Friday, December 31, 2010

Here we go 2011!!!



Wow! This year is over and we're starting a new one...yikes! I'm excited! I love New Years, because just like Spring, it's a time of new beginnings. We can go into this year bitter about what's happened over the last year, we can choose to move on and never look back, we can hope that we never have a year like that again, and we can wish that it had never happened. Cale and I are choosing to instead, be thankful for all that God has done in our lives this last year. To praise His name for the good and the bad, the hard days and lighter days, the sad times and the fun times. We're going to embrace everything that's happened and rejoice for every day that the Lord has made-that He's allowed us to still be together! We're also going to jump into the new year excited for what's to come, dive into the blessings the Lord is pouring out on us, be strong through each new day that this year has to offer, and pray that our eyes stay on the Lord. I pray that we continue to let Him lead and be number one in our lives. I pray that all the glory for what happens in Cale's recovery goes to Him and I pray that He will use us and our marriage in mighty ways to further the Kingdom! The Darling's are still going strong in 2011!! :)

Today was great! Cale did more secret stuff in OT this morning and I took down the Christmas decorations. I asked Cale if we could keep the lights up in his room, he said no. When I asked if it was girlie to do that, he said "Yes!" Haha! Well...since it is his room, I'll bring the twinkly lights to the Fisher House! ;)

I had asked the nurse this morning if it would be ok to get a quick pass for Cale so he could run to Starbucks with me. I still had my gift card and was really craving the same drink I had yesterday. She came back and said, after talking with the doctor they gave me an open pass! That meant that I could come and go with Cale today as long as it didn't interfere with therapy or meds. As soon as OT was over, we ran to Starbucks and then stopped at McDonald's for Cale. It was his first time having Micky D's since before the accident. When we first pulled up, I asked Cale what he wanted, "Everything. All of it!" K: "How about, do you want cheeseburgers or chicken nuggets?" C: "Both!" Haha! He loves the crazy place even if it is terrible for him! Today they had Family Friday Night Dinner at lunch. On the menu was Japanese and because of how picky Cale has been, I figured that wasn't going to go over so well. I enjoyed it though! :)

Part way through lunch, Monica came and got Cale. They left for a tiny bit and then she brought him back. I figured it had to do with the secret stuff! After a couple more minutes, a cake with candles came in! Cale had made me a cake in OT!!! :) It was so stinkin' sweet! Monica said Cale did a lot on his own, with just a little bit of help. Everyone sang Happy Birthday to me :) It was so sweet and such a special surprise! I'm still wondering what the other secret thing is! Sunday will be here soon! Heehee! I love birthday's so much!


Cale had PT in the pool today. He was getting worked pretty hard and I'm pretty sure he wasn't a big fan. At one point, Pat and I were trying to encourage him. I was talking to him about how we're finishing 2010 strong. Cale put up his arms and said "Arrrgh!" Haha! After that he did so good! He still would get tired and say it was hard, but it was still a good session. One of the things they worked on was Cale jumping!



After pool was over, we hopped back in the car and ran to the store. Cale helped me get something that we're going to try for him. He used his walker which was a big deal because I knew it was going to be a lot of walking. He did really good! At one point he started walking with his eyes closed. When he starts getting tired or overstimulated, he'll close his eyes, which is usually fine, but not while we're walking! I was able to get him to open them up again by asking him to lead us to the register. He loves when he has a task and gets to complete it. He always says "I win!" :)

Once back at the hospital, it was time for another Wings game. We ended up eating dinner in bed again so we could watch the whole game. Our trays came with cute little bottles of Sparkling Cider and pretty plastic cups. It was a fun little celebration! All was good until the Wings lost :( Cale was so mad! He kept saying "It's dumb. Dumb game. So sad!" He started to throw his Red Wings hoodie on the floor! Haha! He wasn't a happy camper at all! It took a card game after that to cheer him back up!



In 2007, Cale surprised me with a trip to watch the ball drop in NYC. It was a birthday present and all along, I knew he was planning a birthday surprise, but was of course expecting it on my birthday! We were even planning to go to a ball on New Years Eve. I had borrowed a dress and made plans to get ready with a friend. We stayed up laughing and talking until 2am the night of the 30th and then at 6:00am on the 31st, Cale woke me up and said, you have an hour to get ready! What?! Aah! What did he have planned? I thought maybe he was taking me out to breakfast, but why before my birthday? On our way to Syracuse, I thought I had it figured out that he was taking me to IHOP because I love eating there, but then that wasn't it...we ended up at a train station. Hmm...a train ride! Yes! He knew that I had always wanted to ride one! I was so excited and kept telling him how great it was. I was still wanting to make sure we were going to be back in enough time for me to get ready for the ball. I still had to fix my hair and make up, paint my nails, and shave my legs! Finally, after being on the train for a while, Cale told me the plan! Wow! I was shocked that he came up with it, with out any help from me! He had all the details figured out and everything! We had one of the best nights! It was so funny because if it was me planning, I would have had bags for us, a hotel room, a list of things to go do and see. Since Cale planned it, all I had was my purse and instead of getting a room, we walked the city all night, slept in a McDonald's for a couple hours, and had random fun. He's amazing and I loved the trip SO much!!

Today he surprised me with a homemade cake, and for him to bake-is a really big deal!! I wonder if he remembers how much I love surprises ;)


Happy New Year from the Darling's!! :)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mission Accomplished.


I completed the mission I set out to do (yesterday) today. We now have a placard for the car! Date nights will be so much easier! It was smooth sailing since I had the paper signed! Haha! Oh dear...I'm glad that part is over. On my way back, I stopped at a Starbucks :) I had a gift card and took advantage of it! White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha...Yum! Since I had to go even earlier today, I still made it back to the hospital in time to help Cale get ready for the day. I hate if I miss that time. Sometimes I get there early enough for some good morning cuddles, but even if I can't make it there for that, I always wanna be there to get his day started. We have a routine going and try to keep to it as much as we can!

After getting him all ready, it was time for Neuro Psych. Dr. Howe is still testing Cale every day to monitor where he's at with PTA. I had missed yesterdays session (while on my adventure...), so I was curious how it went and interested in his session today. From what I could tell he was doing really great. When she was all done and added up his score, she said he got a 75!! This is so great! When I showed how excited I was, Dr, Howe said "Yesterday he got a 90!" What?! Yes! To be out of PTA (by the books), Cale needs 78 or higher 3 consecutive times. He is doing so great. I know that he still is struggling, but even with other things that I ask him, or talk to him about, he's doing so much better with being able to lay down new memories. It's not always all the way correct and sometimes he still gets mixed up, but part of that is his speech barriers too. Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!! Eeek! There is so much healing happening! Yay! Cheer! Wooooohoooo! :)!!! I'm loving every minute of it! Thank you Lord!

When I put the placard away in the car, I found Cale's Army Beret. He had left it in there before he deployed. When he came back last year, he was looking every where for it. He didn't want to buy a new one since he was getting out, but he had to have one. I knew that I had seen it, but wasn't sure where. Well, I found it! I might be a little late, but, I did tell him we would find it eventually! :) He recognized it right away and put it on. It doesn't quite fit like it used to, but he still looks so handsome with it on! :) heehee!


