Tuesday, October 9, 2012


If I were to write my own definition of what this word means, it would be this:  disease and destroyer of one's health, relationships, finances, and hope; creator of faith, hope, grace and thankfulness.

It's amazing to look back over the past year or so and see how much we have been through.  I was just thinking the other day about where we were one year ago.  I remember the feelings and fears I had trying to pack, organize, and plan for our family to live in an unfamiliar city for a short time.  I didn't know how I would take care of a baby and a sick/recovering husband.  I didn't know where we were going to stay or how we were going to afford it.  I didn't know whether the surgery he was supposed to have would be successful.  There were so many unknowns.

And yet, here I am one year later, with many more.  But looking back, I would have never guessed we would be here.

Today, Freddie is undergoing treatment that seems to be having positive results on the cancer that has tried to destroy our family, our friendships, our finances, and our faith.  I am not ashamed to admit that it isn't easy.  There are days I wonder where God is and why I feel so deserted.  There are days that are stressful and overwhelming.  Times where I see our true friends step up and love us unconditionally and support us in the best ways they know how.  Moments of sweetness, just the three of us...loving, living, and learning....

You see, as I have watched cancer try to take everything from my family, I have fought harder.  As I look back over this time, I don't always think about the bad.  I also think about the good.  I cherish the moments I see my husband be an amazing father, I witness my husband fight harder and harder, with all that he has, and still wake up each morning with a smile on his face and a willingness to work as hard as he can to provide for his family.  I see my son, mostly unfazed by it all, laugh, play, and grow with parents that love him with an indescribable love and joy for him.

I hope, that as we face this journey, that it continues.  That we never take what we are learning and experiencing for granted.  Much in the same way I have moments that I look at Will and thank God for him, especially after everything we went through with Anna Sophia.  I realize the blessing that he is and feel like I cherish him even more, had I not gone through losing her.

I hope my son sees two people that love him and love each other and never want to lose sight of what is really important.  Money, it comes and goes, health fades, beauty is short-lived.  But love, faith, and mercy are forever.

Finally, I hope that as you read this, you think of the things you may have taken for granted.  Although Freddie and I struggle, we still see how blessed we have been and are grateful for that.  Our loved ones have reached out with their time, their efforts, their prayers, and their money to help us fight this battle.  We are forever indebted to them.

Freddie and I have begun to feel the weight of something big.  We don't know what it is or what it looks like, but we know it is coming.  Our first steps in moving toward what God is doing is to begin to help others fight the battle that we have been fighting.  We aren't totally sure how that is going to look or where that is going to be, but right now, it is in prayer and support of others close to us who are fighting for their health and their life as well.

Please continue to pray for our family.  For our direction, our peace, and our faith as we continue to move forward.  We are so grateful to anyone and everyone who has been there for us and we pray that God shows you His blessing and mercy in return.

We will know more about Freddie's current status in a few weeks, and I will share it when we do.

Take care and be blessed.

The Carams

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Too Long

I can't even believe it has been over four months since I have posted anything.  I've had several family members and friends mention that they miss my updates, but I guess I neglected to realize how long it had been.  I've also had a lot of people asking for updates on Freddie, which made me return here.

He has now completed two cycles {4 weeks on, 2 weeks off is a cycle} on the drug Sutent.  So far, he has responded well to the treatment.  He is very rarely sick and seems to physically be feeling very well.  We will not know more about how the drug is affecting the cancer until later this month when we travel to NIH again and does his routine scans, tests, etc.

Meanwhile, his blood sugar has become an increasing concern and he is now on medication to help control it.  He also has to take blood pressure medicine with the Sutent because one side effect of the drug is increased blood pressure.

Thankfully, he is feeling physically well, staying busy with work, and trying to fit in the occasional run.

Mentally, we are both stressed.  Cancer is a b****.  It tries to take over your entire life and destroy everything in its path.  We continue to try to fight it and believe that somehow, someway, we will overcome this.

It is often-times hard to not feel like you are in whole that you continue to dig yourself into.  Our focus continues to be on our family and spending as much time together as we can.
 Each of us faces struggle, but I sometimes wonder how much struggle is enough.

