Monday, January 10, 2011

6 months.

Six months ago we were told that Cami had leukemia.  To say we were devastated doesn't even begin to describe the pain, anger, terror, and despair we felt.  Today, 6 months later, the initial shock has worn off and Cami's treatments have become part of our daily routine.  We have learned to swallow those scary thoughts, we have put our angry feelings to rest and we have found so much joy and happiness through this experience.  We have been shown the love of our Heavenly Father through the service of others.  We have made life long friends who are fighting similar battles.  We have watched miracles happen right before our eyes.  We have learned how precious life is and how important it is to enjoy every second.   

One week prior to diagnosis...                                                               

and gorgeous as ever now...

This is a video of Cami taken 5 days before her diagnosis.  Pat took the kids to play in a water fountain, but she was so tired that she wasn't able to get up to play.  
It makes me sad to watch, knowing what her poor body was really going through.

Here is a little of what our courageous, strong and resilient Cami has gone through.

In the hospital after being diagnosed.

Here is the first month, when steroids had to be pumped into her body.  
As you can see they took over...

She was grumpy all the time.

She came close to doubling her body weight in this phase...

Here she is with her cute, new haircut.

Then she got a buzz cut.

She's had some really hard times...

She knows all the medical terms and uses words that 5 year olds shouldn't even think about.  Just last week she instructed her nurse how she likes to be de-accessed.  

One of the biggest lessons Cami has taught me is how to move on after things get hard.  Was she upset when, 6 months ago, she found out that she was "very sick" and would lose her hair? -YES. Does she like the fact that she has to be poked, prodded and constantly have her temperature checked by her worry-wort mother?  -NO!  But, she has gone on with a smile.  She plays, she laughs she whines and sits in time out when she's naughty just like any other 5 year old.  She doesn't dwell, she lives in the moment, she enjoys it and then moves forward.   

Not too long ago Cami received a package in the mail.  It was a CD titled "Cami".  I had forgotten that I filled out a brochure while we were in the hospital that first week and our social worker submitted it for us.  A foundation called "Songs of Love" puts together personalized songs for sick kids who need something to calm and cheer them up.  Cami's is so PERFECT for her and it is something we will cherish forever.  Cami plays it often and it immediately puts a huge smile on her face.

Pat put the song to a few pictures...

We cannot thank this amazing foundation enough!

***If you are interested in downloading Cami's song go to
put in "Carver" under childs last name 

and her record number is 22383

Thank you to all of you who have kept up with us on this journey.  This blog has been so therapeutic for me and your comments of love and encouragement have carried me though many days.  I love you all dearly.  

Here's to the next six months of kicking cancer's butt!   


  1. I decided to check your blog right before going upstairs to bed. Now my husband's going to wonder why my eyes are all red and puffy! Your daughter is awesome. I loved this post.

  2. chelsea and pat - i have been reading all along and i love getting the updates on cami. you two are seriously amazing. and that cami! what a gem. i remember meeting her soon after she was born at lenna's. she's always had something special, hasn't she? i was sad to not see chelsea and cami at the family party, but loved seeing pat and caden for a minute! just want you guys to know that i am following the blog, thinking of you lots, putting cami on the prayer roll, and loving being inspired by all this. love you!

  3. The kids and I all gathered around this morning before school to watch and listen to Cami's song. How beautiful, touching and sweet. We all had tears streaming down our cheeks and when the pic of her and Millie came on it just got worse. I am so grateful those little girls have each other.

  4. Wow this post is so perfect in every way! I cant believe that its been 6 months! In some ways this journey feels like so long and then at the same time, it feels like yesterday we all found out and rushed to the hospital! The pain and sorrow i have for you guys is still fresh in my heart! It brings me to tears everytime! But the joy, laughter, love, support and Cami's spirit is so amazing to watch! I love coming to your house not only to help when I can, to have the kids play/fight, not only to chat with you chel or have the boys watch games, I go because I love the warmth and love that is filled in your home! There is no other place in this world just like it! I love you all more then words can say! Now that I am crying again...... :) I feel blessed to have shared a small part of this journey (good, bad and scary) with you!
    Love Nat

  5. that was beautiful, and the pictures made it that much better. we still keep Cami and your family in our prayers every night!

  6. congrats on 6 months - what a huge milestone! cami looks beautiful and strong - it is great to see. i loved what you said about cami teaching you to move on and be resilient - it's so true and you are a wise woman to be able to see it in the thick of the hard times. i think its easy for us adults to dwell on the hard things and get dramatic and have a hard time, but our little ones really do teach us so much about how we should be. its just like the Savior said, right - "become as a little child". you know, i had thoughts right along those lines just the other night when i came across mosiah 3:17. the words, "becometh as a little child.... cheerfully submitting to all the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon your, even as a child doth submit to his father" really struck me. thanks for sharing your beautiful insight! kids are amazing. especially your cami! :)

  7. that bottom video was the most tender,sweet thing!!! thank you for sharing. you amaze me all the time...keep kickin butt cami!!! love you guys

  8. Chel this is a VERY touching post!! WOW.. Mia and I are cry'n! She is such an amazing little girl with a HUGH spirit! She is such a FIGHTER!! GO..CAM..GO !! We PRAY every day for you guys. :)) Mia misses her soo much. :( Thank you so much for sharing your life experiences with everyone. I know that it has made me rethink things alot! You guys ROCK!! we love you all!. XOXOXOOX
    Danielle/Mia (:
    PS I aggree with Nat.. when she said how she feels the LOVE in your home.. "Its amazing"!!

