Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sharon Ross

Ally made it through another chemo day. Tuesday was Ally's seventh day straight of steriods. Twice a day for seven days and it sends her into a complete state of silence. Nothing you can say or do will make her crack a smile or respond to you or anything by this point. So into the clinic we marched, but I feel the need to tell everyone that Ally is on steroids. Oh she is fine, I tell everybody, it is just the medicine. I don't want all her little friends at school, etc, to think she is sad or mad or upset, so I try to tell all the Moms to inform their kids. It is just really hard to see her in this way, but I do know that it will end. And today, after being off the meds for 24 hours, I did see little glimpses of my girl coming back. Thank goodness. So Tuesday she got her chemos, and we found out her hemoglobin was actually at a 9, so no need to transfuse! That was a shock to me, but a good one. Maybe it will hit next week. However, she was fairly sick from the chemo today and stayed home from school. We have her first appointment in Cincinnati with the radiation oncologist on May 4th. That whole thing is looming large over us right now. Large with a capital L. I kinda just want to get it going so I can get it over with.

While we were in the clinic, we saw one of Ally's favorite nurses...Sharon Ross. She is the fantastic nurse whom I wrote the essay about and then submitted it to the Dayton Daily News. So I told Sharon that I had sent in an essay and that she had WON. Of course, she would barely accept the praise and is quite the humble person. But we just love her. Then I got home and found out that Sharon had made a birthday cake for Ally's friend (and fellow ALL survivor!) Amanda for her sweet 16 last week. Some people just have a heart of gold. Anyway, this is what I wrote. I promised I would share.

Sharon Ross

My eight year old daughter, Ally, was diagnosed with leukemia (ALL) about ten months ago. The diagnosis was unfathomable to my otherwise healthy family, which includes two other young children. Ally’s treatment plans have included receiving chemotherapy once a week for the last ten months. We spend countless hours at the hematology/oncology clinic receiving chemotherapy and also dealing with the many horrible side effects that go along with it. Our daughter has been very sick, but we are always comforted by our favorite nurse Sharon Ross.
Sharon goes above and beyond the call of duty with Ally. First, Ally has a port underneath her skin which must be accessed every time with a needle. Ally is very particular about how she likes it done. Sharon is the most patient and kind nurse, always willing to give Ally the time and/or the encouragement that she needs to make the process go very smoothly. She makes Ally comfortable. At times when Ally has been very sick or in pain, Sharon has talked to her at her level to fully understand the situation. She always listens to every word we say and never dismisses anything as unimportant. She truly cares about our daughter, even visiting her when she has become inpatient in the hospital.
Secondly, Sharon is always very aware of the time commitment that getting chemotherapy involves. We have to be away from our other two young children a lot. The safety checks and general operating system in the hospital can make the process very slow. This is out of her control. However, she always makes every effort to complete needed tests quickly to ensure that our time spent there is as little as possible. She understands how tough it is to spend so much time getting Ally better and she ensures that our visits are very efficient. As a busy mother, I am so grateful for this.
Finally, “Miss Sharon,” as we call her, makes Ally’s time in the clinic fun. She has brought in several crafts for our girl to work on. She has even brought in her personal knitting needles and yarn to give Ally a project to work on. She patiently taught an eight year old how to knit, amongst running around with her other patients. This makes the clinic fun for Ally and she has never once complained about having to go to her treatments.
We are eternally grateful to Sharon Ross for helping to save our daughter’s life. She treats us with the care and compassion that most people save for their own family. We will never forget her.


  1. I knew it! Sharon is the greatest! I hope that Ally weathers this storm as she has the others. The end of treatment is getting that much closer.


  2. We agree! Sharon is truly a wonderful nurse, as are all the others. They all go above and beyond but Sharon is truly special.
    Hope Ally is feeling better soon! We miss you all and when things calm down we should have a playdate.


  3. Sounds like Sharon is Ally's guardian angel here on earth. Nice job Janel, I am glad you and the family have Sharon.