Monday, December 22, 2014

Respect the Stach

Carter is taking a medicine that is gross and makes him hairy. He has developed an adorable fuzzy nose and prepubescent stach. We got a good report from the doctor today. His platelet count was up to 152 which I think might actually be normal. His other two counts were good too which means his baby cord blood is doing his body good. They were monitoring for viruses after last visit they saw some possible action but today everything is still down in a safe range and not a threat. Still pretty nervous about him getting sick, but keeping him masked up and sanitized seems to be doing the trick. He's getting a little bored but I'm sure this week he will feel better! Merry Christmas to all! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Day 41

Ok.SO SORRY for the delay in an update! This is Carter on the day we left the hospital!
Some of the amazing staff that cared for him.
Nick, an awesome nurse that cared for Carter.
Breaking out! This was the first time Carter was in this part of the hospital since he was admitted.
Finally home!
Ok. So to update everyone on Carter's progress.
Yesterday the doctor called and said the results of his bone marrow test show that his marrow is 100% donor. I'm not 100% sure what that means, but I'm fairly certain it means that his body has accepted his transplant and allowed the new marrow to "move in" as we say. The doctor said she was really happy about that!
Carter has been eating like a horse and has the cutest puffy cheeks due to his steroids. He's still on a lot of meds as they try to prevent his old immune system from trying to fight off the new stuff and keep him free from any infections.
We've had a few little virus scares here and there but nothing serious so far. We are trying to keep him mostly isolated with a few visitors here and there, as long as they are feeling well. He got a sweet set up in his room and a new desk so he's been doing a lot of Legos and doing school each afternoon with his teacher.
Thank you to so many of you who have sent cards, little gifts, and love and support. We have received so much! Every little bit has helped make Carter feel so happy. I really am at peace with where he is mentally as he seems very content and glad to be home with his family!
Oh, and we found out that he IS allowed to eat food from restaurants as long as they have an A rating, and so he has had wings like three times in the past two weeks. He is obsessed with hot wings.
His doctors are looking for day 100 as the next big milestone, but also said he won't be out of the woods for a few more months.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Day 28

I'm late in posting about our release because I took some amazing photos the day we left the hospital but have yet to upload them with the chaos of the last few days. We left the hospital on Monday and brought Carter home. He was so happy to be back in his own room. He had crab and steak for dinner. The next day he started to have some pain when using the bathroom and also some blood, which they say can be from chemo or a virus. So we are waiting to hear back from that. On Monday he gets another biopsy of his bone marrow done to see how things are working and also he gets one of his lines removed. The doctor said his body is mostly donor cells.. she couldn't find the percentage but said it was high and she was happy. That shows that the transplant is taking and the donor cells. .the cells that work. .are doing their job! Giving him his meds at home freaks me out since there are so many. I also have to hook up his iv lines to various things. Everything is going ok though and Carter is eating like a madman. Just taking it one jam packed day at a time. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Day 21

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! We are very much looking forward to seeing some of our family and friends today and eating some of Mr. Rob's she-crab soup. We are looking at possibly going home Monday. We are very thankful today for that and for all of the love and support we have gotten. We have gotten letters from people we didn't even know. Mail and gifts from so many people. Letters and a bracelet from a kid he didn't even know. It's been an amazing help in keeping our spirits high. Carter is feeling great! Eating baby bell cheeses and drinking lots of Gatorade. He's unhooked from his IV a lot during the day since he's primarily using it for fluids. Carter will have a pretty extensive home care plan! We will have to stay pretty isolated except for visitors and trips outside with a mask. I'll have to give him his meds three times a day and also care for his broviac lines by flushing them etc. Good thing Derrick and I have been doing some work in Carter's room, making it more fun. He's gotten really big into doing Legos. Thanks to everyone who gave him a kit. When we get home I plan on displaying them on shelves! He's also taken a liking to reading minecraft books and making things out of them. Right now he and his dad are building a Pagoda. Hope you all enjoy your family and be thankful today for what you've been blessed with!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Day 17

Today's ANC: 6,000! But, like the doctor says, they are baby cells. His immune system still has to be protected. She said she very rarely let's a patient go before day 30 unless they are doing over the top awesome. Carter is doing really well but still has to get back to eating and drinking. We've been exercising by walking the halls and watching movies. Right now he is watching Remember the Titans.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Day 15

Wow! Time is flying along. Carter's ANC is up to 2030. The doc says that shows engraftment. They sent off some blood today to see whose cells are in there. Carter or the donor cells. I think the goal is to have all donor. Should get those results soon. He's feeling well. Other than a few things here and there. Overall he is doing much better now that his mouth and throat sores are healing and now that he can go play in the playroom. We were told we might get to go home around or before day 30. Thank you to everyone who has sent gifts and cards and came by to visit. You have helped our stay be much much more positive! And we loooove you for it!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Day 11