Tonight we went on a date. This was out FIRST date that was-just the two of us! It was so much fun and SO special! It was a date that reminded me of so many that we've had before. First we picked up our pizza that we had ordered ahead of time from Pizza Chicago. I just love their pizza so much and Cale has a blast saying "Pizza Chicago" in an Italian accent. Once we were settled in the car, Cale opened the box and while driving to our destination, we ate (safely!) right out of the box while drinking root beer. How fun! His favorite band was playing so we sang along the whole ride! Both of us laughed and giggled over cheese and sauce getting on our faces :) We arrived at a Fantasy Light Show in San Jose. We drove through a park that had a ton of Christmas lights everywhere. They give you a radio station to listen to that had Christmas music playing for the ride. We sang along and laughed some more at how silly the songs were and how silly we sounded! Once back to the hospital, I helped get Cale ready for bed and then it was cuddle time! Oh yeah! Such a fun night!

This is what was left of our dinner...think we enjoyed it?! Heehee!


When we got back to the parking lot at the hospital, I asked Cale if he remembered what we did. He first said no and then I asked what we had for dinner "cheeseburgers" and then asked what we did, "watched a movie." I think the dinner is kind of close, they both have bread, meat, and cheese! The lights were kind of like a movie, especially with Cale and I adding in our own story line for the lights... ;)

All journeys have a secret destination of which the traveler is unaware. -MB

I read this quote today and it reminded me of Isaiah 30:21 "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it."

Cale and I have no idea where this journey is going to end, how it's going to end, or what it's going to look like. I'm not sure if I'm always doing the right thing, making the right next step, or if there's something I should be doing that I'm not. This was definitely a journey that I wasn't prepared for, I didn't have time to study or learn about TBI before faced with it, I was never trained to be a wife in my place. The amazing thing is that God does not leave us! He is preparing the way, leading us, directing us, guiding us, helping us, and has already gone before us. He knows the secret destination He has for us! He is always there for me to lean on and trust in. I love that He is walking every step with us-holding us, rooting for us, and pouring his grace on us every day. I am so thankful that we are not alone on this walk! What a blessing to know that all the weight doesn't have to be carried on my shoulders, rather, I can surrender daily and the Lord is faithful to carry it for me.

If you have any questions for us that you have been wondering about, email me and I'll answer later this week all the questions that I can (you can ask Cale too! He can answer whatever questions you have for him!). I did this once before, where I answered every ones questions at one time and that seemed to really help! Ask away! :) darlingkathleen@ymail.com


I know we are a little cut off in this picture, but we were having fun with the camera and I thought this one was kind of sweet :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm full of adventures...always!

Wherever I go, I always seem to have some kind of crazy adventure follow me. I'd like to pretend that it started since the accident and have something to blame my craziness on, but it started long ago...!

This morning I set out to the DMV (that's 25 minutes away) to get a disabled placard. I've been putting it off partly because I was told the DMV here, is a huge hassle (aren't they all?), and also because the idea of getting one for my 24 year old husband didn't sit well in my tummy. After going out with Joe, Rachel, and Beth, and then again on Christmas Eve, I realized it would really help. When Cale has his walker, which we're trying to use more, it's hard for him to walk long distances. Around here, parking can be crazy, so I decided to just do it. Well, I showed up 20 minutes before the DMV opened and there was a huge long line around the building. "I can do this" I thought to myself...after waiting in line for a while, I finally reached the counter, handed my paper work to the man on the other side (feeling like I'm finally accomplishing something) and he hands it back and says "This document is not signed." What?! How in the world did I forget that? I was supposed to have Cale sign and I couldn't even do it for him because I left my POA in my room-crazy head!

Ok, well, that wasn't the way I thought I was going to leave, but it's ok I can do it tomorrow. I got back in my car to drive back, except before I could get on the highway, I had to get gas. On my way to the DMV, my gas light came on...oops! I knew I would make it there and still be able to get to a gas station with no problem. Ha! I left the DMV going the wrong way, finally got on the right street and there was no gas station around! I'm not even sure at that point what town I was in. The buildings were run down and there was graffiti all over. All I could think was that I was going to run out of gas on my way to the gas station and be someones dinner that night...

After getting a little lost, Amelia helped me find my way home-after leaving a gas station of course ;) Tomorrow, I have to tackle the same mission, but this time I'll have a full tank of gas! :)

Cale has been working on Top Secret projects in therapy the last two days. In RT yesterday they went on a top secret outing and in OT today they worked on something. I was told that tomorrows OT session is going to be top secret again. I tried getting it out of Cale, but he won't budge. I even told him I'd give him a kiss, but he knows he'll get one anyways ;) I asked him to at least tell me what they did yesterday, his reply "I forget." Haha! Well, I guess I just have to wait until Sunday!

For lunch we went on a date to the cafeteria for pizza. Cale has gotten even more picky with food, and hasn't been wanting to eat anything! I'm not sure what to do with him. Last night one of the wives made us homemade spaghetti and he wouldn't touch that either! He keeps saying pizza and steak! I decided pizza would be ok today. It was fun to go on a date even if it's in the hospital. We were away from his unit, and had some fun! Usually there's not enough time to eat there and get back in time for PT, but we had an extra 30 minutes today.

Right after getting a full belly on pizza and Root Beer, Cale had to work hard in PT. He did really good, but was extra tired today. Pat had him do some walking with out the cane. He's getting more stable, but still struggles quite a bit. I know it's happening though! He's getting there!!

The family of one of the patients has been visiting the last week. It's been nice having a wife around again and they have two boys which has been fun! Cale has been playing Xbox and air hockey with the older boy and then today had a blast with the youngest. He's 20 months and adorable! The baby would grab at Cale and then Cale would tickle him. It was so cute to watch them play together! I asked Cale "Can we have one of those?" C: "Yeah!" K: "Can we take him?" C: "No! He's not ours!" K: "Come on! Let's take him and run!" C: "No! We can't!" K: "Do we need to go buy one then?" C: "No, we have to make one!" Haha! :)



I love being with Cale so much. Tonight we watched a Red Wings game (that was another whole adventure I created...) in his room while we ate dinner in his bed. It was so relaxing and so great getting to hang out together. I asked Cale if he was happy and he said "always with you" K: "I wish that was true!" C: "It is! You're my favorite person ever!" He's been getting upset, like more than just tired/frustrated...I thought he was going to cry today. He hates being in a hospital and just wants to be home with everything better. I try to tell him we don't even have a home to go home to, but of course he doesn't understand. It's totally understandable that he's getting upset. I feel so bad for him. I do wish that I could make everything better for him though. I can't, BUT, I love that I can be with him and love him through his good days and bad days. I love so much that we can still have such an amazing time when we're together :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

a RUNNING he will go!!!

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9-

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

In order to win a race, it takes discipline and LOTS of hard work. You can't just sit back, relax, and then think when it's time to race you're going to win. Having a relationship with the Lord is hard and takes work. This world is full of lots of distractions and things that seem to be "better" than using our time spent on our knees. Sometimes we have to give up or sacrifice things that we love or enjoy, sometimes we have to give up living a life that seems to be more fun or full of self pleasure, sometimes we have to work hard to not give into an attitude of anger and resentment. My prize overall is heaven and spending forever with my Jesus. I sometimes can close my eyes and picture getting to see him, picture getting to hug Him and sit with Him. I sometimes can picture walking with Him as if He was actually in person with me. I know one day I will get to walk with the Lord hand in hand. How precious! Until then I have to run the race of this life and the journey that is before me.

Cale and I are both tired, but we have to keep our eyes focused on the prize. Our immediate prize is getting to go home together and seeing his progress everyday. It's so hard though! It's taking so long...Cale is asking every day "When?" He wants to know when will we get to go home? When will he be better? When will he be able to walk good? When will he get his memory back? When will things start to be easy? When will he be done with the hospital? We don't have answers to any of it, but we do know we need to work hard-run this race that's before us. To get the prize we have to work hard and be disciplined.

Cale is definitely running this race! Wanna see?!



