Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Remembering

Ally did not get to go home today. She is still residing at the hospital and continues to be the only child in the hemoc wing. The main reason was her blood counts did not come up very much...ANC went from 0 to 30. They like it to be higher before she goes home, like 200. However, being that she just got chemo on Friday again, it seems unlikely that these counts will rise anytime soon. She was also right on the brink of a fever. She went as high as 100.5 yesterday. Although they do not consider it a true fever unless it is 101 or higher. Sooooooooo......the doctor asked us to stay another day. He wanted her to prove that the fever would not come back. He also wanted to get a few more doses of IV antibiotics into her. Maybe continue at home with a little home health care bringing some more antiobiotics. I am telling you, these people do not cut corners. Which is good. Although we wanted to go home, it is such a blessing that they are so involved and truly wanting what is best for her. I guess when dealing with a life threatening illness, which I keep getting reminded that she has, you really want to error on the side of conservatism.

We passed the day by having quite a few visitors come down..which is ok as long as they are not sick. She also put a mask on and walked out to the playground area again. This seems to be our retreat everyday. I am noticing that her little cheeks are not so little anymore. She resembles a chipmunk now, from the steriods. They make her retain water and she also eats quite a bit. Jerad's Mom tells us it is called Moonface.

Thanks to Ally's top notch IT guy, Bob Winger, we had some analytics plugged into our blog here. I am really surprised (and happy) to say that we are averaging between 250-300 visitors here every day! Ally's army has some great enlistment figures, don't we? I noticed today that a few of Jerad's childhood friends have signed up...and there are also people all all over the US looking at her story. These people have never even met Ally! So I put a little video clip out here for you to watch. It is not riveting, but you can see the chipmunk cheeks and hear her little giggles. She is happier still, and I love to hear her laugh. It had been a long time!

video

Sadly, I spent a good part of the day reflecting about my Mom. She passed away from cancer exactly three months ago today...at age 60. Too young. Three months actually seems like so long ago to me. She was such a huge part of my life. We talked or saw each other every single day. I nursed her for 15 straight months of horrible cancer. I miss her so much. If ever there was a time I needed my Mom more in my life, it is right now. She would have helped me through all of this...with the other kids, making us meals, doing my laundry, being a shoulder for me to cry on. Don't get me wrong, this would have absolutely devastated her...seeing her beautiful granddaughter go thru cancer. But I do believe her strength would have carried us all through. My mom was a fighter to the end. She taught me to be strong and faithful. She taught me everything I know about how to be a Mom. She was just perfect to me. By watching her through her disease, she taught me how to hold onto hope when times get rough. I try to remember that she is living in my heart everyday. Because she made me into who I am today. She is my angel...watching over me and watching over my kids.

I was reading a passage the other day and it reminded me of myself. It said the strength of a ship is only fully demonstrated when it faces a hurricane. And right now I feel like I am in the eye of the hurricane. I hope I have the strength to get through this again. Although this time, we WILL beat the cancer.

14 comments:

  1. Yes, we WILL beat it. I didn't realize today was the 15th. It's so odd because while at such a fun place like Kings Island today and amidst all the stress that comes with it, I had this moment of sadness come over me and I was holding back tears and wondering why and where it was coming from.
    Boy Ally was cracking up quite a bit tonight after you left! It was the closest I've seen her looking like her old self in a long time. She was eating her meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and biscuit (had to be buttered) when I left. I'm sure it held her over for, eh, maybe an hour. :)

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  2. LOVED the video AND the chipmunk checks!!! She looks happy. Your mom's great teaching and strength is evident in your life, Janelly. I see it all the time. You ARE strong and faithful, and I'm so proud of you and of Ally. You all are amazing. I'm not surprised so many are reading the blog - you are an inspiration to so many! LOVE YOU! XOXOX to Ally.

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  3. One more thing...you ARE right - you ARE in the eye of the hurricane now and the winds are raging and the waves are battering...but one good thing about being in the eye of the storm is that it's often the calmest place you can be. While things are whirling out of control around you, you can have the peace of Christ right in the middle of the storm. THat's what His Word promises. I believe that's what you are experiencing at times now...He is giving you the strength you need for every day.

