8/26/2008

Inflection point

I was trying to be creative in titling and writing this post like so many other parents have been when it has been time to convey the information that I will in this post, but creativity escapes me now.

Max is dying. He has been dying for some time, of course. Since 2004, he has been battling a cancer that had a terrible cure rate to start with, then he relapsed in 2006, then progressed this summer. Now, the neuroblastoma seems to be spreading rapidly to soft-tissue areas of his abdomen (liver, kidneys), despite continual treatment.

So, we are making plans for when Max leaves us and becomes pain free forever. Melissa and I knew that this time might come, but harbored hope that it never would, that we would be "the lucky ones." We still have a smidgen of hope, perhaps that's our downfall and will cause us much pain in the near future as we find it hard to let go of him, but without hope, what is there?

Let me give a quick update and then that will be it for this post.

- Pain: Max is on a morphine PCA pump. Last Thursday we had a horrific night - Max in so much abdominal pain that he was going practically crazy. Due to some transition issues with our hospice provider, we were caught off-guard and Max had to spend several hours writhing and screaming in pain, without anything we could do but try to comfort him with words (note: it doesn't work - try it - cut off your finger and see if kind words help soothe the pain). I fear we've done more damage to Max's psyche with that episode than shows. Remembering this night makes me so mad... sad...

- CT: we are having a CT done today to determine the spread of Max's disease. Last Thursday we had an emergency CT to determine what was causing Max's adbominal pain. It was there that we saw the disease in his liver and kidneys. Curiously, the pathology report from Max's brochoscopy procedure two weeks ago showed no disease..

- Radiation: we are starting palliative radiation to Max's liver today. We hope this relieves some of the pressure on his abdominal area so that he is more comfortable. Right now, he only wants to wear pajama pants.

I want to close with a picture of Max. So many pictures have been posted lately showing unhappy Max. There are moments of lucidity and happiness on his face, though they are fleeting. Those moments are treasures and Melissa and I are doing our best to make sure that as we capture them for the future, we also enjoy them in realtime.

Sunday afternoon, Max woke up from a late-morning nap. He wanted a popsicle and so went outside for some Naboo/popsicle time. It was only five minutes but it was magical.


Max's face is fairly puffy from the dexamethasone and morphine, and is truly the sweetest boy ever.

107 comments:

Char said...

Andy and Melissa,

As I know you could not find words to comfort Max in his pain, I also know there are not words to comfort you in your pain either. Just know that you continue, day by day, to be in our thoughts and prayers.

Al and I have committed to walk, although in Florida, the Magic Water 5 Mile Walk on Sunday. We will walk on Marco Island Beach and we will pray and walk and walk and pray for Max and for all of you as you climb this mountain together.

We will also join all of you in the special prayer time on Wednesday evening.

We truly wish, hope and pray that it could all be different and God would place his healing hand on Max and this would all go away.

It seems he has another plan, for Max, that we aren't yet given to understand but in the end, brave warrior Max will understand.

What a blessing he is to all of you and to all who know him.

Love and God's Blessings to all of you!

Char and Al Love

Randee said...

We too continue to pray--never giving up hope!!! Thank you Andy and Melissa for continuing to open your lives to so many and letting us walk through with you. We love you all so much and want so much for Max to be better. His smile with the blue popscicle is heartwarming.

We are here for anything you need!!

Vickie said...

Thank you for sharing the smiles and the light in Max's eyes. I want so much more for all of you!

VB

Anonymous said...

I have been following Max's journey for quite some time and your words today make me incredibly sad. My thoughts and prayers, as are those of so many others, are with Max and with you.
Jayme

Anonymous said...

Max's journey has been a long one and he has taught many to live life to the Max. Such a brave and amazing boy and such a loving family. My prayers and thoughts are with each of you. Diane

tracy said...

From your cousins in MN.

Thanks for sharing your pain and for the sweet smiling pictures of Max.

You all are in our thoughts and prayers. We can't imagine what you are going through; our youngest is just one year younger than Max...a July baby too.

Carter and Max played together at GG's 80th birthday party, only 4 short years ago.

Love, Tracy

Anonymous said...

