Our Sweet Angel

Our Sweet Angel

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Day that Changed it All

While I begin to write this post for my daughter it is impossible not to think of the lives that were changed forever 10 years ago today.   This blog post is dedicated to the ones who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and to the police, fire and first responding survivors who's lives have been changed forever.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends who lost loved ones on that day and since.  Most importantly, we pray for the brave men and women of the armed forces who have lost their lives and continue to fight for our freedom, allowing our children the privilege to live a life that they are not able to. 

Aloha everyone,
We have some big news to share with you.   It is unexpected and somewhat surprising even to us, to announce that we will be leaving Kaua'i and moving to the Big Island of Hawaii, early December 2011.

I was offered a terrific opportunity to be the Director of Marketing at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, located just north of Kona ( www.fourseasons.com/hualalai ).  There are many beautiful resorts in the world, including the St. Regis Princeville Resort that I was working for, but there are some resorts that are truly best in their class.  Hualalai is one of these resorts.  This is a fantastic opportunity for me to grow my career, while at the same time allowing us to stay in Hawaii continuing Carmen's treatment at the amazing Kapiolani Hospital.

This move will not change much regarding inter island travel and still requires Carmen and Heather to make the journey back and forth from the Big Island to Oahu.  However, the Big Island is still a relatively small community providing us with more control over Carmen and Trevor's exposure to a big city, large groups of people and a healthy environment - which is still critically important to Carmen's recovery.   Although not impossible, it is something that would have been more difficult had we moved closer to the hospital on the island of Oahu and Honolulu.

Of course, there is the incredibly sad side of this move.  Leaving a community that has provided so much to Team White over the past 3 and a half years is hard to imagine.

We have been honored by your Aloha.  The word Aloha is the purest word that can be used to define the unconditional love, support and devotion that all of you have provided to our family since May 26th.   We are incredibly fortunate to have experienced Aloha in all its glory and are stronger because of it.

It is important for us that you all understand the decision to leave Kauai was incredibly difficult for our family to make.  Only time will prove if this was the correct decision but so far, Team White has done pretty well and need to follow our path as a strong team - wherever that path may lead.

I will be moving ahead of the family, leaving for the Big Island on September 25th.  Heather, Carmen ,Trevor and Roxy will be following in early December to allow Carmen to complete the next phase of her treatment called Delayed Intensification,  which will be the toughest part of these first six months.   It is expected that Carmen's numbers will drop significantly, preventing her from going to school during this period and making it impossible to facilitate a disruption, let alone a move.  I will be traveling back to Kauai several times during this time and our cousin Aly Thompson will be arriving on September 28th, staying to November 21st to help Heather.  Julia and Scott will also be on Kauai for their honeymoon, November 4th to 12th.

Heather and I have been drawn back to this wonderful island twice already, which is why we feel comfortable knowing that this is not good bye.   A Hui Hou, Aloha and Mahalo to all of our special friends of Kauai.

For those of you on Kauai, we will be having a Get-together, Open House style party on Saturday September 17th from 2pm to 7pm.   Please stop by 4130 Kekaulike, Princeville.  We would love to see you.

The Kauai Marathon was last Sunday.  We would like to thank Auntie Teacher and Cee Cee for their support while running in Carmen's honor.   Congratulations to Auntie Teacher for finishing with the amazing time of 4:20!!!!  (I am not sure how fast Cee Cee ran but I am sure it was great)

Carmen's appointment on Tuesday of last week included a sedation with a lumbar puncture and chemotherapy.  There was the usual fight to access her port (I don't blame her) but mostly no tears...and no need for a child life specialist to come and help as in the early days.  Mama says, "I got this!"  Sad that sweet Carmen is getting used to hospital procedures.  She had a great week and was feeling awesome and able to attend school which is wonderful!  She will go to Oahu the end of this week for day 41 of Interim Maintenance, Phase I and then will have a break for two weeks until starting Delayed Intensification when her blood work clears around the first of October.

Below are a lot of images to keep you updated.

Carmalita Ballerenia


Tough Little Princess

This was the first time Carmen let me face paint her since returning from the hospital

These are the amazing wrist bands that Auntie Teacher and Auntie Cee Cee organized for Carmen.  All proceeds from selling the bands goes towards Carmen's recovery.

"Smile and Be Happy"....on one side.

"I love Carmen"....on the other side

A beautiful Plumeria in our back yard that made Carmen smile.  "Look Mommy, what a cute little flower!"

An amazing Money Lei given to Carmen by Uncle Hobie's mother.

Horseback Riding at Silverfalls Ranch

No fear

Home on the range

Trevor man makes easy work out of riding!

Petting the baby goat after the horse back riding.

 Carmen was very excited about the pink collar!

Happy on the ranch!

Carmen...in front of the Pink Palace of the Pacific.  "The Pink Hotel...The Royal Hawaiian

This image was from last month.  Carmen with her favorite Child Life Specialist, Kelly.