Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Big Sigh, but not of Relief

That's right, she is still on the machine, let's go on and get that out of the way. Now, with that said, Dr. Salazar said there were alot of improvements today. He said that he is very encourgaged by what he saw, but still does not feel that her heart is able to pump on its on and wants it to rest more. I believe that they are going to try again tomorrow morning, so we need to continue the rally, I have my rally cap on as I write this message, literally, I think the "new" people think I have lost my mind, but who cares, I am still rallying. It was a hard pill to swallow today, but our chins are still high and Dr. Salazar is hopeful. He said he has seen kids get better on the fifth day, seventh day, and even the eighth and so Ali and I stand knee deep in hope and we must wade out just a little farther. As they looked at Baby Cate's heart again today, everyone that has looked at it has said they have never seen anything like her heart before, that's comforting uh?? There have been numerous cardiologists and even the chief of surgery said they have never seen a heart quiet like Cate's. The average kid Baby Cate's size would have a heart the size of a plum, her heart is about the size of an orange due to the thickness of her muscle tissue that has built up over the past few months. This is part of the problem with her heart not pumping correctly, because it was in surgery for so long and not beating for so long, what they call "klamp" time the heart became very stiff. Dr. Salazar believes that with another day or two or three it could very well do the trick. Now, with that being said I have to once again call for some serious prayer and I mean serious. We had to have a hard talk with Dr. Salazar today. He, as the Surgeon must look beyond today or tomorrow. He informed us that they have to start looking at other options if Cate's heart does not recover. They cannont wait until day seven and then start preparing for these other options. The best analogy I can give is, and you Louisianians will probably better understand this. It's June, which means hurricane season is upon us. It's the time we start getting batteries, bottled water, gas for our generators, and canned good in case a hurricane hits, we may have a quiet season and not need any of those things, but we have to be prepared in the event that one would strike our area. Well, that is what is going on with Baby Cate right now, they are having to get other options and other teams lined up in case Baby Cate's heart does not recover. So, we are going to have start meeting with other Doctors and Surgeons to prepare for these possible events. These are options that no one wants, but options that we are forced to start considering and planning for. Please Please pray that Baby Cate's heart will kick back in and these plans will never have to be put into motion. If these events are put into motion we will, at that time, then begin to keep you all informed on the new procedures that we will be pursuing.
Now, my two God stories for the day. First, We were planning on attending Mass here in the hospital because they have it on Wednesdays at noon, but due to the length of Cate's operation today and meetings that followed we were unable to make it. We were a little dissappointed that we were unable to receive the Eucharist, especially today, but we were called into duty as parents so unable to attend Mass. Ali and I sat and had tearful conversations for a while after meeting with Dr. Salazar and then proceeded to go upstairs to see our precious Baby Cate. We rounded the corner heading to the elevator and we nearly ran into the Catholic Chaplian of the hospital Fr. Noble. He was shuffling some papers through his hands and asked, Are you the Cantrells? I immediately figured he wasn't with the IRS, that would be low, even for the IRS. We said yes we are, he told us that he had just come from praying with Baby Cate and asked us if we had a good support network, I kinda laughed to myself, thinking Father, if you only knew. We told him yes and that we had friends who had been bringing Communion to us. He told us that they had Mass on Wednesdays here in the hospital, we told him that we had all intentions of going, but due to consultations were unable to make it. He asked, Do you want to receieve Communion, Our eye's lit up, Ali and I both said in one voice, YES, he pulled the pyx out of his pocket and said, well, let's do this. Again, Jesus coming in the middle of the storm! The second run in with God, was after we went to see Baby Cate we were heading down to get some lunch in the Cafeteria. We got on the elevator and there was only one gentleman on it, which is odd, the elevators are usually full during the day. I stood looking at the buttons on the elevator because I couldn't figure out where we were going, so my lovely bride hit the button for me, to which I replied, I don't even know where I am going in life. The guy behind me looked at me and said, "Then you need to strike a match, light your candle and get back on the path, and if your on the path that everyone else is on, your on the wrong path." Ali and I both just stopped in our tracks looking at this guy and him looking at us. The door opened and we got off. There was a resolve that fell into my heart, not an easy resolve, but at least a resolve. God is in our midst and we are seeing Him move. Just continue to pray that we may be sustained by Him during this time. We love you all, thank you for your continued support and for running this marathon with us, please do not let Baby Cate or us go, you will never know how encouraged we are by your messages and support. We love you all!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update and for painting the picture of what your life has been like today, Charlie. Every time I read your blog I feel like you're inviting me (and everyone and anyone) into this amazingly difficult cross that you and Ali (and countless others) are bearing. "Hope springs eternal in the hearts of the young" is coming to mind right now; words of JPII (well, it might be a paraphrase). The thing that seems crazy to me is how big and 'strong' Baby Cate's heart really is - it's SO BIG! It's so full of hope! So like Christ's. Beating and bringing so many to true prayer and faith. Charlie and Ali, we're still with you in hope and for the long haul. Marathons are so full of ups and downs, but there's definitely a glory story at every finish line. And all along the way. I love you so much.