Today was a great day. Carter's ANC is up to 200. His immune system is growing! Once he gets to 500 he gets to go to the playroom and once he gets to around 2,000 we get to go home! He also had a few things to drink today and ate a few nibbles of food. His throat is starting to feel better. We got some awesome packages in the mail today. Some sweet cards, a Sebastian stuffed animal (immediately was snuggled), tee shirts, activity books and more fabulous Hurricanes stuff. Thanks to everyone who sent us something and to everyone who continues to visit and pray for Carter. His doctor said she was "thrilled" with his progress.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Day 9

So it's day 9! I left this morning at 5 to go run a 1/2 marathon. I wanted to do it to show Carter that you can push past limits and through pain. With a little willpower and fight you can do anything. I'm going to give him my medal I got for finishing. .when he wakes up. It's 1:30 P.M. He is really feeling crappy. His hair started coming out in little patches. I wish it wouldn't do that. I wish it would just fall out at once. He says he's OK with it. But I can tell it's all beginning to wear on him a little. Not eating and drinking. Not leaving the hospital. Hoping to get him up and go for a walk around the halls or something to brighten his spirits up. We were told the mouth sores won't begin to heal until his white blood cell counts go up. So. Until then we are hanging in there!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


We love our visitors but we ask that you call or email before coming so we can make sure it's a good day to see carter! Also you have to be feeling 100% healthy,  no sniffles or anything. :) !

Day 6

We went through a few good days with no symptoms. Then he started getting some of the mouth sores and a sore throat we were expecting. He's dealing ok, but I can tell it really hurts him. He hasn't been eating or drinking, which I don't like. But he's getting what he needs through his IV.   He's done three days of school so far! He wanted to do it even though he felt yucky.  So now we are just waiting for his mouth to feel better. Not much else to report. Everything is looking good and according to schedule.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Day 2

Carter is doing well. Last night his friend came to visit and his dad brought their projector. It fit perfectly on our wall and we watched Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles. Carter had SO much fun. He was dancing and being silly. It was like we weren't even in the hospital. He's been cruising these past two days. Nights are a little rough. We are so blessed by our friends and family. Nothing makes Carter and I happier than the visits from our loved ones! He's also been enjoying flying his air hog and drone toys around the room. I'm pretty sure they are outside toys but hearing him crack up watching the helicopter crash around his hospital room is music to my ears. I would like to take a minute to say that I love Lindy Sparby and the University of Miami. It's not just fandom anymore. I love them because they continue to pour out love and support on my teeny love! Also all the Miami fans and just genuine nice people who have commented and sent prayers! We were told we probably won't see any sign of engraftment until day 20+. That will be awesome to see Carter's body rebuilding! This morning was so beautiful as I left the house and it made me remember friends and Carter playing YMCA sports on Saturday mornings. Little blessings. Can't wait to get back to that!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Day 0!

 Thank you so much to everyone who helped to make today great for Carter. We had cake, balloons, friends, silly string, blow pops. It was a great day. Carter looked a little nervous before we started. They gave him his new blood cells and THANKFULLY he did not throw up, which is a predicted side effect. He got to silly string us and zeroed in on his beloved father, of course. The team at Miami sent Carter an awesome happy birthday video and I can't say thank you enough. We watched that and his Raising Canes video before he got started. So today is day 0. He was given the cord blood cells from whom I deemed the "baby yankee" (we were told our donor was probably from the NE U.S.A.) And now we wait. He's not really hungry but he is eating a little here and there. Hopefully everything will continue to go as planned and we will begin the engraftment/healing process leaving Carter,
Happy Birthday Carter Hucks, from the U
Carter Renewed

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Day -2

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Carter is up and down with how he feels. One minute he's up throwing his football, the next he's feeling sick to his stomach. Thank God today is his last day of chemo. It will still be in there making him sick but at least no more is going in. He asked about it last night. Why are they giving me medicine that makes me sick? So hard for a kid to understand you have to go through the pain to get the gain. But I heard him telling himself, "You got this Carter" softly under his breath. And he does. We got some special mail from Miami yesterday and Derrick read him each one. He loved it. Thanks to everyone who's encouraged our family and my boy through this. Please keep it coming!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Day -3

