Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thankful Hearts

Our hearts are so full, I am having a hard time finding the words to properly describe how amazing the last week has been...
A few days after Cami engrafted, the hard work began.  It was time to get her weaned off the pain pump, get her up and moving, and switch all IV medications to oral.  These may seem like easy tasks, but for bone marrow patients they can be extremely difficult.  Cami worked so hard!  She still felt so crappy, but each day she took her pills like a champ (sometimes she would throw them up immediately after taking them and then she'd say "Come on mom, lets get them down again") and slowly weaned off her pain pump.  She also went on some awesome walks around the unit to help strengthen her legs.. this was like running a marathon after laying in a hospital bed for so many weeks.  

Here is Cami's morning dose of pills.. not an easy task for a tummy that has been empty for weeks!

Cami prepping Froggy to go home.

Cute cousins visiting-


We were given a list of cleaning to prepare our home for Cami's arrival.  We had so many amazing friends and family come out to help.  These guys bleached every nook and cranny and scrubbed with toothbrushes!  We are so incredibly grateful for their help.. there is no way we could have tackled that list on our own.  Love all you guys!  We can never thank you enough for helping with this!





THEN.. my dear, sweet, thoughtful friends came in and put up all my Christmas decor so Cami could come home to a house full of Christmas magic.  Can you believe how awesome they are?  Thank you girls.  What a wonderful thing to come home to!


To top it all off- Pat's thoughtful sister, Lindsay, surprised us with a couples massage at the Montage resort in Park City!  My cute mom was nice enough to sit with Cami at the hospital (Cami was in on the surprise.. and so excited for us) while we spent the afternoon being pampered.  There is nothing in this world that could have been better after all the stress and tension we have felt the last few months (not to mention sleeping on a tiny, hard hospital sofa.. not the best on your back).  
We will never forget this amazing experience... Thank you Linds!


 Then the day before Thanksgiving, we were told that Cami was cleared to go home!
What perfect timing!  We have much to be thankful for.

I had to take a few pics of the room that we spent so much time in an literally witnessed life-changing miracles in.  

This was the little couch/bed Pat and I slept on.. I will NOT miss this little thing!

Kathy is such an amazing nurse.  She was a favorite for sure!  She helped us get out of there and answered my millions of questions before leaving.. thanks for being patient with me Kath!


Each day in November, Cami tried to write on a leaf for her Thankful tree (thanks for the idea Shawni).  We did not help her with these, I really wanted her to think about something to be thankful for each day, even through her hardest of times.  Her leaves made us laugh and cry at their sweetness.  

Here is what they say: Doctors, my button (pain pump button), my house, nurses, kisses from Mommy and Daddy, ANC 500, medical bills (what???), Froggie, movies, fresh air, Grandpa Bruce,  a sip of water, trees, my donor- he saved my life, Dad- mommy, Baylee and Millie (her pups), Rebecca (her American Girl Doll), Caden, and the sun.  
Oh, how I love this girl!


They have a special program at the hospital called the Beads of Courage.  Each time Cami does something difficult, she gets a bead.  Each bead has a special meaning.  For example: the cat bead for a cat scan, the glow in the dark beads for radiation, the bone for bone marrow transplant, etc.  Cami already has 2 full necklaces from her previous leukemia treatments, but this necklace she started fresh after her relapse.  It is amazing to look at all these beads, knowing they represent a procedure, surgery, poke or other treatment.  She has been through so very much.  

She loves her beads of courage necklace!


Once we got all our medications from the pharmacy, and packed up our room.. we were good to go home!  The hospital staff gave Cami quite the send off and she got to ring the bell for the second time!  Our phones were acting up and we didn't get a video.. I am so sad!  I was in tears, it was a very emotional send-off!

Since Cami is on the bone marrow team now, Dr. Verma is no longer in charge of Cami's care, but she will always be her Doctor in our eyes.  She has kept close watch over Cami through her transplant and has visited her often.  She came over to sing to Cami and send us off!  We are so grateful for such a great Oncologist who truly cares!
We love you Doctor Verma!

 The first thing Cami wanted to do when we got home, was read under the Christmas tree by the fire.  She sat there content and happy for about an hour.

Then her and her Caden had to do their own decorating!
 

While Pat and I learned to hook Cami up to her nightly IV... UGH!


 Then the next day, our awesome soldier friends the Air Force AMMO's brought us a Thanksgiving feast and gifts for the kids!  Oh, how we love these guys.. they have been so incredible to us!

Because Cami's immune system is very weak, our Thanksgiving was a little different than our usual large family gathering.  It was just the 4 of us and it was perfection.  My heart was bursting with happiness all day.  Grateful doesn't even begin to cover it.

This is how Cami feels about eating right now... haha!

Love this little family of mine.


Cami's Thanksgiving picture:


It is a lot of work to be home.  We are now Cami's nurses and just keeping the medication schedule straight is a task all in its own (we figured out Cami takes on average 34 pills a day, and has IV feedings on top of it!).  We are up every 2-3 hours through the night giving medications and hooking her up to her IV.  Cami still needs help with almost everything she does and gets nauseous quite often through the day.  It is crazy around here with Caden running around, trying to keep the house germ free and just managing everything is a huge task!  BUT it is all worth it to hear the kids giggling down the hall, to have Cami in her own bed, and to be out of that darn hospital room. 
We are together and it is everything!

16 comments:

  1. I am so happy for your family. I will continue to lift Cami up in my prayers. She is such a special kid. I am overjoyed that things are going so well for your family.

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  2. This makes me so happy to read! I'm so glad she is finally home and out of the hospital! I can't wait to see what amazing things this girl accomplishes!

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  3. I am so happy you got your sweet girl home for the holiday.Love her leaves and the one anout her being thankful for her donor sent tears running down my cheeks.Will continue to keep Cami and your family in my prayers

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  4. So happy for Cami and your entire family. Hang in there as each day things get better and better and before you know it you are at Day +100!

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  5. Happy Day! So very happy for you all. God Bless!

    Vickie J.

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  6. Wahoo!! Way to go Cami!! The perfect place to be around the Holidays, with family in your own home!! Stay Strong Carver family. Sending BIG hugs and thoughts your way.

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  7. Yay!!! I am beyond happy for you all. What amazing friends and family you have!! So happy to hear Cami is doing so well and that you are all at home together again.

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  8. Hi,
    I just want to wish you Happy Christmas from the UK. It's Boxing Day here now but probably still Christmas day where you are.

    I hope you're all having a brill time.

    I hope Cami is ok. I expect it's still a hard time for you all tho.

    Take care
    Luv
    Julie

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  9. Hope you had an awesome Christmas!

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  10. Just wanted to pop in and say I hope you and your beautiful family had a wonderful Christmas and here's to a healthy and happy New Years to you all:)

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  11. hello :) what is cami's animal jam username? i love the item made especially for her and i support her!

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  12. Whats Cami's animal jam username my brother had the same cancer when he was 5 he's nineteen now so yay! thank god that he's okay other wise i wouldn't have a brother like :)

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  13. I hope Cami is okay, my younger sister had cancer (a different form; not precising because of blablablaprivateinfoblablabla), and she died... ):

    I am very happy because I just got a Cami's frog on Animal Jam yesterday, and I gave it to one of my real life friend who plays AJ and who is quite ill right now. I told her about Cami, and she was happy to get a froggy :)

    MythCat2907

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  14. Hi! What is Cami's user name in animal jam so I can buddy her? She is so awesome and an inspiration to everyone!

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  16. Your a very strong person cami dont ever forget that.

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