Hello friends, I’ve missed you!

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Well hello there!

Hello dear friends.  Oh I’ve missed you all.  I’ve missed sharing here on this blog, and there really is so much to share!  I don’t even know where to start, so I guess I’ll just dig in with whatever I can think of.

First of all, where have we been?  Well, most of you know that we jumped on a tiny little plane and headed up to Washington D.C. to look into some trials at the NIH.  We were offered a trial there of a treatment called TIL therapy, and we are ready to jump right over to it in the event that Kevin’s current treatment does not work.

Then we hopped a big plane out to LA where we met back up with the kids and then looked into some trials at UCLA.  Kevin enrolled in a stage 1 part D trial of a new treatment called Anti-PD1.  He had his first infusion that Thursday and then flew back to Atlanta Sunday night so he could get back to work.  I stayed an extra week with the kids to visit with friends and family and to attend a funeral.

The funeral was for Kevin’s cousin’s son who died tragically the same day as Kevin received his first treatment.  We were stunned by the parallels… Damien was 38 and Kevin is 36.  Damien left behind a wife and a 2 year old and a 4 year old.  I never knew Damien and have only just met his wife Jenny, but my heart continues to weep over this loss.  It sounds like Damien was an amazing guy, one of the “good ones” much like Kevin, and in my selfishness, I often wonder why it can’t just be bad people who die, why do the good ones have to be taken from us?

At the end of that week I started to get sick, just in time for me to fly cross country by myself with a 21 month old and a 3 year old.  Evie started getting sick on the plane too, and by the end of the flight, I think both of us were in full blown flu mode.  I am SO sorry to everyone on that flight.  I promise we washed our hands a million times and wiped every surface of our area down with purell.  I may write more about travelling with two young ones by myself, but to sum up, I do not recommend it.  It is literally impossible for one adult to get two children, their carseats, and bags onto a plane unassisted.

This trip though, I was dropping the “cancer card” left and right, hoping folks would feel pity on us and just be nice and help out, which they did.  On the flight to LA back in July, I had several folks, including the flight attendant who were just downright rude to me, and emotionally it was just too hard to handle.  By the end of that flight both kids had had poop-splosions and were down to nothing but diapers and shirts.  In fact Evie was wearing a shirt from a seat mate.  We were a sight to see.  Anyway, this flight was only marginally better.

I got home to Atlanta and had to jump right back into being full time mommy, keeper of the home and now tending to my sick self and two sick kids.  The kids took turns being up through the night with croup cough, so I would sleep in the guest room with one baby one night and then the other the next.  It was awesome, let me tell ya.  During that week I would have alternating bursts of energy and then extreme exhaustion where I could barely keep my eyes open.  We watched a lot of TV and the house got messier and messier.

Sometime towards the end of last week I started to feel myself slipping downward, and warning bells started going off.  I knew we were in the midst of a bunch of transitions, to say nothing of being sick, getting back from traveling, and coming off the adrenaline of being “in battle” for nearly a year straight.  We are hopefully entering a season of relative peace and I want to take advantage of every moment of it.  But at the same time, that change seems to have been something my body and mind were having trouble processing.  Top it off with a three hour time change and the sudden darkness of fall mornings and my little slipping downward started to spiral.  This is a hard thing for me to write about, even harder than writing about ADHD.  But those who know me well already know much about these struggles with depression for me.  And those who don’t, well, I feel the need to share here in an effort to be honest.  I also am sharing in case it will affirm others, especially you mommies out there.

I don’t know if I have clinical depression.  I’ve not been formally diagnosed with it.  I definitely do have ADHD, and depression is often an accompanying factor.  For me I really do think that my depression rears its ugly head when I am feeling overwhelmed or behind.  Also, I know that there are very real physiological factors that affect my mental state.  I think this may be the first year though that I have tied it to the changing of the seasons.  Perhaps it was because the time change from traveling plus the seasonal changes that felt so drastic when stacked up together.  And then of course we have daylight savings time coming up.  Oh joy.

Anyway, enough about all of that.  If I try to be “complete” in this update, I will never, I repeat never get it posted.  In an effort to give a glimpse into what’s been going on this past month, I’ll share a few pictures.

Why haven’t I been posting much?  Before we got sick, Kevin and I were much too busy doing this

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A whole lot of this

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And plenty of this

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We’ve also been hanging out with lot’s of family doing things like this

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And sneaking out of bedtime for extra snuggles and cuddles

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Reconnecting with Nana and Papa

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Chilling out and relaxing

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And of course a visit to LA wouldn’t be complete without a trip to see Aunt Kay, Kevin’s mom’s sister

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There’s also been plenty of just playing and hanging out

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And connecting with friends, new and old

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Evie especialy has been over the moon excited to have us all back together!

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Before leaving, we made sure to have some special time with Grammy and Grandpa.  The kids sure do miss them!

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Okay, this post is neither cohesive nor complete, but it will have to do because Jude’s nightlight just turned yellow and he has informed me through the monitor that it is time to get up.  Love to you all and I will try to slowly but surely get caught up.  There is so much I want to share!  Love you all, please keep praying for us as Kevin IS having some side effects and it’s been tough, we fly to LA this weekend for his next treatment and a biopsy, and I’m still not caught up around here!  

XOXO, Rachel

4 thoughts on “Hello friends, I’ve missed you!

  1. Rachel,
    Thanks so much for your update. I cannot tell you how much the whole Carter family is praying for you all. Both you and Kevin have made an indelible mark on not only John and I, but John, Jr and Katie. John Jr. still talks about one of his most favorite summers was the one spent learning all about movie making from you. You know he will be off to college next fall and just turned 18! Kevin may not realize it but he taught me so much about computers the time he spent at VCS. You are both very much in our daily thoughts!

  2. Been thinking about you, my friend. It felt so good to hold you. Feel my arms wrapped around you and holding you tight and know my prayers are still going out for you and yours. Love you lots.

  3. So wonderful to hear from you again and to know all is well and you are
    once again in your own home even though Kevin contnues his battle with
    cancer – he is often in my thoughts and prayers. I continue to feel so sad
    over Damian’s death – what a talented person with a beautiful wife and two
    wonderful children. The mystery of life and death continues to baffle me.
    love to all,
    Irene

  4. Rachel,
    This is my first opportunity to look at your blog and my dear sweet girlfriend you have blessed me beyond words. As always your photos have touched me in only the way you can. God has truly given you a wonderful gift that I hope someday will be recognized by millions. That being said your words are equally touching. I will continue to visit your site and be blessed by your words. I love you all. Hugs to Kevin, Evie and Jude.

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