Well, Carter officially feels yucky. He's mostly dealing with fevers, chills, and poopies. Lots and lots of poopies. His skin is looking a little flushed and his cheeks are getting puffy. I told him he looks like he gained weight from working out ;) . He still looks handsome! Anywho. He's doing great, all things considered and in pretty good spirits. He has been sleeping a good bit this morning. If you're in the hospital you become nocturnal. He feels gross but still loves having company. Just make sure you aren't feeling sick at all if you want to visit! From what they say, we are still in the thick of it with more to come. At least we have 2.5 days of chemo down and only 2 more to go! He will still feel gross afterwards, but at least we know he's done with yucky chemo meds that are so harsh on his little body. Second birthday coming up this Thursday(The day he gets his transplant cells). Be sure to wish him a happy birthday if you can! Now we have to have cake two days per year. What a shame!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Day -4

Today was a good day. Carter tolerated his chemo pretty well. No puke. . So far! Just some nausea and fever. He was feeling a little better too. Thanks to all of our sweet visitors! We love you!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Day -6, -5

Yesterday's radiation went well. We finished early in the morning. That afternoon was a little rough mixed with great. He threw up from the radiation but later was feeling better. We had visitors and went to the play room. Carter got a phone call that cheered him up. We saw part of the Halloween parade and Carter put his football outfit on. We went to the play room later to see the super heroes repel down the side of the building. Then they came inside and Carter walked right up to Batman with a pool stick and challenged him to a game of pool. He's really liking playing pool. The heroes were so nice! That night he was a little sad. Feeling a little emotional about the gravity of the situation. It was a late night. This morning he felt better. We donned our Kelly tough shirts and watched Duke and the canes run up the score on NC while he did chemo. He had a pretty good day but did get sick and picked up a fever. He's sleeping now and was ok when he fell asleep! Thanks to everyone who has sent well wishes and expressed concern. Sorry if I haven't responded to you! It can be a little hard to take attention off Carter.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Day -7

Today went great! The days are negative numbers until carter gets his transplant. That's day 0, then we count up. Surgery went great today and carter had a great day. He is wheeling his iv machine through the hallways aggressively and playing pool in the atrium. As well as lots of video games. He is eating well and not very sore from his surgery. In other news. .I went for a run today which was nice and derrick brought in an air mattress. Still trucking! Radiation tomorrow. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014



 Some of Carter's wall decorations.

Playing Minecraft.
The stash.

The view from our room. Not bad.
And so the sun has set on our first night in the hospital. Today Carter had to do some radiation measurements, which were easy but he had to lay still- he didn't care for that. He did get to listen to Bob Marley while laying there though, which helped. Then we came to his room. Thanks to help from my wonderful Pastor, Joe, I had hung up some stuff and already moved us in by the time Carter arrived. I'm so glad he decided to come visit us because I felt a little panicky this morning. Just the overwhelming feeling of all that was getting started. Having him there to laugh and talk to calmed me down a lot. And I realized, I love visitors. Visitors are how I will make it through. Carter spent some time playing games, working on a model car, and tossing his football. Tonight he's getting some transfusions to get him ready for his line placement surgery tomorrow morning. That's for his central line or whatever they call it. Basically an iv in his chest area so he doesn't have to have to have it in his arm all the time. Carter is doing great so far and seems to be enjoying himself. I feel a little like this may be the calm before the storm, but I'm going to relish it while I can!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Carter Goes to the VT Game

Embedded image permalink

What else can I really say about the Miami Hurricanes? 
They have brought my little boy in to their family and made him feel like a stud. He needs it so much right now. I don't think I've EVER seen him this confident or at ease with himself.

We were fortunate enough to watch the Canes beat the Hokies in Blacksburg, Virginia last night. Which, I must say, is a gorgeous part of this world! I could NOT get over the pumpkin patches that went on for hills and hills. Who put those there? Do they grow? (Mind blown!) 

We got there with enough time for Carter to get to spend some pre-game time with the boys and Coach Golden to walk him out to be with the team. He got to see them afterwards too and hang out in the locker room. Duke had an AMAZING game and Carter got to be there to see it all. I'm so thankful for everyone that continues to show him love and make him feel so welcome. We really feel like we have a full team supporting us going into his transplant. Not only the team we've already been blessed with of family and friends, but now a team of football players and coaches too! 

Wednesday is our day for admittance!
Everyone was asking if we will be at Miami's next game. That would be awesome, but we will have to rock our Kelly Tough shirts from MUSC. It will be fitting I'm sure. And we will be rooting the Canes on! Good thing we get cable!

So far all I know of for Carter's calendar is that Wednesday he gets admitted. Thursday he gets his line/port thingy put in so he doesn't have to have an iv in his arm all day every day. Friday he gets radiation. Saturday- Thursday he gets chemo and then on Thursday, November 6th he gets his actual transplant. They call it his second birthday and Carter has already expressed his excitement at being spoiled for two days per year. They don't tell you who your donor was with a cord blood transplant, but they were able to figure out that it was from a boy who is now 10 and probably was born in the northeast U.S. Pretty neat. After the transplant and his second birthday (woop!) It's all about the healing. As soon as his counts improve and his new cells activate and start working, we are on the road to recovery! Yay!

