Saturday, December 11, 2010

Overwhelmed!!!

I try not to be negative on this blog.  I try really really hard, but the last couple weeks I have felt nothing but overwhelmed.  It has been really hard around here and at times it is just too much.  Sometimes I wonder how Im going to make it through the next couple of years.  Most nights I wonder how I am going to get out of bed in the morning.  It is an overwhelming feeling and I try not to look too far into the future, but I am SO looking forward to the END of Cami's pain and suffering (or chemo) that it is hard not to look forward and then, when I do, I get overwhelmed all over again.  

  The last few weeks I have felt pulled in so many different directions I feel like my head is going to BLOW!  I have been constantly stressing; about decorating for the holidays, Christmas shopping, cleaning, giving the proper attention to Caden, pill schedules, hospital visits, side effects, fevers, leg pains, nausea, and Cami even started having chest pains which had us all freaking out.  Everything has just been so darn OVERWHELMING!!!  Most days it just feels like too much to bear and I usually end up going to bed without a shower or without even looking in the mirror.  Please do not be alarmed when you come to visit and I am still in my PJ's with ratty hair and un-brushed teeth at 3PM, its really me under all that mess...I promise.  Do not be scared.

The last 2 weeks have been hard for our family, but pure torture on our poor Cami.  Watching her go through so much pain has been so hard for all of us to watch.  Things have been miserable for us all, but mostly for her.  Most of the time she just lays around the house staring off into space.  She has been in a pain/steroid/toxin/prescription daze the last 3 weeks.  



This was her favorite place to lay...and stare...and lay some more.  Occasionally yelling at one of us for more food or to quiet down because of her pounding headache 
(steroids taking effect here).  



We have been getting less and less of those adorable Cami smiles.  
You can just tell she doesn't feel good.  




coloring and writing is her escape when she is feeling yucky.  Its kinda weird though, she will just write a bunch of random letters all over a page.
It is wacky what those drugs do to a person's mind.  



Before she started this phase she had some hair growth coming in, but a few weeks after that harsh chemo hit her system and it is falling out again...


This is her new form of "brushing" her hair, well its the opposite really.  

Here's what she got...
(we went through the entire lint roller!  Now her cute little head is bald once again)










 Just when I thought I was feeling so OVERWHELMED I couldn't feel another ounce of emotion... AMAZING things start to happen and I am overwhelmed yet again, but this time I am overwhelmed with joy, love, happiness, and gratitude...  




First, a good friend, Denise sent a sweet letter into a local radio station nominating Cami (and our family) for their "Secret Santa".  Each day on their morning show they surprise one family with gifts, prizes, money, support, and hugs.  Pat answered the door and standing there was a stranger.  She handed him a phone and he was live on the radio.  Soon after, she started bringing in gifts.  I was upstairs asleep because I had been up with Cami the entire night before.  My mom called me down and I was so confused to see strangers bringing gift after gift into our home.  Stacy (the lady DJ) hugged me and explained what was happening.  I started to bawl.  We SO needed this boost.  What a way to wake up!  I cant even talk about the sweet letter Denise wrote without tearing up.  She is an amazing friend who showered us in love when we needed it most.  Thank you Denise, and thank you 97.1 ZHT for brightening our day.  It is amazing to know, see and feel how much people care!


They found out that Cami LOVES the movie Tangled (even though she has hasn't even seen it yet...silly girl) so they got her the Tangled dress, and wig (plus lots of other awesome stuff), but Cami was a little out of it and "spacing out" when they came.  Later that day, after a good nap, she opened up all her presents and wanted to get that wig on.  She didn't take it off all night!  I have never seen someone enjoy flipping hair around so much!  She was having a blast with that wig!  





Here is a copy of Denise's sweet letter to the station:
Camryn:  December 1st  

Although my true wish this year would be to cure my little 5 year old hero Camryn Carver of her cancer (along with her new friends she has met during treatment) I would be forever grateful if her, along with her family could receive some help with all of their medical bills this Christmas. This family has been through hell and back all while watching their savings dwindle while the medical bills keep coming in. Cami is in the most critial stage of her treatment and the next 2 months will be the toughest on her and her family. Let me just say that not only is Cami a loving, giving, and remarkable little girl but her entire family is the same way. When friends held a fundraisher for her back in October, her family shared the donations with others in their "cancer family" to help others in need. Please help. You can read all about her on her blog www.kissesforcami.com Thank you, God Bless, and Merry Christmas. 