  9. I sent you a message on facebook, but I just have to say again Congrats on Maintenance! And really that video is so touching and so sweet I just LOVED it!! YES here is to six more months of kicking Cancer's butt! Way to go Cami!

  10. WOW!! That is an amazing post! We love you guys!

  11. She is an amazing little girl!! :)

  12. That last video was amazing and so is little cami.....keep kickin cami!!!

  13. Dear Cami,

    You are like a real super hero. I don't know you but I read about you nearly every day! You inspire me and make me smile! I love you YOUR song, it's beautiful! Thanks for being such a fun, awesome, beautiful little girl! You are my hero!

  14. Chelsea!

    I am a Freshman at BYU and I have been following sweet Cami's story since the beginning and I just want to say your family is incredible! Cami might just be the cutest girl ever!!:) I have watched the Jazz Bear video a few times and each time I have to watch the part where Cami says "GO Jazz Woooo" over a few times. She is so brave and strong and adorable. Your family is in my prayers every night.


  15. Cami is an angel & we love her.....The photos that Pat put together with the song are beautiful! : )

  16. We LOVE Cami...She is an amazing little girl...Pat did a fantastic job putting the photos with Cami's song....Soooo beautiful! : )

  17. Love the post! Love the video! Love that girl! I hate that you and your family have to go through this but at the same time I wonder what wonderful things lie in store for you once you beat Cancer. All my faith and prayers are with you!

  18. Sweet little video, I am so sorry for these past 6 months. You are all so strong. I am proud to know you and your family. Cami, is a sweet, sweet girl.


  19. I cant believe that it has been 6 months already, I will never forget the day that i received the call from Natalie saying little Cami is sick. I hung up and could barley stand up I was in such shock. I have loved every min that I have gotten to spend with Cami and your family. I love you all so much. Cami is so amazing! She honestly has changed my life. You guys have been so strong and had so much courage through the whole thing. Your amazing Chelsea I hope you know that!!! If I can be half the mother you are when I have kids I will be happy. I will cont. to pray and F/u. Thank you so much for updating us:)
    Love you guys!!!
    Love Meagan

  20. You will never know how deeply touched I have been by your sweet little family. Thank you for sharing.

  21. Well, as much as I don't care for a good SOB-FEST to start my Friday morning, what an amazing blog post today... I can not believe the transformation that Cami has been through the last 6 months. The video of her 5 days before diagnosis absolutely brought me to my knees. Such an amazing reminder that our worlds can change in a blink of an eye.

    Chels- you have been given a wonderful gift too. Obviously the fact that Cami is doing well is the best gift ever, but that's not what I mean. You have one of the most amazing blogs I've ever seen. (and trust me, I'm kind of a blog stalker). If a blog doesn't get my attention in the blog description- then I move on. A.D.D., what? And I can seriously sit and read your blog for hours (with a box of tissues of course!) You are extremely talented and I KNOW that your blog is going to give strength to soooo many people that need it. You are so strong and talented.

    We love you guys and think about you daily. The "cami song" also made my Cami smile! And you're right- she is even more beautiful today than ever before (if that's even possible). You can see the strength and courage in her eyes now & that makes her more beautiful than she'll ever know.

    Keep up the inspiring and beautiful posts. You're an amazing mother & person.

  22. What a journey! How amazing that you took that video just before this happened. Amazing! We love ya'll!

  23. What a beautiful little girl you have! My son fights a very different battle than your little girl, but I came upon your blog and have been touched by your sweet girl. Keep kickin' cancer's butt, Cami! Keep fightin' little one.

  24. I recently found your blog on Steph Kellers blog. I don't know if you remember me but we were friends in Junior high and I lived next door to the Carvers for many years and they were great friends. I wanted to tell you that I admire your strength and your dedication to blogging about this adventure. You are a great writer and I appreciate your willingness to write about your struggles. It helps me get through life with three fun but crazy kids and some days feel hard and I am reminded how blessed I am as I read how life has the possibility of changing at any moment. Good luck with whatever the future has planned for your sweet family.

    Jessica Adams Rodgers

  25. I bawled my eyes out watching that video! Chelsea and family, I just love you guys and Cami is such a little hero to me! You all are so wonderful and my thoughts and prayers are with you always! Way to go Cami!!!!!

    ~Sammi Wright

  26. Kylie and Mckenlie have been so concerned and worried about Cami since they found out about her. They both know her from dance class, they are Cami Bryson's nieces. We never leave a comment but, we have all loved reading your posts and seeing how she is doing. Kylie was so cute on this post and said Mom look at how beautiful Cami is all the time. The song for her is so darling and perfect with the pictures. I am so amazed at how much generosity is shown to you guys. It is so good to see that there are so many amazing and caring people out there still. You guys are so strong and I have really enjoyed reading all about your journey. Your family is in our prayers Mckenlie can't wait to dance with Cami again.


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