I do not know you but I do know the Hutchinson family. You seem like very caring and wonderful parents to a sweet boy..

Brunskow said...

I sure wish I had something amazing to write. I'm in tears reading your update. Hope keeps us going for so long, it's so powerful.
The pictures are wonderful. It amazes me that kids with so much disease burden can still smile and have fun. Although I've never met Max, I can see through your updates and photos that he is absolutely "Amazing". Amazing kids have amazing parents. The two of you have done such a great job raising Max.
We will pray for comfort and continued amazing moments like those captured in the photos.

Anonymous said...

This isn't fair... CANCER SUCKS!

-heartbroken and praying in IL.

Anonymous said...

I am just so sad to read this post. I too am not giving up HOPE! Andy you are so right when you say Max is such a sweet boy. His sweetness and innocence is like no other! I love you guys!
Bree

Danita said...

Hey Andy & Melissa!
As so many posts have already commented, you are truly amazing parents with some truly amazing kids. I also wanted to let you know that I'm praying for you guys & for Max & Hannah & Nic--especially in the next few days. I pray for the wisdom & the words for you & your family. I can't even imagine what difficult times these are. Above all, I continue to pray for hope and comfort and still...healing.
Love,
Danita Martinez (Leanna's daughter), Minneapolis

Anonymous said...

I'm so sad for all of you. Max has fought so hard every step of the way. Max's eyes and smile are so heartwarming and I wish he could feel that way every day.

You as his parents have been strong and tested beyond words ... you have shown such grace and love and I cannot thank you enough to sharing your family's story. Along with Max, Nic and Hannah are also such amazing children.

I will carry and pray for all of you ... pray for comfort for Max, pray for peace for all of you, and pray that Max has more smiles to share.

Mary Beth in PA

Anonymous said...

Like everyone else, I want so badly to take away your pain... Max's physical pain and your family's emotional pain. As much as I hurt for you, I can't but admire your strength and courage and the gifts you give your children every day by being such amazing parents to them. Please let us know if there's anything we can do to help you through these terribly difficult times. You're always in my thoughts and prayers,
Lori

Tina said...

Hi Andy,
I've been wanting to leave a comment for some time, but I always just end up staring at the monitor with tears in my eyes. I still do not know what to say, and I know that nothing I can say can take away the pain you and your family are going through. I still have hope for Max, and I think about him and your family almost every day. You and your wife are amazingly strong parents. Max is lucky to have such a great family. If there is anything that I can do to help, please do not hesitate to ask.
-Tina Newhouse

Anonymous said...

Hoping and praying for your entire family. Carol

Tifani Brakke said...

My eyes are filled with tears as I write this note. Everyday when I wake up, I immediately turn on my computer to see if there is an update on Max, hoping for good news and a miracle...today's update truly broke my heart. My thoughts and prayers are with Max and all of you during this very difficult time. You all possess so much love, strength & courage, and you are such a tremendous inspiration to all of us. Your story has made me hug my boys a little harder, and appreciate the blessings that they truly are...enjoy your beautiful little boy...what a blessing he has been and will always be in your life.
Love, Tifani

Jenbuster said...

Please know that we are thinking thinking of Max and your whole family right now and hoping to keep you lifted up. I'm so so sorry that things aren't turning around.

Anonymous said...

I have followed Max from Will Lacey and I want you to know that I am sending prayers for Max and his entire family from across the country.

Anonymous said...

Sweet, sweet boy....All my love to Max and the entire Mikulak family.

Shirley
NJ

Kari said...

We've never met but Bree gives me updates on Max and I check in with your blog. I cried when I read your post. Your family is in our prayers. Please know that his strength, and your spirit and love are truly inspiring. God Bless you.

Heather said...

I have followed Max through Sam's website. I am so sad reading your latest blog. I can't even imagine what your family is going through...let alone Max. Please know that there are people everywhere that are praying for you guys. Miracles do happen.

Anonymous said...

You don't know us but we've been following your story for months. Please know we think about you every day.
Sending many positive thoughts for light and happiness to you all.

Claire said...