***You can listen to Pat's radio clip here, just scroll down to "Camryn Dec. 1"***









Next, we get a call telling us that the Jazz Bear wants to pay Cami a visit!!!  WHAT!?!
...If anyone knows Pat they know about his deep-rooted LOVE for all things Jazz.  We were stoked, and since Cami only wants to go to the games to see this famous mascot, she was just thrilled as punch!  It was SO great to be able to remind Cami of her special visitor when she was feeling terrible, it honestly helped her to be so brave.


Here he is walking in, Cami was smiling again (after not smiling for 3 weeks) and I didnt want to take my eyes off her happy face.
It was SO incredibly wonderful to see that smile again.


He was so cute with Cami.  He gave her lots of attention and lots of Jazz swag.  
Don't worry, the bear took care of Pat too :)



Family pic-


Tony, Nat and Cute Callie got to come meet him.
Can you tell Tony is Pats brother...no resemblance right?


Cami's BFF, Elle Lee, joined in the fun too.  


Grandma Di-Di even got a Bear hug! 


What an amazing man... uhhh... I meant animal.



***They sent a camera crew and did a little interview, and made a clip of the Bears visit.  We soon found out that it would be played at some of the pre-games.  
Um, I would have actually showered had I known THAT ONE!!!***

  watch me embarrass myself here:





We have so many people reaching out to help.  
I know of 2 schools, a grocery store (Dicks in Centerville), and other fund raisers happening without us even having to ask (which is really hard to do)!  This particular fund raiser was put on by a family we don't even know!  Kayla knows Natalie (my sister-in-law) from High school.  She found out about Cami and wanted to do a boutique for her.  Natalie, Kayla, and Bonnie (Kayla's Mother-in-law) worked SO very hard on this boutique.  It was such a blast!  We took Cami over for about an hour and even though she wasn't feeling great she had a blast!  She was, once again, spoiled rotten!  Every vendor wanted her to pick out something from their booth.  She was beaming as she left with dance outfits, necklaces, face paint, and much more!  Thank you to Kayla, Bonnie, Natalie and all the vendors for participating and organizing this adorable boutique for our family.  We are FOREVER grateful!


Kayla, Cami and Nat  

Cami picking out a necklace-




My cute Grandma and mom came to support and get some Christmas shopping done.  
We had to get a 4 generation shot-



Here's Cami at home all dressed up in her new dance outfit, necklace and wings.  


When we got home from the boutique, our neighbor Dennis (who is the director of Legacy Prep Academy), brought over his choir to sing to us.  It was FREEZING, but they sang their little hearts out and it sounded so beautiful!  
Thank you for braving the cold guys!  








They brought everything including a keyboard, drums, microphone, and director!
These are the same AMAZING kids doing a fund raiser for Cami.


Thank you for making this happen Dennis, it really brightened our day!  

***Cami is getting quite famous!  This special event also made the newspaper!  
Read the article here.***




These are just the acts of kindness I got pictures of.  There has been many dinners, babysitting, phone calls, emails, texts, treats, packages and comments that have been so extremely helpful.  So, once again, I am feeling completely overwhelmed.  I KNOW it is not a coincidence that these amazing things are happening to us during our hardest time.  I am so overwhelmed with the generosity and love from others.  It has been the best of times and the worst of times all rolled into one, but as the pain fades, the memory of these wonderful moments we've had will last forever!  I know these people have been sent to help us through this hard time, it is touching and humbling to feel our Heavenly Fathers love through the service of others.  I am so truly overwhelmed by the love I have for each of you who have touched our lives forever.

including those of you who read this blog...  
Thank you for caring.  Thank you for praying.  Thank you for reading.


I am now overwhelmed with tiredness.  
night-night.
XOXOXOXOXOXO

17 comments:

  1. Just know so many moms look at you and see you as a role model. KNow your doing everything for Cami. Hang in there. Are we related in anyway? Well I guess your husband. My maiden name is Carver

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  2. You are so awesome! You always say that Cami is the brave one, but watching you on the Jazz reel, just proved how brave you are too. You are being so strong for you family when it could be quite easy to loose it. The fact that you are still in the mindset to think about Christmas shopping, and showering etc, just shows how strong you are.

    It is so great that when you think you are too overwhelmed to do anything, you get these tender mercies from the people who love you to boost you up!

    Thank you for being so positive and showing the rest of us how to be strong for our own families.

    Love you Chel!