He ran 5mph for 1 minute! He was actually running! He did AWESOME! I could hardly believe it was happening! My husband is running!! He was putting a lot of his weight on the handle, but his legs were moving SO good! As I watched him, I had the sweetest picture in my heart. One day Cale will run with our kids...such a beautiful picture! Thank you Lord! I'm praying that his confidence will continue to get better as he's walking!

In ST today Patty tried to use a metronome to help slow down Cale's speech. His words all run together so it comes out all slurred and jumbled. At first he thought it was kind of fun, but after a couple minutes the noise got to him and he said he wanted it gone! Haha! I think it would actually help though. We'll try that again another day! I think him being tired didn't help the trial ;)

Cale and I had some special time together today. It was just the two of us and we had lots of fun! We laughed so much, ate chocolate, cuddled, and were able to just be with each other with out any nursing staff coming in. Time with him is so special and I never take a minute of it for granted. He is the cheese in my macaroni, the sugar in my Kool-aid. He is the peanut butter to my chocolate :)

Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it. If a man tried to buy love
with all his wealth, his offer would be utterly scorned. Song of Songs 8:7


I realized today that one of the biggest reasons I've been afraid of Cale's surgery coming up, and why I've been slightly panicking at the thought of being here by myself is because with out realizing it, I've been thinking it's going to be like it was in ICU. I feared those thoughts and emotions, I feared going back to seeing Cale so lifeless...it's going to be nothing like that! As I thought about it more, I began to pray that the fear inside me would flee and that I would not be chained by it. God is Cale's healer and creator! He loves Him and has brought him this far! I can still smell the scent of the ICU room. I can still see so clearly in my mind the way Cale laid there, in his bed with out moving. I can still hear the machines beep and the IV bag pump. I can feel it all so clearly and didn't want to return to that. Thank you Lord that we are pass that! Thank you that we have been lifted out of the muck and we are seeing miracles and God's glory!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Conquered/Conquering...another goal!

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heaven!
Praise him for his mighty works;
praise his unequaled greatness!
Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn;
praise him with the lyre and harp!
Praise him with the tambourine and dancing;
praise him with strings and flutes!
Praise him with a clash of cymbals;
praise him with loud clanging cymbals.
Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

Praising God today for continuing His mighty work in Cale! We conquered another goal today!! One of the goals that Monica wanted Cale to be able to accomplish was tying his shoes. When she made the goal, it was a stretch, but she wanted to challenge Cale. He still needs a tiny bit of help, but he can do it!! Yay! How great is that?! I’m so proud of him because this is something that has been really hard and frustrating for him, but he’s powered through with great endurance and focus. Those two hands are going to work together…we’re determined! :)



Another praise…Cale had a great speech session again! He’s doing so great! Patty worked with definitions and word finding with categories. Here’s some of Cale’s answers from today’s session…

What is:
A telephone- call people, answer also
Text message- letters on phone
Voicemail- message from the voice
Email- message on computer
Alarm- makes noises and stops people
Reminder- sound to do things
Memory- remember
Microphone- (First he picked up my phone and started pretending to talk and then Patty reminded him what that was and said “microphone” again) talk into it and makes it loud

Categories:

What makes people tired? Singing, walking, dancing, flying, seeing things, writing, waving, itching, talking, hearing, drinking pop

What are some things that are boring? Classes, school, sometimes church, reading, dancing (hurt legs), talking

What are some things that might make you sick? Pop, gross meat, pool (water), gross stuff

What would you buy if you won the lottery? Car, truck, bike, clothes for Kathleen, watches, necklaces, good house with pool and big bath, shoes, pants

P: What’s better about being home? C: Everything. P: Are there things you’re going to miss about here? C: No, nothing. P: Are you going to miss hospital food? C: Not at all!

It was such a fun session :) He came up with a lot of answers and all by himself! How exciting!!

He did the crazy treadmill thing in PT. He does it every Monday and every week he’s getting stronger. Today he walked 1.7 miles with 75% of his body weight. I could tell he was exhausted at the end of it. He’s working so hard every day! I know his body is tired and sore!


I asked Cale tonight, “What should we do for my birthday?” C: “Eat pizza and see hockey.” K: “Are we talking about my birthday or yours?!” C: Pizza and hockey are good anytime!” Haha! Oh boy! :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Only by God's grace.

There have been several times today that my heart has started to beat so fast and it felt any moment tears were going to come. It's been a good day, enjoyable with Cale, but at the same time it's been incredibly challenging. December 26th last year is when Cale came home from a year of deployment.

I can still remember everything perfectly. I had woken at 3am and saw that Cale had sent a text from a friends phone that said he had arrived at Drum. I jumped out of bed with only 3 hours of sleep and began my beautifying ritual. I wanted to look perfect for when he first saw me. Once I was at the gym, the minutes started to feel like hours! I couldn't wait to hear the marching, see the uniforms, and finish with the ceremony! I remember then that my heart was racing, my hands were frozen, and I felt as if I was about to jump out of my body. And then...it started! Soldiers came in a long line, marching into a gym full of extremely excited families. Soon! Soon, I would have Cale in my arms...finally!


Where was he?! The last time I was able to pick him out so quickly, but this time I had no clue! Where was I going to run? As soon as the ceremony ended, I paused. Does he see me? Suddenly there he was. Tall and handsome :) Our eyes met and I ran! Yes! He's home and now life is going to be perfect. When we reached each other and lost ourselves in a tight embrace, I never wanted to let go! Cale was anxious to leave the gym and say "see ya!" to every one around us.


It was 6:30am and we were home. The day was better than I could have imagined! For dinner that night I had cooked a pot roast in the slow cooker. I wanted it all to be perfect! The house that we were staying at until we left Ft. Drum, was furnitureless, so we ate our yummy dinner on the kitchen floor-still perfect :) The next 47 days were like a dream. Cale and I had so much fun and were in our own little world. Since he was in the process of getting out of the Army, he had a lot of extra time off work, so we played games, went ice skating, hung out with friends, watched movies, cuddled, planned our "across the US" trip, laughed, and were lazy. Both of us were scared and excited all at the same time for what was next for our lives. Whatever it was going to be, we new it was going to be good. We had already started trying to have a baby...

The accident was definitely not what we had on our dream-like plans. When I let myself go and leave the world I'm in right now, and drift to those memories-that's when I feel my heart beat so fast again. Where is the rewind button? How can I never go back to those moments? How can everything be so different? How did it all change so quickly? I sit feeling frustrated that there's no way to go back to before the accident. Unlike movies and video games, there's no restart to try that day all over. It's hard.

I have to keep reminding myself that the pain I feel, the memories I hold on to, the feeling of frustration, the journey that this has been...God knows. He cares. He hears me. He loves me. He has a plan and it's not to harm us. He has turned ugly into beautiful. He's holding me. He cares for me. His desire is for me to turn to Him, rest in Him. Trust Him.

To start the year, New Life Christian Church (our church in NY), is going to do a fast for 40 days. Everyone in the congregation is challenged to fast something during that time. I'm joining with them and fasting. One of my focuses is going to be for Cale's upcoming surgery. I am asking anyone that shares this journey with us to join in fasting at least from the first of January to the 21st. During this time you would choose something to fast and then also, it would be a commitment of change in your day. While fasting, you are not just abstaining from one thing. There also needs to be a time that you have when it's just you and the Lord. A date that you don't break! During that time, is when you press in to the Him and allow Him to begin a new work in your life. He needs to be in first place in your life for you to receive all that He has for you.