Kate and Aaron

Erin said...

Don't worry tomorrow I will continue to pray for Cate and you and Ali....even during class ;) this week microbiology has become prayer time haha jj..anyway keep your heads up, yall can do this, I know you can!! Im here for the long haul no matter how long it takes! Cate's heart is bigger than other babies because she's filled with so much love and support I mean wouldn't you want a big and special heart unlike no other? I sure would :) Keep on climbing, Cantrells!! love, Erin

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out. Tonight i have a steubenville meeting and i will offer all of my prayers tonight for cate, and for your graciousness and peace and ali's endurance and stamina. God is moving. He is here. Embrace him and surrender. Tomorrow i will fast from breakfast and go to mass and offer all my prayer for cate. May the holy spirit enkindle your hearts and strengthen you.

In Christ's Love
Nick Noe

Anonymous said...

With our prayers, love, and support. June & Troy

Anonymous said...

ugh, this is a tough one... will put in some extra time tonight for cate.

Anonymous said...

We have been anxiously awaiting news today. All of you have been in our thoughts and prayers all day. I must have checked this sight at least 20 times today, each time lifting you & Cate up in prayer. Thank you for allowing so many of us to walk with you through this journey. May God continue to give all of you strength and may you feel his embrace.
Mike & Martha Marse

aimee landreneau said...

"There is no suffering for which God has not already prepared a grace for you."

I heard that years ago on EWTN, and it has stayed with me.

We will not forget you. We wish we could do more. Thanks for keeping us updated, and for being so honest with what you need. We love you.

Rachel said...

More tears and prayers going up for you. Keep your chins up. =)

Rachel Larpenteur

Friends of Church Point said...

Charlie and Ali,

Looks like today was another milestone for you both. Let your support group be your strength for a while so you can concentrate on on Cate. I pray to Blessed Seelos to ask God to help the doctors and nurses who are caring for Baby Cate and for you to find the strength that is needed in the next few days. Keep fighting, Cate could not have had better parents to help get her through this part of her life.

Mimi said...

Thanks for the update. Baby Cate is a fighter, much like all of the Cantrell family! Your hurricane analogy was great and very appropriate. We'll be sending up prayers now and especially in the morning! These morning heart trials are like a baby being weaned- a little at a time so they can adapt and adjust! It really does make sense! Take care.

Anonymous said...

Our prayers are with you all.

Tim & Marci B.

Anonymous said...

Ali & Charlie,

I went & visit with Grandpa Leroy today. He said everytime he wakes up, he say a prayer for Baby Cate. He knows GOD is with all of you, leading the way.
Listen to a very wise man, Grandpa Leroy!!!

God bless all of you!!
LOVE, Aunt Wilma

Anonymous said...

Still praying w/ you and for you.

Anonymous said...

