Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Relay for Life!

Relay for Life on Friday was amazing! It was such a wonderful celebration, and I didn't cry! I know for some of you that is hard to believe, but its true. We truly celebrated Carter's life, even if that means his life with cancer, and it was a good time. He "walked" almost half of the Survivor's lap and then I carried him the rest of the way. Mike really wanted to carry him, but he wanted his mom! Carter fell asleep in his daddy's arms during the luminaria lighting. Carter had 28 Luminaria bags! I felt so blessed that so many had honored him in that way. Obviously Carter had no idea how special the night was however, it was very meaningful to Mike and me.


This first picture is my favorite. What a big brave boy!



Carter is a Survivor!! He is going to beat this and live a long healthy life. Our next big obstacle is his CT scan on July 11. They will make sure the tumor hasn't grown any. Thank you for the continual blessings each one of you is to our family. Also a special thanks to our very own personal professional photographer. The pictures are great.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Front Page News

Wow! 2 days in a row (Yes, in case you missed it I posted yesterday too.)
Carter made the front page of the Bolivar Newpaper today!
I want to say thank you to Charlotte who wrote an amazing article about the youngest Polk County Relay Survivor, Carter. You can check out the article by clicking here.

I have always felt like Carter's diagnosis was a curse however, last night at the survivor dinner it made me realize we are blessed to walk along side all of the other cancer survivors. Everyone at the dinner looked so healthy and happy, cancer hadn't ruined their life, and they had won the fight or haven't given up. It gave me so much hope and encouragement to live everyday to the fullest and that Carter will have a long happy life. Tonight is the Relay for life and I am honored to get to walk with our little champ! I plan on posting tomorrow about the Relay.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My little miracles

I know I have mentioned this before, but I want to mention it again. The day before we found out Carter had a tumor I had said in my Wednesday morning bible study that I often take for granted that my children are miracles and how grateful I am for them being so healthy. While things for Carter could have been a lot worse I am still very grateful. I don't write about Evan on here very much, but he is just as important to me. I often think of a miracle as something huge. For example, a miracle would have been when they did the first cat-scan there would have been no sign of a mass. However, there was a mass and it was a cancerous tumor, but what a miracle that they found it before it had spread. What a miracle that they could remove most of it. What a miracle that he doesn't need chemo. What a miracle that the cancer was not making him sick. What a miracle that when Carter gets older he won't remember all of this. What a miracle that Evan is such a great big brother. What a miracle that Evan is healthy and so active. What a miracle that we live in a country where we can praise the One who created us. What a miracle that my 2 healthy boys have 2 healthy parents that can take care of them. I think so often we take life for granted and let the hustle and bustle of everyday life get to us. Who cares if our children are a little (ok a lot) more hyper than others? Who cares that our 4 year old makes messes that we don't have time to clean up? Who cares that our 1 year old can almost get into everything, Praise the Lord that Carter CAN get into everything. I know I am rambling but I just felt like I needed to share this. Now I am going to post some pictures and videos of what we have been up to. Thanks for your continued prayers.

On Saturday we got to see a U.S. Army Helicopter (yes, in the metropolis of Bolivar!)
Evan got to sit in the Pilot seat!





Carter with a cute smile, and a short video of him laughing.



video

Carter had a long day at day care on Tuesday, and fell asleep right after dinner!

One day while we were doing some work outside Evan found a frog, it was so funny.



video



Hope this made you smile and reminds you that life is precious even when it is chaotic. Take time to hug and enjoy your family (that means right now, quit reading my blog)!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Crazy Life

Sorry it has been so long since I posted. Things have been crazy. On Friday Carter had his 12 month check up which should have been easy right? WRONG! Carter had a fever Thursday night so when we went to the doctor she was concerned his infection in his incision became something more like a blood infection. Well after being on antibiotics for 10 days he developed a double ear infection. He does not have a blood infection, but she was very concerned at how low his white blood cell count was. After consulting with the oncologist they decided it was just a virus. Carter is doing much better now and is back at day care today. I have had a lot of people ask when we will know about the test last week, and honestly I don't think we will unless its not good. We go back to his regular doctor in 2 weeks (like we really won't be there for 2 weeks, I laughed at the doctor when she said that) and she will probably know the results so I will ask her.
Saturday was our anniversary! We have been married for 5 years. Mike is the most amazing man I could have ever asked for. I am so thankful to be blessed by him. We got to go out on a date to the Springfield Cardinals game and to late lunch/early dinner. Granny watched the kids which was fun for all involved. After the past month it was really nice to just spend time together. We had a lot of fun.
Sunday was Colter's, Carter's best bud, birthday party. Happy Birthday Colter! His party was at the park and we almost got blown away. We knew it was going to rain by the way the clouds looked, but what we didn't realize was that there were severe storms all around. It was pretty crazy and exciting to say the least. I have never seen a party be cleaned up so fast.
Friday, June 20th, is Polk County Relay for Life. I am really excited about it. Please come out and support us, we will need as many friends as possible as I am sure this will be emotional for us. Carter will get to walk (OK, be carried) in the survivor lap. We think he will be the youngest survivor. So be sure to look for updates on Saturday.
Happy Monday to all,