I like many others have been following Max's journey for some time now. I am amazed at the strength and courage you and your family possess and only wish I could make things better for you all. Never give up the strength, courage and love your family shares...you will be in my thoughts daily.

Anonymous said...

There are no words to express the sadness I feel for all of you. This has been an incredible journey that you have shared with so many people...even strangers. Your strength,courage and love for one another has been and continues to be an inspiration to all of us. I have learned to live life to the Max..because of your Max! I will never forget his sparkling eyes..and his sweet smile. It warmed my heart to see that in the photo with the popscile..thank you for sharing this little guy with us.Sending prayers and love to each of you. xo Linny

Anonymous said...

We have passed the email from Bree to dozens of our friends. We are there in spirit for your family and little Max- on Wednesday and always. Little Max has fought a hard journey, and he has been blessed with magnificent, magical parents. Bless you for your courage and power!

Anonymous said...

I've tried to write a few times but nothing sounds right. Just know that there are people praying for Max & your family from all over the world - I hope you can feel the warmth of their prayers as you tuck Max into bed tonight...

Praying in Alaska, L

courtney said...

After following Max's courageous battle for months, I finally have built up the courage to leave you a message! Even though I may have never met you guys, Max and your family have touched my life significantly. I am always humbled by your strength, courage, hope, and honesty. I pray for you guys daily and are always in my thoughts!!!

Katie said...

I have been following Max's journey for a while and was always hoping for the best. He seems like a sweet and beautiful child and I just wanted to leave you this message to let you know that I am always praying for your family.

Lea White said...

I just wanted to let you know that I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts as you seek comfort, understanding, holding on to hope.

Lea White
http://whitesinnz.blogspot.com

Talita - Calebs mom said...

Hey mikuklaks, this post left me devastaded, but then I remembered if theres HOPE and FAITH there is a WAY! Its hard to hold your child and try to confort him when hes screaming and crying in pain, we feel horible, and wonder at times WHY, WHY is this happening to my child, what has he or we done to deserve this. But we never find a reason and who to blame, so we live life to the fullest, giveing him days of happiness, keeping him confortable and take tons tons tons of beutiful smileing, crying, playing, sleeping, eating, pictures.
Andy you boy is amazing, even in the sad max pics, he still has a sparcle in his eyes and he touches deeply my heart. MY love, hope and prayrs go out to you, may Gods hands guide you and Melis.
Praying for the Best
Talita

Anonymous said...

Like so many others, I have been following Max's (and your family's) journey for the past few months. He (and you) have been so inspirational. Max has faced this battle for so long with such courage and such determination to live fully and joyfully. I will continue to hope along with you for the best, and I will be praying for all of you as you love and support such an incredible boy through such hard times.

Caroline said...

I am a friend of the Laceys' and have been following Max's story for some time now. I am in awe of the courage that this young man possesses. I find that whenever I read a post on Max's site, the lyrics from the song "Into the Fire" by Bruce Springsteen (The Rising) flood my brain:

May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love give us love

Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

When I think of Max and when you lived just down the street from us, I remember the day you told us at the park that you were pregnant (with him). I remember how happy you were as we watched our daughters play together in the sand with the other neighborhood kids. I remember vividly, Hector holding Saul talking with Andy as he's holding Max at a birthday party at your house...they were just babies. I remember the day before you moved visiting you and watching Max wobble around as he had just learned to walk. He was my sons first friend. Max, what a hero you turned out to be!

Melis and Andy, our prayers are with all of you. May God bless the Mikulaks. May He give you strength.

Carmen Luna

Leigh William said...

Dear Max, Melissa, Andy, Hannah, and Nick,

Your family has documented and shared this journey with so many, and while I will pray continuously for recovery, sometimes that recovery comes in a way that we may never fully understand.

Max, you are an angel. You have been so brave and courageous, and have endured more than most of us will in a lifetime. Your smile draws others to love and adore you, and your friendship and sweet spirit causes our family to think of you even when we're miles away.

Andy and Melissa, there simply are no "right" words. Even as I type, I type and then delete, type and then delete. I can not begin to understand what you must be feeling; however, I want for you both to know how I have watched and witnessed, and grown as a human being myself, as a result of knowing your family over the past two years. My prayers are with you both, and when you need me, I am here.

