Friday, October 2, 2009

Long Days Again

My mind is still racing as I reflect on everything that happened yesterday. I keep hearing all of the wonderful praises from everyone on how amazing they thought it was. I kinda wish I was able to capture it more in my emotional memory bank. I was just super busy the whole time doing all kinds of stuff that the team captain has to do. I guess when you are organizing that many people and passing stuff out/collecting stuff it is inevitable. I wish I would have had a little more time to talk to everyone. Like my college roommate Lisa who came all the way from Wisconsin to walk. Or my 2nd cousin Jane who came all the way from West Virginia....just to see Ally and do the walk. My former supervisor (and friend!) Ruthann who I haven't seen in 8 years....I knew I would cry when I saw her and I did. Jerad's lifelong friend Shawn who surprised us and flew up from Florida. An old elementary friend Jenny Israel who I haven't seen in 20 years! People just came out of the woodwork for our girl. There were also so many people on the list that I didn't even recognize...people who came to support us who I don't even know. Wow.

I did want to thank a few people. My friend, Lin Sartin, who works for Kohler's, arranged for about 25 people to walk on our behalf. Again, most of them don't know us. And the Wright State Basketball Team. Almost all of them were there. I need to track down a picture to post here. They were there to support us and our good friend (their coach!) Brad Brownell arranged it. In addition, today a sports writer from the Dayton Daily News (Marc Katz) interviewed us for a potential story on Ally. Mary Nutter and Robin Kraft and all their "sisters" organization were there rooting for our girl. And Ally's Valley Elementary Family...they had so many there. Her K, 1st, and 2nd grade teachers. Her principal. Her art teacher. Her PE teacher. Her school nurse and guidance counselor. Even teachers that she has never had including Heather Shively who came out on the drizzly night and celebrated her birthday by walking. Thank you all.

So today has been that day of reflection, but being in the hospital today has been especially a downer for me. I don't know if I am just in a bad mood or what, but this place is driving me nuts. I am here for all of today, tonight, full into tomorrow afternoon and after Evan's soccer game. Just walking to the cafeteria to get my dinner and there are tons of sick kids sitting in the hall by the urgent care with masks on (presumably flu). So I took a different path back to avoid it and find a huge carpet dryer out where someone has gotten sick all over the floor. (why carpet in a hospital, why?) Made me not want to eat that dinner I just got.
Ally is doing okay, but we arrived at 9 and they were so busy that they didn't start her treatment until 2. Which sets everything back. They also pumped her full of a bag of fluid at a rate of 999/hr...usually it is about 135. She swelled right up like a balloon...her face and eyes all puffy and full of fluid. One good thing was she now weighs 70 pounds....way up from the 61 measurement that had gotten just two weeks ago. I guess the appetite stimulant is working!
The hardest thing for us now is that the hospital has mandated NO VISITORS because of the outbreak of the flu. No one can come except parents and grandparents. Certainly no kids...not even her own brother or sister. I did get teared up today when she hugged her brother and sister goodbye and was not to see them again for four days. This makes life especially hard on Jerad and I...we usually "transfer" the kids in the hospital room. One of us comes, brings the kids, and then after a quick visit, the other one leaves with the kids to go home. Not sure how this is all going to work out. I guess it is good because I certainly don't want her catching the flu, but being in isolation for four days is just not fun. At all. So there are a couple other kids up here, but only one that she played with today. Aubrey is her favorite little friend up here...I think because she is 18 months old and reminds Ally of her little sister. They played for a little bit in the hemoc toy room. Cute. Both with their blue eyes and little bald heads, Aubrey is just a smaller version of Ally.

And then the only other highlight of the day was when the Sesame Street Live characters came to visit. They are in town for a show this weekend. Carly would have just peed her pants with excitement if she had the chance to see Elmo. She actually screamed and laughed when she saw this picture.
Here's hoping that we get to sleep in more than 1 hour increments....all the fluids make for frequent bathroom trips. And there is a chance that they may allow her to come home late Sunday on fluids, let her sleep in her own bed, and then come back on Monday to the clinic to get de-accessed. I sure hope that works out.

