We would like to express a huge Mahalo to Julia and Scott for hosting the Friends of Carmen White benefit event at their home on Sunday July 17th.
With the wonders of technology and Skype it was nice to be able to see everyone's smiling faces enjoying the festivities in the sweltering 100 F (40 C) degree heat. 80 people, a band, face painting, games, food and beverage made for a fantastic day.
Quite honestly...the entire expression of generosity is completely overwhelming to us.
With warmest Aloha and Mahalo, Heather and I would like to say thank you to everyone who attended this special day;
Cathy Hall, Larry and Robina Smith, Nancy and Bill Mozina, Sarah and Dave Whitty, Lorraine and Darrell Randell, Kent and Josie Myles, Don and Bonnie Gale, Jane and Greg Smith, Dave and Valerie Terman, The Symon family, Henry & Marlene White and family, Tailor Straicher, Glenda Lee, Ariss Family, Gordana Cado, Jeffery Hall, The entire Brooks family, Stan and Dora and family, Lynn Mountford, Sharon Sherk, Darren Scott, Bill and Michele Mactaggart, Gaye Musselman, Tracey Groom, Karen Dewar Birk, Jason Lee, Denise MacDonald, David Deichart, Heather Dayman. (I really hope I got everyone....I apologize if I missed you).
Gaye....we will see you in Kaua'i!!!!
All I can say to everyone is that all of our prayers are being answered. I know you must feel that being so far away from Carmen is difficult but I can assure you that you are making a difference everyday. Your love and support is flowing directly to Carmen and giving her the strength to beat this disease.
Carmen is nearing the end of her 28 day Consolidation phase with her last lumbar puncture for a little while. This weeks results were once again amazing. Carmen's ANC result was 1820!!!!! This is still a fantastic number but has decreased three weeks in a row - caused by the new chemotherapy drugs. Every other indicator in Carmen's blood came back in the normal range, with the exception of her hemoglobin levels - which is still above concerning levels.
It is difficult to express the strength Carmen has. I do my best to put myself in her shoes to imagine what it is like and I really do not know if I posses the same courage and determination she has. She is truly the toughest little princess ever - which is why we are so convinced that Carmen is feeding off the power that you are all sending her.
This week Carmen and Mommy had to fly to Oahu on Wednesday night to prepare for their 9am Lumbar Puncture appointment at the hospital. Her port was accessed for blood work, she was poked and prodded and then sedated for her lumbar puncture. It is enough to put any of us down for days. But not Carmen. She takes all of this in stride with a smile on her face. She did so well this week that Carmen and Mommy were able to head to the airport early.
Carmen has two weeks off and then starts the next phase of treatment is called "Interim Maintenance phase I" lasting for 56 days. The chemotherapy drugs during this phase is a series of Vincristine, Methotrexate and Intrathecal Methotrexate.
Today is a beautiful day and we hope to get Carmen in the water again. She wants to go for a Kayak, so we will see what happens.
Love to all,
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Aloha to all,
Today.....is my 40th birthday and a birthday like no other.
Today....our beautiful daughter laughed out loud in pure joy.
Today....she cried and she played in the sand with her little brother.
Today....our princess swam in the ocean and gave me, "The Best Birthday Present Ever".
For those of you who are attending the "Big Summer Party in Ontario" at Julia and Scott's home, I wish, more than anything, that we were there to celebrate with you. I realize that this party is being held in Carmen's honour to support her journey but I trust that you will take this opportunity to "laugh, love and live" together in celebration.
I want you all to know that our T.L.P., Carmen Leolani White, is fighting the fight of her life and winning!!
Your love, support and devotion helps Carmen and our family everyday.
Our deepest appreciation and love to Grandma and Grandpa White, who dropped everything to be with us from May 28th to July 14th. To care for our precious Trevor while we could focus on Carmen's wellness during those critical first days. For being there for us when we needed you most.
Mahalo, Mahalo, Mahalo.
With warmest Aloha.
I would like to share a touching note that I received today from my brother-in-law, Darren Miller. It is difficult to express how much his words and insight meant to me at this time. It truly sums up the last 7 weeks and our family's current reality.
Happy birthday to you Chris!
It always makes me feel good knowing that my brother-in-law's birthday falls on the same day as my brother's birthday.
I know you and Heather have been going through such an unimaginable and challenging time. You both have shown such strength in the course of what Carmen has been facing; strength that comes in tears as well as compassion and resolve. Among the magical things that the TLP is, TOUGH is definitely at the forefront of her many abilities, and please remember that she gets a great deal of that strength from her two loving parents whose soul's she deeply adores. Carmen is a tremendous healer on so many levels, as she continues to show us day in and day out; not just in what she is doing to heal her own self, but also in other ways, that might not always be as immediately noticeable, in how she is actually healing others through this process.
You and Heather are doing an incredible job through each and every challenging day, hour and minute -- and on your birthday (and for the purposes of this email I will go ahead and just proclaim this Heather's honorary birthday too, so you can embrace this together) you should BOTH know that and just take today to really breath that in. You both deserve it and that is my wish for you on your day, and Heather too.
When the shock of a situation hits and reshapes reality like it did just weeks ago it makes each moment, day and second carry such different meaning. Taking nothing away from the sheer gravity of the situation, please also remember that the ability for such a situation to instantly refocus you on the things that really matter and that bring true value in life is in itself its own miracle. Amongst all of the unknowns, panic, upsets and tears I know there has also been many a miracle along the way in these recent weeks that both of you have also embraced. Whether small or big, these miracles are not the kind of gifts that can be bought and wrapped in paper with a bow on top, but rather the type that instead wrap around your heart and embrace your soul with the true meaning of life.
On your birthday (and honorary-birthday respectively) I am thankful for that and for the tremendous work you are doing with Carmen -- and that Trevor is doing too by the way (he is quite the spiritual-stud, as I am sure you might already know). I am confident that everyone in the spectacular support system that has come together takes their hat off to you both, as well -- not just on your birthday but everyday.
I hope offering this up, unsolicited, is not taken in the wrong way or without enough context via email, but rather in the spirit of how I intend it; from the heart and with the hope that it might give an extra bit of brightness to an already special day that deserves acknowledgement in many many ways --
Aloha, Happy Birthday and Love,
Images of the Moment
Happy Birthday July 16th
Swimming Today!!!!! July 16th. First time since May 21st. Best Birthday Present Ever!!
Paddle Boarding with Trevor - July 16th.
Flying with Carmen - April 2011
Grandpa and Grandma, Hanalei Sunset - April 2011
Rock Climbing - April 2011
Grandma and Trevor - April 2011
Mommy and Carmen - April 2011
Grandpa and Carmen - April 2011