One year ago. May 27, 2009. Ally was diagnosed with ALL leukemia.
One year later. May 27, 2010. I will try to reflect on a bit of our year.
I am an accountant, so some of the numbers stick in my head. So this post will be about the numbers and dates I remember.
White Blood Cells at diagnosis 92,000
White Blood Cells after chemotherapy 0-3000
52 weeks of chemotherapy treatments...sometimes getting chemo 4 times a week.
4 inpatient methotrexate weekends
8 radiation treatments
About 20 spinal taps
4 Bone Marrow Aspirations
MRD at .45% 6 months of intense treatment goes to 12 months.
20 blood transfusions
6 platelet transfusions
40-50 nights slept in the hospital
335 days without hair
$147,000 of medical bills in 2009, probably the same in 2010
7 days without speaking to us because of mouth sores (twice)
5 days with no food at all due to pancreatitis
20 days of being fed through her IV.
20 pounds lost. 20 pounds gained. 20 pounds lost again. 20 gained.
100 hats, 3 different sizes of clothes in one year (see above)
One wig. Never worn.
Countless days absent from school.
In the hospital on her brothers birthday, my birthday, and our wedding anniversary.
In the hospital for her Pa's fall party, released one day prior to Halloween.
In the hospital for the fall gala in honor of my Mom.
In the hospital on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and St Patricks Day.
In hospital for Butler WSU game (a holiday for some of us)
In a wheelchair at her Valentine Party.
In the hospital on the anniversary of her Grandmother's death...the day we were to spread the ashes.
1000 Ally's Army Orange Bracelets
400 Ally's Army T-Shirts
1200 people reading Ally's blog
3 Awesome Hematology/Oncology Doctors saving her life
Countless nurses doing the same: We love you all.
400 people walking behind Ally for Light the Night Walk
$40,000 raised for LLS for the walk
600 kids chanting Ally's Army at a school pep rally
12 WSU players wearing Ally's Army orange to their game
12 WSU women players signing a basketball and presenting to Ally
2 Poker Tournaments in Ally's name
1 Junction City Dance in Ally's name
50 dinners delivered to our door by true friends
15 days taken off work by Grandma and Grandpa to watch Evan and Carly
7 days taken off work by Aunt Jess to do the same
3 surrogate mothers for Evan and Carly (Melissa, Nicki, and Suzanne)
6 visits to the hospital by Pastor Gil
1 generous and loving Pa who opened up his home to 600 people for her fundraiser party
600! people attending Ally's Army Battles Cancer event
$150,000 raised for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in one night.
3 grandparents with broken hearts
2 siblings who were shuffled around all year long.
2 tired parents.
2 proud parents.
2 grateful parents.
1 horrific year.
1 amazing year.
1 STRONG HEROIC INSPIRING 8 YEAR OLD GIRL
We love our Ally more than any words can ever say. More than I can ever write about, speak about, probably even think about.
Today, we marked the day with an event at the hospital. The Mills Family foundation (my Dad) gave the funds to completely renovate the Hemoc Lounge/Kitchen on the fourth floor. Today, Ally and our family cut the ribbon and walked into the room for the first time. It is beautiful and kid friendly and parent friendly. People will actually be able to cook meals for the their kids and make a cup of coffee for themselves. And sit in a comfortable chair and play a game or watch TV or just have a moment of peace. We wanted to do this for the kids who spent weeks, months at a time in the hospital. When we decided to do this (early December) we were doing it for Ashley and Davey...and a few others. Ashley and Davey are no longer with us, but the room will live on to help those that come down the cancer road.
I have so many pictures and videos of our event today too. I will save it for another day, because my post is too too long already. Again, I am promising to get them out here. Today, I felt it best to focus on what Ally has been through and honor her for her strength. It is quite ironic that last year, I was throwing up into a trash can in that very same room upon hearing the leukemia diagnosis. This year I was enjoying the room with my kids, my husband, my Dad, my sister, my nephew...and quite a few of our hospital family who I have grown to love so much.
I am praying for a much better year to come.