I'm going to be specifically fasting for miracles for Cale's surgery and healing for Cale in 2011! There's a lot that this next year has to offer! :) So many miracles have already happened and God's not done yet! Also, my desire is to walk everyday in the Spirit and not the flesh.

From a book that I read...

The benefits of living a Spirit-led life are immense, "There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit" (Romans 8:1).
Another amazing thing about all this is that when we walk according to the Spirit, we have access to all God's power and spiritual resources!
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace , that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need-Hebrews 4:16


Like I said, it was a good day even though hard. Cale had good therapy sessions. He was worked hard in PT today! When Pawan (filled in for Pat) said he could have a break, Cale asked why and said "I want more!"

This afternoon it was sunny and beautiful outside! Cale and I went to the garden and sat to soak up some sunshine. While we were out there, Kovin came outside to visit us! He was off the leash and was able to run around and feel like a dog! :) Cale loves when he gets visits from the therapy dog. It's not Basil, but he's still good! ;)



Thank you so much for praying for us. Days like this, I can feel them so strongly. In the midst of pain, I can feel so much comfort and it's only by God's grace and everyone praying for us. Thank you!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

This was our first Christmas as Mr. and Mrs. Darling in 2005 :)


It has been such a great day! It's been full, but from beginning to end, it's been wonderful! We are so blessed!

It started with me sleeping in an hour later than I have been. Of course this is always a treat! ;) As soon as I was ready, I went straight to the hospital and cuddled with Cale! Of course, we added in opening presents too! :) Cale was so happy while opening his gifts and so sweet with all of it. He would tell me that he loves me so much after every gift. When we were all done with them, I asked him, "Out of all of the gifts, which was your favorite?" and he said, "you!" Ahh! How sweet! He melts my heart...

About an hour later, we had a visit from Major General Robert Ostenberg. I thought it was such a great thing, that he was willing to come visit the hospital on Christmas! As I was talking with him, I really felt like he cared about what I had to say...not that I had anything important to say, but if I could have been one of those people that are so graceful with words and so mature with their questions, I knew he would have listened. ;) It was a really nice treat for Cale because whenever he gets to see someone in uniform, his eyes light up!


TJ came again today and joined us for a lunch at the Fisher House. They had sandwiches to eat and Bingo to play after. Cale and I are now Bingo addicts, so of course we had to be a part of the game! We didn't do so hot, but the lady running the game was kind enough to give a prize to even the losers! Haha!

The rest of the day was filled with air hockey, skype, Halo, dinner with the Andrion family, card games, and chocolate...so good! I really never thought I'd say this, but, video games are such a good thing for Cale. It's helping with his hands working together, he's working on being able to control his right hand, and vision. His eyes work together a lot more while he's playing. I'm very encouraged! He's even getting better then the first time with Joe. If I were to play against him, he'd beat be by a long shot! I just don't get those games!


Christmas. A story of a young woman who gets pregnant with out having sex, gives birth in a barn to a baby, that grows up and saves the world? Sound crazy to you? I realize that it does. Hard to believe? I know. BUT, this is what Cale and I believe. Both of us in our hearts believe that the baby that was named Jesus, that came from Mary's womb, was the Messiah, the Savior, the King. We believe that he was sent from Heaven by God to be a sacrifice for our sins, every single one of them. What was Mary thinking that night? Did she realize what was in store for her Son? Did she fully grasp that he was the Prince of Peace, the Great I Am? Did she feel alone after having to travel to Bethlehem?

I love the Christmas season! It's so fun and cheerful! It's full of yummy goodies and pretty music. I think a lot of people will give and help others more than any other time in the year and it's filled with (usually) happy memories. I love all the colors and decorations. I love all of the events and plays. It's all so great! With it all, let's not forget what it's really all about...a beautiful baby so many years ago, was born into this world to give us life. The strength that gets me through everyday, the God that holds us in his hand, the joy that we have, it all is because of a sacrifice that was shed for us, so that we can have the Holy Spirit alive in us today. Cale and I are so thankful for the birth of our Savior.

Here's a song that I heard today and LOVED it! What a sweet way to express Jesus coming into the world as a baby!

Winter Snow-Chris Tomlin

Could've come like a mighty storm
With all the strength of a hurricane
You could've come like a forest fire
With the power of heaven in Your flame

But You came like a winter snow
Quiet and soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

You could've swept in like a tidal wave
Or an ocean to ravish our hearts
You could have come through like a roaring flood
To wipe away the things we've scarred

But You came like a winter snow
(Yes, You did)
You were quiet
You were soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

Oh, no, Your voice wasn't in a bush burning
No, Your voice wasn't in a rushing wind
It was still
It was small
It was hidden

You came like a winter snow
Quiet and soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

Falling
(Oh, yeah)
To the earth below
You came falling
From the sky in the night
To the earth below



Merry Christmas from the Darling's!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Shoe Laces, Pool Time, and a Date!

This morning started out with OT at 9am! Monica worked with Cale on getting ready for the day and trying things on his own. He did pretty well at shaving today, which lately (especially for me) he hasn't wanted to try! Another big thing they worked on was tying his shoes. How do people teach their kids? Monica and I were having the hardest time trying to teach him. He still has trouble getting his hands to work together, so it's a little uncoordinated, but aren't little kids hands too? I know he's going to get it eventually! He's working so hard at it!


After OT was over, TJ came to visit! I let Cale open his first gift (because I needed TJ's help with it!) which was an Xbox! I'm not sure he knew at first what it was, but after he read the box he got excited all over again :) He already has one in NC, but I wasn't sure how much of it was saved and if the box itself even survived the accident. I had a gift card to use, so I just did it. I'm so glad I did too! He was so happy! We can watch movies in his room now too! As soon as it was all set up, the guys played for awhile. TJ pointed out how it's going to help getting his hands to work together...might be a new tool in therapy ;)


They played for a while and then it was time for lunch. Instead of Friday Family Night Dinner, they did a lunch. A special visitor joined us :)


Right after getting a full tummy, it was pool time! TJ and Cale had fun with a noodle fight :) Pat was pushing on Cale testing his balance, but Cale was focused on hitting TJ. At one point he looked at Pat and said "stop pushing me!" hahaha! He was having so much fun he forgot it was therapy! He ended up getting worked really hard, so a little fun time was ok :)



When Cale's therapies were over, we hung out for a little and then we went on a double date with TJ and Kristen. It was so fun! The movie turned out to be a chick flick, and both of the guys said they were bored! After (what the girls thought was great!) the movie, we went out to dinner. Cale has been asking for a yummy steak all week! We went to Cheesecake Factory and he finished every bite of meat on his plate! :) I couldn't quite finish my pasta though! Our first double date after the accident was a stroll down the hall to the coffee shop in NC. Cale, at that point, had no idea what was going on. Now we're going to dinner and a movie! :) Love it!


(We didn't get a picture of all four of us, but we did get one of just us!)

It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas when its mighty Founder was a child Himself. ~Charles Dickens

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Story Time :)

This morning started out rough for Cale. I'm not sure what was going on, I think just an off day. He has hardly any of those compared to how many he used to have and I have off days too.

He had a CT Scan today in preparation for his surgery. This one was a special (don't remember what was so different) scan. They had to do another IV on Cale which is so sad! I could tell today that he was trying so hard to be tough even though it hurt! After they were all done and wrapped the area that had the IV, Cale said "Ouch! Ouch!" When I showed him that he could take the stuff off, he seemed to forget pretty quickly about what happened ;)

The morning wasn't so great, but his speech session was awesome! Patty started off with some talking. She wanted to try something new with Cale and even before she started, she explained that it might be really hard, but she still wanted to try it with him. He ended up doing so great with it, and then continued to do great with the rest of the session. She even talked with Cale about how easy things are starting to become for him.