Ally is laying in bed beside me watching a movie. It is dark and her white Light the Night balloon is lit up and tied to her bed. She brought it in here today. How sweet is that?

If you are even still reading......sorry for the extra long post. I just have nothing else to do, so I am babbling on and on! Several of you last night told me I should write a book, and you know what, I just did!

Good night!


  1. Dear Sweet Janel,
    I have heard it mentioned before, a story in the making.
    All the love and support, for one lovely,sweet little girl, one caring,struggling family,
    one great,dedicated group of friends, one community that came together.
    We all love and support you.
    Wishing a night of sleep.

  2. I was up in the middle of the night last night and the first thing I thought was, "I wonder if Janel is awake at the hospital too?" I know it's especially hard to sleep there and I was thinking about you and your girl.

    We wish we could come visit, and if for some reason you got the OK, we'd be there in minutes. Keep your chin up and give Ally a hug from us (especially Madison) We're praying she gets to come home Sunday!!

  3. Janel, I’m so proud of you, Jerad and all your friends and family who helped out at Light the Night. What a night it was. I’m especially proud of Ally. What a big girl! She was like a rock star with so many people wanting a picture with her, to chat with her, or just to say hi. But she was so gracious and grown-up! Yet still full of childlike wonder. I could see that in her eyes. What a beauty.

    It was just an honor for me to bring my family and walk for Ally and that organization. All I wanted was to finally give you a hug – and I got do that twice! It’s so hard to be far away from you and feel unable to help, so this was a chance to do so in a small way.

    I was also glad to meet Nicki and Suzanne, Jerad’s mom and sisters, just some of the many wonderful folks who’ve been there for you guys. (Even lucky to grab two hugs from Nicki, what a sweetheart!)

    Your speech was awesome. When you talked about your mom having the best view, I lost it. But you are right. She was THERE. As she has been and always will be.

    As Mary Jane says, Ally continues to be in “our praise.” I hope the weekend has some bright spots, that Ally feels okay and that you get some sleep. LOVE YOU, Lisa.

  4. WE LOVE YOU ALLY!!! That says it all, and we love your entire family. I just read the blog and can hardly type I am crying so hard. I know that your mom was watching and cheering and had the best seat in the house. John was watching too and he is so proud that you are all working so hard so this does not happen to another child. Janel, you are awesome and don't forget it. Friday was such a low after an incredible high on Thursday night!!!! It makes that hospital visit even more difficult. And the flu season cuts you off even more, but you can do this. Ally is winning this battle, her counts are good and she looks wonderful. What a smile that little girl has. Extra thoughts and prayers are with you during this treatment. I was very excited to see Elmo also.

  5. I just have to say that Bryce, 2 as of 10/1, was saying 'hi Ally' as I pulled up your blog, and then got so excited to see elmo and cookie! He could barely speak for trying to say 'look mommy' at the three of them, so I guess Ally has reached super star status in our house!
    Hate to think of you just sitting around all day, but hopefully it will give you time to go through all the mountains of pics from that magical night! I feel so privileged to have been a part of it. It truly was evidence of the good in people. You did an amazing job and should feel so proud of what you acomplished while going through something so traumatic. Ally will be blown away when she gets older to realize all that you put together in her honor.
    It was so hard to leave you all, but a little easier in seeing all the loving friends you have around you, God bless you and them.
    LOVE to you!

  6. one day down, Janel. I hope that during these difficult days you can call up your "emotional memory stick" - great reference, by the way- to help you get through. I heard about the no children visitors rule, and i'm sure that does make it much more difficult. Remember, one day down, is one day less. Hang in there. The Army is still behind you all.

  7. Hey buddy. Sorry you and Ally are lonely because of the recent hospital rules. But you are will be better for her. We will all keep posting comments to help you pass the time and keep you company. Thursday night was incredible and I can understand why you may have a bit of the blues now. After such a high it is hard to be at the hospital for an extended stay yet again. We are thinking of you all. xxxxx ooooo. Jenny