This week was another post chemo cisplatin blue week. Each time we take this chemo, it hits MacKale like a train and makes bouncing back harder. We got home from treatment on Saturday, but by Thursday afternoon, I was speeding back down to Grand Rapids, because his levels had dropped again. These unplanned trips only eat away at the little light that is keeping him from turning completely off during these post chemo days. And it's not easy on the rest of either. Unplanned trips mean unexpected departures from home before the boys get out of school, which means stress for them, worry and concern over their brother, plus time away from mom. They cry because they want us to all be together which means dad gets left to pick up the pieces. So the cisplatin blues were a bit contagious this week. We're all a little off color. We all are a little 'not quite right' when we're not together.
But then Saturday comes, and no matter how blue or grey or black our moods have been . . . MacKale wakes up GREEN! Spartan GREEN. This week was no exception. Mike packed up the little boys first thing in the morning, headed south and were in our room by 8:30am.
Rub a dub dub . . . three boys in a bed playing Monopoly by 9:00am. Sometimes just having your brothers to pick at and love on is the best medicine ever. But put the added fact that the Spartans were playing OSU at 3:30pm and you have a day that could help us get through the greyest of weeks. I seriously do not know what I will do when college football season is over. I know that Mac will watch a little pro ball, but college ball is his first love. I can only hope that it won't be too much time in between before golf starts up and the Phil Mickelson is play well. Or maybe, since he won't be skiing this year, he'll turn his attention to watching basketball. I just know something has GOT to fill that void when it happens.
Just the anticipation of this week's game turned MacKale around on Saturday morning. Nurses and docs came in and started getting MacKale's predictions for the games being played on Saturday. Believe me he has an opinion on all of them. Would Connor Cook play or not? Could the Spartans pull it off against OSU without him if he really didn't play? If they do win, what do you think their new ranking will be? MacKale, in his ever optimistic view of his Spartans knew that they could . . . and would win. All this pre-game banter actually got him so pumped that he ate breakfast and a bit of lunch. Seriously, can't the Spartans play football EVERYDAY? It would make this momma's stress level so much more manageable.
And so we played and napped and ate until the game started . . . but then . . . a package arrived.
Now I've told you that I truly believe that God has placed angels on this earth especially for our family. Angels who anticipate our needs before we know them, who anticipate what will make our lives easier, angels who think about MacKale and what would might make being at the hospital easier . . . put a smile on his face . . .make him forget cancer. I can not even begin to tell you all the angels that we have encountered in the last 2 months. Some family members, some friends, some colleagues, community members, kid, adults, strangers and sometimes people who just want to remain anonymous. One of these days, I promise, I'm going to write a post and see if I can possibly list them all. I know I'll never get all of them, but I'm going to try. But please understand, it's not about the STUFF and the THINGS. I don't want you to think that, because if you know Mike and I, you know that accepting help is something that we don't do easily. But I can tell you this, the prayers, hugs and kindness demonstrated by all these angels have amazed us and sustained us. How did we get so lucky? Why are we so blessed?
Some kind angels who know MacKale's love of his Spartans, check in with him every week after the game. They send him texts and pictures of them cheering on the Spartans. They call to congratulate him when they win (or call to agree with the 'rotten call' if they lose). He's even scored some new Spartan gear, blankets, a couple of hats and his 5th grade teacher even got the Spartan baseball team to autograph a bat for him.
It is SO cool and put an incredible smile on MacKale's face.
And then this week, as we anticipated the start of the game all cramped into our 9th floor room at DeVos, that package arrived for MacKale. His hemophilia treatment center in Traverse City, the people who have helped managed his hemophilia and care for him since the beginning, knew that he would be watching the game and wanted him to have something a little special. It kind of went like this . . .
In case you missed that . . . his hat said 'To MacKale . . .' and it was signed by
Coach Mark Dantonio
#18 Connor Cook
#16 Aaron Burbridge
#89 Shilique Calhoun
and Traverse City's #30 Riley Bullough
These players aren't my sons, but if they were, I would be mighty proud of them. They made a very sick little boy, incredibly happy. Again, how did we get so blessed to have people in our lives who would go out of their way to find ways to make MacKale forget about cancer, if only for a few brief moments? I can NOT tell you how proud he is to be sporting a hat . . . that says 'To MacKale' and signed by his Spartans.
MacKale wore that hat with PRIDE Saturday and his Spartans won!!! I'm not sure what medicinal good a Spartan hat and win does for a cancer patient typically, but a Spartan win this week helped MacKale consume a hotdog, jello and take all of his meds. It had him screaming at me from his room while I showered this morning . . . 'MOM... woohoo I gained .1kg.' It helps, slowly but surely, see levels start to move upward, it got him out of bed and doing his exercises and it paints a permanent GREEN over the top of the cisplatin blues.
If you ever doubt that an act of kindness can make a difference to another person, MacKale is the proof that it does.
Thanks you all for your continued prayers for MacKale's healing and recovery. We are ALL truly blessed by having you all behind us.