Here's what Patty tried with Cale. It was really fun! She wanted to do a progressive story where each of us told a sentence. Since it's almost Christmas, she wanted to use that as a theme and then see where we went with it! :)

P: Cale woke up early.
C: I got dressed.
K: Then he ran out to the living room.
P: He saw a big surprise.
C: I stopped.
K: Santa had come!
P: He brought lots of gifts for Cale!
C: I opened the presents.
K: One of the gifts was tickets to a Red Wings game!
P: Another gift was a new Xbox.
C: I like all games.
K: And then there was a knock at the door!
P: Cale was excited to see this person.
C: I opened the door and it was Taylor!
K: and he had in his arms...
P: A puppy!
C: I asked the puppy's name.
K: And the puppy's name was Banana :)
P: Taylor, Cale, and Banana decided to go to the hockey game.
C: The hockey players (Red Wings!) will shoot and score. Cheer! Yaaay!
K: After the game they went home and ate pie.
P: Kathleen had made Strawberry Cream pie.
C: I had only one piece. Good. Tasty.
K: After pie, we hooked up the Xbox.
P: Kathleen did not complain the whole time. (about the guys playing!)
C: We played hockey games on the Xbox.


The End :)

After the story was done, Patty read through it and then asked Cale some questions. Cale described the story as "The perfect day" Heehee! :)



Cale is starting to get so much better at walking with the cane! He still says it's hard and still gets tired really fast, but he's doing great! For the most part, we're trying to get Cale to walk around the unit with his cane instead of the walker. He's still holding my hand for a little more help, but I'm not sure if that's the only reason...I think we just like to hold hands! :)!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

WOW!

First...

Dr. Howe came in this morning and did more testing with Cale. The way it's monitored if he's emerged from PTA he needs to score a 78 three days in a row. So far he has scored 12/16-29, 12/17-48, 12/21-59, and 12/22-70! Wow! He's getting so much better everyday at it! AMAZING! :)

Second...

In PT, Pat has been more focused on having Cale on the treadmill and working with walking with his cane. It's been a little bit since he's walked with out anything. Today, Pat took his cane away and told Cale to walk. He walked really far and the whole time with out ANY help!! It was crazy! He was walking at a pretty quick speed instead of his usual very slow steps. At one point Pat told Cale he better hurry out of a guys way and Cale busted out a speed we haven't seen yet! He was doing SOOOO well! I'm so proud of him. After walking a long ways, Pat had him walk all the way back too! Cale only said he was afraid a couple times and even when he said it, he kept going!

Here's a video of him walking! It's great until I ran into a door...that's what I get for walking backwards! ;)



Today I ventured out and did some Christmas shopping for Cale. He was the only person left on my list! I can't wait for him to open his gifts! I'm horrible at keeping surprises from him (or anyone!). One year I was so proud of myself because he had been wanting a guitar and I was so sneaky and ordered him one for Christmas. I had been doing so good not leaving any clues for him to find out...until one night we were in the living room talking and I said "so when you're guitar gets here..." What?! Oh goodness. I started laughing and crying at the same time. How in the world did that just come out of my mouth? I was so mad at myself, but some how not surprised at all. I must say, this year I have his memory issues as a helper to me. If I let anything slip, he'll forget after a couple minutes! I still don't want to say anything!! I want him to be totally surprised and I'm praying that even though we're in a hospital, that it would be such a special Christmas for both of us!

I've been working on the prayer cards some more! It's so much fun to me! :)

Oh yeah! The social worker came to me today and let me know that Cale's surgery has been moved to the 14th of January. Please mark the date on your calender!

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'm back and we're SO happy! :)

It's never a good thing when I get behind on what's been going on. I picture that my brain turns into a tornado; swirling and whirling around, picking up any word that's in the path, but throwing words out too. The result is a jumbled, chaotic, messy disaster.

But here I go...

While I was on my trip, Cale started using his cell phone! I have been working with him for a while now, trying to get him to call me and answer on his own. If I would ask what he needs to do to call me, he would always say "push 2" but getting his brain to connect the dots so that he initiated it was a whole other hill to cross. I know at first it was the staff helping him, but I'm 99.9% positive that a lot of the calls he made to me was on his own, and when I called him, he almost always answered! This is such a big deal! Now, if I have to be a way at all during the day and he feels like he really needs to call he can, but also the fact that he's at a point that he can remember what to do on his own is a miracle! There's a couple other area that we've been working so hard at and hopefully he'll be able to connect (cell calls Kathleen and call light gets the nurse) soon. It's at least a start-and a very good one! :)

On Monday I had my meeting with the staff at the Seattle facility. This is the next step before going home. The last facility was a no-go, so I was rooting for this one. The first big difference was that when I went before, I had really been wanting it to work because there was a plan set up, and it didn't look too horrible to me. The whole time before I hadn't been feeling any peace, but tried to go and see what was going to happen. Nothing great. This time, I have felt so much peace about going once I bought the ticket. There were so many blessings about the meeting! God went ahead of us, paved the way, and fought the battle for us! I was ready to put on my boxing gloves (yet again...) if I needed, or at least exhaust the ears of the staff on my many thoughts and opinions on what I really felt Cale needs, but there wasn't a single moment that I had to take any kind of movement towards the boxing rink! All my questions and concerns were answered and turned out to be just what I had been wanting for Cale! It was such a blessing! Praise God! I'm not going to say the facility is better, because we're at one of the best we could possibly be at right now, BUT, as of now if all plans stay the way we think they are, it's going to be a really good "next step" for us before getting to finally go home.

Thank you for praying for me about the meeting. If I could go into all the details (which would take lots of time) about how everything went and all that happened, I know that you would be reading with your mouth hanging open in complete awe of the Lord and His goodness!

He will rescue us because you are helping by praying for us. As a result, many will give thanks to God because so many people's prayers for our safety have been answered. 2 Corinthians 1:11

After a very long day of traveling, I climbed in my bed and slept. I had my alarm set for 7:30am and had plans to get ready as fast as I could and get to the hospital and see my crazy amazing husband. At 7:15am, my phone started ringing. It was Cale calling to tell me that he missed me! How sweet is that?! It didn't take long to jump out of bed and get ready! I had a couple important phone calls that I had to take, so it took me a little longer than I was planning to get to him. When I finally did, his face lit up like he had just won a million dollars...I'm pretty sure my face looked the same ;) I missed him soooooo much! I gave him such a big hug and after a minute he said "I can hug you even tighter than that!"

I slept, but my heart was awake, when I heard my lover knocking and calling: “Open to me, my treasure, my darling, my dove, my perfect one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night.” But I responded,“I have taken off my robe. Should I get dressed again? I have washed my feet. Should I get them soiled?” My lover tried to unlatch the door, and my heart thrilled within me. I jumped up to open the door for my love, and my hands dripped with perfume. My fingers dripped with lovely myrrh as I pulled back the bolt. I opened to my lover, but he was gone! My heart sank. I searched for him but could not find him anywhere. I called to him, but there was no reply. Song of Songs 5: 2-6

There have been more moments in the last year than I can count, that I have been able to put myself in the place of this woman that was longing for her lover. She had a dream that he was there wanting her, desiring for her, but when she opened the door, he was gone.I could have been sleeping, day dreaming, or it was in the middle of my thoughts, and every time I opened the door, Cale was gone. I have spent so many hours longing to have him back, longing for what we had together, longing for my lover...and no matter how many times I tried, he was never there-and I didn't know if he would ever be back. I feel now, that when I open that door to see him, to find him, little by little, I am! My heart is leaping with excitement for the love that we have and the future that is possible. It might be different than what we had pictured and that's ok! He's coming back to me everyday! There is a growing excitement each day that grows within me!! One day we will be out of a hospital and together again at home! :)

Dr. Howe has started more formal testing on Cale to monitor if he has come out of PTA (Post-traumatic amnesia). Once this happens, things in his recovery will be so much different. I was told before that this would never happen, but Dr. Howe seems very hopeful! She cautioned me that she can't say "if" or "when", but that she feels like he's close. She's using GOAT (Galveston Orientation and Amnesia Test) to see his progression. It's a big deal just the fact that she has started using this with him! The next step after emerging out of the coma is coming out of PTA. Please be praying that God would take hold of Cale's memory and begin to release his mind from the hold of the injury. Pray that Cale would come out of PTA and be able to continue recovering. Please pray that God's grace would be on Cale when the time does come and that Cale would not fall into depression because of his new understanding of what has happened to us. Pray that the joy of the Lord would continue to be his strength!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Blessed beyond words!

