Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The diagnosis

So after her blood was drawn, we took a walk and got some ice cream. We were waiting to hear if we could go home. My cell phone wasn't working deep in the hospital, so I stood by the windows down by the blood lab. Jerad was sitting in radiology to hear about her x-rays. Dr Kathy called me...not her normal doctor, but we had seen her a lot over the years. She immediately told me that she had bad news and could I get my husband to the phone. I ran, RAN!, down the hall and grabbed Jerad and then ran back to the windows for reception. I had her on speakerphone...all three of us there now. She was crying when she told us the looked like leukemia. I couldn't believe that she was crying. I couldn't believe the words came out of her mouth. I was shaking all over. It had to be a mistake. What if it was just a virus that was "masking itself" as leukemia? She tried to tell me the next steps...bone marrow biopsy, blood transfusions, I really couldn't hear a word she was saying. I couldn't believe that cancer was hitting me again. I just did the cancer thing. My mom just died of cancer. My bad luck spell was over, right? Bad things cannot happen right on top of each other.

We had to go to admitting. We would have to spend the night. This was just enough to send Ally into tears at this point. She didn't want to stay. She felt terrible anyway. It took them a few minutes and we ended up in room 415. With a super huge pony given to her by the admitting department to try to stop the tears. I guess leukemia warrants a big animal, I thought to myself. I did not want to be walking down the hall of the Hematology/Oncology floor with my daughter. It was like an absolute nightmare. I was shaking uncontrollably and I started crying now too. Jerad was googling on his Blackberry. He typed in curability rates for leukemia in children. We saw it was curable. My Dad had decided to drive down to the hospital. Before he even knew anything, he said..I am coming. I had told him not to, but I was very glad he was with us now. I had to tell the poor soul, who just lost his wife to cancer, that his first born grandchild also had it too. He looked like I had just kicked him in the stomach. He probably would have rather that I did.

Our friend, and VP of Dayton Children's, Vicki Giambrone was sitting with us now. She had come down as soon as she heard. She knew the docs. She knew everybody. She had a clown come up. She tried to make us at ease. We talked to the oncologist, Emmett Broxxson. He told us that he would be there in the morning to do her bone marrow biopsy. She would get two bags of blood and one bag of platelets through the night. This ended at 3:30am. Ally had been up for school that day at 6:30 and had not yet slept. My nerves did not let me sleep...I sat reading my prayer books that my friend Lisa had given me during my Mom's battle with cancer. I was praying for my girl. Praying that the doctors would find out what was wrong with her and praying that they would know what to do to fix it.


  1. Oh Janel, I truly have no words other than to say I will continue following Ally's progress and praying for all of you.

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  3. To the Barnett family- know that everyone in Junction City is praying for Ally. We keep you all in our thoughts and prayers every day. She will beat this! With you by her side how could she not? We are there for whatever and whenever you need anything. WE love you! Aunt Deb, Uncle Lou, Drew and Lauren.

  4. Janel - thank you so much for keeping us up to date through this blog. We think of Ally and all of you every minute. You know we are here for you to help with things big or small. I am planning to put my shopping skills to use to get Ally some really cool hats. Bella and I are on a mission.

  5. We wish we could absorb the pain of our children. Our helplessness turns to faith, our faith gives us power and strentgh to care for and comfort them. The power of God and the prayers of all will condition you for the challenge to succeed.

  6. Janel and Jerad,
    The kids pray for Ally every night. Ellie even prayed for her at dinner last night. We will continue to do so.
    I know that the power of prayer works, I am an example of that myself.
    Just keep believing in God, in yourself and in Ally. She will make it through this.
    Joanne and Greg

  7. PSALM 23 from "Psalms Now" by Leslie Brandt: "The Lord is my constant companion. There is no need that He cannot fulfill. Whether His course for me point to the mountaintops of glorious ecstasy or to the valleys of human suffering, He is by my side, He is ever present with me. He is close beside me when I tread the dark streets of danger, and even when I flirt with death itself, He will not leave me." Sounds pretty much like what Pastor Nick said...