waiting room for the night. I am allowed to go back and visit him at almost any hour with nurse approval. I don’t intend to leave this place until I have gotten a good report that he is improving. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has been letting me know that you all are praying. I cannot tell you how encouraging it is. I know that Mike’s life is in God’s hands and I think if we bombard heaven enough, it just might bring the miracle we are hoping and believing for. Please be careful to only speak positive things about Mike’s condition and recovery. We believe that words have creative power and we need to speak that he is going to be just fine, very soon.
Much love to all of you!!!
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

update and a song for Mike

It’s been another crazy week.

Last week Mike was admitted to the hospital with what they thought was pneumonia (still not sure at this point). He was very sick – almost like last summer, sweating profusely, coughing and fevers. They treated him with IV antibiotics, fluids and steroids. On Thursday he started a 4 day chemotherapy treatment, 24 hours each, back to back. It seemed that made him even sicker. He was not eating anything and the little he tried to eat, he would throw up. A week later, he has lost almost 20 pounds (30 since Christmas). We have been visiting him on and off but he has mostly been sleeping. I talked to him this morning and he sounded better but was still very nauseous. They are planning to do a lumbar puncture in the morning to put chemo meds into his spinal fluid and to check to see how much leukemia (if any) is still in his system. He should be released to come home shortly after that. We will meet with his doctor this week to get this rest of his regimen after they determine the results of his LP tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone for all of the support we have received (especially this past week!). Mike’s mom flew in to be here last week, so it is a huge relief to me to feel like I can balance everything; and my brother and Zack have been taking care of things around the house that Mike would normally do. So many of you have reached out to check on me & the kids or help out with picking up random items and dropping them off. It definitely makes a BIG difference for me and the kids! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

This afternoon I actually got a few hours to myself in a quiet house, so I decided to write. Writing is such therapy for me; I wish I had more time to do it. Here’s the result…

Song for Mike

Every time I have to leave your side, a piece of my heart breaks
I know I gotta be strong, no matter what it takes
Fighting to believe, everyday, that you’re gonna get better
Balancing my happy thoughts to weigh more than fear and anger
So often I look back to the days, when we were just two kids
Dreaming dreams bigger than the sky … we never imagined this
Now our boy is learning early how to become a man
Such a strong faith, he knows, even when doctors cant – God can
And you know our baby girl, she just breaks down and cries
Every time she sees someone with your innocent blue eyes

We pray for you every single day, sometimes through our tears
But such a peace comes from knowing, we serve a God who hears
I believe He is right beside us – every step on this road
HIS footprints got deeper when we were given this load
And baby, I know you’ve been fighting to hold on a really long time
But don’t give up and you’ll see the top of this mountain was worth the climb

There’s no denying I’m missing you… your smile, your laugh, your touch
Can’t wait til you’re beside me again, I just want to feel you close so much
I want to snuggle up under your arm and lay my head on your chest
And press my ear close to listen to strength manifest
And I honestly wouldn’t trade this because I trust that God knows best
There is an awesome testimony on the other side of this test

So every time I get weary, start getting discouraged or feeling low
I just remind myself that I’ve got front row seats to see an awesome miracle
I look forward to what’s ahead, not getting caught up too much in the cost
When God’ redeems the time – you will see that none was lost

=) Love you baby. <3