Psalm 144:1-2

Bless the Lord, who is my rock. He gives me strength for war and skill for battle. He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my deliverer. He stands before me as a shield, and I take refuge in him. He subdues the nations under me.

Blessed be God, my mountain, who trains me to fight fair and well. He's the bedrock on which I stand, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight, The high crag where I run for dear life, while he lays my enemies low.

Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.

The Lord is so faithful! I kind of mentioned already about how I was a little nervous about coming here...I wasn't sure what to expect with my emotions. So far, it's been great! I'm missing Cale like crazy, but I've gotten to talk to him quite a bit which is so amazing! He's talking so much clearer on the phone then when I was on my trip to WA and talked with him.

On the flight here, I read Psalm 144. I underlined and marked in the margin. At that time, I had been thinking about the whole journey, but as I was making some yummy cookie dough with Hannah, I was reminded about how this whole season we're in right now is hard, and there are several battles that we're having to fight-it's not just one single battle. Since I've been here, I haven't been anything except for completely blessed! I have been getting some really special and much needed hugs! It's been total opposite of being in pain and miserable with all of the memories that I had with Cale here, rather it's made me extremely excited for the next time I'm here and Cale is with me! I can't wait!

How true and tangible it is that the Lord is: my rock, my loving ally, my fortress, my tower of safety, my deliver and shield! He's my mountain, my bedrock, my castle, my rescuing knight, and my high crag! He's my strength, and my goodness! He's given me the skill for battle! In an unknown land, He has prepared the way. Thank you Lord!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

tickling to snoring in minutes!

Taking a minute to relax. It's been a full week, and the next is going to continue to be full! I'm loving it though, it's all good stuff. Tuesdays are always the craziest days for us, and Wednesdays we have a little more rest time.

Today was Hippotherapy which has become a cherished part of our week. It's a time that Cale and I escape from the hospital, have some sweet fun time as we drive, and have a special lunch together on the way back. He still has PT at 1pm and we get back about 12:45. I've been going to the main hospital for the last several weeks and getting us some sandwiches and chips for the ride. It's not anything special, but somehow it's the best sandwiches we could eat! Cale helps direct me back by repeating whatever Amelia says. :) Usually while he's riding, I sit in a gazebo thing and have a chance to go over paper stuff, or make calls if I need to. It's always so pretty, especially now with the crisp cold air, sunshine, and the leaves changing colors (yep! It still feels like fall here!). They had Cale do another spurt of trotting and he said "more! more!"

He's still saying he's sad consistently today. I've been talking to him through out the day about how we're here until February (not sure if I've said that yet on here?) and we need to make the choice to have fun and still work hard. At one point I told him that we need to be happy together and have fun, he gave me a huge cheesy grin! Haha! Then we both burst out laughing! As I'm typing, he's trying to tickle my feet! Heehee! He skyped with Joe yesterday and then again today with Joe and Beth. I think that might actually be helping a little, even if it is for a short time.

I'm heading out tomorrow! I'm super excited, but it's 4:45pm and I still haven't packed anything! Slacker...guilty. Actually, it's been busy and since I'm leaving I want to be able to spend time with Cale. I decided that cuddling in bed with him while I typed would be good and then I can tackle packing later. The morning is going to come VERY early. Yikes!

Didn't I just type that Cale was trying to tickle my feet? He's now breathing very deep and totally out! Dinner is in like 10 minutes! :( I would just get out of bed and tell them that he's sleeping so save the tray, but our legs are twisted and wrapped together like a pretzel! Maybe that means I'll have to order pizza? ;)

Can't wait to see everyone in NY!!! YAY!

The CNA just knocked and came in to check his vitals, so, we'll be eating the dinner tray!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Prayer

"Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees." Corrie ten Boom

The prayer cards are in the mail! Well, at least the first batch of many :) I'm taking time through the day to write addresses, seal the envelopes, and put a stamp on them. It's not a burden or overwhelming at all! It's turned out to be such a blessing!! As I write the address on each card, I am reminded how many people all over are praying for us! My heart was full of thankfulness today as I thought about how blessed Cale and I are, that there are so many prayer warriors on our side. Thank you for sending your address! I'm so stinkin' excited about the cards! They're so darn cute! :)

Cale had a rough day. He was consistently saying he was sad. He misses his friends and home. Most times we can distract him a little and he'll cheer up, but today he was Eeyore. So far his times of being sad haven't interfered with his therapies, but today it did :( Speech wasn't very great at all. He told Patty that the word game that she was having him play was stupid and he wanted to stop. Please pray against depression and that the joy of the Lord will continue to be Cale's strength! I'm praying that tomorrow will be much better! I leave for NY on Thursday, so...hopefully that won't make it worse!


Even though he was really sad all day, his neuropsych was great today! When Dr. Howe asked him who was here visiting he said "One boy and two girls, but I don't remember their names." When asked to think about who the boy was, he said "Joe" and with a little help he was able to say Rachel and Beth. When she asked what we all did this weekend he said "Saw animals, watched a movie, and played a shooting game (Halo)!!! What?! He was able to remember some of what we did! This is HUGE!! Woohoo!!! Crazy...it's absolutely crazy to see all of this progress happen! Dr. Howe has still been giving him three random words to remember after 2 minutes, and he still is having trouble. He was able to get one of the words today, so that's at least one of three! :)

The family meeting was today. We talked about Cale's surgery. I will have more details later. It's scheduled for the 21st of January...yay for a date! In case you missed one of my previous posts, the tumor is benign, so we don't have any scare about cancer! Thank you Lord!

Tonight before I left the hospital, I prayed with Cale. This time we thought of three things to pray for: Cale would continue to get better (a very big concern for him!), his surgery, and my trip. I asked Cale to pick one thing to pray for and he picked his surgery. He never wants to be the one to pray yet, because he has so much trouble with saying the words that he's thinking, but giving him something specific to pray for seemed to be great for him! He also prayed for his legs to get better :)

“Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place." 2 Chronicles 6:40

Please join with us in praying for:

* That Cale would continue to progress everyday! He says every day now, that he wants to be better (and I want that too!).
* For his surgery. That it would go smooth and that the recovery process would be quick-and there would be no set backs for him. Also for me...the wife waiting in the room-it's never the fun place to be!
* My trip! I'm leaving Thursday to visit our church family in NY. I've been wanting to make this trip before I bring Cale home. I'm excited to see everyone and I know it'll be good, but it's also the last place we were a couple days before the accident and I'm staying in the same house that we had stayed in. Also for my visit to the next facility on Monday. I will meet with them and tour the facility. I think it's going to be great, but pray for wisdom!
* Pray against depression! Cale is joyful and so happy. It was a great visit with friends, but made the desire for us to get home even stronger for both of us. The time will come! Again-it will be in God's perfect timing!
* Cale's memory! He still has long and short term issues. Things are starting to carry over a lot more which is so exciting! Pray that he continues to make memory gains and becomes even more aware!
* Please pray against fear! Cale is walking so great if I'm holding his hand and he uses the cane too. It's not a perfect walk, but so good. As soon as he doesn't have my hand, he's so afraid of falling. With more confidence, he'll be able to walk around our (one day) house with out anything!

