Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Grateful, again

I know I have spent various blog posts singing my gratefulness for all of the kind gifts we have received. But I must continue a little longer. I do not write thank you notes, hopefully people understand that would require days of time and reams of paper, so I must do it here and hope that people are okay with that. But I must say that we are now 9 weeks into this (actually 9 weeks ago exactly on a horrible Wednesday night)and we have received some sort of gift every day. Every day for nine weeks. The mail lady leaves packages on my doorstep nearly every day. If she doesn't, someone might drop something off, or Jerad brings something home from work. A neighbor stops by. I truly cannot believe it. A handful of people are sending cards every 5 or 6 days. (Mary, Shannon, Deb, Linda) Cards to me, to Ally, to Jerad, to Evan, to Carly. People have not forgotten us. The goodness of people uniting for our child...WOW.

I get notes from people that I haven't talked to in YEARS. From my old boss at Iams, David House, who I said goodbye to the week before our Ally was born and haven't heard from since. Well there he is...leaving me a comment on the blog. Ruthann...another old co-worker and a dear dear person...years have gone by and she is right there again. My old swimming teammate, Jodi, what's it been 20 years? Jerad's high school friend Sheri...again we are almost 20 years out! She sends us care packages all the time. Jerad's cousin Terri, who I may have met once or twice in the 15 years I knew Jerad, she is on the blog everyday, sometimes twice! And am I seeing a follower named Dirk out there? Is that the Dirk that I worked with when I lived in the Netherlands one summer? Not sure, but I do have three "hits" from the Netherlands on my map. Leave me a comment if so.

I am soo soo thankful to the army. I certainly don't want to go through this. I would love to wake up from this bad dream any minute now. But can you imagine how horrible it would be to go through it alone? I think lots of people do. And they sit between four walls in a hospital room. Alone. I hope I am never there. I could be someday...and it scares me.

Ally is down again today. She has no energy. She did spend a good deal of time with her buddy Joshua again today (at his house). We just cannot get her to eat. You should have heard me begging her to eat 4 saltines for dinner. Begging. She ate one cracker -10 calories. There is no way she is going to get energy if she doesn't eat. I am thinking we may be looking at her going on some sort of appetite stimulant here soon. We are going to the lab in the morning for more bloodwork. She also told me she would eat chicken and stars soup...a weird choice and again proof that she is more like my sister than me. My sister ate that everyday for lunch growing up. I remember it vividly. But whatever, if you see us walking through Kroger tomorrow with our masks on to keep the germs out (we have not done this yet) it is because we are desperate for some SOUP!

Tomorrow I am meeting with other "leukemia people" at a kick-off event for that Light the Night Walk I mentioned on October 1. I am going to try to get our team started and figure out what all I need to do. I want the army to be huge and I want to make a big impact. Anyone that knows my Dad...well he is a fundraiser and very philanthropic man. He has taught me well and I am going to follow in his footsteps. To try to raise money to battle this horrible disease. To fund more research so that more people do not have to go through this. To bring the cure rate from 80% to 100%. Leukemia research has come a long way because of this organization. If Ally would have been diagnosed with this in the 1960's she would have only lived 2 months! Look how far it has come....but I want it to go further. I will update more after the meeting tomorrow.

For now, how can I thank you all? Picture my arms hugging you right now. A virtual squeeze from Ally's mom. (I think I am always going to be known as Ally's mom and that's ok)


  1. Ha ha ha, chicken and stars soup! I'm bummed--I ran to my pantry to see if I had any, but I don't. And I normally do because Owen and Mason like it too. Shoot! You don't have to go to the store to get soup. I can go and get you the soup--seriously! We don't have anything going on tomorrow. Or Ally could come here, if she wanted. I know maybe you think because I have a youngin' that you don't want to bother me, but you know I will do anything. Anything for you and anything for my younger twin. :)

  2. We love having Ally over to our house, love the fact that she seems comfortable here. Funny you are talking about the similarities between Ally and Melissa. Ally and I were talking about how we like rainy days. I told her someone else she knows likes rainy days...her Aunt Melissa. Another similarity :-)

  3. What a really nice blog - they are ALL amazing to me - and I read them everyday - have never met Ally (saw her run through Paula's house once before) but never talked to her and I guess you could say we "bonded" at your house since I was there at 3:00am during the "Larry\Jerad show" (AND Bobby show too, sorry didn't mean to omit) - - but can I just say that I many times after just finished reading a day's entry and got to the at the end and said - Thank YOU Janel - - you have given so many people strength and hope and the confidence to count on our own strength. You and Jerad are simply ROCK STARS!!! I know all the Army says Thank YOU right back!!!
    And it's 11:45pm and now I really want some soup:))JG

  4. Terri Barnett ShumakerJuly 30, 2009 at 7:38 AM

    Janel, since my boys went to school I have either been Jacob, Lucas or Kaleb's Mom to the other kids and some parents and that's Ok because that is WHO I am. Kaleb will be a Senior this year so my days of being Kaleb's mom to other kids and parents are limited and I think that I will miss that. Most don't know my first name probably but most of them I don't know there last name so it works. Just enjoy being Ally's mom and when Evan starts school and then Miss Carly you too will be known as their Mom. They just grow up too fast.
    I didn't realize you could monitor how many times I read and reread this blog until Jared mentioned it. I just love reading this and then I check back to read comments. This is the first thing I check everyday and usually the last too! Thanks for sharing your lives with all of us.

  5. Terri-
    I cannot monitor how many times you read it. You just mentioned once that you usually check it once or twice a day. I do see how much you comment though...which I appreciate!

  6. Janel -

    I think about you, Jerad, Ally, Evan and Carly every day. You are in my thoughts and prayers. It is weird the things that bring people back around together. I will be thinking about you tomorrow - as I do every Friday and sending you positive vibes.
    We are getting our New Lex Class of '90 group together for the walk on October 1. Jenny Shiplett is organizing a couple of fundraisers in New Lex - one will be at school with a Hat Day. Kids will bring in a $1.00 to donate and will be able to wear a hat to school for the day. She is also putting together an event at Pizza Hut where we act as servers and dishwashers and a portion of the proceeds go towards fundraising for the walk. So far we have about eight people coming down - even Marc Hammer from California - who I didn't realize was Jerad's neighbor for two years at Dayton. Marc just told me this yesterday. He is going to be in Columbus and is going to travel with us to do the walk.
    Take care and I hope that Ally has the best day possible tomorrow. Sheri Cobler

  7. It is amazing how something like this can bring people together; I feel like I haven't known this much about your life since we lived together 14 years ago! I love feeling reconnected to you and do send the love right back to you. You all are often the first thing I do everyday, and what I pray for every day. I hope that Ally is better today, anything that she loves or is craving lately, that is besides soup?

  8. I know tomorrow is another Friday. Another week. Definitely let us know how to support the walk. They are actually really fun, but yes, exhausting. My dad would be so proud knowing how far they've come since his diagnosis with a form of lukemia back in 1980, but yet we still do have a ways to go. So here's to progress!!!Good luck tomorrow.
    P.S. I was trying not to count, but I do think it has been almost 20 years...but never forget, the Creek grapevine is thick.

  9. Don't you ever think you will be sitting in a hospital room alone, worrying over Ally - her army is alive and well and support you and Jerad as much as we support her. We'll always be lurking right there - right there...see us??? right behind you.
    see???? Here we are!