Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year. Welcome 2010

I love a New Year. This year, I triple triple love the New Year....I am quite glad to see 2009 pack its bag and get on outta here. I am welcoming 2010 with open arms. I have high hopes and a clean slate and I want to do some good things for my life and for my family. First and foremost, I am looking forward to the summer of 2010...this is when Ally should finish her "intense" chemotherapy and enter into a once-a-month chemo phase. I can clearly see that phase in my mind. I can see the summer and the lake and the pools and the watermelon and baseball. I can almost picture Ally riding her scooter again. Summer is good. We have to round the track and get there...and then of course keep running....but at a much slower pace after that. In the meantime, I have to try to remain positive and keep the constant fears out of my everyday life. We have to persevere and not let the stress of everything get to us. Managing fear....a huge part of my life now.
The last couple weeks have been extremely hard on me. Christmas prep is hard on lots of people, I know. It used to stress me out when everything was just normal. I always try to do everything just right, just perfect, just magical, etc....I am hard on myself. I don't think I went to bed before 1 am for the entire month of December. Every single day. It took a toll. Throw a Christmas Eve/Day hospital visit in there, and I could have collapsed under the stress. I felt like I was drowning a bit under the weight of it all. I still don't have everything put away, and in its appropriate spots. And I can cap off all of the stress by feeling such an empty spot in my heart this season for my Mom. I just yearn and yearn to have her back with me. But I have to move on, because the situation is just not changing. I must accept it, but I still don't think I have. I really haven't had time. So all of this results in me feeling crabby and stressed, and down on myself, etc. I am sure I am not the most fun to be around. But my family and my friends must cut me a little slack, because they are all still here with me.
But New Year, Clean Slate! I feel much better just having it here. Ask anyone who witnessed me punting things down the street at midnight on New Years Eve. My sister and I...we just kicked the year right on out of here. Last year, on New Years Day I started a project. I wanted to take one picture everyday of 2009. This was my first picture.

But how ironic is this picture now?? I was celebrating because I was so happy to be done with 2008...the year of cancer and of the Cleveland Clinic...the year I sat by my mom in the hospital for 61 days. 2009 was going to be a better year. But we all know now that it didn't happen that way. 2009 was filled with some unimaginable low points in my life. And yea, well that whole project came to a screeching halt on March 15 when my Mom left us.
Once again, I have very high hopes for the year. I want my girl to get well and go to school and do all things that eight year old girls should be allowed to do. I want my other two kids to get back to normalcy and having their Mom and Dad around a lot more. I want to continue on this journey of life by appreciating every little thing and making the most of the time we get each day. I will strengthen my faith and pray for those who need it most. I will push the fears down and put my faith in God and the medical team that cares for our Ally. And I will keep remembering the good times. I will continue as the leader of Ally's Army and try to make some more good come from something bad. We will try to raise more money, make more people aware of pediatric cancer, and try to make a difference.

So those are my thoughts on the New Year. Ally is doing quite well these days. She started her new round with the spinal tap and an entire days worth of chemo. The nurse has come to our house the last couple of days to give a little more chemo each day. She has another spinal on Thursday, and more chemo. I am praying this round does not give her a fever, but it is a side effect of this drug. So it wouldn't be a surprise if it did.

After being at the hospital from 7:30 am until 6pm on New Year's Eve, she still managed to stay up until midnight to ring in 2010. She was out on the porch banging on pots and pans with her friends. And I heard her laughing a lot, which I am convinced is the best sound a mother can ever hear. In the Barnett house, we have our own tradition of making a ball and dropping it from our second story as the clock ticks to 12. The kids love it.

Waiting for the ball to drop

Even Car-Car made it to midnight...

Happy New Year to you and yours. Better days are coming. I just know it.
Here is a video of the Barnett ball dropping....



  1. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! May 2010 be an incredible year for you.

  2. That was awesome, watching that ball drop was the best New Year's ever. Janel what an incredible person you are, you and your family have had more than your share to deal with but you keep bouncing back. You are all so very strong and today I heard the strength return to your voice and it makes me sooooooooo happy. I am looking forward to 2010 with all of you and a wonderful summer. Best to all of you and here is to a healthier and happier new year!!!!!

  3. Terri Barnett ShumakerJanuary 3, 2010 at 7:24 AM

    The video was very cool. The kids looked like they had a great time. You guys do the coolest things!
    Hoping that 2010 brings more happy times and good memories!
    Love to you all.

  4. What a great party! Glad to hear the determination back in you. Enjoy this last day of the break!

  5. Janel
    What a year and what a ride. Through it all you shared your most intense, internal, thoughts. For that you have made us all much stronger. You have made your self much stonger. As hard as it is to say good-bye, you know that your mom is not really gone. She lives on every day in you, your sister, and all those wonderful grandbabies. Marcy would be sooo proud of all of you. As we were ringing in 2010, you and the eitire family were in our cheers to a healthy, happy new year. I can feel summer, just around the corner.
    Hugs to all of you.