Hannah, I am sorry to hear that your brother is not doing well, and that you are having to feel all of these crazy emotions that most grown ups can't even handle. Please know that there are MANY people who love and care for you, and that time will slowly heal all wounds.

Nick, hang in there little man. You've got the best parents in the whole world, and they love you like I've never witnessed a parent love a child. Smile, smile, smile....as your smile gives the rest of us strength.

Your family is in my prayers-
Leigh William

Charles said...

Andy and Melissa, You are such incredible parents and Max ia an amazing little boy.We can not even begin to imagine what all of you have been going through. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through this. We will send the prayer request to our prayer team at our church for tomorrow evening. They are an awesome group of prayer warriors! God promised that no matter what he will be there to walk with us. Our hearts go out to all of you. love, Chuck and Patti

Jen said...

Thinking of you and the entire family now and always. I can't even fathom how painful this time is (and has been) for all of you. I hope for the best and will continue to keep you in my thoughts.

The other me said...

My dad had liver cancer and I watched him in uncontrolled pain just one time...I simply cannot imagine how you must feel to have to have seen your precious boy go through that.
I hope that prayers from strangers will help, that you will feel, somehow, the love that people across the world feel for your boy even though we will never meet him.
May there be many more blue popsicle moments for you and endless heart pictures.
Thankyou for sharing Max with us.

Anonymous said...

I pray for your whole family and most of all to have dear little Max pain free. He is truly blessed to have you as parents and Hannah and Nick as siblings. He has touched so many lives. I think of him every day and send prayers to him from the East coast. This child of yours is amazing. Thank you for sharing his life with so many people. Take care. East Coast Friend

Anonymous said...

I am nobody who has followed Max's journey for a long time.

I am so sad for you, for the words that no parent should say never in regards to her/his kid. As you say, my only comfort is that Max will be pain-free soon.

I have another comfort, I will see Max in Heaven, healthly, running, smiling....being a kid again. That would be fantastic!

The only thing I can do is pray for you, for your pain, and for Max's care is these difficult days.

In His Love

Tania (Caracas-Venezuela)

Anonymous said...

We're praying for your beautiful boy here from Texas Childrens.
Lara w.

Anonymous said...

Praying, hoping and wishing for you Max.

Anonymous said...

Praying and hoping with the Mikulak family and especially for MAX! Love, hugs and HOPE, Clarissa

Anonymous said...

I have been following your story for a while now. I know we don't know each other, but I feel so much like I know Max. He is so inspiring and such a fighter for someone so young. He is also so lucky to have parents like you. The words "hang in there" really don't do any justice. But I am thinking about your family and praying for your little boy. And I will continue to pray until there is a cure for this thing.
~Molly

jandkland said...

I came to your site from Mashed Potatoes for Breakfast, which a friend (cancer mom) recommended to me. While my two daughters are healthy, I am drawn to the various areas related to childhood cancer--ministry, research, contributions, and prayer. None of us are immune to this kind of tragedy striking our families. My husband and I have committed to supporting these areas in any way that we can.

You wrote, "without hope, what is there?" And you are right. In a situation like the one you're facing, which goes against all our natural human expectations and understandings, I simply can't imagine what it would be like without hope. Hope is what makes you get up each morning and breathe and love your children through another day, even though the heartache of what you're witnessing must be unbearable.

It's been a pleasure to get to "know" your family, and especially Max, through Deb's photos and comments. Those "parting shots" penetrate my soul. Your boy is amazing. Thank you for sharing your private life in this way in the hopes that it will honor Max and help children in the future.

I am reminded of Steven Curtis Chapman's new verse to his song, "Yours," written after he lost his daughter in May. I pray that, even in your darkest moments as you travel through days no parent or child should have to face, you know deep within that you belong to God.

"I’ve walked the valley of death’s shadow
So deep and dark that I could barely breathe
I’ve had to let go of more than I could bear
And questioned everything that I believe
But still even here
in this great darkness
A comfort and hope come breaking through
As I can say in life or death
God we belong to you."

rainberry said...