William continues to be our joy, our laughter, our dance, and our love.  He makes each day special and worth having.  I don't know where we would be without him and can't express how grateful we are for him.  God truly has blessed us and for that, we are thankful.

As for me, I continue to play the balancing act with work and home {as any working mom does}.  Some days are harder than others, but each day is worth it.  I continue to try to support Freddie and Will as much as I can and shower them with love and appreciation {Admittedly, I'm not always very good at that. ;)}.

Thank you for lifting us up in your prayers and believing with us.  We are beyond grateful for each person who has been there for us in any way.  Life is tough and without people who love us, we wouldn't be where we are today.

I hope this update finds you well.  Please love your family, friends, and life.  Each day is special and should not be taken for granted.

Blessings and Love,
The Carams

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Latest

I am amazed at how long I continue to go between posts.  I'm sure you are tired of hearing how busy we are, but I will continue to use that as my excuse. ;)

Unfortunately, the doctors at NIH decided it was not in Freddie's best interest to continue the medication he was on.  We are now 4 weeks without treatment.  They want him to go at least 2-4 more weeks before seeking any type of treatment in order for his colon to heal.  We don't know what our next direction is.  Most likely a different chemo until the next trial starts.  Please pray for Freddie.  He is continuing to have a lot of pain.

I continue to stay busy with my new career and responsibilities at home.  I'm learning to balance an overflowing plate, but continue to find grace in the process.  I am enjoying my role with New York Life and seeing the difference I am able to make for families.  I appreciate the support and encouragement so many of you are showing me.  It is humbling.  Thank you.

Will continues to grow, change, and learn.  He is 15 months old today.  His newest obsession is Elmo.  His voice is the sweetest when he tries to sing Elmo's theme song.  He loves music and anytime a song ends, he applauds (whether it's on the radio, iPod, tv, etc).  He is saying quite a few words and I must admit has had to have his fair share of time outs.  My love for him is indescribable and I am amazed and humbled that God graced us with him.

We appreciate your continued prayers and support.  I have to continue to remind myself that it isn't about the destination, but the journey that gets us there.  God is teaching us much and we continue to try to seek Him and know that He is always there, even when it doesn't feel like it.

I hope this finds you enjoying your week and feeling blessed by all He has given you.

Monday, February 27, 2012


A lot has been going on around our casa lately.  Freddie's bi-weekly trips for treatment, my new career, and taking care of a very busy, but fun 14-month old can wear you out!

Freddie's doctors decided to give him a break from his meds last week.  He has been very sick from them and they want him to get a colonoscopy before they continue treatment.  His C/T showed some growth in some tumors, but some reduction in others.  I honestly don't know how to feel about that.

It has been nice, however, to have a "normal" week with my main man.  He's still tired and not truly himself, but he's been able to do more and been a little perkier.

Until this weekend...we all came down with the stomach bug.  Boo.

But, today, we are feeling more like ourselves.  I'm working away in the kitchen, trying to find a sitter for my son, and doing my normal "housewife" activities {I mean, really, could there please be a laundry fairy out there?}

It's been a fairly quiet morning.  And now that I have said that, the rest of the day will be INSANE, but the quiet has allowed me to do some thinking.

In just a few short weeks, Freddie and I will celebrate 5 years of marriage.  We have shared life for over 8 years and I can't even believe where the time has gone.  So much has happened and we both have days where we still question, "Why us?"

I will say one thing.  It has given us so much perspective.  Perspective on life and what is important.

Perspective on character and who we feel should be involved in our lives each day.  The people who will uplift us, cheer us on, and support us {and know that they will receive the same in return from us}.  The people who do not cause drama, fights, arguing, and making everything about them.  Or the people who simply don't seem to care.

Perspective on how to raise our son.  What kind of man we want him to become.  What we want him to value and appreciate.  The experiences we want to provide him and opportunities we hope come his way.

