Friday, June 5, 2009

Day 7 Treatment

Ally had a good night last night. Her only complaint was her Daddy's snoring. I told her to just throw a croc at him if needed.

This morning she had the dreaded bone marrow aspiration and also a spinal tap. I was really really dreading this all week. Because I have skipped around on the blog, I haven't gotten to this story yet...but it was pretty much horrible the last time. Actually I had seen my Mom go through this and it was incredibly painful and it brings back horrible memories for me. Adults don't get any sedation, but lucky for us they do sedate the kids. It is called conscious sedation. She is slightly awake, and her eyes are open, but she is not supposed to feel anything. More importantly, it gives her amnesia so that she forgets it and is not scared the next time. We are allowed to go in with her. It makes me a little weak in the knees, but I have made it through both times. She lies on her side and the doctor sticks a (large and fat) needle into her back at her hip. He is sticking this needle into her bone. Then he pulls out some of the bone marrow into a tube and place it on some fancy looking slides to go to the lab.

At the same time, they did a spinal tap on her. I believe that she will get 15 of these over the course of her treatment. For this, a different needle is injected into her spine. They pull out some spinal fluid to test for leukemia in her central nervous system. Last week, she did not have any...thank god. While the needle is in there, they put a dose of methotrexate chemo into her spinal fluid. This is called an intrathecal injection. They are trying to prevent the leukemia from spreading to her CNS.

Last week, although under conscious sedation, she cried the entire time. I felt so bad. They say the sedation drugs make her feel very confused and that is more the cause of the crying than anything. Today, she didn't cry AT ALL. She kept mentioning that she was seeing two or three of us, but no crying. The doctor (one of her three) was awesome and seemed to be going as quick as he could. All I can say is the people here really care about the kids. They don't want them in pain and I am noticing a world of difference in the care she is receiving versus my Mom. If we ask for something, we get it. Usually within minutes. And that never happened before.

So now I am sitting here next to her. She is getting her chemo right now. She is in good spirits and just ate two more tacos. I guess the chemo kids really crave spicy stuff. I am just glad she is eating, because she has already lost 5% of her body weight. Our sweet friend Suzanne Duplain just brought Jerad and I a whole bag of healthy lunch items. Love that I don't have to eat something bad for me. She dragged her four (4!) boys down here to deliver it. And our neighbor Holly stopped down earlier with a huge bag of cookies. We are good to go! Thank you.

So now we are awaiting the results of that bone marrow test. The magic number is 5%. If her bad cells are more than that...she has to have another bone marrow next Friday. If they are less than that, she doesn't have to do another one until June 26. We would just do chemo next Friday. So I am saying a specific prayer for that. I don't want her to have to do it again.

They also said we may be able to go home this afternoon.....more later.


  1. I love the picture in my find of her eating tacos! (Actually, throwing her croc at her snoring father is a neat picture also.)
    Janel, you have such a gift to be able to put your thoughts and fears into words for all of us to share. You can make me laugh and cry at the same time--all while being proud of how strong you all are. Ally has quite a team!

  2. Hope the little warrior does well today after everything. Glad to hear she is eating and playing with Carly. They are always so cute when they play. Hope you all get to go home and have a great weekend. I'll have to remember that she likes spicy food. Give her a hug for me.

  3. It hurts me to think of all she is going through today, but it sounds like she is handling it as best she can...spicy food, huh? My favorite too :-). Every thought today has been of Ally...

  4. What a little trooper!! Glad to hear she is doing better. Keep the faith. The Brownells are praying for the entire Barnett family.

  5. I'm so proud of you all. You are handling this with such courage. I'm loving these Psalms from the book, "Psalms Now" is Psalm 110:

    "God spoke to me today. He broke through my childish doubts with words of comfort and assurance. “Hang in there; sit tight; stick to My course for your life,” He said, “I will not let you down.”

    He reminded me of how He cared for past saints, how He watched over them and kept them through their hours of suffering and uncertainty. He reviewed for me my own life, His loving concern through the days of my youth. He restated for me my commission and appointment, His trust in me as His servant in this sorry world. He reiterated His gracious promises to stand by me, to empower and support me in the conflicts that await me.

    I know that God is with me today – Just as surely as He was with the saints of old. I have neither to fear nor to doubt the eternal love and presence of my Lord..."

    Psalm 110 - Leslie Brandt - Psalms Now

  6. Tacos, huh? A girl after my own heart. Luckily her Uncle Bunk is a spicy fanatic, so we'll have to have him cook up some specialties that she might like! I am so glad that the treatments went well. Give her a huge kiss for us and tell her how proud we are of her!!

  7. Janel you are such an incredible mom. I hope all went well today, she was and is in our constant thoughts and prayers. Love to you all!