I've been following Max's journey for a few months. I just wanted to say that you are in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Everything that can be said has been said in all the post I just read.
I am but another stranger that has hoped and prayed for a beautiful child I have never met but have falling in Love with his beautiful smile,strength and courage. Please know we pray for you all and will continue to do so.
Lisa in Georgia

Anonymous said...

Reading the words that we never wanted to read is heartbreaking, but reading the effect that Max, and your family, has had on people is amazing. Max is just such a special boy! Thanks for the popsicle photo, I needed to see that precious smile of his!!! You are always in my heart, and I am never giving up! Hugs...Ms. Weitz

Anonymous said...

Melissa and Andy,

Max recently joined us at KidsGames camp at Solana Beach Pres. Church. During that week we got a glimpse of this wonderful boy. He changed kids lives that week. His team mates wanted to be with him and push his wheel chair and make sure he was with the group at all times.

We are pulling together for Max, saying prayers for him and your family and wanting to be a support to you in any way we can. Know that this community is praying for you.

Children's Minstries Team at SBPC

Anonymous said...

We are so sorry to hear this news. We pray for Max and you everyday. God Bless You.

With Hope,
Gavin, Wendy and Evan Lindberg

Val said...

Another first note from a quiet observer.

Because there is this:

As lucky as you were to have Max in your life for 7 years, he was even luckier to have you. You, Andy. You, Melissa. You, Hannah. If there's a miracle in all this, it's that you were his family.

Your love, honesty, and courage gave him his. You couldn't have fought harder for him or beside him. You walked every step. You dealt with the ugly--and there was plenty of that, heaven knows--you found the power when there wasn't a trickle left, and you focused on the brilliant.

As did you, little Nick, you flying bundle of blond energy--but your role (not always with perfect timing!) was to remind everyone around you of one thing: lifeforce.

And you too, Naboo--you padded in and gave Max softness, distraction, furry comfort, and that strange consolation of a creature who doesn't know anything's wrong with you and is with you just because, you know, it's you. Max.

xxxooo
Val

Anonymous said...

How is it possible that I feel so much sadness for a little boy and a family that I've never met? I cry when I think about how unfair life is for your family right now.

I think about Max and your family and it teaches me about fragility of life, but the permanence of spirit.

I am praying for a miracle and praying for strength for your family (and I'm not even religious).

So far, Max has touched so many more lives than most people 10 times his age in years.

Debra from NYC

Anonymous said...

My prayers are with your little boy and your entire family. Max is so beautiful. He has captured my heart.

BreezieGirl said...

My thoughts and my prayers are with you...

Melanie A said...

I have been following Max's story through your blog and the photo blog Deb has been doing. I think all of us who have read his story feel like we have come to know and love Max and your family. I am soo sorry for what you are going through and for what Max is going through. I lost my mom to cancer and I curse this wretched disease. I am sending much love and prayers your way. May you feel God's presence during this difficult time. We are all pulling for you guys.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing these photos. They are sweet and it's good to see Max smile!

Natalie

Shannon said...

I can't stop the tears from flowing right now. I am so glad we were able to spend some time with you last weekend. I love seeing Max's smile in these photos. Know I'm here for you at any moment...
xo, Shannon

Rachel said...

Sweet boy Max, I'm the praying kind...been praying for you and your family lately...it's hard to know what to pray specifically for, but I am confident Jesus knows your needs. He is more than able to meet each and everyone of them. Keep holding onto hope...hope that this is not goodbye forever, but for a season.

Stephanie said...

I check you blog everyday to see how Max is doing. I have never met any of you. I heard of your story through Deb's blog. However, I feel like I know Max so well. I pray for him every night as I tuck my kids in bed. I will continue to pray for Max and all of you. Please know that your little man has touched so many lives. Enjoy ever moment you have together.

Anonymous said...

:(

praying for all of you...

-Peter Crary

DANA said...

Andy and Melissa,

Sending prayers for comfort and continued strength for you, Hannah, Nic, and your sweet, beautiful boy.
Wishing you peace.

Dana

Mary said...