Perspective on "keeping up with the Jonses".  That my house isn't perfect {as hard as I may try for it to be}, I may not drive the latest care, shop at the trendiest stores, or eat at the hottest restaurants.  I'll tell you right now, the best place to be is home...with my two boys...happy, healthy, and spending time with them.

Perspective on my God...what I expect, what I believe, what I hope for, have faith in, and value.  How I try to fit him into a box and question why life seems so easy for some people and so hard for others.

Perspective on pain.  What pain is and how we all experience it at different levels, but at the end of the day...it's pain.  It is hurting.  You can't put a definition on it or have expectations for it.  People hurt.  We should love them and support them through it.

It's funny.  If you had asked me, even a year ago, I thought I knew these things.  But for whatever reason, God is teaching them to me on a whole other level.  I continue to trust Him.  No matter the outcome.  No matter the situation.  I know people judge me, my relationship with Him, my faith in Him.  But, they haven't walked in my shoes and have no idea what I think, feel, and believe.

I pray that our experience continues to help us grow together.  Not only as the Caram family, but also with the people we love.  That it will find us even closer and more supportive of each other.


Monday, February 13, 2012


Our plates have been very full, obviously.  We have had a lot going on with Freddie going to NIH in MD every other week, dealing with hospital visits and sickness, Will's surgery, our social life, and my interview process.

Yes, that was a lot!  Freddie is going every other week for testing and to receive his medication.  It is stressful for both of us...a quick, exhausting trip for him and the reality of single-parenthood and anxiety over Freddie's safety for me.  Needless to say, Will and I are both so glad when he gets home.  We will know more about how effective the medicine is in the next few weeks.

We've dealt with some sickness with Freddie's medication.  He has nausea and is very tired.  Will has dealt with a lot of ear infections that lead to getting tubes and I have had strep throat and now an allergic reaction to medication.  I feel like we are continuing to battle sickness and hope to see it leave our home soon.  We claim healing and health over the Caram household!

And finally, yes, I said interview process.  I've been contemplating returning to work over the last few months, but haven't been talking about it.  With everything going on, I want Freddie's main concern to be getting well.  By pure coincidence, I asked our good friend (and insurance agent) about her job.  I'd been thinking about how important what she has done for us is.  I also like the idea of building relationships with people in a forum where I can support and help them.  She explained her career and asked me if I would be interested.  From there, I began a slightly intense interview process and hesitated sharing it with anyone until it was semi-"official".

I am now studying for my first exam and hope to take it soon.  Once I am licensed and have begun building my career I will truly be "official".  I am very excited, but slightly nervous.  This is a new direction for me.  But, as Freddie put it, I would be nervous no matter what career path I was entering into right now.  I am thankful to have his support and JoAnn's.

I am sure you can see our plates continue to be full.  I think my favorite thing over the past few weeks has been the improvement in William.  We can already tell a difference in his hearing and language development. He is beginning to talk more and understands what we are saying better.  His sweet little baby voice and attempt at singing make my days.  We are so grateful and humbled by him.

I hope this finds you well and blessed.

For Now,

The Carams

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

Quick Update

I didn't realize how long it had been since I had posted anything.  It has been a crazy few weeks with the holidays, family in town, going out of town, etc.  Needless to say, it is also very difficult to get a few spare moments to sit down with a toddler running all over the house and demanding my attention.

Freddie has decided to go forward with applying for the study.  We will be traveling to Bethesda, Maryland.  It took a lot of work on his end getting all of his records (which, by now, are spread out around the country) to one place.

In the meantime, he had applied to the drug company that our insurance denied.  They approved him.  All of his doctors advised him to try the study first and then see if he will need to try the other drug (the inhibitor).

We don't know much about the trial drug.  It is a pill he will take for a week, be off for a week, and then travel back to Maryland every two weeks for testing.  I think we will know rather quickly if it is working.

Please pray for his healing, safe travels, and that all goes smoothly with getting into this study.

Our greatest joy continues to be our son.  It is hard to leave him, though we know he is in good hands, but much easier to see doctors and get tests accomplished without him in tow.

Thank you for your prayers and support.  We feel very loved and blessed by the thoughts and prayers from you.