"There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God." Brother Lawrence

The battle we face is more than just physical, it's a spiritual battle too! The joy of the Lord is our strength and every day we have to cover ourselves in the belt of truth, the breast plate of righteousness, shoes of peace, the shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit! Pray for courage to keep fighting in the battle! For endurance to keep going in this journey every day! Pray for our focus to continue to be on the kingdom and bringing glory in Jesus' name! Pray for strength and peace that only the Lord can give! Pray for Cale's full recovery and against discouragement! God cares about our soul and our bodies! Pray that as husband and wife, we would be able to stand firm against the lies of the enemy!

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:10-18

Monday, December 13, 2010

We can do this-Yes we can!


All evening I have felt like a mopey puppy. I'm sad. It's been an emotional day, but the sad part for me is how I'm walking around alone. I know I have Cale here, but it's during little things that I really notice it. Usually after dinner, I take a little time and run to my room to put on comfy pants (which are perfect for cuddle time!). Tonight, rather than two girls coming along with me, it was just me. Dinner tonight was sad too! It was just the two of us sitting at our normal table. I realize I once again sound pathetic, but...what can I say? I'm an emotional girl! ;)
After some sadness, I tackled some of my to do list of things that I completely set aside the last week! I feel productive and exhausted, so I'll hopefully sleep great and wake up ready to take on the next two busy days before I leave on my trip! Woot!

Starting with the morning when emotions first started to jump on the roller coaster was a meeting with the ENT. Rachel came with me and I'm so thankful! First, I was expecting to go to the meeting, listen to all that the doctor had to say, and then make the decision-radiation or surgery. Both seemed scary and made me sick to my stomach, but I have been praying over and over telling the Lord that He has brought Cale this far and He already knows the outcome. With the same breath I was asking how was I supposed to make such a big decision?!

When the meeting first started, a female doctor walked in. I had never met her, she had never met Cale, and that made me uneasy right away. I think mostly because the ENT doctor that is handling Cale's case is amazing, and seeing his face would bring a little comfort. She asked questions about Cale and what I was thinking so far about radiation as a possibility. As we were talking, in walks his ENT doc! He dove right in with examining Cale and explaining what surgery was going to look like. Rachel asked after a couple minutes passed if he was saying that radiation wasn't going to be an option like we had thought. He then told us that he had already discussed with the doctor at Stanford that we had met with and surgery is Cale's only option. Now, it's not necessarily the easier option, but what a blessing that I don't even have to choose! My heart was so heavy with how in the world was I going to do it, and the whole time the Lord had already answered!

As the doctor went through what everything is going to look like, I attempted to take notes, but not too far into the discussion, I felt as though everything I had eaten so far that morning was going to end up all over the floor. Rachel was kind and pointed to the sink :) Thankfully, I was able to hold everything together, Rachel took the notes for me, all of my questions were answered, and his surgery is scheduled for January. It's going to be scary, but I know that Cale is in the best hands-not only the doctors that will be doing the surgery, but also, the hands of the Creator.

Another huge praise in the meeting...after several scans and MRI's, showing that the mass is large and in charge, he looked at it with the scope this morning and said, it actually looks way better than he had been thinking! He said it seems to be contained enough that it's possible that they won't have to do any cutting to get it out! Praise God! The tumor has grown around his carotid artery so they may not be able to get it all out, but that is a goal! Also, the doctor did say that even though the car accident is bad, it's a huge deal that the tumor was found. It has started growing up to his brain so who knows what would have happened if we wouldn't have found it!

The tears started towards the end of the meeting and came a little later during good byes. I'm not exactly sure how to explain, but there are times that I feel so sad for Cale that I can feel the pain in me so deep. During the meeting was the first today because I just hate that he has to go through this. Then again when he was having to say good bye to Joe Rachel and Beth. He was so sad. I hurt for him because he wants to go home, he wants to be around friends, and he wants to be done with hospitals. It's hard to see him say he misses his family and friends so much and them not be able to be here. I know he has me, but I just can't fill all the roles, even if I try. On the way to the airport we picked up Basil too. He flew back with them and Joe is going to take care of him for us until we can get to WA and get settled. I'm going to miss Basil being here. I don't get to see him a lot, but when I do it makes me so happy. Joe will be taking good care of him and he'll be waiting for us, so it's ok!

Cuddle time was wonderful tonight! We haven't had hardly any in almost a week. We had little moments to get us through though! ;) We are both so tired that we fell asleep a little after 6pm! It was a short snooze and then I headed back to my room early. We were both sharing how we're sad and miss home, but I'm trying to continually remind Cale of God's perfect timing and we need to keep trusting Him.

K: "I'm sad." C: "Why?" K: "I miss Rachel, Joe, and Beth!" C: "I miss Joe! Yeah Joe! I miss him."


Trouble is something no one can escape,
Everyone has it in some form or shape-
And the wise man accepts whatever God sends,
Willing to yield like a
storm-tossed tree bends,
Knowing that God never makes a mistake,
So whatever He sends
they are willing to take-
For trouble is part and parcel of life
And no man can grow
without trouble or strife,
And the steep hills ahead
and high mountain peaks
Afford man at last the peace that he seeks-
So blest are the people who learn to accept
The trouble men try to escape and reject,
For in our acceptance
we're given great grace
And courage and faith
and the strength to face
the daily troubles that come to us all
So we may learn to stand
"straight and tall"-
For the grandeur of life is born of defeat
For in overcoming we make life complete. -HR


I'm not sure what to say about this picture...

another really fun day!

Last full day. :(

Our friends are leaving tomorrow and Cale and I are sad. It's been so great having them here though! We've had a blast! Lots of funny things all through the day. I was just asking Rachel and Beth if there's anything from today that I should make sure to get on the blog, and we all agree it's hard to tell about all the little things.

Cale had PT and OT this morning. He was worked like crazy again! In PT he walked really far with just a little help and in OT he did lots of weights. He was tired when he was done, but when I asked him to show me the gun show he did it very proudly! :)

Right after his therapy's, Rachel, Joe, and Beth played soccer with him. The four of them kicked the ball around, Cale stood with his walker. I was making a phone call, and enjoyed so much watching Cale kick the ball! I'm so thankful he has two legs that he can stand and do something as simple as kick a soccer ball! It's such a big deal!

Later in the afternoon, we went to a Christmas play at a church near by. We were all very impressed with how well it was put on. At one point a camel walked through the isle right next to us and Cale's face lit up! Afterwards, I had to find a way to get our picture with it! I had to do some hunting, but we got it! :) For dinner after the play we had In N' Out! Yum! All of us indulged a little...too much! It was so tasty though!








We've spent lots of time working on getting picture cards ready to mail out. I'm so excited about them! They turned out great! Hopefully soon you'll be getting one and if not, send your mailing address to prayingforcale@yahoo.com Please don't worry about it being trouble for me! Rachel and Beth attacked and conquered the project!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friends.