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Appointment

Carter's appointment went pretty well today. He peed all over me and then while trying to change his bag and actually catch the pee he started peeing again, and he ended up peeing in the cup! It was hilarious. A little messy, but hilarious. We won't know any results for probably a week. I assume they won't even call unless something comes back unusual. We go back in August for a CT scan, and then will start our every 3 months visits. His incision is healing, and we had a surgeon look at it today. He was pleased with it and thinks it should heal up fine now. The antibiotic is doing what it is supposed to and the infection looks under control. Thank you for all the prayers today. It was a long day, no one in the clinic moves as fast as you think they should. I have learned that if we are an hour late for the appointment no one will notice (not that we were, but we should have been). Maybe I will post more tomorrow.
Edited on 6/12 @ 9:40a.m.: Carter's CT scan is in July not August. Opps! I was sleepy when I wrote this.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Partay!

Carter had a great birthday party! Thank you to everyone who came and/or sent donations. We raised $180 for our Realy for Life team and $141 for Friends of Kids with Cancer.

He had so much fun with his cake. He ate almost the whole thing!!

I don't have much to say, I just want to post some pictures.

Carter has an infection in his incision, and I just find out that it is staph. It is healing ok now and hopefully will be ok. Tomorrow (Wednesday, June 11) is Carter's check up in St. Louis. Please pray for travel and good test results. They will do a urine and blood test. It should be simple but I have thought that before and was proved wrong, so we will just have to see. Enjoy the pictures.

Carter and his buddy Colter "playing" together

He is looking at his cake, he knows its coming.
Getting cleaned up, I promise I wasn't choking him.

Clean and happy!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Carter!!!



Happy Birthday my sweet precious boy!! I can’t believe you are 1 year old. What a year. You have been such a blessing, and brought such joy into our lives. Your smile can brighten any room. I am so proud to be your momma. You are such a fighter, and you have proved that since day one. You have kept us on our toes since long before you were born. We have called upon many prayer chains on your behalf and you have given us many scares, yet we are so thankful for who you are and the blessing you have been to us.
When I was only 24 weeks pregnant with you I started having contractions and that was the first of many scary days. At 38 weeks I was induced but you decided you were not ready to meet the world and you stayed where things were cozy for 2 more weeks! You made your grand entrance with another scare when you decided to wait a minute before you would start breathing. You were born at a whopping 10lbs 3 oz and 23 inches long. Are you sure you needed to stay in there for those 2 extra weeks??



Of course we fell in love we you the minute we saw you. You were the talk of the hospital because you were almost twice the size of the other babies. The nurses laughed because they didn’t have any outfits big enough for you. Your big brother has always been so proud of you. He is a much better big brother than anyone could have ever imagined. I love watching him talk to you and play with you. He was so scared the first time he held you. I will never forget when he held you and you started to cry, he thought he hurt you and was so scared he was going to get in trouble.




When you were born your big toe nails were buried into the top skin on your toe, and a couple months later they became infected and off the toe nails came. I was so scared as I watched them take you away from me and into the operating room. Little did I know that that was one of many procedures and no big deal. You never showed pain from that and again showed us that you are tough.





At four months old I noticed your soft spot on your skull was very small. I cried as they did a cat scan to see if you were going to need surgery to fix it. I praised the Lord as the results showed it was no big deal and you were just blessed with a funny shaped head! So many prayed for us during that difficult time and so many rejoiced with us when we got the good results.

Carter, I would not trade these crazy moments for anything in the world. God has taught me so much about prayer, faith and trust through you. Its so amazing that such a small person can have such an impact on the world around them. Through every trial you have been so brave and full of joy.

Throughout the winter you were constantly sick with a cold and a bad cough. You would often cough and throw up all over us. We started to learn when this would happen and even got used to it. You had such a crazy cough and when people that were not used to it would hear it they would look at me like you were going to die. Little did I know then that the cough was due to the tumor pressing on your lungs.

