Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Swim-a-Thon Day

The swim-a-thon took place this morning, and we all five made it over there by 9am. Quite a feat! I was just amazed when I looked in the pool and there were swimmers everywhere swimming up and down the lanes. They told me that 170 kids swam today...all raising money on Ally's behalf. Some of the kids usually go to the evening practices, but they told me that parents had taken off of work just to bring their kids to this event. How many times am I going to use the word humbling? Well at least one more time, because it was just that. I can't wait to find out the final amount of funds raised for our children's hospital.

Rob Dotson, who is the head of the organization, and also husband to Melissa who I know from working on the school levy, was so kind to Ally. He presented her with an Idle Hour shirt and also this hat that had been custom embroidered with her name on it. She met all of the coaches again and watched the swimming, primarily focusing on her little cousin Aly who was in the pool.

Here is Evan wearing one of her swim caps. He says he might swim next year too.
The bald family, luckily we never go anywhere!
A bunch of the swimmers got out into the freezing cold air to get their picture with Miss A. It was good for them to see who they were swimming for.
This is Rob, who has been very kind to our whole family. I am so appreciative to him. Next year, hopefully, she is out there swimming as a Sailfish. THANK YOU IDLE HOUR!

Her stomach pain is still in existence. It seems maybe slightly better, but not much. My motherly intuition is telling me that something is still wrong and it is not just the overuse of Miralax. She hasn't had any in two days. How long can it last? So I am fearful that more tests will be forthcoming.
The doctor also called with her ANC number. It is low still (in the 100's) and it needs to be 750 for her to move on with the next round of chemo. We may be looking at a week off. We will know after her bloodwork on Thursday. It might be good for time off...give her a break from the side effects, but it also opens the door up for those leukemia blasts to start creeping on in. It is a catch-22. Most things are right now, so we'll just continue to fly by the seat of our pants and wait to see what happens.


  1. Look at her with all those swimmers, and it was COLD today to be swimming! I can't wait to hear what they raised too. She looks so cute in her hat. How nice it was for them to do all that for her. Who knew our Cardinal Hill rivals would have such an impact someday?

  2. wow, I too love the picture of her with all the swimmers. I really love that you can see little Bobo's face peeking out :-) She WILL be one of those swimmers someday!

  3. I wish Ally's stomach pains could be taken away and we are praying for good results on Thursday.

    In regards to your motherly intuition statement, I think that is a valuable guide for you (from my perspective, a father of a child in treatment for ALL). Although our role as parent sometimes leads us to panic or to fail to see things objectively, I've found that it usually is helpful to follow "parent" instincts. Especially when we can advocate for our daughters.

    Also, Maggie has had lots and lots of different reactions to chemo and sometimes they are different than the traditional side effects that the doctors look for first. So it is hard for them to pinpoint what is going on. I always forget how strong and devastating the chemo is and I panic when Maggie has symptoms following the chemo. But, we are reminded often that it just takes some time to recover. I think Dr. French admits that Maggie's ways of responding to chemo can be fairly unique. Maybe Ally's pains are just her way of responding to the chemo as opposed to something else that is wrong? The first few weeks are rough and it wouldn't surprise me if this is just her response to the first heavy doses. I'm no doctor though, so I'll stop pretending. If your instincts tell you to act, follow your gut. I hope they figure it out.

    Lastly, I'm excited and grateful for the advocacy and fundraising efforts that you all have been a part of. You are fighting the fight for all of us and for future families in our position. Thank you!

    Best to you all,
    Andy Bixler(dad to Maggie)

  4. One more thing...I'm on an email mailing list for parents of kids with ALL and I searched and found quite a few stories from the past that are similar to Ally's (the severe stomach pain during induction part). They often increased the reflux medicine to twice a day or doubled the dose (Zantac, or Prevacid) to get some better results. Maybe you've already tried that, but I can't help but try to help. They talked about having x-rays for constipation too, but that the pain often persisted until they upped the medicine.

    Sorry to clog your blog with medical advice.


  5. Terri Barnett ShumakerJuly 1, 2009 at 5:57 AM

    Sorry to hear Ally is still haveing the pain. The pictures are wonderful and you guys are a beautiful family with hair or without and besides that with the hereditary Barnett hair line Jared was bound to start losing his hair sometime soon!

  6. Awesome sight to see! I've personally seen Ally swim like a fish, so I know as soon as this is behind her - and it will be - she's going to be in the pool raising money for someone else!

    Hopefully Whitney's research above for stomach pain relief will work for Ally too. I hate to see my little God-Daughter in constant pain. And Jerad, Terri is right, that Swayze-like red hair would have been gone in a decade in anyway! : )

  7. Totally heartwarming! What a wonderful community you guys have. With all that positive energy (literally) floating around, things have got to start looking up for Ally. Stomach pains, be gone! I feel so bad for her and just wish we could all wave magic wands and make it go away.

  8. Really heartwarming to see so many out in support of Ally. One day she will be amazed at how many lives she has touched!!
    We're keeping up the prayers for a relief to the stomach pain and great test results tomorrow.

  9. This is so neat that the swim team is hosting this fundraiser. You sure do have a lot of people supporting Ally and your family. What a blessing!

  10. I just learned about Ally today and was heartbroken at the news. However,after learning of your blog and seeing what you have done, it is absolutely remarkable. If any family can beat this, it is yours. My heart and prayers go out to all of you! The support and pictures/videos displayed here are awesome!God bless all of you!

  11. Pictures and info of the swim day have been posted to our facebook page. If you're not a Facebook fan of The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, join now!