I am so thankful for friends. The last few days have been so great and refreshing! It's been awesome to watch Cale react to things that are happening around him. Since they've been here, I have seen more of preaccident Cale than I have in a long time. He's been making jokes and he's been very appropriate in conversation. Joe has been relaxed and natural with Cale, which helps so much!

Here are pictures from yesterday's fun!

Xbox...


Pool...


Today Cale had OT and PT and then the five of us hopped in the van (we have a rental van that some volunteers donated to cover the cost!). Our first stop was the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. I think the best part for all of us was to watch Cale and all of his excitement! He would say hi to whatever creature he saw :) Part of the museum was made to be like the rain forest (humidity included!), which was really fun!


After we had seen all that we could see there, we set out for the Golden Gate Bridge. Cale has never been, so it was extra exciting for me to go again. We had fun taking lots of pictures and of course laughing a ton! I wish that I could remember all of the things that Cale did that made all of us crack up so much!


I'm amazed at how well Cale has been doing! There are so many little things that have changed just in the last few days. He's truly healing and making crazy progress. Have you ever laughed so hard that you cried? Well, in the last few days I've done it a lot! Cale and I are always laughing and being playful, but even with that, it's changed a little. He's making so many jokes and making all of us(including himself!) laugh so hard. He's also been asking a lot more questions about things that are around or things that we say. Him starting to initiate is a big deal! I'm so excited to see where he's at the next time they all see him! I really do feel like it's ok for us to go home. He needs to be around family and friends and around things that he grew up with. I think it's just about time for us to finally start heading that way...depending on the surgery that is!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Xbox!

We have had such a great day! It's been fun, Cale has done great, and we still have lots planned! Yeah!

Beth and Rachel have been helping me with the project that I have for mailing stuff to everyone that emailed their address. I'm so thankful that they're helping! I think it's a much bigger task than I was thinking... :)

Joe went to speech and went in the pool with Cale today. They also played Xbox! This is Cale's first time since the accident. I wasn't sure how it was going to go, or how he was going to react, but he did great! He loved it! I'll have pictures maybe tomorrow? We had a little camera trouble, so, there will just be lots to look at tomorrow!

I found out today that I'm meeting with the ENT on Monday morning to discuss surgery details for Cale's tumor. The meeting that was set for today was cancelled because we already know that chemotherapy is not an option for him. Pray that all goes well!

I have a lot more to add, but I am one worn out girl! I think Cale's not the only one that has problems with over stimulation! Haha!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fun First Day

Yay for today! It has been so much fun having our friends here. Last night I picked them up from the airport at almost 10pm and then of course we had to have time for talking! :) It was a late night so we're all tired, but it's totally worth it! Cale has LOVED them being here. He's doing so great. Today all of us are getting to see every therapy which is so great for them to see how he's doing. He had a pretty long conversation with Joe about skateboarding. I was so impressed with how well he was doing with explaining the tricks and what they are. Just a few weeks ago, Patty tried talking to Cale about skateboarding and he didn't remember any of it. So great!


BIG news for today...Pat cleared Cale to use the cane on the unit! WOOHOO!!! Right now he's able to use the walker for short distances outside and around the unit, but now he can use just the cane on the unit! Wow! This is HUGE!!! Just within the last couple days he's been doing fantastic with walking. I think the treadmill is helping a lot. He went really fast again today and showed off for his visitors. It was even better than yesterday!

A couple weeks ago a Kindergarten class wrote letters/drew pictures for all the patients. It's was really sweet and they were all so cute! Today Cale wrote back to the class and did such a great job! It was fun too!



Fun Things~
Cale and Joe watching YouTube videos


I was in a meeting during RT. When I got back, everyone was playing Skip Bo. Rebecca had Cale teach the game to everyone. I was told he did great during the game and I was there for the end to see him win! :)

We spent sometime playing with the cell phones and had a blast! Cale started laughing so hard-his laugh is contagious so we ALL started laughing!

We all went to Pizza Chicago for dinner tonight. Cale and I had it on our outing the other day, but I loved it SO much, I couldn't wait to have it again! Comments from the group were "This might be the best pizza I've ever had!"



After getting back from dinner, Joe, Beth, Rachel, and Cale were walking down to his room while I was signing him back in. When I got to his room, I was told that Cale ran! They said that Joe told Cale that he was walking good and Cale said "Even better" (to say I can do better!) and then Cale did a hop skip and a jump and then started running. It wasn't a full out run, but it was with a bounce in his step! :) I couldn't believe I missed it and can't wait to see him do it more! Yay!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

One Boy and Two Girls

Every time anyone asked Cale today who was coming tonight, he would say there is one boy and two girls. He wasn't able to remember their names, but how great that he remembered that there were three and so specific on who! I was so impressed all day with him! The last time Joe and Beth saw him...he wasn't doing much. In the next couple days there are going to be lots of comparison pictures! :)


Yesterday Speech was outside and today it was in Cale's bed! Patty had to change her schedule around at 8:30am Cale and I were still cuddling in bed when she came in. I was expecting her, but new it wasn't going to matter if he was still in bed(maybe cus I wanted to cuddle more!). Actually, I had thought she was coming at 9am so I was going to get him up! Haha. Cale did awesome again! Yeah! Today she mostly worked on reading stuff. She wrote some things down, handed the notebook to Cale, and then asked him to read it. He did! Wow! He was able to read way better than the last time we worked on it and it seemed so much easier for him. We were pretty excited!

Dr. Howe came at 9:30, right after Patty left. Cale was saying that he wanted to go home and that he was sad that he's here at the hospital. She was asking him more about it and what's at home that he misses. He was saying that he wants to go to Washington because that's where he's from and that's where TJ is. Awe! :( I tried to talk to him after and remind him that TJ is here in CA and not in WA anymore. Poor guy was so crushed! Dr. Howe was also bringing up some other stuff and through the conversation, Cale said that he thinks that I think bad about him. My first reaction as the tears came to my eyes was that I must not tell him enough that I'm proud of him and how great he's doing. Of course, that's not the reason because I tell him constantly, but how sad to hear. After some digging, he told Dr. Howe that he's different...she asked him if he feels bad because he's not the leader right now and that he can't take care of me and do his job as a husband. He was saying yes and tears were threatening my eyes. It's such a good thing that he's realizing that he's different now and that he hasn't always been this way. That means he's becoming more aware-it's not easy to hear though! As soon as she walked out of the room, I jumped up and threw my arms around him. I love him so incredibly much and no way do I think less of him as my husband!

My beloved is mine and I am his. Song of Solomon 2:16

This evening was another Christmas dinner. We enjoyed yummy food and great music :) They did a raffle with different gift cards to restaurants near by. Cale was so excited about it, every number that was called he would listen carefully and let me know if it was our number. Because of the jazz band that was playing he became overstimulated after just a little while. It always happens all of a sudden, but when it does happen it's very noticeable. I told him it was fine to leave, but he wanted to stay until the raffle was all done! We didn't win anything which left him disappointed, but it was totally ok because then we left as soon as it was over. He's such a good sport about stuff!

Tonight when he was getting a massage, Paul (one of the massage therapists) was talking about how it's party month. Cale asked him what month it was and he said December. I asked Cale what holidays are in December. "New Years Day" K: "Well, New Years Eve is in December. What other holiday is in December?" C: "Halloween" K: "Nope, that one is in October. The holiday in December is on the 25th and starts with a C" I could tell he was thinking really hard and then he said "Cale's Day!" Haha! He's great :)



In my room right now there are two very special friends joining me! I love it! Beth is organizing, Rachel is washing up, and I'm one happy girl! :) Joe will be joining Cale at the hospital so, even though he doesn't know it yet, there is a really special friend joining him too! Yay!