Hello Charlie and Ali, I received ya'll's blog today, from a La. friend. I am in Tx. and my thoughts and prayers are with you both and baby Cate and the doctors and nursing and all of the medical staff, there taking care of your precious one. May God bless and keep you through this most diffficult time. Phil.4:13, says, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Thank you Jesus. Love and prayers, Joan

Anonymous said...

And this to will pass, she will only be stronger and so will both you. My heart and prayers are with all of you.


Anonymous said...

The prayers will keep coming your way! :) I want you to know how blessed I am by your blogs, for some reason I find so much hope in them! Thanks for sharing your journey!
Teresa Clark

Anonymous said...

Hey Charlie and Ali!
Thanks for keeping us updated on Cate's condition! Your faith is truly inspiring to everyone! We are still praying for you guys!
Here is a joke that will hopefully make you smile.
What did the fish say when it swam into the concrete wall?


Chris said...

Charlie and Ali,
The Covecrest Community and Summer Camp are praying with you. May God consume you with His grace.

Anonymous said...

Charlie & Ali,

I am praying for all of you and so is Grandpa. Take care of yourselves and Cate.
Love Ms.Mattie

Julie said...

Ali and Charlie,
Just wanted to send some more love your way. I am praying with you guys and for you guys every step of the way. Thank you both for being who you are and remaining faithful to His promises in this difficult time. Know that you will continue to be blessed for your desire to carry this cross with honesty and a pure heart.
Much love.
Julie Sosa

Anonymous said...

With all you are going through, thank you so much for keeping everyone informed....God bless..going to bed now to pray for Cate......Mandie

glenda said...

Ali and Charlie I will continue to pray for your little cate and your family. I have been keeping up with your blog and Wilma keeps me updated.

Glenda Robichaux

Megan Perkins said...

Ali and Charlie,

Continuing to send prayers on your and Baby Cate's behalf. Thank you for the privilege of supporting you while you run this marathon.

By the way, I have no idea where Ella and Dude are, but if whoever is keeping them thinks they'd enjoy a playdate, our house is always open. I know a six-year-old and twin four-year-olds that would be over the moon to have new people to play with!

Looking forward to your update tomorrow and continuing to knock fervently on that door.

Megan, Jason, Hayes, Mary Elizabeth and Samuel Perkins

Tmomof4 said...

I'm sure you don't remember me or my husband from FUS, but we are following your blog and we are praying our hearts out for a baby Cate's healing and for you and your wife's strength through this storm. You are amazing example to all parents! God bless you both as you surrender your baby girl to Our Lord. ..He is the Healer!

Alicia said...

A friend blessed me today by sending me your blog address. I feel so blessed to read your words and humbled by the opportunity to pray for your precious family.


Anonymous said...

Ali and Charlie,

Baby Cate has been on my mind and in my prayers constantly. Your faith is truly inspiring. Stay strong. God is with you and may he continue to give you strength. You will all continue to be in our prayers.

Kylie, Nick, Gracie and Hannah Bearb

Anonymous said...

Oh Charlie, my heart goes out to you & your wife and the rest of your family. I keep you all in my thoughts & prayers and that your Baby Cate will have her own miracle (soon). Keep hopeful, keep praying, get some rest & eat something (both you & Ali).
Heather (Fairley) Castano

Rayne Catholic Religion Admin. said...

Ali and Charlie,
We are still praying... Anna Clare asked today in the middle of the day to pray for Ella'a little baby...I know that God listens to all our prayers but I know He listens especially hard when it comes from the lips of children. I am glad to know of your devotion to Fr. Seelos. In May, I took the 7th graders on a trip to the Seelos Center in New Orleans and I purchased a candle blessed at the center. It has a picture of Fr. Seelos and a devotional prayer to him on it ... it has been sitting on my desk in my office ever since. I am going to take my children and light it in the adoration chapel for Cate tomorrow. I knew that someone special would need me to light that candle... and who could be more special than Cate. I am also going it light a candle for you as well... you guys are sooooo amazing, I will pray for your continued strength and faith. Again remember we all family now let me know if there is anything I can do! But I do all we can really do now is pray and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers every minute of the day.