God bless you all - we have been blessed by knowing and loving Max - and Max has been blessed with having such a wonderful family to surround him though everything. Max will never leave us.

Anonymous said...

I love the picture of Max smiling. Thank you for sending it and for updating us even though it had to be so hard on you guys. I don't know how you continue to be so strong. We are thinking of you.
Amy

ally said...

as a mother to an angel, i wish you peace at knowing that you truly did all you could to try and stop this beast. the only peace that comes is knowing "no more pokes, no more medicine, no more pain" max will always know that you loved him, and vice versa. im not a very religious person, but i do believe that some people and children were meant to come into our lives for a little while, and no doubt leave the most lasting imprint. i lost my daughter at just 3 1/2 years of age, she fought it for just a year and a day. but i can truly say that everyday we lived life to the fullest especially knowing that she had a life threatening illness.
awishforava.com

Barbara said...

I am heart broken again.....

You are absolutly right, without hope we have nothing!!!!

Praying for pain free days for Max.

I will keep you guys in my thoughts and Prayers as WE HOPE for the best for Max.

Stay Strong,
Barbara Cobb

Anonymous said...

I cannot imagine the pain of just writing that post. I cannot imagine what it takes to put your prayers and fears and realities into words, day after day, month after month.

As always, I pray for each of you and for Max. I wish with all of my heart that there was more that I could do.

With love,

Holly

Heather said...

I came here by way of Deb's blog. I have been so moved by Max's story and I really have no words that seem adequate, but I want you to know that you all are in the prayers of a little family from Indiana.

Anonymous said...

So nice to see Max's smile. He just lights up my day. I just pray that this *)()&* nb will have a bad reaction to Max's treatment and go away.

Mike said...

I have followed Max's journey for quite some time now by way of Will Lacey. You are an incredibly strong and loving family and all of my family's thoughts and prayers are with you.

Mike Weed
Marblehead, MA

Anonymous said...

i've been following max's story for a little over a year now by way of will lacey. my neice was diagnosed with NB stage IV just before her first birthday. it has devasted my family just like yours.
I have never met Max but he is the most precious little boy that I have ever seen... His smile is infectious & he is lucky to have you & melissa as parents.... I will keep Max in my prayers.. always...

Anonymous said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Erin Newman-Smith said...

I'm so sorry you had to write this post--in fact that you had to write this whole blog. I think of your family and your struggle daily, and am truly inspired by your strength. May both of you stay strong, may Hannah and Nick stay strong, and may Max stay strong. We are holding out hope for good news. You are wonderful parents, and Max is so sweet.

Erin

Brian said...

I didn't expect to wake up this morning and cry, but that's where I'm at right now. I'm sorry your family, and so many others, have had to go through this. In my thoughts and prayers, I'm hanging on to that hope thing -- hoping that, through some miracle, the cancer turns around.

Peace,

Brian

Michele Krize said...

Having just gone through this, I wish I had some magic words to help. None do. I pray that you find the comfort and peace you desparately need right now. Max is an amazing child, and neuroblastoma is a horrible beast.

www.caringbridge.org/visit/katiekrize

Love, Michele

Marni said...

May your entire family find comfort in knowing that Max will live pain free forever in your hearts and the hearts of friends, family and even strangers around the world. Max is an amazing fighter, and his strength and spirit is so admirable...as true SUPERHERO!

Mary said...

I'm a Mom to a NB kid and have followed Max & your family for awhile. Like so many others, I check your site almost daily to see how you are doing. My heart breaks, with yours, at this most recent post. May God give you even more strength and peace as you face the days ahead.
www.caringbridge.org/visit/amandajackson
With continued prayers,
Mary

Deqlan said...

We are sadened and heart sore to read this update and even more to know that Max is in pain. We pray for absolute pain relief from the meds and radiation and we pray for many happy memories and moments together. Max is in our prayers every day, all of Deqlans prayer army and my prayer group continue to pray for him, and all of you. God Bless, guide, stregthen you . Hugs to the most courageous boy with the most beautiful smile. HUgs and prayers Samm & Deqlan

Vickie said...

