Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day 2010! We enjoyed some beautiful weather and spent time with good friends up at our lakehouse for the weekend. Last year, Ally was diagnosed just a few days after Memorial Day...we opened up our lakehouse and made it back up in time to close it down. This summer we have much higher hopes that we can spend a little more time up there.

It was quite surreal to be leaving Dayton as a family on Friday night and also getting to do something fun. We figured that Ally had not spent the night outside her own bed (or the hospital bed) since September. We weren't sure how long it would all last. She ended up coming down with a pretty nasty cough...and most of Friday night was spent awake (for all of us!). She started getting a fever and at 4:30am it actually reached 100.5. At 101 we have to take her to the ER. We were seriously getting ready to pack up and head home in the middle of the night, but then it started going back down. Needless to say, we ended up staying at the lake. She felt a little yucky on Saturday, but then Sunday and Monday did great. We are thankful that she fought this fever off on her own. She is not allowed to immerse her head in lake water, per instructions from our nurse, so that is a little bit of a bummer. She waded a bit and also went for several jet ski rides/boat rides/paddle boat rides. The weather was about the nicest it has ever been and some of her friends came up on Saturday and made it even more fun.

Oh yea, she finally lost all her hair again too. RATS. I thought she was actually going to sneak by without losing it the last time, even though her doctor kept telling me it would come out. He was right (as always). It started coming out in huge clumps and we had to take the razor to it again. Hopefully this is the last time EVER that anyone in this family has to do it.

On Sunday, we were very touched when we read the article in the paper by Tom Archdeacon. He just did a fabulous job capturing our family. My Dad and I talked to him on Wednesday for about an hour and a half. He came down to Children's on Thursday and spoke to us again and also interviewed Ally (a tough task). I overheard her talking to him about fishing with her Pa. And then came to read that she said she could fish better than him. Here is the link to the article:

I also wanted to include a video of my Dad's remarks to the crowd of 600 at the party last Saturday night. Tom talks about the emotion of it all in his article too, but this way those out of towners or those who missed the party can see it for themselves:

And finally, we just spent the last couple hours of our Memorial Day doing what Ally likes: fishing up at Fox Hill. I was laughing as Dad was baiting her hook and remembering her saying to Tom that she can fish better than him. I told her she got a little bit of her Pa's "bombast"...she says what is that??? Jerad says "that means you're confident". And I said "that means when you do things, you do them well, or at least you act like you do" And about an hour later she had caught four big BASS fish. That's my girl.

Tomorrow is chemo day. The last chemo infusion of this "intense" phase. Next week, count dependent, she should enter into the phase I have been waiting for "long term maintenance." Thanks for following our story and for all the nice emails/calls/etc about the newspaper article!


  1. Wow - how awesome to see you enjoying the water and your weekend! It is well deserved! In reading the article in the paper, I feel so proud of Ally and all of you. What a difference you are making in other's lives! It is awesome to see...LOVE YOU ALL!

  2. Terri Barnett ShumakerJune 1, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    Glad you had a good weekend. Our weather was nice too and I said that people could Thank me for it because we decided to have Kaleb's graduation party in doors, air conditioned, so I knew that it would be beautiful outside since we moved in doors but that's ok it turned out nice inside anyway. Uncle John and Aunt Anne stopped by, it was really good to see them and I appreciated them taking the time to stop by. Hope to see you all soon.

  3. So glad you had a wonderful weekend! You all deserve it.

  4. Janel, glad you had a good weekend. The video and the article were awesome, thanks for sharing with us who are far away. Hope today went well and you are one day closer to maintenance. Your mom is smiling the biggest smile right now and is so very very proud of you, your entire family, and especially your dad. You guys are the best, thanks for all that you do!

  5. I stumbled across Erin Cobb's site today from Twitter, and then found Ally's blog. On Sunday I am running in the San Diego Rock N Roll 1/2 Marathon with Team in Training. My team raised almost $45,000 for LLS. I will be thinking of Ally while I run. She's a beautiful girl, and I'm so happy she's doing so well!