May 2, 2008 was one of the craziest days of our lives. I knew something was really bad when your doctor told us to get to her office soon and she would explain everything to us. We were so blessed with great doctors and nurses that cared about you. Everything happened so fast which I am so grateful for. Only four short days after learning you had a tumor it was removed. I will never forget the look on the surgeons face when he told us it was definitely cancer. I already knew it was but hearing it for sure was so scary. Seeing you after surgery was the worst part of this whole ordeal. You were again proving that you are a fighter as they had to restrain you because you were trying to sit up and pull your breathing tube out. What a strong little boy you are! We were so surprised by how quickly you recovered and were back to the happy little boy we know and love. What a miracle!!

Through all the bad there has always been good. We have seen God work in your life over and over again. I can't wait to see what kind of strong man you turn into. I know God has amazing plans for your life, and look forward to watching them unfold before me.

We are learning that you have no limitations. You do not understand the word no, and have no fear. We know that you will never give up on anything and no one will ever tell you that you can't accomplish something. I so often took your life for granted, but now I cherish every moment.

I love to listen to you "talk" when you wake up in the morning. Those are the sweetest sounds on earth. I love it even more when your whole body gets excited to see me. You have blessed my life more than words can express. I look forward to sharing many many more birthdays with you. I pray they will all be cancer free! I hate that I am a mother of a child with cancer, but love that I am your mommy. Carter Jay I love you so much and I hope you have a great first birthday.

Love, Your mommy

4 mo.
2 mo.

8 mo.
6 mo.
12 mo.
10 mo.

To my faithful blogger friends:

Thank you for sharing in this journey with us. I hope you rejoice with us in celebrating Carter's first birthday. Sorry for boring you with the long letter to my son. I wish I would have wrote letters to Evan on his birthdays, but I think I will from now on. Don't forget about Carter's party on Saturday, June 7, at SHBC at 2 p.m.

Please pray as we go back for a check up next Wednesday, June 11 in St. Louis. I am confident everything will be clear, but I am still nervous. Please pray for peace as the day approaches.

We appreciate all of you.

In Him,

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Where has May gone?

WOW!! I can't believe its already June. It has been one month since all of the craziness in our life has started. One month ago today, Carter was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia, and we were told he had a mass of some kind. So much has happened since then, it just seems crazy. This time on May 1, I was with Carter at the hospital trying to get some sleep before he had his test in the morning, little did I know how much my life was going to change.


I could have titled this post 10 different things, so I will probably list all of the titles and then put a little under each heading. I have been pretty emotional today so bear with me.


A strand of 3 cords:
Today in church (we went to church in Branson) the pastor talked about how a strand of 3 cords is not easily broken. It reminded me of how much I need all of you to keep praying for us. Yes, Carter is home, not in a hospital and not sick. He looks perfectly healthy and happy, but the truth is he still has cancer in his body. I don't mean to keep dwelling on this but I can't help it. I know God is going to take care of him and carry us through all of this, but I keep wondering why this all had to happen in the first place. I need you to pray that the cancer will not grow back and that I can stop worrying about that. I didn't think I would be nervous about his next appointment, but the truth is I am and it’s still a week and a half away. He used to have this crazy cough and after they removed the tumor it was gone. The cough was gone for over 3 weeks, and now it is back. That really scares me and I am praying its nothing, but I seem to worry about everything now. I feel like I have a spiritual battle going on inside of me and I would like you all to pray that satan does not get a foothold and I can keep focus on the only One who can make this all better. I feel God allowed that small piece of tumor to be left in Carter's body to teach me I am not in control. For those of you who really know me, know that that is really hard. I think God is just trying to show me that He doesn't need my help, He can handle this all by himself!! I just really wish I wasn't so stubborn, and He could have found a better way to teach me these things.

Praise:
I took Carter to the Ear, Nose and Throat doctor on Wednesday, and he does not have to have ear tubes!! Thank you Jesus! I know tubes are not a big deal, I just didn't want him to have to go through one more thing. The doctor is hoping he won't have any trouble all summer because colds are less likely in the summer and we will see what happens in the winter.

Pray:
Please pray for Granton and his family. You can find a link to his site on the right side of this blog. His mom and dad have to make some pretty big decisions for him and I want to ask that you all pray for them. Granton has been in the hospital for over 2 months. Mike and I have been so burdened for this family even though we have never meet them. I always said I couldn't imagine going through what they are going through, and even though we had some drama it is still nothing even close to what there are dealing with. I am so encouraged by their strength during this incredibly hard time. So, when you pray for Carter please also pray for Granton.

I hope all of this makes sense, I feel like I rambled. I knew I would feel better after I wrote, and I already do. Just because Carter is doing well, and looks so good doesn't mean we still don't need prayers. I know you haven't quit, I just wanted to let you know we still need them, and how to pray more specifically. Thank you all.

Don't forget about the big birthday party on Saturday, I am so excited!