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  3. I just want to know that you are amazing. Cancer is hard, I just cant imagine doing this with another child and husband at home, paying bills, doing meals, and christmas shopping, but you do it amazingly well. I really do look up to you and admire your strength. You also make time to put smiles on other cancer families faces. You deserve all the good that is coming your way. I know it gets so overwhelming thinking that you still have years of this horrible cancer stuff, but what helps me is knowing that there is an end to this and that one day Skyler will be free from his suffering and he will be able to live a normal life again. Cami will too, and know that you and her have touched many lives along the way. Hang in there Chelsea, you are doing amazing! Give Cami hugs for me and tell her that that video of her and the bear made my day :)
    Crystal

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  4. I cried through this whole post, Chelsea! Sad tears and then happy tears. :)

    I've been thinking a lot about you guys and wondering how you all were doing with DI since I hadn't heard much (blog/facebook, etc. :)) in a while. We pray for Cami and think about her a lot. What a sweet little girl. I'm sorry that she has been in so much pain - those pictures of her laying around just break my heart - more so because I can relate and feel your pain. Poor, sweet girl. She shouldn't have to hurt so much.

    But I am so glad to read about all the wonderful things that have been happening for you guys! I bet it was a slice of heaven to see Cami smiling and energetic for a little bit. There really are so many amazing people in this world! Those acts of kindness really mean the world and can be the difference between night and day - the thing that gives you the strength to go on for a little while longer.

    Hang in there! You guys are amazing.

    And I think you look gorgeous even without a shower. :)

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  5. oh and I cracked up over the lint roller!! brilliant idea. what a cutie!!! :)

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  6. Sooo beautiful. Just so so beautiful! It is so wonderful how people are reaching out and helping when you really really need it. When I first started into your post I just got so worried for you and your family and it just BRIGHTENED my day to read all the WONDERFUL things people are doing!

    So, the picture of Cami tossing her long golden locks is seriously ADORABLE! I just love her smile. She is the most beautiful girl.

    We love your family so much! Merry Christmas!

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  7. P.S. I don't think any of us cancer moms really shower/do our hair/make-up like we once did. You are amongst friends!

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  8. Cami is sooooooo loved! It's great to see her being showered with so much love and attention. She deserves all of it! She is very artistic and we are happy to have some of her beautiful artwork in our home. We love it and we love her!

    Debbie & Dennis : )

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  9. Wow, you guys have been very blessed. I hope that Cami feels better in the 2nd half of DI. She is almost done. Hold on a little longer.

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  10. i am so very blessed to have you as my friend and i think you are the most amazing mother!!! and cami is the most brave little girl ever! so sweet.

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  11. Your blog is such an inspiration to me.. You have such a strong, beautiful family.

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  12. How exciting Chelsea. Funny how in our roughest times we can feel the prayers and support the most. I know these last few weeks have been rough on you, but I promise that it WILL get easier. Hang in there, Ill be praying for you!!

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  13. I am so sorry Di has been so rough on all of you- esp Cami. I remember seeing that look on Daph's face. The paleness and exhausted far-off look. It kind of happened so gradually, then all at one, that I kind of thought she would be somewhat like that forever. They aren't. Daph's got color to her face, eyelashes and eyebrows. But the first thing that changed was her energy and attitude- the most important things. And it started happening gradually, then all at once. During the second part of DI. So I hope the second half is easier. Look for the little signs and relish them- because there's more where that came from.

    We did the same thing with the lint roller! Much better than hair everywhere.

    We went out the other day and bought one of those old people pill boxes. Broke my heart to have to do that for a three year old, but it really helped with my stress, cause boy was I wondering how we were going to keep it all straight. When you get into maintenance they make you a calendar three months out listing their daily meds. They also let us schedule all of our appointments for the next three months. I hung the calendar in our gigantic medicine cabinet (which we installed just after she was diagnosed). So just know that soon there will at least be some regularity to this horrible madness.

    I wish so much that I looked as good as you do- seriously!

    I don't know how to do it all AND all you do for others. There are more people out there thinking of you than you even know.

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  14. First of all, you are truly amazing! I am always impressed by your positive attitude even though you guys are going through a tough time. Second of all, you are beautiful whether you shower or not, you have always been beautiful you don't need to worry! Third of all, I just love how you are so inspiring to myself and others. This post really touched my heart just to see how amazing your family is. You are a strong woman and awesome mom! Even though this may be a hard thing you guys always look at the bright side of things. You have such a cute family! Cami is definately one brave little girl, Go Cami...fight Cancer!

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  15. I have followed your 'story' from the very beginning but have felt too stupid to comment because we never really KNEW each other but I somehow feel very proud of you and your family and just realized two weeks ago that I have a very small connection to your family at this time but would prefer to share it with you in an e-mail. If I have over looked the fact that your e-mail address is somewhere on your blog already....then I feel dumb....but if not, here is mine so you can send me yours.....whenever it is convienient and you have a spare minute. brookeflint2002@msn.com love, Brooke Jorgensen

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  16. My mom loves the Jazz Bear! That's so cool that you got to meet him! I love the "GO JAZZ! WAHOO!" You little cutie! Love you guys!

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