10 Months Ago~Colorado Springs Cancer Photographer

10 months ago today our world was rocked.  Like, seriously rocked.  Like, changed forever.  Like, faith had to take over completely so that we wouldn't go crazy... or cry myself to death. We got that call.... you know.... THAT call.  The one you never want to get.  The one you hope will start with, "Good news!  It's really nothing at all!"  Or even, "It's pneumonia.  I'm sorry."  Not the one that starts with, "I've been trying to come up with a plan for Carter before I called you."  And not one that continues, "Get him out of bed and take him to the hospital.  He needs blood.  Lots of it.  And platelets... lots of them."

BUT.... we have made it this far!  We have made it to Maintenance, which, honestly has been harder than we thought it would be.  It's been an adjustment... the whole adventure has been.  And while I would trade all the silver linings and a future Make-a-Wish trip for a normal, healthy little 6 year old who can run around with his friends, that's not our lot.

Our lot right now is this.  Cancer.  And that's okay.  There are still days for me that are hard.  But there are a lot of days that are wonderful.  Where cancer is just a part of our lives and we don't give it a second thought.

There are things that I never thought I would hear my 6 year old son say... "Hey Mom.  Since my counts are good can I go play at Dylan's?"...  "What?!?  My liver counts are that high?  Oh man!"...  "I know, Mom.  Don't.  Touch.  Anything."  (Every time we take him anywhere I say that to him.)...  "Mom, when I turn 9 and my cancer is gone can we go to Chuck E. Cheese's?"...  "No, Addilyn, you won't get cancer, too.  I promise."...  "It's ok, Mom.  I don't mind playing alone at recess.  I played with my friends until they started running.  Then I got tired and couldn't keep up."  (That one is especially hard for me.)... "My name is Carter and I have A.L.L. Leukemia."  (Correctly it's just A.L.L. as the last "L" stands for Leukemia... I think it's so cute when he says that, though.)

I am sure to thank the Lord each and every day for his doctors and that they are saving his life.  I also thank the Lord for him reacting well to the medications-- meaning the cancer IS going away... although the side affects are less than ideal.  I thank the Lord for allowing us the opportunity to save him; giving us that chance and not just taking him from us.  I thank the Lord for the friends and family that have taken such good care of us, who have prayed for us, cooked for us, listened to us, called us, texted us, emailed us, sent us sweet cards or gifts for the kids.  We have SO much to be grateful for.  And I hope I never act otherwise!!!

Ever since Carter was diagnosed and his hair started falling out I have been growing out my hair.  Those of you who know me know that my hair is long.  Always has been.  Always will be until I'm too old to pull it off.  While I love my son, I'm not about to shave my head.  (Vain?  Perhaps.)  But I wanted it to get long enough to be able to chop it off and donate it.  I don't color it a whole lot so I'm a good candidate.  (Don't worry, we pulled up the hair that has been colored and only donated the bottom portion.)  It's really easy to donate your hair.  Just chop off 10 inches (that's the hardest part, FOR SURE!), fill out a form, and stick it in the mail.  Anyways, my sister lopped it off for me and actually made it look cute.  It doesn't look as cute when I do it... in fact it's kind of like I have a big poof ball on my head but that's ok.  At least I don't have cancer, right? :)  Plus, it's a super cute little pony.  :)

I thought it would be funny to take a family picture like this.  Usually Carter has to be the one wearing the mask... but not this time!  Everyone else had to wear one and he got to be mask-less.  (More of my family pictures to come.)