Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dr Broccoli

First of all, I have to post something about last night. Finally a good story to share. Jerad, as many of you know, is one of those people that is always the life of the party. He has always been that way and it is a good trait to have (most of the time). Last night, he decided to bring a few pumpkins to the hospital to carve with Ally....not knowing if she would participate, but just to give it a try. Well before long she had half of the kids on the floor in her room. Dave, Braden, Amanda, and Ally....all congregating with finally something to do. They ended up carving three pumpkins. I had actually brought Ally a green pumpkin on Saturday that I had picked from my Dad's pumpkin patch. She had a fantastic idea to make it into the shape of a piece of broccoli. See....her dr is named Dr Broxson, but sometimes we refer to him as Dr Broccoli. (thanks to Vicki Giambrone who told us that) Ally did the carving herself and I think she did a really good job. The kids just thought it was hilarious and the nurses keep stopping by to see it. Lots of snickers about Dr. Broccoli. Even the resident said he had heard about it before he even came into our room this morning. When Dr B was doing rounds this morning, he got a good chuckle out of it. He is just the sweetest man you can meet....always looking at our girl with these eyes like he has true empathy for her. So I am glad we could provide a few smiles around this place. I was proud of Jerad for having the party and the boys are already planning on coming back into her room tonight to carve more pumpkins. Who knows what they will come up with next.

Ally did work on the pumpkins (no talking though) but shortly thereafter she spiked a fever of 101.5 around midnight. I was worrying about this as it was slightly higher when I left at 9pm. They started her on yet another antibiotic and she hasn't shown the fever since. Hoping it was a fluke. Her ANC was at 40, so there is no chance her body can fight anything off right now. Her methotrexate level was finally .08.....11 days after treatment. So they removed her from the big bag of fluids. This was crazy considering she cleared the level within two days the first two times. She did end up needing a bag of blood this afternoon too. We just finished with that. She has an amazing amount of pumps and lines going into her body.
Lots of machines pumping lots of stuff and this was AFTER they took her fluid away
The good news is that she started speaking again today. Minimally, but she was speaking more than she has in six days. I am hoping that is a sign that she is turning the corner. She has also done a few more things today, and they are taking her morphine down just a little bit to see what that does. I am so hoping that she has turned the corner and will start to improve. We would love to be home for trick-or-treat...although lots of these kids won't.

And I can't believe we have to do yet another round of methotrexate again. One more time. I am scared to death, but trying not to think about it until the time comes. One thing at a time...for now we have to get her over this treatment.
Ally at 4pm today, no smiles, but UP.


  1. Thank you for the update Janel. I know it would be so easy (and certainly WELCOME) to just fall into bed and not post an update but I think I speak for all of us when I say THANK YOU for not doing that. Being able to read how Ally's doing each evening keeps the worry at bay just a bit. We're praying even harder for her that she'll be home by Saturday.

  2. Those pumpkins were awesome, I especially liked Dr. Broccoli. Ally is very good at carving and I am glad she felt well enough to do it. The awful part about those drugs is that they build up and are tough to get rid of but that means that they are doing their job. Way to hang in there Janel and Jerad. The Army keeps marching and praying. Take care.

  3. Hang in their Barnett family and get your strength from all the prayers of your family and friends. Please keep in mind that my day off is Monday so I can help out with the other two kids whenever you need. Right now Nathan and Erin and H1N1, but as soon as they are healthy I can definitely help out.
    Julie Mescher

  4. Ally-girl....

    When i saw your hilarious broccoli pumkin i laughed out loud...that is some funny stuff...betcha that doctor has never seen a broccoli pumpkin in the history of the world. You keep walking forward Janel...walking forward and one day very soon you'll see the light at the end of this dark tunnel...I think you're almost there...


  5. Way to go Jerad! What a great idea to bring pumpkins, hopefully the kids who'll be in the hospital on Halloween will be able to light them there. We have a green one too this year, Bryce's pick, think it will be Frankenstein.
    We're praying that the fever stays away and that Ally stays up today. I can't believe all that hair!

  6. Your journey has been a very difficult one....and I can't begin to imagine all you and your family have endured....but I do know God is giving you the strength you are receiving now. Janel....I am praying faithfully....and trying to wait patiently for Ally to heal and you to get some much needed rest and restoration to your life. Never doubt that people aren't here to help....I want to help you so desperately but don't know really how I can at this time, but I do pray that God will open the heart of others who can. Much love and my deepest thoughts are with all of you. PS..love the pumpkins!

  7. Don't you worry about missing Halloween. Ally's army here in Stonehill Village will have Halloween/trick-or-treating for Ally whenever she is well enough to go out!!!! I'm sure she will have lots of volunteers to go with her! :)
    Things sure have been quiet out our back door. Praying you all get to come home soon. Please let me know if I can do anything. I'm just a phone call or a shout off the deck away!

  8. Missing Ally and can't wait until she comes home! Loving Paula's idea to do trick-or-treat again if she doesn't make it home by Saturday. The kids would be so excited to do it again!

    And for both of you: I'm proud of your patience and strength through this. Someday Ally will realize what you've endured for her. That's a very special gift.

  9. You're exactly right. You can only take it one day at a time. Dr. B is awesome isn't he? He will always have a special place in our Krista's heart. Tell Ally her hair is looking awesome and before she knows it she will have a full head of beautiful hair. Hope you get to come home soon and we coninue to send up our prayers for your little girl. hang in there

  10. So I have tears running down my cheeks right now because Ally spoke, and the chemo level is finally down. What a relief. I know this is far from over, but another course of treatment is working it's way though the cycle. And yes, there is another one, and you all will deal with that when the time comes. The pumpkins are FANTASTIC. I think the Dr. B. is epic. You guys are amazing; you bring smiles everywhere. Still praying hard for the trip home.

  11. I believe you have an "arteeeest" on your hands. Good for Jared for providing a little entertainment for the kiddos. I am jealous of the fact that your dad has a pumpkin patch. We will have to take a trip to Ohio someday to se real fall and all of the greenery. Everything here is so brown. I am glad to see Ally upright in bed and am hoping you are on the upswing. I look forward to our next "chat".


    Janel and Jerad,
    Keep up the good fight! The Army and more are behind you. Just yesterday I received a call from someone wanting to know how you and Ally were coming along. One day at a time, I told them. Look at all you have behind you. We all love you!

  13. Oh...Ally looks SO much better than just 2 days ago! It is great to see her up...and look at all that hair growing in...I bet it is itchy (the least of her concerns right now). Also, I am sure you have heard this a million times before, but Ally is such a mini-you. Honestly! Especially in the picture at the sidebar (the "courtesy of Erin Cobb) photo...she has your same face and smile!

  14. Hurrah for Jerad's great pumpkin party idea! What a great idea to perk up Ally and the other kids!! Artist Ally's Dr. Broccoli is sooo cute - she is one creative cookie. I see a future in her artistic talent someday when she beats this. There will be a day when your whole family is together again to share all your special moments and they will be soooo special after all this. I'm praying so hard for no more pain for Ally and stress relief for everyone else. Hope Halloween is enjoyed by all wherever you may be !!!!!