I just wanted to let you know that I was checking back again and again (even thought I have a feed of your site on Erin's and can always tell when you have updated. I just hope that you have snuck some new good news in).

You give me strength every day (usually several times a day).

VB
erinbuenger.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

It's with heavy hearts yet not giving up, that we echo the prayers, we've read here. Your precious son has been chosen to bring out the good in people and unite so many of us in prayer.Why Max?? We'll have to ask our heavenly Father when we get to heaven. In the meantime, we won't stop praying for you all. May you feel the love, peace and comfort that can only come from trusting God with all your heart and not leaning on your own understanding. Lots of love sent your way, Willie and Rosie (team patti 2004)

Kristen said...

What a sweet boy and a sweet family. I am crushed by your news and i dont really know what to say, but i wanted to let you know i care and that it is not fair. Max is very lucky to have a famly like you. I will continue to think of you all and pray for a miracle.
Hugs to you all,
Kristen

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting the darling picture of Max smiling! I'm so sorry to hear of his pain and yours. We are thinking of you!
The Black Family

Victoria said...

We came to you from the Magic Water project page. I had discovered that site after reading up on new therapies for Medulloblastoma, which my 3 1/2 year old daughter has battled. You have amazed me with your stories and pictures. We are thinking of all of you and hoping for comfort for Max.

Victoria and Mackenzie
Fredericksburg Va
www.caringbridge.org/visit/mackenzielevi

Anonymous said...

I am speechless by your latest post and have returned so many times trying to think of what to say. No parent should ever have to write that their child is dying...that RIPS my heart out. :( I am praying for your family and hope that there are some magical moments with joy and comfort wit Max in the days ahead...and of course I am praying for a miracle. I am so very sorry.

Anonymous said...

Melissa and Andy,

Reading your web page always moves me, today it was especially so. My heart aches for you all. No one should have to go through this. Please know that we are thinking of you so much. Max is an amazing boy. I smile when I think of the playdates he and Ryan had in preschool. I smile sometimes when I take jam out of the fridge, it makes me think of Max and the jelly sandwiches he ate at our house.

You are all in our thoughts.
Laura Bermudez

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog for some time now. I am so sorry to read this latest post.

Hoping your sweet Max's pain can be managed, and that all of you have peace and comfort together.

Pixi

Anonymous said...

You're family is in our prayers and forever in our hearts.

Brenda A.

Anonymous said...

What an amazing family you are. I couldn't fall asleep last night thinking about your family...so I prayed. I prayed and prayed. We don't know one another, but that doesn't change the sadness I have in my heart for your family. I chose to look at Max's story because his sweet face and beautiful smile captured my heart. My prayers are with you and your precious family.

Anonymous said...

Sending prayers your way from South Dakota- home of Mount Rushmore! What a beautiful child you have.
The Grass'

Anonymous said...

Words escape me as I feel such sadness after reading the post. I met Max at the La Mesa fire station and his spirit has been with me ever since. My prayers are with you and Max. My Faith will not let me give up. God Bless you all. I am walking for Magic Water and will be thinking of you all as I do every day in Prayer.
Jon McClure

John, Shannon, Broderick, Camden, and Adalynn said...

I am a Friend/Teacher of SuperRyan and just wanted to let you know that I will continue to pray for your family. I can't imagine your heartache. May the Lord be with you.

Nancy said...

I'm wishing your family the strength to continue to fill Max's life with love and laughter. And I'm wishing Max many more moments of happiness without pain.

with hope,

Nancy Goodman

Anonymous said...

The sadness that filled my heart was so great when I read your latest post. Max's fight and your family's courage have truly been incredible. I know that none of us can diminish your anguish and heartache at this time, but please know that Max has touched so many so deeply and has forever left his mark in our hearts.

Janina Woodman

San Diego Mom said...

Oh, Andy & Melis...

You are so right that having that hope will cause you more pain later. But I truly believe it is that hope that kept the light in the Mikulak family and safe guarded it from becoming a house of despair. You are giving your children the most precious gift but how much burden and pain it must be.

I pray that you two will receive abundant love, support, help, and prayers from your family and friends through out your tough path. There is no tougher journey then the one in which parents must see their child go before them. I've seen it and it truly breaks the heart of every one who sees it.