With Love and Prayers,
Kristina, Kyle, Mary Katherine and Anna Clare Lavergne

Melissa said...

I have been praying every day and often times through out each day since I began reading your blog. I am currently training to run the Nike Womens' Half Marathon in October (last year ran the full), so I completely understand what you mean about pacing your self. Your faith and strength amaze me each day!!! I hope God continues to make daily apperances for you and Ali. I can not imagine how hard it is to keep your faith in check when you are faced with daily challenges. Just remember, God is there and that is why he is making those apperances in different forms for you and Ali. I will continue to pray for each and every one of you through out the days. I will also use my training time to not only remember and pray for the people I am training on behalf, but I will also add Cate to that special pray and endurance time. She is a fighter!!! God bless you all!

Ann said...

We are still praying up a storm! The kids are saying prayers for baby Cate too. They ask about how she is doing throughout day - after looking at her pictures my son(5yr) said, "Well Mom, she sure is a beautiful baby!" Just thought that might make you smile.
Love and prayers,
Anna and Mike

Anonymous said...

I will be praying for you, as I have been, during all the night time feedings with Fen. I have told him(he's 2 1/2 months) to whisper to his Angels to pray for Cate and for you, just know that all through the night (at least three times)there are two people and their Angels praying for you...
Hugs--Betsy, Trey, and Fenton

Anonymous said...

You are both so amazing; your gift of involving all of us, your honesty, your strength, your constant hope, your humbleness, your faith and your love of the Eucharist are such a witness to all of us and I'm sure everyone you have met along this journey.
Sweet baby Cate, Ali, Charlie and family we are praying for you and will not stop. We pray for you and your medical team to have wisdom and that our Divine Physician will guide every decision and procedure. There is strength in the suffering.
May God bless you and keep you and guide you, always,
The Muncy Family, Kim, Alyson and Andy

ray haeuser said...

Just checking in hoping that you guys know I'm only one guy sending up a prayer but I get the feeling that I'm part of a very large chorus harmonizing on your behalf.

Ray Haeuser

em vanderlick said...

just another "hello" & "hang in there" from the vanderlick household...we haven't stopped thinking about y'all & praying!


Chris Milbrandt said...

We do not tire or grow weary in our every opportunity to pray for you all. We are still all standing at the foot of Christ, eyes weeping, hands outreached...fingers grasping at God's mercy. We are touching Glory with every chance to offer up our measly words to Heaven. And in every tear, we know the holy spirit is taking our groanings of heart and translating them into our pleading on your behalf. it is ALWAYS an honor. we love you.

Justin Fontenot said...

I love you guys. Your faith is radiant. My prayers are with you.

Teresa said...

Ali and Charlie,
Still praying for you here in Dallas. We haven't forgotten you. You are so wise to celebrate the tiny moments and look for God in the midst of it all. Sometimes, in those moments, that is what keeps you going when you think you can't go on. There are times when the fear and pain can take your breath away, and that is real. We believe in the real God, the One who is there in the midst of the worst times, the raw times, because He doesn't let go. He has proven Himself to us in the midst of the times of terror, and He is there for you.
The Walthers

jennifer swanson said...

Charlie and Ali ~
Thank you for sharing this journey with us. We're praying...
Jennifer and Wade Swanson

Anonymous said...

Don't ever let go of your faith my freinds! As Romans 8:28 says.."all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose".....
You are a massive symbol of hope for a lot of people!
We continue to pray for Baby Cate and your family in hopeful expectancy!

Peace in Christ

Anonymous said...

Unfailing prayer to St. Anthony
Holy Saint Anthony, gentle and powerful in your help, your love for God and charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Miracles waited on your word, which you were always ready to request for those in trouble or anxiety. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me complete healing and strength to our Baby Cate. The answer to my prayer may require a miracle. Even so, you are the Saint of Miracles. Gentle and loving Saint Anthony, whose heart is ever full of human sympathy, take my petition to the Infant Savior for whom you have such a great love and the gratitude of my heart is already yours forever and ever. Amen

Anonymous said...

