Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Cami!

  It has been a long and exhausting day full of: school, build -a-bear, luch with Daddy, and a Harry Potter party (more on that later) so I'll keep this post short and sweet, but I couldn't sleep without a Happy Birthday post for Cami.  She has had quite the year and every day she continues to teach us, impress us, and inspire us...(don't get me wrong, she can INFURIATE us at times too, but we wont talk about that on her Birthday).  

Every year since I was a little girl my mom would tell my sister and I the story of our birth on our Birthdays.  Even though we heard it every year and knew it by heart, it never got old.  I have continued this little tradition with my kids and tonight as Pat and I told Cami the story of her birth, I was flooded with the memory of love I felt when I first held her in my arms.  I didn't think I could ever love anything more than I loved that tiny newborn.  Boy was I ever wrong!  My love for Cami has grown each year and I love her more now than ever.   I knew very early on that she was special and I am so proud of this little girl and the amazing person she is.  I am so incredibly honored to be her mother.

Here's to our spirited, fun-loving, inspiring, courageous 6 year old (KINDERGARTENER!!)!
We love you Cami!  
Happy Birthday!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Just a little meeting with Tim McGraw

Sometimes I feel guilty about all the amazing experiences we have had since Cami was diagnosed a year ago.  A part of me feels silly posting about the parades, houses and shows Cami is featured in or the freebies and attention our family receives -all because Cami has cancer.  

But... then I get over it and remember that everything happens for a reason.
It is a fact that Cami is a magnet.  She has a zest for life that is contagious and people are naturally drawn to her.  We are so blessed that we have been surrounded by people who love us and want the best for our family.  I cant even begin to describe all of the many people who have come into our lives during this time, we know they didn't meet Cami by accident.  We know we needed certain people to get us through this time and maybe Cami was meant to touch them as well.  We have been carried through this ordeal by others, some family, some friends, others strangers.  
Each of them had a purpose and we can NEVER thank them enough.  

One of those people is a neighbor who moved in to our circle a few months ago.  Her name is Marilee.  Soon after moving in we found out that Marilee is a stand-in for Reese Witherspoon.  Reese flies her out to film movies and she has worked closely with not only Reese, but with many other celebrities over the years.  One of the celebrities Marilee worked with is Tim McGraw and she remained close with him after their movie wrapped.  

Tim found out that Marilee had moved into our circle and he was touched by Cami's story.  Marilee helped to set up a meeting at his concert.  We were given second row seats to his concert and as if that wasn't enough he threw in a meet and greet, and VIP pre-show passes! Tim was so sweet to all of us (especially Cami) and he was waving and winking at her all through his concert.  Rumor has it that Tim may be calling Cami one of these days to check up on her... how cool is that!?!

It was such an amazing experience and we are so grateful to Marilee for giving us this opportunity.  Cami is still talking about this fun night.  Thank you Marilee, we love you!

Here's our lil cowgirl.

 I bet you cant guess who doubles for Reese :)

Tyson (Marilee's son) and Cam.  
They are cute little buds.

Our other neighbors, Dennis and Debbie got to come too!

 The pre-show was so cool.  It was just a big tent set up with maybe 100 people invited to watch Tim and the band warm up.  They had free drinks and we felt very VIP.  Cami loved it!

Cami was so excited for the concert to start she could hardly contain herself!

Once it started, Cami and I got a little crazy... we just danced and sang the night away.

guess who was sitting right behind us?!  Donny Osmond.  
He LOVED Cami's dance moves...she had him charmed in no time!
(she had no idea who he was.. to her it was just another person to chat with)

Cami thought she was the famous one and that HE wanted his picture with HER!

 Tim put on an amazing show.  He was so generous to us and we are forever HUGE fans!
We love you TIM!!!

Here is our group with Tim.

Here is the video of Cami meeting Tim.  She gave him a picture she drew for him.  
I am told it is still hanging in his tour bus.  We have a famous little artist.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

July update

WOW.  I am really slacking with the blog updates this summer.  Where to begin?  Cami has been feeling great and we have been out enjoying no schedules and sunshine.  We have been so busy and just LOVING the summer full of fun times.  I get teary watching Cami run around and play or swim or even just doing fireworks, thinking back to how miserable she was last year at this time.  Every time things get chaotic or the laundry piles up so high I want to scream... I remember that none of that really matters in the long run.   We are truly blessed to have a healthy, happy little girl and that is what's really important.

We had a great 4th of July.  
We walked over to Eaglewood with the cousins to see the parachuters land.

We took the kids to a fun little carnival, they loved getting their faces painted.

July is one of my favorite months.  I just love hanging outside with neighbors and snuggling up on a blanket to watch all the fireworks.  
We went through lots of sparklers and poppers with this kid.

Even though the fireworks were booming, Cami fell fast asleep.  
The festivities just wore her out. 

The kids have been loving picking vegetables in the garden (thanks Dennis and Deb).

Unfortunately, Cami was due for a lumbar puncture (bake poke).  Cami HATES how the anesthesia makes her feel so these days are never fun.  
Here she is getting her vitals taken.

Getting her chemo.  It still freaks me out how the nurses have to gown up just in case the chemo were to spill on them, yet they are putting it right into Cami's veins.  CRAZY!

Here she is getting her "sleepy medicine" (or anesthesia).  
I know she looks happy in this picture, but she was NOT HAPPY about being there!

Here's how we have to leave our baby.  
That is probably the hardest part, leaving her in that room where so many things could go wrong.  
It's only a 10-20 minute procedure, but it feels like an eternity waiting out in the hall.  

There's always a chance that the back poke will go wrong.  If they take out too much spinal fluid and don't put enough chemo in, or if they have to poke her multiple times Cami wakes up SUPER grouchy and in PAIN.  Luckily the back poke went smoothly and she woke up happy this time.  
Here she is with Wendy, one of our favorite RTU nurses.

They knew she was nervous, so they gave her these little tiny bears as a prize for being so brave.  
She thought they were so special.

She was a little woozy after her procedure so she wanted to ride in a wheelchair.  We were both so happy to have this back poke over with, now she wont need another for 3 more months!  

Clinic stats 6/30/11:
Height: 111.5
Weight: 19.4 kg (40.9 lbs.)

ANC: 1,200 perfect...hooray!
WBC: 2.0
Hematocrit: 32.4%
Platelets: 250