Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fighting a cold

Ally is sick with a cold and a cough. She has actually been sick with this for two or three weeks now. She is a pretty stubborn girl and absolutely refuses to blow her nose. She had several ear surgeries when she was younger and is always afraid the nose-blowing will pop her ears. So now we are dealing with phlegm that has drained into her stomach and is causing her to vomit several times a day (and night). I don't think the chemo makes it any easier either. She was up several times last night with this, and she has even done it tonight already. It is no fun, and I feel sorry for her having to deal with this on top of everything else. I don't know how she is supposed to battle a cold when she has almost zero white blood cells in her body. Their job is to fight off illness. I had everyone listen to her chest at the hospital on Friday, because I am fearful this could settle in her lungs.

Other than this and some general fatigue, Ally is doing pretty good. She wants to do more things, and that makes us very happy, but then she definitely hits a wall whether we are ready to be done with something or not. She gets a really crabby look on her face and then, well, we just know we have to stop. Today she went out to Young's Dairy and played about half a round of putt-putt and had ice cream. Her sweet grandparents (Jerad's parents) drive two hours pretty much every week just to spend a little time with her. They are devoted. So they went with the kids and Jerad while I was with my family at church. I am not sure that I have mentioned this but Jerad's parents and his sisters Tara/Bunk and Jessica/Shaun are helping me out EVERY Friday. And all of them work too. So they have to take a vacation day every Friday just to help us out so that we can go to the hospital. And they all live between one and two hours away too, so there is a drive involved. Now that is what I call devotion to our little girl. Here they are at the dairy:
Grandpa Barnett also showed his solidarity and support of Ally by shaving his head this past weekend. Too bad he is wearing a hat there and you can't tell. I guess his brother Bill just talked him right into it and then Joyce got the clippers out and he was bald. Evan and Jerad decided that they needed to stay bald for our girl so they also went bald again today. This time Ally actually felt well enough to operate the clippers. (last time she felt horrible and couldn't really participate)
Thanks to everyone for all of the hats too. We have received so many! I can't remember them all but we got some from Marco Island FL, Isle of Palms, NC, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Boston, New York City, Maine (thanks Aunt Jess), even Paris, France! (thanks to our exchange student friend Megan Neizgodski who just got back)

One thing that keeps happening to me: when Ally is a little bit better, then I get a little more sad about losing my Mom. I guess I have more time to think about that. I am still very much in grief over losing her and today was a really sad day for me. I have no idea why, it just hits me sometimes and I miss her so much it hurts. If I had my Mom here with me today my life would be incredibly different. So I still have to try to deal with that, because if I don't I am afraid I may end up in the insane asylum someday. I keep wondering why I am being hit with so many things at once. Why? WHY! Right now I keep thinking about going back to our original hometown of Erie PA. My grandparents (mom's parents) are still alive and I want to see them so much. So I am thinking of putting my Evan and Carly in the car with me and taking a trip up there before school starts. Ally just can't go that far away. I hate to leave Ally, but I don't have too many chances to see my sweet grandparents either.

As I was getting the putt-putt pictures off of Jerad's work camera, which we hardly ever use, I noticed this picture taken last fall. Mom and I were driving thru her woods on her golf cart with the kids. They hopped out and posed for this picture with the pretty yellow leaves. Look at my beautiful girl. So full of life and so full of hair. Some of you followers may have never seen her like this. Where or where has my former life gone? And when is it coming back?


  1. Your energetic daughter and your life will return. You will be different, stronger, and will have a tale of hope and encouragement to tell. Tonight I will pray for her cold to go away and for some peace for you. I am sure you miss your mother terribly but I am also certain she is right there with you. Keep looking for those precious birds.


  2. Maybe that pic can be your's or Ally's motivation? It represents what you are trying to beat (the leukemia) and what you're trying to get back to (normal family life, simple happiness). Sometimes it's nice to have a pic like that in the corner of your bathroom mirror when you get up in the morning...another day down and another day upon you to fight. It's hard, if not impossible, to motivate yourself each day...let alone when you have something like this going on. Keep shooting towards the goal (even though it may be far away) and keep thinking about each new day being one more day checked off the list. Each time it gets tough, remember this pic...

    P.S. I like seeing Dad in the cut-out with the skirt!

  3. Sent Jerad some pictures of John during his
    haircut. Closeup of him without a hat.
    Can't hide under a hat all the time but hope he
    keeps it on while out in the sun.
    The blog is wonderful and we read it every day
    and even I have prayed a lot more than normal.
    (don't know if it will help from me but should not hurt.

    Uncle Bill

  4. Been meaning to tell ya and I know you know already, but you have some pretty awesome in-laws. I think we will need to see a pic of Jerad's dad!

    You should update your about me section soon with Carly's new age and Evan's soon-to-be!

  5. Keep that picture of Ally close by, it will remind you of the good days and get you through the tough ones---and those good days will return. I still miss John and it has been 14 years and there are still some days that I cry, but at the same time, I draw strength from him everyday. I know you also do this with your mom. Tears are ok. Hang in there, you are doing a wonderful job and remember that you are in our thoughts and prayers every day.

  6. That's a great photo of Ally, and you are right, I have never seen her that way. I'm sure it stinks, but hang in there. Even if that's all you can do is just hang in there. You are quite the advocate too...making sure they listen to Ally's lungs. Keep on that..pneumonia is no fun. Hang in there Janel.