Desperately wishing that Max will not have to endure too much pain.

Shiho

Anonymous said...

I pray for strength for all of you to get through each precious day, for Max to find comfort, to have miracle moments through this unspeakably heart wrenching pain he experiences, so he can "be" with his beloved family, for him to sense God's love and presence in his heart in a way that he will feel so safe. God is watching over dear sweet MAX and will always, always be with him, as well as you...Andy, Melis, Hannah, and Nicky.

Praying for time..for hope...for a miracle...

Love,

Debbie

Anonymous said...

Andy & Melissa-
Im so sorry you had to write that post and all it entails. Im sure people say all kinds of helpful and non-helpful things. Just know that we are all pulling for Max and sending good thoughts your way. I know you will continue to find strength from Max's strength which has led you to be the amazing parents that you are. I love the pictures of Max from your post. He is so beautiful. Im hoping the radiation helps Max feel a bit better and have more great popsicle moments daily.
Carrie Palmer

Carl Lacey said...

My families thoughts and prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

Andy and Melissa,
I have been following your lives since learning about Penelope London through the WSJ article. Max has touched my life in ways unimagined, and I pray for peace in his life and yours.

Anonymous said...

I've been following your story through Will Lacey's blog-our thoughts are with you right now.

Julie, MA

Anonymous said...

Max has your love everyday. May peace be with you.
Julie (Lacey) O'Sullivan

Anonymous said...

I've just "met" Max and your family on this blog and, like everyone, I wish I had words to comfort. Please know that there are so many prayers out here for you Max and your family. My heart is breaking for you for the pain you are all in, and am smiling with you at the pictures of the precious moments when the sun is shining and Max is happily eating a popsicle and enjoying some time outside and am with you in hope that there is a miracle ahead.

Anonymous said...

I have been following Max's long
hard journey through Will Lacey's
blog. My heart is so heavy with
sadness. May God keep you strong
as you always have been and most
of all may Max be free from pain.
Prayers are with you all.
Anne Lacey

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog since the beginning of Max's illness, and I want to say to you, Andy & Melissa, that you are truly admirable parents for all that you have done for Max, Hannah and Nick. I am profoundly sad to the bottom of my heart for what Max has had to endure, and for what you as parents have had to experience. You have given your children, your family and your friends a chance to be a part of Max's journey as well, and I for one am humbled by Max over the years, and how whatever you as parents have done to help him through this, it is so obvious watching him play at school or at the beach, that he is happy. He is in the moment of what he is doing, you have managed to help him enjoy each experience you have given him. Lucy, Abby and I have had many talks about Max's courage and how we all need to face the challenges life gives us, and we all send our love and our thoughts to you both, Max, Hannah and Nick. If there is ever anything we can do for any of you, we will.

Kate

Anonymous said...

I have been following your story for months, always praying for Max and for your entire family. I am heartbroken by this entry and just wanted to let you know I will be praying for a miracle,I will be praying for comfort and peace for all of you.

tkdt said...

I have been following your journey for months and am heartbroken for your family. I cannot imagine what you all go through each moment of every day. Your strength is an inspiration. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
The Frost Family

Anonymous said...

Words cannot convey how sorry I am that you have had to make such a difficult decision. It seems to me the ultimate declaration of love, yet possibly the most difficult choice you two have ever made. I pray for peace, comfort and many days filed with love and smiles to ease you down your new path.
S

Anonymous said...

I have been checking on Max daily for over a year now. With the tears in my eyes now, I felt compelled to leave you a note. Now, with this in front of me, words escape me. Just know that my family is praying for yours.

Katie VanDyke

Ryan Morgan said...

Andy and Melis~ We have been praying for all of you and want you to know how much our hearts are breaking for ya'll. We will keep praying that Max's pain is controlled by the meds, for comfort for ya'll and your other kids. I can't imagine having that conversation. I hope the radiation is working on his pain. I love his smile in the pictures. I'm just so very sorry.~ Missy SuperRyan's Mom

Anonymous said...

Just so sorry to read this - no words to cover it, really.

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