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One CRAZY Month

August 10th, 2011

Many of my blogging friends may have noticed my absence during most of the month of July. Even though I continued checking out what everyone was up to in the art world, I was unable to socialize. I was still creating, but it was only work that allowed me to go to a ‘happy’ place during the creative process. I thank God that I had started on my Eye Candy series during the month of May, for I would not have known what to do with myself in July. I also thank God that I had demos and classes to teach at Michael’s which gave me blocks of time for total distraction.

On July 7th our oldest son, Donald (23), was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. For the first time as a dad I was faced with a situation for which I felt completely helpless. My boy had the “C” word! That same little boy I had immortalized in a serigraphy edition 21 years before was suddenly having to face his own mortality.

Daddy Bonding – 14″x12″ – Serigraphy edition on paper – Completed Jan. 1990

©1990, Don Michael, Jr.

After my wife and I had a good cry together we got busy. The first thing we did was pray. Then we asked others to pray with us. We believe those prayers started the healing process in our son. Those prayers also found us favor with the right resources. Even though our son has no insurance he found himself under the care of the perfect surgeon. With a little juggling of finances Donald was getting a PET Scan just 8 days after his diagnosis. Our prayers were once again answered in that the PET Scan results came back negative.

Even though the PET Scan results were negative, there was still the need for surgery to remove the area around the original biopsy area and the draining lymph node(s). With more creative juggling of finances, and my wife’s diligent work on the phones, we were able to get Donald into surgery less than 3 weeks after his diagnosis.

Resurrection – 16″x13″ – Serigraphy edition on paper – Completed Nov. 1992

©1992, Don Michael, Jr.

Today Donald went in to have his stitches removed and to get the lab results back from the surgery. We thank God that we can report that the melanoma is gone and the lymph nodes checked out clean!!! The relief that Donald, my wife, and I felt upon hearing this news was a palpable presence in the room. You could see the tension draining out of our bodies. I anticipate some deep sleeping going on tonight.

God is good!

D3 – 7″x5″ – Acrylic on canvas – Completed Dec. 2009

Now I need to go blow my nose and then it’s time to head back to the studio.

Happy Creating!

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16 Comments for 'One CRAZY Month'

  1. Robin Samiljan Said:

    I am so happy to hear the good news, Don, and can understand the huge relief you are all feeling right now. It’s usually the other way around – a parent with the news and the adult child working through the treatment processes. I also believe having art and painting in my life is the best therapy of all. It seems to have pulled you through too. Take care, rest to all of you.
    Robin

  2. PAMO Said:

    Don- I’m in tears here. Tears of joy. I had no idea you were going through all of this. The strength of your family, your love, your faith astounds me. I am so grateful you and your wife and your son persevered. You attacked this horrific news with heart and positivity. Simply amazing.
    I’ve recently been reconnecting with God after an emotional absence. Jeff’s faith keeps me in the game.
    And it is through friends like you that I feel even more connected.
    You, your son, your wife, and your family are in my prayers.
    With love.
    (Your art tells the story.)

  3. Douglas Said:

    Don, thanks so much for sharing this… I know this is certainly heavy news but with a happy ending. My thoughts are with you buddy!!

    All the best of everything to you and your family!!
    D.

  4. Elizabeth Seaver Said:

    Blessings to you all. God is good!

  5. Judy Said:

    Dear Don & Laura –
    So sorry to hear of what you’ve experienced during the past several weeks. Continued Prayers, Thoughts and Love abound for all of you. Thank God for His ever loving Grace.
    Judy & Gary

  6. hallie Said:

    I will go blow my nose, too. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God Bless.

  7. -Don Said:

    Robin… Thank you. I agree that having art as an outlet is great therapy, but it was the prayers that got us through. We all rested well.

    PAMO… This was something I could not talk about publicly until recently, and then I decided to wait until we got the lab results back before writing about it. We appreciate your prayers and feel blessed to be connected with friends of faith. It’s amazing how much we all can, and do, mean to each other. God Bless!

    Douglas… Thank you! I pray the same for you, my friend.

    Elizabeth… Thank you. And, yes He is… all the time!

    Judy… Amen, and thank you! His grace abounds.

    Hallie… Thank you! We know that God is continually doing a work in our lives. Blessings to you, as well.

    -Don

  8. Celeste Said:

    whoa. Don. whoa.
    Like the others, I am shaken by your post…but also relieved to read things have returned to normal. What a harrowing ordeal you all had to endure. I remember when you did that portrait…it’s one of your best! Thanks for letting all of us know what you and yours have been going through. I, like all your blogging friends, am so happy and grateful that your beautiful boy made this miraculous recovery!

  9. Nicki Said:

    Don, I am not good at typing and I am even worse typing through tears. Really I can’t imagine what you, Laura and your family have been going through. I appreciate that you shared this very personal story with us and I am glad you waited until you felt it was the right time. Your family has been on my mind ever since your post that hinted there was something going on, but never did I imagine it was the “c” word. I am so happy for you all that Donald’s care moved swiftly and he has now been given such a clean bill of health. I am sending a great big cyber hug to the entire Michael clan! Sleep well, my friend.

  10. -Don Said:

    I want everyone to know how much it means to me and my family that you were willing to allow us to share this nightmare-turned-miracle with you. I am truly blessed to be able to call you all my friends.

    Celeste… Thank you. I think that portrait is one of my best, also. We are still in awe around here of the miracle that we know has happened in our son.

    Nicki… Thank you. We accept your cyber hug and return it two-fold. I cannot tell you how much your thoughts and good wishes mean to us.

    -Don

  11. Sharmon Davidson Said:

    Don, as a parent, I know this had to be unimaginably overwhelming. I’m so happy for you all about the wonderful outcome!

  12. -Don Said:

    Sharmon… Thank you. It WAS overwhelming at first and we are very thankful for the outcome.

    -Don

  13. Sandy Byers Said:

    Don, I just sat here stunned for the longest time; absorbing your post. I was so happy to read the end of your story!! Happy to tears, actually. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal story.

    Though my story is of a little bird, I was reminded of Faith when I read about your son and I thought you might enjoy reading the story so I’m including a link here: http://sandybyers.com/a_MAIN/MeetFaith.htm. God Bless.

  14. -Don Said:

    Sandy… Thank you for your kind words, for shedding tears of joy over my son’s healing, and for sharing your beautiful story of Faith. God Bless.

    -Don

  15. Dean Said:

    Don, my friend…you are all in my prayers.

    Amen…God is good!

  16. Don Michael, Jr. Said:

    Dean… Thank you, my friend! God Bless.

    -Don

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