Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Facial Hair Feeling

I've never been one who is good at growing facial hair. I tried the pirate-esque goatee this year but was accused of being a gay meth dealer. So that didn't work out so well.

But what situation in life can't be improved upon with the addition of a little fake facial hair?

It's convenient, temporary, and it sure gets you looks from the girls!

My dad, Von and I donned some fuzz recently before we walked into the Japanese steak house to celelbrate Vienna's birthday.

The result?

Let me just say there were three guys at the table that didn't have any shrimp tails thrown at them.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

An Appalling Camcorder Discovery

I found a clip on our camcorder tonight that shocked me.

I had pulled the dusty thing out to convert some old family movies to DVD. Curious about where we 'left off' on capturing life, I played the last recorded scene.

It wasn't pretty.

It was shot exactly a year ago in Ohio where the family used to live. Before the tape goes blank you see an unforgettable scene with a mom and her children eating cereal from plastic bowls while sitting on the kitchen floor. There is no table, the room is bare, and a puppy in a crate looks on anxiously.

The irony of the scene is that the last thing the camera man asked the people sitting on the floor before the screen goes blank is "Hey kids, can we trust God to work things out?" and there are some early morning sleep-tarnished nods answering in the affirmative.

This was the Rovenstine clan a year ago. Having thought we sold our house, we moved all of our stuff into storage for the move to Mexico. The kids had said their goodbyes to friends, we were sleeping on the floor, and we had already brought home the new puppy Moses that was supposed to be a guard dog for the home in Mexico.

When the sale fell through, we were stunned and living like animals for a few weeks before we came to our senses and got busy living. (You can read about the revelation on that decision here.)

It's been almost 52 Sundays since that morning and I have to sit back and marvel at how it all worked out and how God seems to know what he is up to. Sure, there have been some high summits and a few swamps to muck through, but what an awful shame it would have been if that was the last story the camcorder had to tell.

Which brings me to a promise I'm making to myself. There will be more God-trusting moments on that camcorder before I end up in the old folks home.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Home Again

Thank you, our dear friends and family, for praying for Von over these past few days.

We are thrilled to report that he is home tonight with family and has no fever.

Thank you Lord!

This snap is of Von leaving the hospital, riding shotgun on a pile of goodies Lisa got while getting some long-overdue shopping therapy accomplished one afternoon while I took a shift with Von at the hospital.

It's great to be a family again.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Hot Head Cooling

You know it is serious when the generally positive nursing staff quits joking with you, starts getting awkwardly quiet, leaving the room to speak to each other in hushed tones, and calling the doctor after each time they come in to update her. It was a very long night, and Lisa was a trooper through the sleepless ordeal, but thanks to your prayers and God's handy work, Von's fever started to fall today and his counts started coming back up. Thank you Lord!

He still has a little bit of a fever, but you can tell by his energy, the color in his face, and the frequent request to stroll down the halls to visit with the nursing staff, that he is completely better.

Need proof? Viewer discretion is advised. Von pulls down his shirt to show you his 'poit' which is his 'port' and tells you about an accident which necessitated clean undies and pajamas.

This kid has made a complete turn for the better in the last 24 hours. Thank you for praying for him.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Update on Von

An update on Von is long overdue. But to be honest with you, I'd rather have the job of cutting my grandfather's toenails than to have to think about how to communicate about Von, how he is doing, and thinking about what comes next.

I've realized that for the past six months I've tried hard not to be defined as the family with cancer. (My very first ever blog entry on The Dead Guy's Yard is how I would like for people to think of our family.) Yet everything we think about, talk about, pray about, and blog about ends up revolving around Cancer. We asked for adventure, and brother, we're getting it!

Thanks to all of you who have asked about Von and how you can pray. I'll blog here to give you an update and you can pray as you feel led.

Von was admitted to the hospital last night after a fever. He is in his last week of the delayed intensification treatment stage which was is part of the first six months of a three year treatment process.

He currently has a 103 degree fever which isn't coming down which proves critically dangerous for a cancer patient who has no immune system and low blood counts. He received a blood transfusion today and his color and mood has improved. The doctors are vague about what this means and how concerned we should or should not be.

He isn't eating and processing fluids well but we bought nice gifts tonight to bribe him into eating and trying to use the boys room more often. He has a heart murmur due to his hemoglobin being 5 when normal is 15. Two days ago his white blood cells were zero which means his immunity was non existent.

He will be in the hospital until he improves. Lisa and I are taking turns being with him and still being with the girls and doing the normal stuff like going over spelling test homework and getting them off to school.

My in-laws have been amazing to live with and very supportive and helpful. The fine folks I work with have also been extra gracious and helpful as I've been trying to keep up.

The two photos here make me laugh. They reflect a little bit of the variety of emotions and information that we process as a family. Lots of ups and lots of downs. But I've got to tell you, compared to lots of the little kids we see on the 8th floor at Children's, we are very blessed.

I'll keep trying to blog and keep you updated. We really do need your prayers for Von right now.

Thank you for your love, support and prayers.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Half-Dozen Years

Happy Birthday Vienna!