Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Emily's Beads of Courage

Ally had another pretty good day. Not quite as good as the few days prior, but decent. I can tell that her counts are on their way down. She just gets a little more sensitive about everything. We are starting to have some stomach issues again. We walk a fine line with that and it is just something we have to really try to manage. We had yet another good meal provided by another good friend (thanks Laurie). People keep wanting to do something to help us. I almost feel bad when people are begging to do something, but yet I cannot think of an exact task to give people. Jerad mentioned to me today (as we had a ten minute coffee break together...very rare, but fun!) that people want to help because it is their way of ministering to us and it makes them feel good. I agree! People seem almost let down when I don't have something for them to do. But I feel pretty ridiculous with the things that I think need done...i.e. clean out my refrigerator. Hah! So the meals are a very clear-cut way of helping, and trust me, it is a giant help. Getting to the store still seems like a big struggle for me, so it helps double in that regard.

I have been wanting to tell the army about this awesome program that the hospital does for all of the cancer patients. It is called "Emily's Beads of Courage" Emily was a little girl who actually attended Ally's elementary school and lost her battle with cancer. Her family funded this program in honor of their little girl. Basically, every time Ally gets any sort of medical procedure or test done, she earns a bead. This started from the day she was diagnosed. As you can see from the picture, her first necklace is already complete. Apparently, the leukemia patients will end up with no less than five of these necklaces. I have heard great stories about kids giving them to their Moms when the graduate, etc. They are definitely a badge of courage. Ally is quite proud of this necklace, as she should be, and we take it with us every time we go to the hospital. People see it in the hospital and she garners some sort of celebrity status because of it. (except usually I wear it because it is heavy) Some of the more noticeable ones on there are as follows:
Yellow: Chemo (12)
Red: Bags of blood (5)
White bones: Bone Marrow Aspirations (4!)
Brown/White Zebra: Pokes from a needle or shots (24)
Moon/Stars: Overnights
Navy Blue: Spinal taps (4)
Pink: scans or xrays (5)
Light blue: Clinic visits (4)

There are special ones for surgery, hair loss, extended hospital stays, having a central line, bad days :( and home health care too.

Finally, when we were having all of those bad nights with Allison, Jerad made her a promise. He told her if she started sleeping through the night and doing okay that she could have a sleepover with her best buddy Madison. So here they are tonight, on the couch, watching a movie and having a snack. As you can see, little sis thought this was really cool and horned in on the situation too. We are so glad to have our "third daughter" sleeping under our roof tonight.


  1. I love the beaded necklace idea. What a treasure this will be when all of you are older and past this. I can see this carrying over to your other kiddos as well. I am certain this has been challenging for everyone. Beads for the whole family! So thankful for your good days. What a blessing . . .

    Queen Bee Designs by Amanda

  2. What cute pics! I love it that Madison was able to spend the night - that must have brought a little normalcy back to life. I will continue to pray that side effects are minimal and that she continues to do well. LOVE YOU ALL!

  3. Hi! My name is Casey Greene and I just saw this and I am touched. Emily was my sister and my mom and I started this program. Hearing stories like this reminds me of why we do this. I am actually an employee of Dayton Childrens now and still live in beavercreek. My email is greenec@childrensdayton.org I would love to talk sometime!