Our Sweet Angel

Our Sweet Angel

Friday, June 24, 2011

Home "Sweet" Home

It has been three days since our last update but we wanted to let everyone know that we are settling back into being home and going back to work. 

As you can imagine, we simply walked away from everything a month ago and it is going to take a few days to get back up to speed.

Fortunately, we had Grandma and Grandpa White to keep everything running smooth in our absence.   Actually...my Dad (a.k.a. Resident Handyman) has the place looking better than when we left.

Carmen is adjusting very well.   Just being back home around her brother and toys is helping her to push herself a bit more and strengthen her legs.   It will take some time before she gets her confidence back.   We are looking forward to having the Piddycone removed next week so she can run, swim and ride her bike like every 4 year old should be doing.

Love to all,

Team White

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Aloha Oe Waikiki

Today we woke up with nervous excitement and anticipation at the opportunity to be going home to Kauai.

As we packed and prepared ourselves, we had a bitter sweet feeling that was hard to describe.  Though we were happy at the chance of going home we were also sad that this time was coming to an end. The past four weeks have challenged our family in ways we could have never imagined.  It has also been a time that we have been able to fully focus on keeping our family strong.  

Our world shrank to 400 square feet over night as we adapted to the hospital room and guest room.  For the most part, Heather and Carmen managed with the limited belongings that they took to the hospital on that first night.   Of course, we brought reinforcements and comforts during the month but our life became very small, very quickly.

It was also time to bid a sad farewell to the amazing associates of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel who have become like our second family.  Their compassion and understanding of our situation was truly incredible.  Quite simply....the Royal Hawaiian Hotel provided us with a roof but the associates provided us with a "home" for Carmen.  Saying "Thank You" to these individuals at the Royal Hawaiian does not come close to describing how Heather and I feel.

As I mention the Royal Hawaiian, I would be remiss in not mentioning how fortunate I am to be working for Starwood Hotels & Resorts.  Since day one, everyone with Starwood have been incredibly supportive, generous and compassionate allowing Heather and I to focus on Carmen 100% during these early days of her journey.

So...the trip to P.A.U. was a quiet drive.  Even though we were confident enough to pack our bags we were still concerned that Carmen's numbers may keep us in Oahu for yet another week.

Carmen did very well at her appointment this week.  She had her blood drawn, received her chemotherapy injection and had her Piddycone dressing changed.   The dressing change is still Carmen's least favorite part of the experience but fortunately this was her last week. 

Knowing Carmen was having a tough time, Child Life Services requested that Tucker the Hospital Dog pay Carmen another visit.   This really cheered Carmen up and got her through most of the tough times.

The Doctors are trained to not express too much emotion either way but when Carmen's lab results came back Heather and I could not contain ourselves.  

I mentioned in previous posts that the ANC level is what allows our bodies to fight off infection.  A normal ANC range is between 1,500 and 8,000.  When Carmen was admitted to the hospital her ANC was 0, which essential meant that her body had no ability to combat infection.  When Carmen was discharged from the hospital her ANC was at 512, just slightly over the extreme danger zone.

Carmen's ANC levels skyrocketed today to an incredible 6,400!!  Up from 730 last week and 679 the week prior.  This number was almost too much to comprehend.  The doctors remind us that the ANC goes up and down every week and being exposed to something like the chicken pox could drop it to 0 instantly.

The Doctors are also quick to point out that the number is inflated, caused by the effectiveness of the chemotherapy drugs and that the number will fluctuate over time.  

But today we are not worried about that.  Today we are going home!!!!!!

Heather and I, continue to be inspired everyday by your support, well wishes and positive energy that we are able to read on this blog, e-mails, text and facebook.   Thank you all so much for everything. 

We feel blessed to have our friends and family helping us along this journey.  

A few images of the day.

Visit from Tucker

So Happy to See Tucker

Visiting the odd, yet fun "Teddy Bear Museum" in Waikiki yesterday!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Last Day staying in Waikiki!

It's 11:00pm and Carmen has been falling asleep at 6:00pm lately then waking for second dinner between 11:00 and midnight.  I will quickly post some photos of the day then get some sleep before first breakfast at 4:00am!

Carmen had lots of fun decorating her body with her cat stickers!

Carmen is telling me that she is eating her biscuit with her pinkie up just like "Fancy Nancy!"
  (I did not teach her about the pinkie thing!)

Our T.L.P.

The Pink Palace

Best daddy ever!

Carmen had a really good day, she walked more than I have seen her in 4 weeks which for her was about 5 minutes total but I am so thrilled to see her getting back on her feet.  She wanted to push some of her favorite toys in her buggy down the hallway and then she said, "I really need to sit down!"  We won't have the buggy in our house so I am hoping she will feel good enough to make her way around.  She complains her back and legs hurt when she walks.

We found a place called the teddy bear museum on Kalakaua Ave today and had a great time looking at hundreds of stuffed teddy bears!  The museum talks about why teddy bears exist and shows kids scenes in history portrayed by teddy bears dressed in the historical character.  Funny!

Carmen has her Tuesday appointment at the PAU clinic tomorrow and we are really hoping her counts will be good so we can go home for a while!

Team White

Here is one more of little Carmen

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Making daddy's Father's Day card yesterday. 
Thank you Sara, Tom, Lola and Lucy for all of the great supplies!

Father's Day breakfast at the pink palace.  Our heartfelt thanks to the Surf Lanai (especially George and Marie) for making sure Carmen is comfortable, at a table away from all other guests and for making unusual things for our T.L.P. for breakfast!

 Mommy's benny!

 The Waikiki Aquarium was not too busy so we went in for a quick visit.

 How we have been keeping in touch with our tough little man.  (T.L.M.)

Trevor is turning 3 years old on July 1st!  Canada Day!  I can't believe it!

Carmen's next Chemotherapy appointment at the PAU clinic is on Tuesday.  If everything goes well, we will travel our way back to Kauai!  We look forward to hearing what her blood counts are and look forward to hopefully getting back home and getting her back to her life after almost a month gone.

Happy Father's Day to all of the wonderful, dedicated fathers we know!

With Much Love and Aloha, 
Team White