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  4. Uncle Paul & Aunt ShayJune 16, 2009 at 8:36 AM

    Jerad & Janel,
    Uncle Paul and I are praying for Ally everyday.
    I read your blog everyday and what a tribute to your mom, she is so proud of you ,even though she is not here to tell you,she is with you 24/7.Tell Ally everyone from J.C.sends their love, hugs & prayers.

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  5. Jerad and Janel, like SOOO many others in Ally's army, I read the blog daily and say my daily prayers for you. This terrible thing could not happen to a better family. But that little girl has a strong spirit and will win this battle. In the video, it just seemed like she was so calm and confident at the center of this storm. May God Bless her.

    Janel, I just know your mother is with you. She is really the major general of this army you've created and we all march behind her. She is living through you and giving you all strength.

    I love you guys! Captain Bill also sends his love and his heart goes out to you all.

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  6. I can't imagine how it must feel to grieve your mom in such a fresh way, even as you play "nurse" once again. We lift you up everyday.

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  7. I LOVE the video - it is so great to see her laugh! Kudos to Jerad for sharing his Conns BBQ chips!! I forgot Ally loved them, too. I see more of those in your future!
    Love you guys and hope to see you soon

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  8. We are so happy to see that bright smile on Ally's face! She looks like she's feeling much better than last week. I hope her counts are up and that she gets to go home today!

    It is truly amazing how many people are following to support and pray for Ally. Just this past weekend, Shaun and I were home in JC, and I had so many of Jerad's old friends come up to me to pass along that they are praying for Ally and all of you everyday. The army is growing!

    We're thinking of you guys today - I wish I was in town this week to visit Miss Ally at the hospital. But, Shaun and I will be there on Friday, and can't wait to see you all. Love you all and we'll see you in a few days!

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  9. So glad you are updating us on a daily basis - and SOOOOO good to hear Ally giggle. Matthew had the round face when he was on those steroids too. Her "other" beautiful face will return to us after this is over.
    You are strong, so is Jerad, and we all know Ally is - hang in there sweetheart - you are all much loved.

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  10. Too cute!...Loved the video!:) Keeping Ally and all of you in prayer each day.

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  11. Janel,
    Thanks for posting the video. It means a lot to those of us who don't know Ally, but think of her every day. I have to admit that reading this I've often cried thinking of my Dad. And it has been 14 years since he died. But I know that he AND your mom and sending all of their strength and faith to you and your family. We are both very lucky to have the parents that we do. Despite all of the pain, I am thankful for having MY dad, and wouldn't have swapped any of our experiences, whether good or bad, for anyone else. And I know you feel the same. Thanks again, Janel, for the posts. I hope tomorrow is an easier day.

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  12. Hey Guys
    We love the video! Thanks so much for keeping us posted! I just love checking the updates! You are in our hearts and prayers daily!
    Lotsa Love! XOXOXO
    Uncle Chip and Aunt Mary

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  13. Michelle KlinglerJune 16, 2009 at 9:12 PM

    Jerad and Janel,
    I loved seeing the video, it reminded me of Ally and Bella playing and laughing at Easter. That is the last time that I saw her. Expecting my first little girl, I cannot imagine what you are going through every second of the day. Please know that we are thinking of you and praying for Ally everyday. keeping up on the blog helps me get through my almost hourly hormonal crying fits. We all love you very much. Thanks for the updates and the strength of both of you is amazing.
    Love XOXOXO,
    Michelle and Nate

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  14. Janel, I live here in Dayton and found out about Ally through my dear friend Erin Cobb. My heart goes out to you, Ally and your family. I too lost my mom back when I was 14 yrs old (I'm 33 now) but know the numbness that you describe. Your mom is with you and yes, an angel! I truly believe you have many angels helping you. I also know that you have many people praying and pulling for you guys. I can't even begin to say I understand how you feel but I can say that your story touches me. I have two young boys, 4 year old and a 4 month old...my heart breaks for you. However,I also see so much strength in you all. Positive things can and will come out of such a tramatic time. Taking everything day by day will be your saving grace. Thank you for sharing your story, your life...Ally. She is already helping others and so are you. I will be following your blog and know that I'm here locally if you ever need anything...anything at all. Big hugs and lots of love, Janelle Anderson

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