Monday, July 2, 2012

Ian Kinsler and CAMP

 This has been an exciting week for the Castles.  Clayton and Cort participated in baseball camp just down the street where Clayton was named "Camper of the Week".  He went anxious and excited every day... did what all the other boys did, and had a great time.  I honestly don't know how he does it.  It amazes me. 
    Saturday we had the opportunity to go to the Ranger game with some of the kids from Cooks.  Ian Kinsler invited us and came in to talk with us and have a pizza dinner with everyone. It was a really special time for our kids.  The girls enjoyed it, mostly because they could show off their picture with Ian.. but Cort and Clayton... they just loved being in the presence of a guy who loves baseball so much and is living his dream.  While we were at the game, I noticed Clayton seeming super tired.  I know his Red counts are down, which makes anyone feel bad.
I called the doctor, who promised me that his counts are ok and he's probably just tired.  Sure enough, he started to perk back up after he saw the Centerfield KidZone.  He loved playing the games and getting his caricature drawn.  Please pray that his red count continues to go up and not down.  I do notice when he's low... even though he's not low enough to transfuse.
   Sunday afternoon we drove the kids to camp in

Meridian.  It's called Camp Sanguinity and is just for the kids with cancer, or just off treatment, and their siblings.  The camp was very pretty and looks like lots of fun.  The girls were not thrilled about it at first, but once they got there, I think they were ok.  Clayton was beside himself!  He was so excited! He met his counselors and I was able to talk with them quickly about my concerns for him...his eating, etc.  It feels great to know he's somewhere having fun with people who are much better qualified than me to help him.  Please pray that he has a great week of feeling good and enjoying all the activities.
    This walk is like a huge rollercoaster that doesn't stop.  Thankfully our rollercoaster is more like the Mine Train than the Texas Giant.. meaning that it's a little safer and less scary, but still brings the moments of anxious stomachs with quick twists and turns along the way.  God has been so good to us by keeping Clayton fever free, full of energy (most days) and with a true warrior spirit. Our little guy, who I believe always felt second to his brother and older sisters, has found a true champion in himself through this experience.  He's come out as a strong little boy who bravely puts one foot in front of the other.  He's strong, unafraid, and determined to win.  As of this week we are halfway done with treatment and just 20 more weeks to go.  As July 1 approached, I found myself thankful that another month passed.  I know our total journey won't be over in November as we will spend years making sure the beast never returns, but the big chemos will be done and I will no longer have to watch poison destroy my baby's body. 
    But, for now, we pray for a tremendous week at camp for my kids, and an uneventful BIG chemo on Friday night just after camp.  I shared before a caring bridge site for a precious little family whose son, Ethan, is truly battling a beast... neuroblastoma.  He is a tremendous warrior who continues to battle bravely... Ethan is at camp with my kiddos and his little brother is actually in Clayton's room..   .. I leave you with these words my sister in Christ, Ethan's mother, wrote on his latest post... Inspires me to truly trust God with all of our kids, their lives and our days.  No one knows what lies ahead for any of us... but we know that our God is here, holding us, loving us and wanting GOOD for us... Here are Rachel's words.. " A cancer that intended to divide us and instill us with anger was met by a God who knitted us more securely, providing peace that has transcended all understanding. A cancer that attempted to blind us to his mercies has been conquered by a Risen Savior who has opened our eyes to the glory that is to come. Instead of focusing on this present temporary suffering, our gaze is fixated upon the eternal hope He provides." May we continue to remember that HE goes before us, he shields our way, and HE holds tomorrow.

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