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

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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!