Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fall Fun!

The difference between last October and this October has been amazing for my family. Last October was arguably one of the bleakest months that we have lived through. Ally was getting high dose methotrexate chemo, which required that she stay in the hospital for four days at a time. And she got it four times. On top of that, she suffered horribly from mouth sores and was twice put in the hospital for close to a week on a morphine drip. It was awful. And all of the things that normally make my October happy, such as Ally's birthday, Jerad and I's anniversary, my Dad's fall party, and Halloween...well they were all pretty much ruined.

I will never forget the Friday in the clinic, the day before my Dad's party, Ally started with some bad mouth sores. They admitted her to the inpatient unit and I knew there was no way she would be able to go to my Dad's fall party. That was one of the few times that I just lost it in front of everybody (including Ally) and broke down. It was such a huge disappointment to me. My Dad had bent over backwards and got this rock mining operation to come and set up at his party because Ally had seen it somewhere else and thought it was the greatest thing.

Well, last year, I went to the party...with the other kids and friends, etc...but it was very hard. I couldn't even look at the mining thing. So this year, when she walked up to it, and started "mining"....well I just lost it again. And I know you would think I would just be happy. And I was. Happy for her and we have come so far. I know. But the sadness can come back so strong sometimes. One little reminder, and it can practically knock me to my knees again.

Wow, I just noticed that Jerad must have captured me crying in this shot.....hah, such is life.
Treasures beyond compare...
But the happiness was there too. For her and for me. And I could have just sat and watched her play all day. My Dad is nice enough to invite some of my friends (and the kids friends) and Jerad's family...and this year the party was fantastic. The weather was great. The kids went on hayrides and bobbed for apples and got scared in the haunted house. All things that make fall so much fun, wrapped into one event.
So she cheated a little....
I loved this guy....
With her BFF Madison
With her cousins on the hayride:
With her friends....
And Ally even got the extra special pleasure of bottle feeding a baby kangaroo. Pretty cool.

And instead of carving our pumpkins in the hospital this year, like we did last year when she carved a broccoli pumpkin for "Dr Broccoli" we got to carve our pumpkins together. They are finally old enough to do it themselves!
And Ally chose this pattern all herself. It says "SMILE" if you look closely.
Evan did the bats.

Last year we got out of the hospital on the day before trick-or-treat. And Ally still did it then...but this year was better. She dressed up like a nerd. Her brother was Luigi from his Super Mario Video Game. Carly was a Hello Kitty Vampire Witch. We made that up.

And they always go to their great grandma's house...she lives right down the street from me!

So another holiday is here and gone. Tonight I am so very grateful for where we are but still very aware that some kids did spend the holiday in the hospital. I keep praying that we never go down that road again. And my Dad, well he did get to come home from the hospital, but still has to get things in order with his heart. He wasn't feeling too great today, so I am hoping that the doctors help him out when he goes back in tomorrow to get it checked. I know lots of stuff about cancer, but nothing about this! Thanks for keeping everybody in your prayers.


  1. Great Fall Pictures!!! So Happy you all had such a fun Halloween! Prayers for Mr. Mills!

  2. What a difference a year makes---wow!!! You guys have come down a very difficult road and have done very well, I am proud of all of you, I know everyone is. You did it one day at a time, with some days better than others. We will always continue to pray for those who are in the hospital and you can bet I will always keep your dad and entire family in my prayers. Great job!!!!!!!! Love all the photos.

  3. SOOOOOOOOOO happy that October was NORMAL this year!!!! YAY! Ally looks so happy and her hair is so darling! Giving praise to God on high that she is well and happy...loads of love!

  4. Those pictures are great. You all look fantastic- especially Ally. Happy belated birthday to you too by the way. I hope you remember that it's okay to break down sometimes. I think you need to allow yourself at least that much. You've been through, and not just survived, but triumphed over so much. Don't forget to give yourself a break.
    Happy Fall!!! Thanks for sharing your joy.

  5. Hello Barnett Family. This is your leukemia buddies in Tennessee. William and I spent Halloween "in" this year and felt the holiday slipped by quietly. Two years ago, we also spent Halloween "in". We had a harder time then. My husband and youngest son came and spent the evening with us, and although my daughter had to work, it was a nice family time. I see your pictures and am so happy you got to enjoy that awesome party. I know how much a year can change your life, so enjoy this time and embrace the love that surrounds you. I am sending a little more from Tennessee. Love you and Happy Fall! The Austins