You don't know me, but I'm praying for you. I'm good friends with Melissa Forey, Hudson Carnes' Aunt. I have known Bryan Carnes since he was in the womb. I followed the link from Hudson's blog to yours, and I've been praying for your family since Sunday. Hang in are doing a great job! I can't imagine your pain and won't pretend to understand, but know that this journey will make you stronger and God will be glorified through Baby Cate's life. Keep the faith and know that you are covered in prayers.

Paula Weatherly

Anonymous said...

Dear Charlie and Ali, you don't know me, nor do i know any more than what you have placed before us on this blog, and yet you have had a great impact on me in these past few days. I cannot put into words what the Lord is doing in my heart through you, but i know that each time i log onto the internet and Cate's little face pop up on the screen my heart melts. I cannot imagine what it must be like to stand there and watch your child fighting this fight, to feel in many ways perhaps, absolutely helpless. But as i think of you, standing there at her bedside, i cannot help but see our Blessed Mother standing at the foot of the cross, supporting her Son in the only way she could: by giving her FIAT and offering Him up to the Father. Though Mary could not see or imagine what the Father was doing, or how exactly He would bring glory out of Calvary, she knew that He would. So too, i see you both flinging yourself in front of Him, offering yourselves and the beautiful gift of Baby Cate to Him. I do not know what the Lord's plan is for these next days, nor do i know HOW exactly he will bring glory out of this situation, but i know in my heart of hearts, that He will, just as He has been in all the stories you have shared with us. Even in the tiny moments when you are most human, or raw as you say, you are bringing Him such glory. Though there are a lot of unknowns in these coming days, rest assured that one of them is not whether we will stay with you or not. KNOW that we will be here. We will not leave you. We will not leave Cate. There is a myriad of angels surrounding your family, and your doctors, and most especially Baby Cate, and just as they stand with you, so shall we. May God bless you and give you strength in this time, and may you cling to our Blessed Mother, who knows better than anyone else exactly what you are going through.
Love in the Lamb,

Gretchen said...

Just a little reminder that we will stay awake and fight for baby Cate through the battle of prayer (you, Ali, Ella and Dude, too!) Our love for you all is oh so deep!!!

Carol McDonough said...

Charlie and Ali,
Please know that you are all in the thoughts and prayers of the McDonough Family. We first became aware of baby Cate's condition from Tami Noe late last Friday night and received an update at the FIRST mass in the new church last Saturday night. Please know that ya'll had everyone at that mass praying for ya'll and then we all went and told friends who prayed for you, too! WOW! Is that powerful or what? That is prayer to the exponential of what?! We cannot even imagine what you are going through as parents of a child whom you love so much and are so concerned about her health. We know God is with you and will never leave you to deal with this alone. His loving arms are wrapped around you and there to comfort you and guide you. Your stories of the hospital and the elevator are so powerful. Thank you for sharing them with us. You may not be aware of this but I had lung surgery last September. Unbelievably, I had a histoplasmosis fungus from childhood in my right lung that had been revitalized by a virus. I had become very ill and was coughing constantly. The surgery was very successful but I had to return to the hospital a week later with a streptoccoccus infection. I had gone into sepsis and was very ill requiring blood transfusions. As Bob, Megan, and Michael would visit me I would feel such love but also concern from them which, of course, made me feel guilty. In fact, I still feel guilty about the worry I caused them. BUT, the nurturing I felt from God was just incredible. Normally I am a very active person. During this stay in the hospital I was able to lie in my bed and just enjoy the time with God and feel the prayers from my friends and family. It was a very peaceful time for me. I remained in the hospital for 8 days during this second visit. I rarely turned on the television or the radio. I read Sister Faustina's book during this time but additionally spent a lot of time just lying in bed enjoying my time with God. I am almost 100% healed now. I returned to my 5th grade math and science classroom at Settler's Way Elementary at the end of October. (Maybe a little early! Byt those insurance companies seem to march to the beat of a different drummer.) My prayers are that Cate feels God's presence and love. My prayers are that you and Ali know that He is present for you, also. Your Sugar Land family loves you and will continue praying for all of you. Please let us know if we can do anything for you. I am not quite sure what hospital ya'll are at. Texas Children's? If so, we are right around the corner if you need anything. May God bless you, May God lift you up, and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hands.
Yours in Christ,
The McDonough Family
Bob, Carol, Megan, and Michael
281-265-1758 home
281-793-9079 Carol cell
281-265-1759 Bob cell
281-433-3257 Meg cell

