Monday, December 14, 2009

Chemo Day

As expected, little Miss Ally is on her way back downward a bit. We have had several good weeks, even though she has been getting chemo, and I knew our time was coming. She is still holding her own, but the side effects of the chemo are setting in. Her ANC is at 230 (low) which means we will no longer be able to take her out, take her to basketball games or church or whatever we have been doing. We will have to rely on our friends and family to entertain us through the holidays, which isn't all that bad. Dr B still felt she should try to go to school this week...only four days left and then she is off for 16/17 days. She failed to go today because of some painful back pain. We have not experienced this yet. She woke up just screaming/crying in pain four times last night. It is almost like a pinched nerve and it is right at the site of her spinal taps. The Dr thinks it could be caused by the Vincristin, which is famous for causing all kinds of joint pains. She is also walking a bit off these days (again, because of the Vincristin) and maybe that is causing some spasms in her back. We did make it to the clinic today for two more doses of chemo and they are expecting Ally will need another blood transfusion within the week. Thanks to all of you who donate blood...which reminds me that it is time I do the same.

We took some treats for our clinic nurses and paid a few visits to our in-patient friends. They seem to be having a string of some very bad luck up there....another patient is in ICU tonight and not expected to make it through the night. Please keep all the families in your thoughts, as always, but also the nurses. I know this is wearing on quite a few of them and I honestly don't know how they do the jobs they do. But thank God for them.

Although we were warned that her rough patch is coming up (the next two weeks could be hard), I am fully aware and fully grateful that I am not currently in the hospital. You have no idea how many times a day I say a prayer that we make it through the season without a fever/illness bringing us to the hospital. I can almost handle anything, as long as it is not that.

That being said, I am completely stressing out about the number of things I have to do before Christmas. And really, I have no ability to go anywhere unless she goes to school...which is iffy. And I have a lot of gifts left to buy. And it is not a good time of year to call in any favors from my friends either. And my husband and 2 well kids are leaving me here for the whole weekend while they travel to Jerad's hometown for a visit. So yes, I am still human, and I still stress a little about the small stuff. But then I tell will get done...and I can only do what I can do, etc.

We did enjoy a good weekend filled with Santa visits and a couple of xmas parties. We went to my Dad's house and put up a tree and some decorations for him. On Sunday we attended a very special Christmas party put on by the charity..A Kid Again...which is like a local special wish foundation for the sick kids. They had all kinds of games, crafts, entertainment...and then they gave each one of my kids about $50 worth of presents to take home. Not just Ally. But Evan and Carly too. It is so nice that they recognize that the illness effects the whole family, and our other two suffer quite a bit too. If you are looking for anywhere to make you charitable contributions, this is one charity that is quite worthy.

I will try to post some weekend pictures later. I am super busy with my part time accounting job and it is calling me back to work. Yes, at 11 pm at night. I will continue to burn the midnight oil.

Thanks for following our story. I continue to learn of or meet people that read this blog and I am always surprised by how many of you do. And you keep on following, never giving up on us. I am grateful for the support.

Ally's Army is marching on....closer to the finish line everyday.


  1. Yes, they keep calling me wanting me to donate blood again--and I want to--just haven't got there yet. Maybe sometime when the kids are off school I will get out there. Definitely need to do that again.
    Like you, just hoping that EVERYONE is well for the holiday. I think the family deserves that much, don'tcha think? Everything will get done and yes, let me know if you need something. I can always run to the store for you or whatever you need.

  2. Janel,
    I will put out the 'Bat Signal" and see if I can't get a few "sisters" to donate. Are you all donating at the Blood Bank downtown? On another note. . . .
    Art Work from Ally would make the "perfect " gift for all.
    Wondering how the rice bags are working? I use one every night on my shoulder. Sooooooothing. I too, will be happy to run and pick up whatever. I can't believe that I am actually ahead this year. So.....
    let me know what I can do.
    Hugs to all of you.

  3. So- I can't donate blood yet, or help with errands, so I'm resorting to thoughts and prayers. I sense some optimism in the end of your post- for that, today, I am thankful. I know you'll figure your to do list out, Janel- you have so far. Here's to a hospital free month.

  4. Janel.....internet shopping is wonderful! I did 95% of mine that way this year, it's delivered right to your front door, and many places have free shipping also. I am here to help in any way...just let me know what I can do for you.

  5. I think you're doing great! You have mailed your cards, made a ginger bread house, chocolates, decorated your house and your Dad's, made cookies, the list goes on and on. So, enjoy the time and let the internet be your shopper! Our prayers are with you for a healthy holiday season.LOVE you Jammer!

  6. Danielle ( 15, 2009 at 9:05 AM

    I've never posted a comment on here before. I work for Riverside Research Institute (a company that has done business with Mills Morgan, they are building our new facility!!). I read this blog every single day-it's one of the first things I do in the morning when I come in to work. I read your story and I feel a connection, even though I don't know you. I talk to my family about you as if I've known you forever. You're an amazing writer and the way you use this blog to share your journey is so encouraging. I never know how I could help you, but I may have an idea. I know it would be hard to trust someone you don't know, but if you need someone to go out and do your Christmas shopping, let me know. I would be so excited to have a way to help you, and trust me--I LOVE to shop! I can wrap gifts to---one of the other things I love most about this time of year! If there is anything I can do, please e-mail me. Regardless, I wish you and your family the merriest of Christmas Seasons.

  7. Janel, Abby is dying to babysit! She suppose to do an "elf" deed for one of her classes. Something that helps someone else out. She asked if I thought you might need help with Evan and Carly. She wasnt sure if she was old enough to stay with Ally. She would love to help in any way. Ditto for me. Send them over and my girls can entertain them while you get a few things done. I know you hate asking for I will just keep bugging you!!!! :) By the way, you've already done WAY more for Christmas than I could ever hope to get done!!