Little bean was on Sports Center:

Monday, October 20, 2014

Our Awesome Vacation, Summarized!

Wow! What a week. I can't even begin to describe how jam packed it was! I'll try though!

Friday we left our house and drove to Georgia for the Miami - Georgia Tech game. Our hotel had an awesome view of Atlanta.

That night we went to a pep rally. We didn't stay long as there were zillions of people there and we were hungry, but we stayed long enough to buy some Miami gear and long enough for two cheerleaders to come say hi to Carter. He is like some sort of a pretty girl magnet. (God help me)

The next morning we stopped at the Marietta Diner. It was delicious! Try the french toast.

Then we went to the aquarium. It was really nice and they had a few animals we've never seen before. Like a Beluga Whale, Whale shark, and other cute assorted sea creatures. We watched a dolphin show too that included some awesome show tunes.

I'll be honest. Being at the aquarium made me hungry. For fish. 

That night we got all bundled up and headed to the Miami/GT game. It was pretty nippy. Carter had on 2 shirts a hoody and a jersey. He was overly warm. 

Oh and he also had on an awesome hat made by his Aunt KK!

The game was pretty fun all things considered. Some really cool guy behind us wouldn't stop cursing. Carter looked under enthused. 

The next day we left for Florida. We were planning to stop and see a waterfall on the way down. Derrick had rented a Camaro and was having lots of fun weaving down the country roads when I realized I was feeling nauseous. Carter was too, so we took a quick break on a quiet and beautiful driveway. 

When the woman who lived at the house (not pictured) got home, she said someone had had the same problem last week and had to stop in her driveway too! We are flat-landers it turns out. 

When we got to the waterfall, Derrick decided we were going to take the challenge to hike to the top of it.

It was beautiful and I really enjoyed getting to share an experience like hiking with Carter and Derrick. This was both of their first ever hikes! I'd say they did pretty great. 

We stopped after our hike at Atlanta Highway Seafood. The shrimp were amazing!

We were headed to see my grandparents in Cape Coral. 

We had a wonderful time seeing family we had not seen in a while. It was especially great to share an experience with Carter that I had loved so much as a kid. Gotta love grandparents! We went to a German coffee shop and I enjoyed my extra large latte. Carter loved grandma's dogs!

After that, it was time for our Make A Wish Trip to begin! Miami, here we come!

This is one of the apartment complexes in Bay Harbor where they filmed the show Dexter. We had to make a pit stop. Unfortunately it's gated so we couldn't go up to the actual room. 

When we got to our hotel, we walked in and everyone said, "Hi Carter!" He looked around in confusion! Everyone wanted to talk to him and greet him. He wanted to meet his first Jamaican ever, since he has become enthralled with the movie Cool Runnings lately. He got to meet a sweet girl that worked at the hotel and was Jamaican. Everyone there was so sweet to him! 

We tried lots of delicious food while we were there! Miami has THE BEST food. 



Pollo Tropical!

The next day we went to the University to get things started! Carter was greeted at the car by Lindy, Gabriel, and Sebastian. Lindy does marketing and other cool stuff for the football team and was a major part of putting our trip together! She was awesome. Gabriel helped film Carter for the Raising Canes video. 

When we walked in the door, Carter's favorite players were waiting to greet him. Duke Johnson, and Denzel Perryman. They gave him the grand tour!

Carter got to do a little bit of everything that day. He got to tour the facilities, sit in on meetings, get taped up. They made him his own locker in the locker room, gave him his own jersey with his name on the back and his own helmet with a blue visor just like Duke's! They went ALL out for him. He got to meet coach Golden and all the players. They were all so very sweet to him, making him feel like part of the team. 

The days Carter spent with the team leading up to the game were awesome. They let him run a few plays, and were always very encouraging. Playing catch with him, racing with him, bantering back and forth, lifting him up on their shoulders.

We had a little window of free time on Friday so we went down to Key West.

When we went to the game Saturday, Make A Wish sent a limo to pick us up,which Carter loved. When we got there, Carter met the players and walked the "Cane Walk" with them through the fans. We were able to be down on the field with them as they warmed up. Carter was a captain for the game and they let him go on the field for the coin toss. After that we spent some time on the sidelines with the players and Duke gave Carter a ball he scored a touchdown with. 
We were able to hang out in the MVP section with former players, all of whom were extremely nice to Carter and Derrick and I. We also met the president of the university and she treated Carter like her own little one! 

Everyone was so gracious and loving to our family! We can't believe how awesome this trip was for us as a family. This wish has brought Carter so much joy and confidence, and I know it is going to help make the next few months easier!

Go Canes! Go Carter!