Anonymous said...

We're praying for all of you, constantly, daily.

Sandi, Cregg, Megan, Meredith, Caleb, Elise, and Kayli Calhoun

Anonymous said...

A sigh is but a sigh, but at least it was an encouraging one! The prayers will continue! I have told everyone I can! Love ya!
Marie Duplechin

alicia mouton said...

We heard about baby Cate earlier today. I believe I met Ali one day through Alison Breaux. I have sat here reading most of the blogs since June and I can't stop. Tonight, my husband, Britt, and I read your most recent update. We have a baby Kate, 10 months old, and can't fathom what it would be like to go through what you are. Every time I held her today, I prayed God would continue to cradle her in His arms and that you would be holding her again soon. I so desperately prayed you be able to. You will be in our prayers and thoughts constantly. May God continue to give you hope and strength. I now have others praying for you as well and will continue to spread her story for more prayers and blessing upon Cate and your family. God Bless you all. You and your family's story reminds us of how important our Faith in God is.

Alicia and Britt Mouton

Anonymous said...

Charlie & Ali,
About a week ago, I stumbled across the website for Baby Cate's blog page on a friend's Facebook page (go figure huh?!?! haha). So I began to read it from the beginning. Her story, ya'lls story, is truly amazing. I've been praying for you guys ever since & checking the blog site minimum twice a day! As I opened my Bible tonight I felt compelled to leave a comment after reading what I opened it up to:
Psalms 66:17-20 "I called to the Lord with my mouth; praise was upon my tongue. Had I cherished evil in my heart, the Lord would not have heard. But God did hear and listened to my voice in prayer. Blessed be God, who did not refuse me the kindness I sought in prayer."

I prayer for the two of you, Baby Cate, your family, & the medical staff to have the endurance to win this marathon!


cdupuy said...

Your family has, and will continue to be in our prayers. I pray our wonderful Lord will hold you all so tight in His Loving Arms, and that the Guardian Angels will tickle little Cate's toes as she sleeps. Thank you for continuing to be a witness for Christ in such a difficult time.
God bless,
The Dupuys

Leslie said...

i just want yall to know that i am praying for your precious baby girl everyday. i don't know yall personally but i can tell that yall are an amazing family with a very strong faith. hearing your struggles and how strong baby Cate is has inspired me to grow closer to God. thank you

Anonymous said...

I am adding you to our church prayer list and to world network of prayer. God can do anything!

Anonymous said...



alison said...

Still very much in my prayers. Take care of each other :)
Love you all, Alison

Anonymous said...

June 20

Thanks for sharing your needs with us, I am praying for Cate this night, God has a purpose for Cate and God's plan are to make use of it. Angel's are so beautiful and the stars are so bright. This beautiful star will keep shining.
pslms 126;5-6
Those who plant in tears will harvesst with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.

Rgcognize that suffering is not forever, in the dark hours of the night of suffering it is hard to think of a morning of joy and gladness. But the tears of suffering are like seeds of joy.

on my knees.

stephenhsmith said...

All week long while at Life Teen Covecrest, you were all in our prayers. I really wasn't sure who it was we were praying for, but that didn't matter! You were worth praying for. Then I come home and find an email from my son Matt Smith and I realize we wre "family." Peace. Stephen